Maths Balance Volumes - A Year Closer
Subterranean, infinitely-mutable, often inscrutable, mostly undefinable, Minnesota three piece Maths Balance Volumes are a hell of a challenge to write about. That ain't gonna stop me though, is it? In operation for nigh-on two decades and with a catalogue spread across a range of cassettes, CD-Rs and the odd record, MBV (the other one) are that very particular kind of underground entity that seem to flourish in the dark, carving their own niche seemingly independent of outside influence, shaped only by their own specific whims -ignoring the sonic difference, they're riddled with the same spirit as Harry Pussy, Ashtray Navigations, Dead C, The Shadow Ring, K-Group, even Crazy Doberman if you want something more up to date. On this latest set, and their first for Penultimate Press (Triple Negative, Komare et al), they wander a wavy line that draws upon found sounds, electronic experimentations, various tape and vocal manipulations (at times, these particularly remind me of Mosquitoes latest), and strangely imbibed folk musics. If i'm being asked, in parts it recalls some of Alastair Galbraith's latest, the way odd skeletal impressions of songs float in and out, and there's certainly a kiss of the Jefferies' Xpressay period. At other moments, 80s European cassette culture seems the most obvious touchstone, the song in service to a developing mastery of primitive electronics, shaped by the limitations of the medium. Mostly though, this is the sound of three people operating in their own orbit, no permission nor explanation required, comprehension possibly futile. Best to not try to understand and let it be the wonderful thing it is.
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