Dave Phillips - Post Homo Sapiens CD (Attenuation Circuit) CD/CDr/DVD

Attenuation Circuit, DE

Dave Phillips' artistic mission is to use intense sounds to change our perception of what it means to be in the world, to de-center our certainty that we as humans are always in control of the world we inhabit. Contrasting human voices with non-human sounds (such as those created by insects) and magnifying their impact on our minds, as well as bodies, through layering and amplification, he makes us feel what it is like to be overwhelmed by something greater than us (in real life, this greater something is nature, evolution – although we in our technological 'civilisation' constantly choose to repress this fact). And this experience, best available if you follow the “Play loud” instruction on this album, can be an intensely sensual and cathartic one.

Dave Phillips has often been classified as a noise musician, and this is true to the extent that high volumes and extreme frequencies play an important role among his musical strategies. However, the quieter moments full of foreboding (of ecological disasters, for example) are equally important, especially in this album. “Post Homo Sapiens” is not just about full-on sonic assaults, but also a lot about atmosphere and suspense – hence it is no coincidence that one track of the album is dedicated to Jerry Goldsmith, composer of myriad film scores such as “Omen,” “Alien,” and “Psycho II,” to mention but a very few. However, rhythmic, quasi-industrial noise parts also have their place in this album, as well as the dissonant microtonal droning of the opening piece “Biosemiotics,” which sounds somewhat like Tony Conrad's early-sixties string experiments, possibly played by crickets. Conrad explained his interest in the drone in socio-political terms, namely from his interest in the dismantling of any and all forms of organised culture. This concern may well be shared by Dave Phillips as he urges us to shift our attention from the narrow focus of our human-made culture to the larger natural world of which we are only a part.