The mysterious DJ Conical Bore might just be Massimo Magee, expert Australian sax player and computer of minimalist computer music, who has got together with a few collaborators (who may or may not be imaginary) to create this discordant sonic assault.
Released on Magee’s own Studious Avoidance netlabel, a typical Conical Bore track sees a gripey tangle of digital mess and glitch smeared across elegant fragments of cosmic sax’n’drums while deadpan Aussie-inflected vocals murmur misanthropic diatribes and ennui-laden dad-raps. A Pacman of glitch eats a free jazz pill, if y’like. The result is frequently engaging, in a bizarro way, sometimes recalling Goodiepal’s prankster electro, but generally much more abrasive.
The title track is a nice place to dive in, its awkward horn parps lurking way down in the mix as if coming from a neighbouring room and fading away altogether for most of the track. Videogame bleeps and blurts are in full effect at first, and then one of those dastardly monologues start up. Fortunately that’s swamped by an eruption of razor edged CPU noise, and, although seeping away pretty quickly, it’s still caustic enough to leave me feeling nicely raw. At less than three minutes long, it’s short and sweet. Just the way I like it.
Serial Killer (Finnegy) is another favourite. A piledriver drum thrash is rendered so tinny that its heroic savagery is Xeroxed into lo-fi flummery. A strangely jolly sax loop signals a queasy hysteria, and a daemonic chorus of voices grumbles, shouts and moans in an innumerable stream. Is it fun, or threatening, or something else? I’m certainly enjoying it, in the same headrushy, stomach-churning way that one enjoys a whirling waltzer ride on Clacton Pier. Turned up to 11.
I’m also baffled by the identities of Bore’s (can we call him Bore?) partners in sonic crime on this venture. I accept that Tim Green– who pops up on the marvellously grouchy The Revolution –and Josh Iselin, who guests on two of the other tracks, are actual real human beings. After all, drummer Green has worked with Magee before, most recently on Relentless Communion, his trio recording in 2014, and Iselin (another drummer) is pretty easy to find on Google. Magee himself even has a small cameo, on the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Sitting Room, wondering like a ghostly revenant through the staticky haze. But Blind Papa Lickrish? Chunky Flo and Thong Bandit? I think someone’s pulling our chain, bro.
Whether these carnivalesque characters are other real-world collaborators in disguise, or just various manifestations of Magee’s own musical psyche, doesn’t really matter. The effect is the same. (Im)pure sonic carnage. Get up. Get with it. Get involved.