Tabs Out | Nick Hoffman – Salamander

Nick Hoffman – Salamander
3.13.18 by Ryan Masteller

I live in Florida, so it’s almost a constant daily occurrence to find insects swarming around my ears. You’ll have to forgive me then if, when I strap on my headphones and press play on Nick Hoffman’s “Salamander” cassette, I start flailing my arms about me as if I was being attacked from all sides by tiny biting menaces. I mean, I do have delicious blood, so I don’t blame them. But this sound, it doesn’t come from the beating of tiny wings, but rather Nick Hoffman’s “Salamander” itself. What the hell?…

The A-side, or “head,” of this “Salamander,” another creature we have in abundance here, was “synthesized using custom generative software” – so the buzzing finds its source in the bowels of a computer! Still, this digital spring issues sounds that feel alive, organic, imbued with strange patterns and textures. On the “tail” side, Hoffman switches over to “electric fan motors and metallic objects,” still crackling with unusual life and flitting just as mischievously as the “synthesized” compositions on side A. I sit engrossed, headphones affixed, an amateur sound entomologist, or herpetologist – what am I focusing on again? – studying my subject to reveal its mysteries.

Which somehow relate to Kepler’s great icosahedron, lovingly gracing the pearlescent stock cover. I have no idea how. Do bugs swarm in a great icosahedral configuration? Do salamanders have polyhedron markings on their skin? Nature is full of mysteries. I encourage you to dig into this one from Notice Recordings, pro duped on chrome plus tape stock, edition of 100.

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