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Bill Harrington - Nuclear Menace

This is from a review in Signal To Noise magazine:

William C. Harrington
Nuclear Menace
Tanatone CD

Keyboard tech for Gentle Giant and Zappa, briefly appearing in the Baby Snakes vid, this guy has street cred and his third release was mastered by Scott Fraser, who issued the impressive Natural Histories before working with Kronos Quartet. Merely by those facts, though, the CD mightn’t be what you’d expect. A cross between Craig Leon, John Wiggins, Conrad Schnitzler, and Bill Nelson’s later output, the disc is a cross-blend of pastiches, noodling, and melodic miniatures with no narrative threadline nor even a seeming wisp of intent but plenty of aesthetic pleasures, from stripped obliquities (“Syd”) to a Riley-esque Arabian mosaic (“Rajilli: They Have the Bomb Too”) to loopy experiments (“The Long Descent”).

The rather abrupt shifts in setting can be a trifle disconcerting, but one can’t help but feel it was part of the plan, instilling an intermittent sense of sensory alienation and dislocation. Synths comprise the majority or voices but Harrington also plays sax and guitar while inviting several guests in. The longest of the 15 cuts are just seconds over five minutes but “The finally Did It” and several others prick the desire for much lengthier extrapolations. Nothing is demanding but repeated listens begin to unfold subtleties not immediately graspable. However, don’t invite the neighbors over for the sound test, as they mightn’t understand, never having quite understood why you insisted on blasting the soundtrack to Forbidden Planet at midnight last week.

Mark S. Tucker

This CD is professionally made in a shrink-wrapped jewel case. 

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