O/Radio

Though he’s no stranger to the studio, this is the first disc of Damon Holzborn’s to come my way. On this outing, the founding member of the experimental/improv Trummerflora collective abandons his guitar for the world of solo electronic manipulation. From a video game in hyper drive to what could easily be mistaken for closely mic’d kitchen appliances, he crafts sounds into what even the electronics-skeptical might identify as music despite themselves. Though his compositional pedigree includes Frederic Rzewski, Brian Ferneyhough, Will Ogden, and Rand Steiger, I couldn’t help but imagine a closer alliance with the work of Nicolas Collins while listening to tracks like “O/Radio.” The piece is a ten-minute struggle to tune in not this week’s Top 40 hits, but more likely the communications of extraterrestrials or maybe even God. Regardless, John Cage must be smiling down and maybe even phoning home.

—MS