11.26.2013

MIKE SHIFLET



































"The choir, the army"
Year:  2012
Country:  US
City:  Columbus
Label:  Under the Spire
Format:  LP
Tracks:  9
Time:  60 min.
Genre:  electronic
Style:       Noise       Field Recordings





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"Nature seen"
Year:  2012
Country:  US
City:  Columbus
Artist:  Mike Shiflet
Label:  905 tapes
Format:  CD , cassette
Tracks:  2
Time: 22 min.
Genre:  electronic
Style:         Field Recordings























Recorded Summer 2012 in urban and rural Central Ohio by the experimentalist noise musician Mike Shiflet. In this recording as in other of the same artist, we can to listen to a mix with nature, forest sounds with a little noise with an origin more industrial oriented.
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"omen chaser"
Year:  2010
Country:  US
Label:  2:00AM Tapes
Format:  CD
Tracks:  2
Time:  24 min.
Genre:  electronic
Style:        Abstract         Noise





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"Disrobed, spitting blood"
Year:  2008
Country:  US
City:  Columbus
Label:  Scotch Tapes
Format:  cassette
Tracks:  2
Time:  42 min.
Genre:  electronic
Style:         Field Recordings




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http://images.junostatic.com/full/CS452924-01B-BIG.jpg"Merciless"
Year:  2009
Country:  US
City:  Columbus
Label:  Type
Format:  LP
Tracks:  5
Time:  50 min.
Genre:  electronic
Style:         Field Recordings
























Mike Shiflet's self-released 2010 album Llanos felt like a pinnacle. After more than a decade of noise and drone made in small editions for various labels, the Ohio-based artist combined his obsessions into one enveloping six-song set. But it turns out that Llanos was also a prelude, because in the past year Shiflet has made two albums for Type that are just as good, perhaps better. And they play like two sides of a coin: Sufferers, released last October, weaves patiently through a field of abstract sounds, and now Merciless paints a similar landscape with an even richer palette.















It's also a more aggressive palette, though just a bit-- Sufferers also had its share of dense noise. But Shiflet's music is more interesting for how he pieces his sounds together than what sounds he uses. The power's more in the wall than in the bricks, so to speak. It doesn't matter much if he's doling out brutal racket or riding a rising drone. Either way, the connections between those textures, and Shiflet's knack for massaging them into tonal hybrids, form a kind of sonic narrative. Every moment is inseparable from what comes before and after.














On Merciless, Shiflet's narrative sounds rather random at first. Opener "Feeble Breaths" emerges cautiously in shards of static, as if he's searching for a radio station in the middle of the woods, or groping in the dark to set a needle onto a record. But the track eventually coagulates into a pulsing loop, and from then on Shiflet's roller coaster stays in permanent forward motion. It gathers steam with crackling sheens, meditative oscillations, layered echoes, and an especially compelling piece called "Exodus and Exile" that evokes classical minimalism, film-noir score, and space-bound transmission.















The best narratives are most compelling at the end, though, and Shiflet accordingly puts extra juice into the 16-minute, album-closing title track. Adding Marina Peterson's cello, C. Spencer Yeh's violin, and Jason Zeh's tape manipulations, he erects a windy, creaking drone that sounds both patient and urgent. It's a bit bombastic, but Shiflet keeps all the sounds grounded and tactile in a way that you can almost feel through the speakers. By the end, the track descends into more disparate timbres, not unlike the notes that began the album. That full-circle arc makes it tempting to call Merciless a new peak, but given Shiflet's history, it would be unwise to limit expectations of what he can do next. (*NOTE = this review was written HERE ).
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