Friday, November 20, 2009

"Chimeric" lacking substance

Radian - "Chimeric"
Thrill Jockey
-out now

The first few industrial notes of ambient "Chimeric" are miserably slow, and it's sad to say, but Radian here doesn't offer much more. The songs are incredibly sparse, lacking the depth and layering of more noise-oriented artists (Merzbow), and don't display song arcs or give the listener much footing in which to orient themselves (Aphex Twin, The Flaming Lips most recently). While sonic experimentation isn't necessarily a bad thing, it is when other aspects, such as song construction and meaning, are being experimented upon. And that is how the listener feels: experimented upon. To be sure, there are a few interesting parts here, but those brief snippets only serve to make the album feel like shards of partial songs at best. Except for the extremely unusual and super-iconoclastic, "Chimeric" offers little more than a somewhat intriguing first listen; dodge it.

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