Tap Internal

A 1 track minimal/glitch single (46m 45s) — released August 7th 2000 on Touch

This is John Duncan's 2nd CD on Touch, following 'Send' (TO:20) Written by Massimo Ricci and translated by G. Stefani Have you ever asked yourself 'What is the sound of energy'' John Duncan has been trying for years to explain the composition of matter through sound and not everyone can understand this, but once the door is opened everything suddenly becomes easy. TAP INTERNAL is beautiful and -- in classical 'Duncan style' -- cruel, in that it puts you in contact with our deepest psyche and lays it bare, turning the auricular membrane inside out, leaving an indelible mark of new frequencies that are beautiful to abandon yourself to but watch out: just at the moment of hypnosis the scenario is completely convoluted and the sound becomes coarse and varied,cuts the air and tries to attack -- the nightmare begins again, and once more the brain is forced to change its attitude, define a new reaction to the input. The beauty and uniqueness of John Duncan's music is fully captured in this continuous change of situations, dynamics, sounds and emotions which is, in a word, the microscopic photography of life itself.'

One track, forty-seven minutes long of buzzing, circling drone music, Tap Internal shows John Duncan at the height and depths of his mesmeric obsession, nagging at the psyche with the sound of a mindscape going awkwardly awry. Far from monotonous, this work takes as its starting sound the running, rumbling sound of a mid-range tone and shovels it though effects and interlocking pitches to varying degrees of unsettlement, then shifts the listener off into quite disturbingly unwanted tangents at moment of least expectation. Look at the chest X-ray on the cover - is that where the sound will affect the most? Low level strata dredge the mulch at the bottom end; higher tones loop back on themselves at the least pleasant, most skin-writhing of frequencies. It is not ambiet; Tap Internal is insiduous, testing. This is not to discount the warmth of some of the bass sounds, but the breath-holding and -taking stretches of nearly infra-sound or the single-minded circling of glaciers squaring up for a withheld confrontation on a seemingly geological time scale is intimidating more often than enveloping in comfortable familiarity. Ominous pulse-beath throbs give way to chainsaw/skull interfaces of dental agony; it is by no means an easy ride, this CD. It fucking hurts, sometimes, but sometimes pain can equal pleasure when it's overcome and endured. That which does not kill you might just might make you deafer though. Massive tectonic shifts make way for drifting reaches of rising, drilling, spiralling tones. Time is taken with the development of this piece, in several senses. The quiet parts are the most deceptive, encouraging a tweak to the volume control... and subsequent surprises. Take care. - Antron S. Meister freq.org.uk

Tap Internal maps the topography of listening where buzzsaw horizons give way to a vista of meditative bliss. Despite the aura of magnetic dread, I can't help but feel strangely comforted by the yearning, bowing buzz, which recalls nothing for me so much as the resonant passage of airplanes above pinetopped mountains. And maybe that's the point: Tap Internal points to those places outside "civilization" (nature, energy, the body) suddenly brought into close contact with the shavings of technology. The result is like a metal form humming with life and bristling with the detritus it's attracted. Intensely objective music, not quite documentary but created from its snapshots - almost like forms of measurement (the hertz, the bit) treated like artworks: framed, hung, regarded. And painfully pure. - PHILIP SHERBURNE INTERNET

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