This split release consists of a pair of 3-inch CD-Rs. While I am familiar with The Infant Cycle's production, as Jim De Jong's creations have repeatedly been reviewed on these shores, this is my first approach to UPhold aka Muffy St.Bernard. Their styles are very different, but the whole works well for the large part.
De Jong's "Unrelated Work Tapes 7/7/04" is a piece for cymbal, water tank, record player operational sounds, Korg Poly-800, lovebirds and carved vinyl record playout groove, quite typical for The Infant Cycle in its bewitching allure that meshes various ingredients into a cauldron where hypnosis, turntablism and industrial features become a single colour, the final result highly engaging and definitely personal.
St.Bernard's four tracks give instead the idea of a mini-movie, as instruments, field recordings and pre-existent voices lead our brain towards the nowhere of significance. At one point, I was so mesmerized by the apparent nonsense of certain repetitions, I couldn't decide if what I was hearing was too simple to accept a description or just nullifying my thoughts; one's left even more anguished in the final minutes of the disc.
Music that is intense and uninviting at one and the same time but, this notwithstanding, we all know that - aesthetic pleasures or not - if something stimulates a reaction, then it means that it's good enough.