“The Wayward Regional Transmissions” reviewed by ei magazine

The Wayward Regional Transmissions, though of a fascinating genesis, might be taken as an act of cultural appropriation. Conceived as a function of its unwaning reproduction, another element—Oriental Middle Eastern Music —is exhumed and takes a whirl around the Mobieus strip. There is a certain pleasure in all this promiscuous play, though. And, as it happens, Ran Slavin does not simply embrace a soggy eclecticism, but often crafts a vibrant gestural language from these disparate musical surfaces. The medium may be the message, then, but at this point, the content still manipulates it so as to relay some subtle effects. Opener “Village” erects a malleable, unpredictable surface, stimulated by a kaleidoscope of shifting instrumental colors and the raucous yet restrained ebullience of Slavin’s digital clicks and stutters. A welter of other tracks favor slowly morphing repetitions and a faint rhythmic sensibility; others opt to juxtapose shimmering textures with the crisp virtuosic attacks of Ahuva Ozeri, who lends the voice of her three-steel string indian instrument, the Bulbul Tarang, to many of Slavin’s compositions. On “Shelters And Peace,” if only for brief moments, the Bulbul Tarang peeks through the processing and exudes a ritualistic aura, yet even then, carefully placed against the queasy loops, slowly extended harmonic explorations and placid tones, it dwells on another plane, one devoid of oxygen, where its many copies serve to render them all artificial and which open the door to numerous reconfigurations. On the other hand, these elements from Oriental Middle Eastern undeniably gives Slavin much to play with—and that he does, having them snake and swirl through the seismic force of his programming, adding many shades and creating a rhapsodic aura. Slavin isn’t exactly showing disrespect to these traditions, but, much the way most everything is now commutable into computer terms, he is trying to sow them into the fabric of his own musical language. Over the course of the album, these elements enter the eternity of artificial memory—a utopia where Oriental Middle Eastern music and abstract electronica exist amiably—and they look strangely at home there.

Max Schaefer

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