Source Cognitive Drive – Transmissions 1996-1998
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“Documenting the prescient, early work of Gavin Russom upon moving from Providence to New York City in the late ‘90s, this compilation reflects the visceral and overwhelming experience of an artist getting familiar with the data overload of a megatropolis and all its 24 hour thrills and poly- cultural topography. As Russom explains:
“Arriving in New York City I found myself surrounded by an incredibly intense field of stuff to take in; late night radio mixes which featured distinctly New York sounds like freestyle and hip hop, clubs where house, techno and jungle played to drugged-out and/or completely sober sweaty crowds and beard scratchers alike, no wave, new wave, disco, afro-carribean, art rock and experimental music records I would pick up at thrift shops or used record stores, abstract turntablism, video toasting, japanese noise imports, house parties and basement dance caves, drag clubs, DIY theater productions, underground warehouse art and music events that would last days and feature vivid sound and visual excursions as well as breakfasts and conversation areas, squatter punk noise and drumming freakouts, high brow “new music” events and installations, video booths, burning buildings, car accidents, abandoned buildings, late nights, early mornings, Coney Island…”
In effect, these tracks are a series of snapshots or graffiti-like doodles and sketches of the feelings and and textures absorbed during late night dérives from his loft on 31st St. and around the Williamsburg locale, all channelled thru a rugged set-up including: Sony TC-155 and TC-102 reel- to-reel tape machines a Silvertone guitar, ATUS AM100 mixer, Boss Harmonizer, a tiny Radio Shack mic, a Radio Shack Realistic Electronic Reverb, Casio MT-40, Univox Compac 2 and Casio SA-41.
Imagery of policemen and truck drivers picking up prostitutes, along with the whistling signals of crack buyers and sellers on the corner, for example, become transcribed into screeching scrabble and blow-out paroxysms of noise, interspersed with passages of bittersweet, rudimentary melody and swaggering, drugged-up rhythms, recalling a prickly and often uncomfortable experience as sticky, fucked-up and phantasmagorical as finding yourself in a new city can be.”