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5 October 2017

Idea Fire Company - 'Beauty School' (Ultra Eczema)

I don't know if this Ultra Eczema release is meant to stand as a 'major' IFCO record, since it doesn't come with a manifesto and isn't released on their own home label, Swill Radio. It also features two side-long pieces, with the core IFCO duo accented by Matt Krefting and Graham Lambkin, as opposed to a collection of shorter pieces (if that means anything - probably not!). Those two guys are a perfect match for IFCO's style of sound slicing, and the resulting record is aptly named yet monolithic in its glamour. 'Buzzbomb' is the thunderous, unforgettable track which feels endless, timeless and other such superlatives. Like The Island of Taste we find piano used prominently, played not rapidly but with a resounding certainty, anchoring the piece or rather keeping its movement adhering to a wobbly centre. The tapes and synths and other Idea Fire affects are layered without overwhelming, no single individual sound emerging to take over, and summing up to build a strong feeling of weight. If the track 'Island of Taste' was slowly floating skyward under its own breaths, maybe 'Buzzbomb' is where we come back down. It's a long track and the second movement of it shifts the tone towards something more claustrophobic; this is simultaneously a beautiful concoction to get lost in and a heavy, affecting experience. The title track on the flip is build around an indefatigable tremolo effect and thus continues the stasis. Dennis Tyfus's artwork is perfect for this - monochromatic, yet inviting, cartographic textures which imply a huge universe within to explore and probe. After 'Beauty School' and therefore Beauty School concludes, there's a ringing left in the room, the overtone hangover caused by the greatest recordings of LaMonte Young, Vibracathedral Orchestra, etc. Something else lingers long after this record passes, and that isn't just tonal but perhaps a changing of the air, or the molecular alteration of the walls and floor in here cause by these soundwaves.

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