Tabs Out | Scant – At Fault

Scant – At Fault
7.11.17 by Mike Haley

scant

The listening tastes of a newborn are so dang primal. They’re probably the only true noise fans, all smooth and stupid, pre-loaded with all the knowledge of a slightly damp dish towel. They don’t know about time zones, or droughts, or cheese flavors. But they do know primal. Their vision may be on par with that same slightly damp dish towel, but for months they’ve been surrounded by an unevolved womb-sound sloshing about in the only area they know exists like, well, a slightly damp dish towel. It’s a soundtrack that has been on repeat since forever. Rock and roll, jazz, cheesecake – None of these genres have the staying power of noise. Once given the opportunity to join the rest of us, oh with our fancy time zones, and droughts, and various cheeses, tiny almost-people only give a shit about three things: Sleeping. Eating. Noise. I used to play random RRR Recycled tapes to chill my kid out. It was like she just ripped a bong and was going to ask if I was into Merzbow. Honestly a blow dryer would have worked fine, because it’s all about primal. A long, long time ago, I’m talking before we had any cheese flavors at all, it was super important to live near water. At night the water was like side A track 2 on the cassette of all existence. That’s old news though, because in 2017 you can live in literally any time zone and order whatever you want in any cheese flavor. Drones make it all out of salt and immediately bring it to you, basically causing droughts. We aren’t supposed to listen to noise anymore either. Eventually the closest you’re supposed to come is techno I think.

Matt Boetke has always lived comparatively close to water — The Schuylkill in Philadelphia. The East River in New York. The Atlantic Ocean in general. He does the project Scant, which means a small amount of something. Maybe not enough to get through the night. Very primal. Don’t listen to “At Fault” just yet…  I want you to try something, and really try this. It sounds like it might be yoga, but don’t worry. It’s not yoga. Go somewhere quiet and close your eyes. Imagine you are a baby, all alone, swaddled in some animal’s skin. Imagine you’re on the beach, at night. Imagine what you hear, but try to filter out everything you know. Time zones, droughts, cheese flavors… Get rid of all of that and listen to existence through your damp dish towel brain.

Now compare that sensation to “At Fault.” At 20 minutes it’s all lethargic and starved. Like a shadow with no body, it’s chronic loneliness simply hovers in the form of gargled, selfish oscillations. A pure bummer? If you seek the comfort of techno to fulfill a fringe voyeuristic itch, sure. (You ever notice how much “techno” sounds like “Costco?” Techno. Costco. Techno. Costco.) But remember, Matt Boetke never really moved away from the water, and something tells me his urges are primal. These clouds of sound formed above moon-lit, speculative beaches are a relief. A reverse cyanide. But most of all, a damp dish towel begging you to join the hive mind.

No more than 100 copies of “At Fault” are available from No Rent Records.

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