Plum God by Austin Rockman

Austin Rockman | Plum God
self-released (DL)

NYC sound-bender Austin Rockman just recently quietly released his debut, and it’s something worth contemplating. A spacious drone perfumes the room as this plays, wafting in low-lying puffy clouds, formations that float right around you, surrounding every nook and cranny. Inland, by adding a bit of microstatic and shooting synth rays, captures Rockman’s tonal agility. His is an atmosphere, like a tapestry of varied woven elements, strands that each have their own individual character. The knocks and nuanced plunging effects, the percussive tings and rustling of objects harkens to some of the best in the field of electro-acoustic detailing: Jim O’Rourke, Thomas Dimuzio, etc.

The Plum God is partly conceptual, but completely immersive at any/every entry point. There are passages here that are tranquil additives, but even then he manages to feed in substantive crackle and small actions to break the fleeting limbo. The title piece reminiscent of a broken tape spool, looping upon itself leads to a bit of corrosive mitigation that breaks down into something resembling a digitized melody, yet the theme remains fleeting. It’s right at this crux that I begin to understand Rockman’s dreamscape is a bit altered by various masks and hues that drain just the right balance between pleasantry and the larger unknown. He strikes stasis.

The crackle and hiss of Home and Haunts is warming, yet has a homesick feel at the same time. The track peels itself back, like a many layered top soil, down to the rocky layers, it’s a fascinating set of inflections that leads to Veneer, the closer. A ghostly drone winds through it like a garter snake seeking cover. The slick surface literally seems to be sliding into darker tourbillion, slowly falling out of range and into quietude.

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