Steve Law performed last week at the Make It Up Club in Melbourne for the launch of Vicmod Records and Dissolution. It can be viewed more as a collection of works than cohesive form of works that would in itself form a unified body. There are threads of practice that run throughout, the use of environmental sampling, coughing, water and a child’ voice, and the immersion in the distinct sounds of modular synthesis. It is this area, the sound of the device and the concentration of Vicmod on building analog modular synthesizers that drives the sound field.
On Bummer Interlock Law builds layered sonic forms out of analog electronic expressions, combined into a form of angular architecture, seemingly built out of reconstructed memories of the sonics of acid-techno. Given this can only be seen as a mode of description and the sense of the control of form and modular synthesis is very much the subject rather than the vagaries of passing trends. The use of field recordings of water drops in The Death of Light brings forth a not unfamiliar obsession for sound recording. Especially in these days of immersion and surrounds sound environments, where the sensory play has overtaken the sense of the inherent attributes of objects/people as the subject. Focuses on the qualities that can be drawn from the water recording are undercut by a subtle ominous background which eventually becomes the foreground and cycles textured darkness across the sound field.
The more personal recordings of his child introduce the track insanity threshold which is a constant barrage of signal and noise, rolling synth cycles drilling frequencies into your skull with little or no seeming purpose. Perhaps merely to achieve an intensity of sound, a form of threshold crossing, or inducement of liminal state. Time dilation, if you took it at it’s title would be a contemplation on a specific phenomena peculiar to relativity theory. Of all the tracks it presents a more crystalline sound contemplative aspect, a discrete ambient environment, that interweaves sounds , developing some aspects and exploring and exiting others. It’s scenery gradually changing throughout it evolves to a more signal frequency tempered rendering before achieving a sense of peak intensity and release.