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Bruce Gilbert

Ab Ovo

Ominously entitled 'psycho-eklektische-intervention' on its minimalist inlay, Ab Ovo wastes no time in getting started (at least with the 'psycho' part). Ogkr immediately drills into the parts of the ears that little music dares to reach. In fact 'music' is probably not the correct word to use—'noise terror' is more appropriate.

However, unlike In Esse, there is obvious structure here. At times it may pull out your ears and attempt to wrap them round your head but, for the most part, Ab Ovo knows what it's doing. Whereas In Esse smashes into your skull with 45 minutes of the same thing, Ab Ovo constantly changes the picture, contrasting the harsh buzzing rhythms, grating noisescapes and background burblings of the epic title track with the quiet contemplation of Myomancy and The Singing Pier.

Some tracks are somewhat closer to Dome that traditional Bruce Gilbert territory, such as the pop-tinged Emission Curve with odd electronic loops playing over a simple drumbeat. Others echo the sometimes classical leanings of some of his earlier work, such as Where Did the Time Go?

Ab Ovo lacks coherence, but there is something strangely engrossing about this release. Ideas fly about all over the place one step away from spinning out of control, but the composition beneath the chaos ensures its appeal.

Craig Grannell (March, 2000)

Cover artwork