The Mnemonists were a legendary group of composers and artists from Fort Collins, Colorado, who went on to call themselves Biota, and released a series of five CD's on ReR (Tumble, Bellowing Room/Tinct, Almost Never, Object Holder, and Invisible Map). They created drifting hypnotic sound collages out of pre industrial loops, processed ambient sound, rock 'n' roll guitar, and fragments of half forgotten memory. Their work was highly visual, and always accompanied by beautiful line drawings and painted art works; the total meaning is forged from the combination of sonic and visual information. HORDE stands as a classic early noise album, somewhere between the work of AMM, Faust and Brian Eno. What makes it stand out is the subtlety of the work: The process begins with the recording of played acoustic and electric instruments: the basic drums & guitar are joined by early synthesizers, one-off electric organs and bizarre mediaeval horns. The tapes are then put through a mangle, reprocessed and electrically altered, leading to a spiraling process of replaying, re-composition and re-structuring. The parts are then woven organically into the fabric of a large-scale work. The listener is further drawn in by imperceptible noise loops, wild fuzz guitar improvisation, grooves with Kraut Rock obsessive drum patterns, free jazz saxophone, and mediaeval folk tunes. The listening experience is rather like that of an unseen observer inside an insect nest, with tiny sounds amplified beyond recognition into an epic symphony.
GYROMANCY stands as a classic early noise album, somewhere between the work of AMM, FAUST and BRIAN ENO. What makes it stand out is the subtlety of the work: The process begins with the recording of played acoustic and electric instruments that are later re-processed and electrically altered, leading to a spiraling of replaying, re-composition and re-structuring. This aural world is as vast as space, and seemingly as limitless; The MNEMONISTS were the one group most apt to embrace the latest technology, and to put it to good use to create "anti-music". But the outcome is so beautifully flowing and amazingly profound that their radical methods create positive change in a sonically transparent way, rather than to bludgeon the listener into submission by means of shock tactics. The result then, is elucidating and exciting. This disk is presented in a visually stunning manner as well, including gorgeous reproductions of the group's paintings, bringing the MNEMONISTís penchant for "artisanship-as-a-whole" full circle.