Tom Hall ‘Muted Angels’ Cassette/DL 2011

Tom Hall 'Muted Angels' Cassette/DL 2011A bit off the beaten track for The Sleeping Shaman, this one, due to its lack of guitars, hair, fuzzboxes and flared trousers, but never let it be said that we don’t attempt to edjumacate youse heathen scum by exposing you to sounds that may otherwise not have pierced the fug of dubious smoke, lovebeads, beard-hair and Kyuss riffs that envelops you.

You may remember baaaaack in the mists of tiiiiiiime that we covered another of Tom Hall’s projects by the name of Axxonn here and spoke favourably of its woozy electronic haze and sheets of super-dense guitar, well, operating here on his own given moniker, Hall has dispensed with the axes and concentrated entirely on those woozy, hazy synths for Muted Angels.

Chest-deep in murk, blown-out-to-hell synthesizer tones surface from the nebulous miasma that swirls through Muted Angels, hooking the ear and dragging the listener back into the cloud of distorted, granulated, pixelated synth that forms the body of the album.

Something that sounds part cello, part utterly-fucked-with piano scythes its way through ‘As To Think It’s OK’, cutting through grainy-as-hell bursts of keyboard like a bandsaw through balsa wood and rumbling deep into the bass register to an almost overwhelming depth.

Twinkling bell-like keyboard chimes are rudely interfered with by massively distorted basstones during ‘To Continue’, until they themselves distort out into ‘Before Being’, gaining a kaleidoscopic hue in the process, and closer ‘Tearing Tears From My Heart’ is a twitching, glitch infested mire of synth washes and processed bell-tones.

If you were to tear the digital mange away from the sounds that lurk at the heart of Muted Angels, underneath would be waves and swathes of those big, breathy keyboards that were so popular in the eighties, and Hall has sullied their purity for his own twisted amusement.

He has taken ambient tones, meant to relax and calm and made them edgy, nervy and uncomfortable. Tom Hall is a pervert of sound…and I love him for it.

Label: Sonoptik / Complicated Dance Steps

Scribed by: Paul Roberston