Random Touch - "Hammering On Moonlight"
(Roadnoise Productions 2002, RNP53862)
From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)
Mix a little bit of latter day King Crimson with a dash of Frank Zappa, a touch of Godley and Crème (in the vocals) and a sprinkling of Brian Eno's Ambient 4: On-Land album, drop the mixture into a surrealistic soup of electronic primitivism, and you will get an idea, perhaps, of what Random Touch sounds like on Hammering on Moonlight.
This is the third CD from collaborators Christopher Brown and James Day (with help on this release from Joe Zymonas). All three play an array of electronic instruments, but this does not fall at all into any preconceived ideas you may have of electronic music. Indeed, other instruments are thrown into the mix, such as percussion, Chapman stick, bass, and "ready made instruments". But what really takes it steps beyond traditional electronic music is that it is not composed like electronic music. It's composed more like a soundtrack to the fractured states of modern life, seen through the eyes of someone on the outside.
The result is something unlike anything I've really heard before, with maybe the exception of some of Jon Hassel's work. But Hammering on Moonlight is its own unique experience, a soundscape that exists somewhere between urban and rural aesthetics, somewhere between the past and future, without quite sitting comfortably in the present. This is challenging music, that won't just languish in the background and soothe you. It's not fast or loud, but it demands your attention to uncover all it's complexities.
For more information you can visit the Random Touch web site at: http://www.randomtouch.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Roadnoise Productions, LLC; PO Box 1683; Crystal Lake, IL 60039-1683.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald