Kevin Drumm – Imperial Distortion (Hospital) 2008


The problem with discovering a new artist is that it might be entirely possible that the first record that you hear might not exactly be representative of the work that the artist is known for. Take for example Kevin Drumm. I had listened to his great split with Daniel Menche some time earlier but Imperial Distortion was my first experience of solo Drumm. Most sensible people would have started with Sheer Hellish Miasma which is considered by many (including me) to be one of the finest noise records ever made. On SHM, Drumm produces a harsh electronic guitar masterpiece. Imperial Distortion is a much more muted ride.

In a recent interview, Drumm said that he created the sounds of Imperial Distortion from discarded work that he rediscovered. Pieces that had a less dense quality about them. So in effect this record is made from work produced between 1995 and 2008 which has been processed, tampered and played with to create one of the finest meditative drone records I own. Hardcore Drumm fans might tend to be a bit dismissive of Imperial Distortion due to an absence of noise per se, but if you pick you way through his back catalogue the drone has always been there; usually sheathed in layers of blistering distortion or fuzzed out walls of extreme volume but they were there. Drumm called these “go nowhere tracks” but you know, sometimes the fun is is staying in the same place.

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