On The Wine is Safer than the Water. which Griffin "recorded live using synthesizers, metal objects, contact microphones and various percussive devices" is a killer little disc. Namely what's so killer about it is the restrained presence of the synthesizer. Now, I love synths as much as the next guy but it's really exciting to hear someone, such as Griffin here, working with such dynamic sounds and minimal, reasoned structures rather than flooding a tape with synth sustain.
The top jam, "And the People are Often Drunk" unfurls itself over the course of 7 minutes. Ever so slightly, the once small clicks, clacks and crackles become agitated, and begin to burgeon and swell sucking up the formerly plentiful amounts of space. From manipulated percussive clatter at the front of the track to the grinding machinery at the end, Griffin plans a well thought-out route and then navigates and paces the trip wonderfully. "This Results in an Increase" begins somewhere around where "Often Drunk" ends. A low rattle gnaws away, wisps of sounds scrape by occasionally. Midway through, a synth tone becomes discernible but is quickly plucked apart, tendon by tendon, cannibalized by its own sonic surroundings. "In Their Pronounced Tendency" over multiple layers of sputtering machinery, the synth gets another shot and sirens away gently, relatively unharmed. That is until a rabid a hyena gets into the circuit boards. The cackling and screeching are offset by a deep, smoothly throbbing basstone that makes the whole affair all the more queasy. "Toward Violence" cuts its length to under for 4 minutes for a more distilled kernel-ing of the ideas that preceded. Various percussive sounds trip and stumble, emanating through delay pedals keeping slurred, synth washes at bay throughout the duration. The most radio-ready track of the bunch! Nice!
The ever reliable Eric Hardiman wasn't blowing any smoke when he praised this guy. With this CDr, Griffin shows a much appreciated sense of adventure and a sheer knack for complex, thoroughly engaging compositions/performances. We may have a real talent on our hands, folks.
Edition of 50, Skell looks like it may still have some copies.