"              "[sic] Tim Goldie & Daniel Beban


Entr'acte 3 x CD + Pbk

A duo which veers haphazardly between the maximal and the minimal. This 197 minute triple CD contains no fewer that 85 tracks, yet just over half of them are no longer than 20 seconds and emit little more than a faint hum or the sound of a quietly ticking clock. They're scattered around a series of energetic, stormy improvised workouts, in which New Zealander Beban meets Goldie's vocal outbursts and percussive barrages - layered polyrhythms and z'ev-style primitive ritualistic pounding - with swathes of grinding electronic frequencies and gritty feedback swarms. The more interstitial tracks are the most rewarding, in particular by Goldie.

Like Mattin, Goldie, who is currently based in London, disrupts certain idiomatic musical forms - primarily Noise, power electronics and improvisation - with strategies borrowed from performance and conceptual art. Slakes periodically resembles Goldie's occasional duo with Mattin, Deflag Haemorrhage/Haien Kontra. The raucous live recording which closes the third disc has a typically confrontational air. Goldie is an increasingly accomplished improvisor - interspersed throughout Slakes is a series of solo percussion pieces which overflow with both aggression and intelligence.

Those aside, the duo's talents seem to lie as much in the linguistic as the musical. The book which accompanies Slakes contains neither sleevenotes nor imagery, just the track titles typeset in bold uppercase, black text on a white background. It's a smart ploy - they conjure fascinating linguistic riddles, splicing together convoluted palindromes, lorem ipsum gibberish, garbled snatches of German and French, political sloganeering and philosophical jargon.

Thus two minutes of blurry hum on the third disc is rewarded with the name "Mystagogue [Not Being To Be Seen] Evaginates Hysterical Malingerer Samotari Mekivun Ha Yaar Zugrunde: The Empty Plan", and one of the better duo face-offs on the second is tagged "Depict Hyperparasitic Functionary Coup De Maitre What Did You Want This Body This Externalisation". See also "Naturalised Verwindungist Executables/Prion Tandem Paralogue" and my favourite, "Mutual Conciliatory Gestures Interminably Theatricalised". It's not glib in the slightest to say that the track titles are sometimes more stimulating than the music, which perhaps warrants documentation on a single 65 minute CD, but hardly three.

Nick Cain, The Wire, April 2013