This 50-minute piece of tectonic drone vibration is a companion piece to the Salford noisemeister’s majestic Infinity Machines, released earlier this year. Initially just for sale at gigs but now available through GNOD-man Paddy Shine’s Tesla Tapes label, it is an essential piece of GNODwerk and a groovily dark supplement to its longer companion.
Recorded live at GNOD HQ in Salford this past March, Gestalt is driven by the slow phase of Marlene Ribeiro’s cello, a seemingly endless drone across which her shipmates rustle up a raft of modular synth noise, spores of kalimbas chimes and fragments of taped voices crying out in haunted echoes.
Occasionally Gestalt brings to mind the long notes of Pauline Oliveiros’ accordion or yer long form drone archetype cats – La Monte Young and those voyagers. Like them, Gestalt’s drones destroy time, but rather than unleashing the liberating joy of deep listening or a trip inside the Dream House, this deep glowering wash crushes the universe into an eternally recurring nightmare, a shamanic death trip that’s like some hellish return to the primal point of origin. It’s 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Carlos Castaneda, or Altered States in Islington Mill (in fact, the piece was initially devised to accompany a documentary on the film).
At certain points, a dull metronomic rhythm stumbles into being, a ghost drum syncopation to the ebb and flow underneath. It brings an almost dubby vibe to proceedings, but it’s hollowed out, nodded out, even (if you’ll forgive the pun). But not even that ostensibly forward motion can break through the endless cyclic groove magick, collapsing everything at has ever happened and everything that will ever happen into a single eternal moment.
Gestalt is GNOD at its most enigmatic and ritualistic. A fine soundtrack to the journey within.