Steve Barsotti – Along These Lines (Transparency/Mimeomeme)


Working with electronics, field recordings, and instruments of his own devising, here Seattle sound artist Steve Barsotti utterly blurs the lines between those disparate sources. Over four tracks, he skitters across shifting textures and builds saturated clouds of sound. We start with “Boundaries”, which recalls Oval in its brusque turns and warped feel. It nears ambient glitch towards the end of its 15 minutes, with lots of space hovering overhead. Similar in length, “Bridges” ranges from close-quarters scratching and buzzing to jumpy pings and fidgety gurgling. It changes tack at nearly six minutes to hit upon a sustained hum.

The 24-minute “Terraces” features field recordings of a crowd, alongside arcane clattering and passing vehicles. There’s a raft of different sensations, familiar and not, though Barsotti eventually settles into channel-surfed snippets that include a woman recounting a dream. The track is quite cinematic and unsettling by 14 minutes, and later all too rhythmic. Closing this 200-run CD-R is the much shorter “Bypass”, a lashing of scrambled noise. All of this is proof of just how far Barsotti’s whims take him, and how well he manages them.

Doug Wallen


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