AMN Reviews: Ignite – Ignition (2018; HearHere Records)

Ignite is Casey Moir on voice and effects, and Johan Moir on double bass and objects. Ignition is a single-track EP running just under 23 minutes that was recorded live in Berlin late 2016. It is also a prime example of genre-breaking avant-garde music.

Casey’s voice appears to be both live and recorded, the recorded pieces processed and multi-tracked into howls, drones, and collages. The effect is that of an endless, tortured scream. At other times it is closer to wordless talking or chants. Near the halfway point something resembling actual singing emerges, but rapidly descends into what can only be described as madness. Johan’s bass playing is anything but conventional, making liberal use of extended techniques: discordant sawing, jagged lines, and the rare (and brief) melody. He alternates between low-frequency rumbling and high-pitched contrasting notes. He works the latter into a squeaking frenzy at various points.

As is the case on many modern experimental recordings, it is difficult to tell where the acoustic parts end and the electronic parts begin. Additionally, texture and structure are more paramount than tunefulness. But the overall result is a powerful and unique take. Is Ignition an observation on the insanity of our current socio-political system? An exploration of dark emotions? Perhaps it doesn’t matter, as the album is a prime example of how music that ventures toward the extreme can remain appealing on multiple levels.