The nightmarish squall of improvised digitalized noise in Psychic Zero, the first of three tracks of this challenging album, is intended to be uneasy listening. The title and themes of this 25 minute piece are inspired by J.G. Ballard's post-apocalyptic short story 'The Terminal Beach'. In it, Britton attempts a sonic representation of hypercapitalism in crisis.
The ear-shredding first half subsides after 15 minutes into a relatively tranquil closing section but the whole conjures up the density and confusion of being surrounded by jetsam amidst urban debris.
Atoll Song better encapsulates the description of the album as a focus on the "elemental worlds of synthesis, speech and song". This is reminiscent of some of the abstract sequences in Robert Wyatt's 'Rock Bottom'.
The closing track Eb-Ub-Ob-Aa returns to denser territory using disjointed and manipulated voice samples of Kip Britton to produce creepy chants in a kind of alien language. These become even more unearthly when set against seemingly random glitchy bleeps and hisses.
The album title comes from a text by Ted Milton who also writes of sinking into the vertiginous mire"; a feeling likely to be shared by listeners while immersed in this record.
Album on Bandcamp