Visual Audio Sensory Theater
John Crosby’s one-man project, tagged with the acronym VAST, is an ambitious effort in the realm of Aphex Twin’s various and ground-breaking experiments in ambient sound, in that Crosby, who is only 21, is an artist attempting to build something new from cast-off remnants of the past. VAST captures subtle moods of aggression and tenderness, contrasted with anger and repentance, swirling about in a rich cauldron of boiling passions. Imagine a giant, sonic blender, into which is tossed the rage and sorrow of Nine Inch Nails, the sweeping pathos of Raymond Watts, and a generous pinch of the forgotten, epic majesty of The Moody Blues and E.L.P. Industrial purists will latch onto the man-in-the-machine feel of “Here,” as one man’s ego does battle with his id in the great war of love and hate, as if there were any difference. The sadistic “Pretty When You Cry” takes a stab at becoming this year’s “Closer,” with the lyrics “I didn’t want to fuck you baby/But you’re pretty when you’re mine/I didn’t really love you/But I’m pretty when I lie.” Crosby plays sinner seeking redemption on tracks like “Dirty Hole,” with it’s reverent cathedral organ and tribal chanting, and “I’m Dying,” as he invokes the name of Christ in confrontation with his own mortality. Dark, disturbing, intense, lush, provocative, haunting, and beautiful: VAST is all of this and more. The altar has been prepared, and you are invited to come and worship.