Using his own name after output as Augur, Steve Brand is one of those true artists, without gloss and flicker, who makes dreamlike ambient music with a jagged edge. The Quiver of Dreams, recorded in 2002 uses an assortment of field recordings, handmade and found studio sounds that sound more like ceremonial rituals than songs. The title track is something like an altered set of chimes, the edges are not refined and smooth, more like an organically prepared music box. Brand's sound has a visual impact that is illustrative of work by Hans Bellmer or Francis Bacon. The Quiver of Dreams is like the frenetic pressure anxiously conserved in the moments prior to the pounce of a wired jack-in-the-box, animating its still life. This is dramatically subconscious on a number of levels, and on "No Music" it could hardly be called silence, more like a few agitated babies playing with toy blocks under the table at a formal tea ceremony caught on cassette tape, but chaotically disrupted by the push-pull of its player, filled with skips and fragments and crooked frequencies all the way through. Completely unexpected, as usual.
Igloo Reviews (20/04/04)