California-based experimentalist Trayle is nothing if not a savvy manipulator of varied art and electronic media who has aligned himself with similarly inclined individuals misappropriating fundamental values of sound art for their own unique and provocative ends. A free radical, Trayle’s worked with European improvisers like Boris Baltschun, Serge Baghdassarians and Toshimaru Nakamura, fellow didactic David Behrman, free jazz blower Wadada Leo Smith, and perhaps most significantly with The Hub, a loose-knit collective of fellow malcontents and gadflies eager to subvert academia’s stuffed shirt classicism via the cyberpunk paradigm.
Los Angeles is a town practically built on notions of “high-concept,” as is Goldstripe’s modus operandi, somehow grandiose and yet disarmingly obvious, much like Ryoji Ikeda’s painfully wrought examination of the basic building blocks of omnipresent frequencies. Goldstripe “uses data read from the magnetic stripes of credit cards and bank cards…the sound sources of which are data captured and transcoded from the card reader and the software.” In a clever reversal-cum-examination of the particles inhabiting our daily datastream, Trayle’s experiments are at once as coldly calculable as a mathematician’s equations one moment, an ear’s-rush of synaptic discharge the next. Though far more conceptually rigorous than, say, Merzbow, Trayle’s exaltant noise jars, destabilizes and ultimately wearies yet the sum total of its abrasiveness feel wholly natural given the sound source. The sound palette on display is not what one might call hugely variegated: mostly it’s a one-trick pony Trayle rides, spastically flailing about an underbrush made of tacs, tics, tumbling static, plug-in feedback and disk errors. Much of Goldstripe recalls the Mego label’s hard-drive histrionics, minus the attendant baggage of course.
So does it all work? Intermittently. Played over and over, the opening “_29″ tends to bury you deep within its cocoon of tensile velvet; “_3″ muffles the jet-engine noise to unveil a solemn drone hovering right at the margins of perception, and is easily the most graspable piece; “_28″ blurts, bleats, and buzz-saws through the inner ear like a legion of termites – however attractive a proposition this might be to the potential listener can only be judged upon actual engagement. Certainly a new orthodoxy has been birthed for the substantiation of future electronica models, but as persuasive listening, Goldstripe reeks of noble failure. Darren Bergstein (The Squid’s Ear)
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