More Eaze / A. F. Jones & Steve Flato

(Astral Spirits, 2017)

Taking a break from holding court beside online fireplaces, or progressing from something else entirely TO those comfortable digital environs (depending on where it is you’re standing on the current timeline – time is a linear path!), More Eaze, the Marcus Rubio of this and other generations, sometimes “Marcus Maurice” if you want to get tricky with the tongue gymnastics, smears his synthetic wave patterns all over side A of this split tape on Astral Spirits. Wobbly bleep bloops like TRON transmissions from inside the Master Control Program bubble out into the cosmos – or the circuits of a computer if this is indeed TRON (it’s not). This diversionary tactic is merely the setup for traversing synapses, because “D00P4M1N3,” once it gets going, flits back and forth through neural pathways like atoms in the LHC. The feel-goodery of “D00P4M1N3” stretches until it peters out – maybe Marcus’s brain got tired of all the reward-motivated behavior? Who knows – I wanted it to continue past its fifteen-minute mark, regardless.

This sets up side B fairly nicely, I think, with A. F. Jones and Steve Flato’s “Stress Tensors” picking up the logical thread of low-end clicks and rhythmic elements, sonics tremoring into existence and flatlining in favor of other sonics, the slow-burn crackle lasting until about six minutes in when … ouch! That frequency! It’s splitting my eardrums like an unstable fissure in the earth’s crust! Must… reach… volume… there. That’s better. A surprise, for sure! The sound fades, is replaced by other equally alarming but intensely interesting tones, each ripe for deep study but not with my speakers cranked to the max. Over the rest of its eighteen minutes, “Stress Tensors” lives right up to its name, causing massive unease. But as a point of interest it holds your attention with pinpoint accuracy, unwilling to relinquish its grip on your consciousness until it decides it wants to. I mean, uh, until Jones and Flato decide they want to end the track. “Stress Tensors” isn’t sentient sound … is it?

So am I supposed to be chilled out or on edge here? Somebody tell me how to feel! Help me decide by purchasing one of the 150 tapes Astral Spirits has lying around in the trunk of their Dodge Aries.

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