The Switch Off Option ‎– On

Label:
Fragment (7) ‎– CLUMP 13
Format:
Cassette, Album, C60
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist

May
A1 Screech It 6:17
A2 Rapsody In Glue 3:52
A3 Ambience In Our Time 4:00
A4 Surface Tension 4:08
A5 Arabian Tights 6:49
A6 Critical 3:04
A7 Mary Go Round 4:25
Maybe
B1 Standing In The Wrong Place 10:54
B2 Melt Now 6:13
B3 Foolsalami 8:37
B4 Bob's Blob 4:25

Notes

This album was re-issued on CDr in 2001.

Reviews

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June 4, 2012
The 'May' side kicks off with "Screech It", which grows out of repetitious rhythmic cycles of drums & guitar, ever growing, ever swelling, ever expanding while the saxophone, not entirely mental but certainly disjointed, weaves it's Jazz improv way around, becoming part of the static rhythm so the guitar can leap in & take it's place. "Rapsody In Glue" is a loose Jazz thing using much the same sounds, yet defying easily identifiable structure hinting at the likes of THIS HEAT, POP GROUP & possibly even SUN RA. "Ambience In Our Time" is another loose, disjointed piece of music, fluid as quicksilver yet amorphous & without a structure the average ear could discern. From out of the thin waste ground of non-music rise the occasional structure - small warm huddles of golden sax or tight bundles of Bluesy guitar. "Surface Tension" again grows up from the amorphous lack of structure which might be a passive chaos, a nervous air gravid with possible violence. Whip-like snaps, tense chimes & fragmented pieces of tuned sound move along, reminding me a little of a piece from the STARTLED INSECTS 1st ep, which buids from apparent nothing into a whole, tight rhythmic drive. "Arabian Tights" forms itself a rhythm with peek-a-boo sax vying for focal position with wailing voice-like one string fiddle in an Eastern-sounding calming piece of music. As with all previous tracks (and with MOISTEN BEFORE USE), there's a heavy accent on a passive freeform approach which sounds surprisingly together & limber. "Critical" is another loose thing, full of nervous threat, creating a sense of danger within it's freeform Jazz body. The accent here is as much on the gaps between as on the sounds themselves, and the musician's ease carries the whole thing off well. "Mary Go Round" closes side one, sounding somehow stranger & more other-worldly than anything which had gone before. It reminds me of something from one of the first two cassette albms by CLOCK DVA grafted successfully into THIS HEAT's brand of Strange. The 'Maybe side kicks off with nearly 11 minutes of "Standing In The Wrong Place", again loose, but with a threatening tension which is compounded by warm sleaze sax, complex motifs of Blues / Jazz guitar, sidewinding bass & a percussive approach which seems to layer over & over upon itself, making auditory focussing difficult. The loose construction gradually gels into a tight, fastish scramble of Avant Garde night club Jazz, capturing perhaps a half dozen stylists within it's madcap soundscape. "Melt Now" grows out of an artificial ambience, an almost oriental combination of tuned percussion, flute, recorder & birdsong over which the most mellow of Jazz guitar winds filigree strings of matted silver & the whole atmosphere is calming & relaxing, with slight hints of unease appearing here & there, to stop you totally falling into it's lulling spell. "Foolsalami" again dwells in that semi-reality of freeform Jazz, that mysterious land of images & uneasy juxtapositions, all welling & warping around the rolling earthy drums & strange tensions. The usual instruments are joined by piano (prepared?), giving it an even stranger feel, a glimpse into a musical psychosis as changeable and warped as can be. "Bob S Blob" closes the album, revisiting the pseudo-atmosphere of "Melt Now"'s artificial garden, moving in dream-state slowness, a mood music which might almost even quality for the more 'instrumental' side of Ambient (ie. HAROLD BUDD) were it not for the unmistakeable Jazz flavouring & the odd little 'humourous' noises which shake the atmosphere a little. The whole thing comes in an A5 plastic bag, complete with A4-folded-to-A5 sheet containing a wealth of technical info in a HERE & NOW Hippy style with a slight seasoning of PYTHONesque humour. .

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.