Jammed radio transmitters go downtown and eat beats like a vulcha


Old Bombs received some notice in 2002 for a split CD-R with dark-noise It-boys Wolf Eyes, but the trio itself is an experimental supergroup—Dino Felipe’s got a catchy slew of deconstructed IDM releases; Vanessa Payes joins Felipe in the loudmouthed Fukktron; and Brooklyn-via-Miami-via-Venezuela’s Carlos Giffoni adds guitar and electronics to live collaborations with Sonic Youth six-stringers, among others.

On Audios, Old Bombs’ fifth but first “official” release, manic knob twiddling follows a scattered dream logic that denies grooves a decent life span: Miscued circus music blooms into Ja Rule and Ashanti as pulses, thumps, and glitches scatter into a dozen time changes.

But Carlos Giffoni’s Live Inside the Radio CD-R approaches space differently. The 19-minute piece—his contribution to a Free 103.9 event where sound artists performed into transmitters, sans amplifiers—ducks internal logic, settling into open ended analog jamming, exploiting airtime through the repetition of hissing atmospherics built on feedback,throbs, pulsations, and Hot 97. Mimicking a radio stuck between channels, troubadour/luau-plucked guitar buries Missy Elliott’s “Work It” beneath rapid-fire lasers, locusts, explosions. In this swirling land of make-believe FM, a noisy underground insinuates itself into popular culture before unceremoniously stamping it out.

Carlos Giffoni plays Northsix March 19.

Related Aricle:

George Smith on the Old Bombs