I first heard Joe Panzner last year when he released the absolutely amazing Recollect Reconstruct split cassette with Mike Shiflet. That record was only edged out by Mike Shiflet’s indispensable The Choir, The Army from being my favourite record of 2012. I decided to do a little bit of further exploring into Panzner’s output – the only problem is that there is not a great deal out there. Besides the split with Mike Shiflet he has released two albums proper, this in 2011 and Polished Rocks in 2006 (which you can get from Panzner’s bandcamp store for a couple of bucks.
Clearing, Polluted is actually a great title for this record because, especially on the first track, there is a counterbalance between micro-static noodling (think very early Kevin Drumm) and absolutely exquisite showers of volume-basted static noise which is quite extraordinary to experience. I won’t lie, I had a couple of tries coming to terms with this record before it suddenly clicked – it is certainly pitched at the more difficult end of the experimental electronic/noise spectrum but I always think that it is those “more difficult” records that have the biggest payout for the listener in the long term. There is a shit tonne of things going on here from long form drones to John Wiese style noise hyperactivity and if you decide to give this a play and think that the “silent” noise of the first few minutes of the first track are representative of what you are going to experience then you are in for an absolute treat. I just wish he’d make more records.