AMN Reviews: Reid Karris – Divinatio Exitium (2017; Lurker Bias)

Chicago’s Reid Karris has put out a series of recordings over the last several years that have largely flown under the radar, which is a shame considering how much he has grown as a composer and experimentalist with each one. A guitarist, Karris’s focus is on taking samples of recordings, then processing and layering them until the nature of the source material is almost obscured. The result here is a boiling mixture of jagged sounds that stop just short of being a wall or a drone.

Split over two 15-minute tracks, Divinatio Exitium features rattling, bell-like sounds, squeaks, and percussive elements over a bed of sculpted white noise. Scraping metal is coupled with shifting melanges that evoke a swarm of locusts. This morphs into industrial pulsing, hammering, junkyard noise. Rarely does the pace slow down, as Karris offers an active, yet tectonic, slab of musique concrete.

According to Karris, the album’s title roughly translates as “inspired destruction,” an apt moniker indeed.

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