PBK Ė Descent (CD Attenuation Circuits)
Descent was PBKís first solo album and is the first in a series of re-issues that the Attenuation Circuits label will be putting out.
PBK is Phillip B Klingler who originates from Flint in Michigan. He started out as a more visual artist but slowly gravitated towards music and started working as PBK working together with Minoy a well known name from the underground tape scene.
Descent features appearances from Minoy and also analog synthesist David Prescott (who ran the Generations Unlimited label) who had a large modular synth that was put to good use on this album.
Descent consists of two tracks the first (the 30 minute long)Desire is based around a fast moving arpeggio type of sequence that the rest of the sounds have to fight with or fit in with. Sometimes they work and at others they donít. Itís more of a collage than a developing piece of music as the basic sounds are omnipresent and other pieces come and go adding to the piece rather than moving it to somewhere else. You get a whole mixture of things from vocal samples to analogue filters to field recordings. You get the impression that this might have been recorded in one live take as there are elements here that perhaps shouldnít have made the final mix and a few sounds that really detract from, rather than add to, the overall feel. Generally these donít outstay their welcome and get replaced with other more complimentary noises and sounds.
The 2nd piece Descent (another 30 minute track) is pretty much in the same vein as Desire though perhaps with a slightly more ambient or industrial feel and with more space to it. Itís a more accomplished piece than the first and it would be useful to know how much time there wass between recording both pieces. Descent has influences from TG and SPK firmly in there but also has its own little unique touches that make it more than just a homage.
For a first solo album Descent has plenty of strong points and itíll be interesting to see what parts of PBKs extensive and varied back catalogue Attenuation Circuits decide to reissue. DB.