Two luminaries of extreme computer music meet and meld on a recent sense-shattering disc for always on-the-pulse Editions Mego. Russell Haswell and Yasunao Tone have both presented listeners with feast after feast of aural chaos. Tone has been damaging the digital discourse since his association with the radical Fluxus movement in the 1960s, taking his exploratory fervor out by wounding CDs and deviating MP3s. Haswell has taken a different, though no less relentless and investigative approach, spending his musical career unraveling the secrets of Xenakis’s UPIC system and the limitations of DAT (digital audio tape) and the Sound Designer II software.
Convulsive Threshold succeeds by showing listeners the fruits of a meticulous dialogue. Tone applies his deviated MP3 techniques to the audio created by Haswell’s tone generation. Roles are birthed out of this: Haswell creates, Tone manipulates. But really, this is a pure partnership, with both artists going to their own creative thresholds to explore a unique form, one that self-destructs and reconstructs as quickly as a conversation. Boldly soak in a sample of the second piece below, and pick up the record through Editions Mego here.