Return of the Interrobang
Return of the Interrobang isn’t really the type of album you can hate; it will inspire either love or indifference. Lovers of experimental electronic music, drones and somnabulence through monotony will find much to appreciate here, but those uninitiated to such sounds will end up scratching their head and/or yawning from an entirely other reason than pleasure.
Vertonen kicks things off with the epically named “Toroidal Circulation 1 & 2,” an extended, expertly morphed drone piece where notes are shaved off the root riff, gently bent and layered back into the mix. The second half of the track features a throbbing arrhythmia of deep bass that feels more soothing than punishing. “Burn the River” shatters the calm mood of the previous song with an abrasive alarm to storm the dancefloor. Although a dance beat never truly breaks through, there’s a lot of electro fuzz moving about on the periphery. The hard-driving pulse never gives up ground to the chirping and gnawing attempts at melody that swarm like an attack of analog locusts towards the track’s end. The final movement, the triptych “Deplete to Ruination, the Wide Shift,” relies on understated ellipses of sampled music to hypnotize — though Vertonen uses some dissonance to undercut the swelling optimism he introduced early on.
It’s not for everyone, but if you’re looking for something to help you get lost in thought for an hour, this disc might be just what you need to get there.