Release Date: Mar 3, 2017
Record label: Dust Editions
Genre(s): Electronic, Avant-Garde, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Experimental Ambient, Experimental Electronic
According to the notes accompanying Toxic City Music, the eighth album released by Evan Caminiti under his own name marks the experimental artist's return to using electric guitar after a stretch of concentrating on electronic sounds. But as that commentary also rightly points out, without knowing that, there's no real way to tell that anything on this bracing, charged LP came from a six-string. Every note within, whether created using said guitar or, as he did on the hypnotic "Toxic Tape (Love Canal)," with samples of noises coming from his kitchen sink, has been bent and processed out of recognition.
After moving away from guitar-based compositions on 2015's Meridian, Barn Owl's Evan Caminiti returns to the instrument on 2017 follow-up Toxic City Music. This is far from a typical guitar record, however. Here, the instrument is deconstructed and submerged under waves of modular synthesizer static, crushed into pixelated fuzz and barely resembling its original form.
Photo by Lisa McGee Evan Caminiti's latest batch of bleak landscapes teem with improbable life, a collection of nightmarish mutations that transmit their own form of miserable musical language. Moving further from the long-form ax-wielding drones and grounded rhythms from past solo releases and his work with John Porras in Barn Owl, Toxic City Music is largely an electro-acoustic based affair, emanating a complex of disorienting activity. After a recent infatuation with modular synthesizers, Caminiti admits to picking up the electric guitar again, its origins so processed and nuanced it's not at all clear what instruments are being used where —or, if the algorithms have been compromised altogether and the machines are actually playing themselves.