Organum & Z’ev: Tocsin -6 Thru +2

This disc finds sound artist David Jackman (aka Organum) collaborating with percussionist Z’ev on a collection of nine instrumental pieces. The sound sources are a grand piano and a steel instrument built by Z’ev out of materials found in a London scrapyard. Jackman and Z’ev recorded the tracks together, then mixed them separately to come up with two distinct pieces of work.

Occupying the first seven tracks of the album, Z’ev coaxes a range of scouring metallic textures from his custom-made instrument. These acoustic sounds are then subjected to sensitive electronic processing. The results are queasy and disturbing, as Z’ev sculpts and layers the generated sounds into a mire of industrial klang. There’s little variation over the course of the seven shortish tracks, save for a more energised percussive attack on “Tocsin -2.” Otherwise the combination of silvery shimmer, static interference and low end drones keeps the listener balanced perfectly between unease and restfulness.

David Jackman weighs in with two lengthier piano-based pieces, whose effect is sharper and just as disquieting as that of Z’ev’s tracks. Jackman issues gleaming, opalescent clusters of notes that disperse into needling, aggressive stabs. Z’ev’s steel instrument hovers ominously here and there, adding to the sense of foreboding that pervades this accomplished release.