Tabs Out | New Batch – \\NULL|ZØNE//

New Batch – \\NULL|ZØNE//
9.17.18 by Ryan Masteller

A mad scientist once told me that if you don’t have any imagination, you’re never going to get anywhere. Then he turned his back to me and got back to work on whatever invention was occupying his attention at the moment, touching nodes and rods here and there, which caused his already explosive gray coiffure to frizz out even further. But that advice, and that insane look in his eye as he relayed it to me—that intense stare into my soul accompanied by uncontrollable muscular twitches and facial tics—made me think long and hard about what I was doing with my life. Was I a failure? Had my imagination evaporated to the point where I could no longer appreciate anything beyond hard data?

As I pondered this horseshit, I pressed play on Uton’s “Pa-Luu Val-oon,” which is the most fun thing to say MAYBE ever (certainly more fun than “cellar door,” thank you very much Drew Barrymore in “Donnie Darko”). I was immediately struck by the Finnish producer’s IMAGINATION, as well as the ability to harness it to ride a wave of experimentation of an intensity heretofore unseen since I left the mad scientist’s lab not five minutes earlier. Indeed, the first two tracks of this tape play out like the sounds emanating from a 1950s supervillain’s super lair, where all sorts of gadgets are being tweaked and beakers are being poured and plugs are being … plugged in. Then the tranquility sets in, supervillain turns off the light, heads upstairs for bed, and everything just kind of goes on reserve for the night. It doesn’t last, the restlessness returns, morphs, shifts, refracts, intensifies, pulls back, and, probably, evolves into a conscious entity, like Vision from DC’s X-Men.

But that’s Uton, not African Ghost Valley, and it’s to African Ghost Valley I now turn, still trying to shake the sheer plastic emotionless egg my outlook on life has become. African Ghost Valley is full of IMAGINATION, a different kind, though. Where Uton stretches out sound and lets it hang, AFG drops in on an idea and quickly abandons it for the next, because he’s not remotely interested in staying in one place for a long time. So yeah, “UNT” is a lot shorter, only seven tracks, over half of which are less than two minutes, but the restlessness belies mad genius at work. In fact, AFG doesn’t even try to act like a proper scientist, plugging the … plugs into open flames and dousing electrical sockets with heavily toxified goo boiled to scalding over Bunsen burners. Sounds come and go, rhythms crust over, and AFG stands back, pleased with the direction his work’s going in.

Wait a sec – I think my imagination’s back! I can see dragons, and spaceships, and rainbows, and ice cream! (*Passes out*)

Never doubt \\NULL|ZØNE//, from which you can purchase these tapes. Editions of fifty, suckas!

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