David Linton - Orchesography

NYC Downtown-scene sample-jamming madness

by DJML
  • Label: Neutral
  • Catalog Number: N-14
  • Year: 1986

New York Avant percussionist / composer David Linton's first (and only) solo LP is a wild ride through various twisted veins of New York post-modern avant-gardism circa Reagan's second term. Released on Glenn Branca's Neutral Records near the end of its run in 1986, Orchesography is a harrowing, chunky romp through the signifiers of NYC's "Downtown Scene" heyday, executed with a metric ton of twitchy, off-kilter energy. 

The album's 6 lengthy tracks blend the randomized sample-delica of explorers like Christian Marclay or Nicolas Collins with the grinding, industrial-funk chug of Bill Laswell's early outings. Cheeky classical samples, stomping DMX, and mega-fuzzed guitar skronk congeal into aspics of street-level low-bitrate crud, gelatinous and sharp in equal measure. I want to say "Art of Noise on acid" but the post-metal shred aspect of some tracks makes whiskey and speed more believable. 

The album's maximalist approach and sardonic energy give the whole thing a bludgeoning, hypnogogic vibe, like a cartoonish fever dream, topped with cover art on that whole Melvins-ass "dark kitsch" tip so you know it's a hard Gen X affair. Recommended for fans of Death Comet Crew or the first Praxis album, though the cuts here are even more zonked in terms of sound design and sheer jump-cut schizo spec. An unheralded cross-brow masterpiece.

Not a peep on the 'net, so grip the whole thing here.

Tracklist