Published Jul 11, 2019Black to Comm, aka Marc Richter, has produced rugged and disturbing works of sample manipulation, standing like a dystopian monoliths in a grey field. Pieces like "They Said Sleep" limp and stumble like an aural rendering of a Bruegel painting, sounding remarkably like the material itself could have been sourced in that medieval chaos. Voices rise and fall in song, or shudder tuning in and out like a lost shortwave signal from another dimension.
The use of groove is not lost on Richter; on "Eden-Olympia," a soaring sternness of massed strings almost gets pushed aside by a deep drum/percussion throb that itself abruptly stops for a woman's voice in explanation.
This is a remarkable work of great variety and emotional arc. Each piece tells a clear story, seemingly based on emotional narrative, engaging the listener in a variety of possibilities of feeling drawing on a sophisticated understanding of dynamics of both texture and sample character. While some are clearly threatening, there are those that engage on a more thoughtful and considerate level: asking rather than telling. (Thrill Jockey)