JOSH PETERSON – Collected Voice, Text and Tape Works 2CD


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In recent years, Josh Peterson has been most active as a writer for Amphetamine Sulphate, although the majority of his output across the last decade has been as an independent sound artist. Josh’s audio work has remained something of an unrecognized oddity within the American underground of outsider art and experimental music from which it originates as well as beyond. Distributed through limited, home-dubbed and self-released cassettes, Peterson’s blend of spoken-word and sound collage has resulted in an intriguing, singular body of consistently evolving yet recognizable material. ‘Collected Voice, Text & Tape Works’ compiles five such releases, remastered for new presentation as a 2xCD set, now widely-available outside the USA for the first time.

When considering Peterson’s work in context, e.g. that of a writer rather than a musician, it’s unsurprising that spoken, recorded voice and written text plays a central role across all pieces herein. Often dealing in themes of mental illness, social paranoia and tragedy, they make for often-challenging and sometimes macabre, even somber listening. Distinct from the usual applications of such themes in so-called “extreme music,” however, we see a nuanced approach in Peterson’s work, expressing a benign puzzlement and detached critical eye. Forgoing typical empty-gestured tendencies toward glorification and shock, we instead follow mystery-like narratives into fugue states amplified by our own relationships with the isolation and disenfranchisement imbued even in the most banal, mundane aspects of day-to-day life. Through dispassionate, often monotonous recitations of his own blunt prose, found texts and news reports, as well as the delusions of conspiracy theorists and pop psychologists alike, Peterson’s body of work feels like a series of surreal, unsettling and darkly humourous audio essays on modern life.

The sonic backdrop for these readings deepens the diaristic, observational quality of the text, as Peterson’s distinctive cross-section of experimental music styles and techniques is captured in low-fidelity, portable-cassette-recorder style. Here, the minimalist austerity of early ’80s Whitehouse and Maurizio Bianchi lends crude timbres to a framework closer to that of “non-musical” sound artists like Graham Lambkin and Jeph Jerman, where compositional strategy is concerned. The presence of voice experiments and tape manipulations arranged alongside unadorned domestic and situational field recordings acknowledges classical concrete music theory, but perhaps more so expresses a keen love for sound itself and listening in purest form.

All of the recordings in this set were originally self-released on cassette from 2018 – 2019 and though Peterson’s creative work is now focused almost entirely on writing, Adhuman is proud to re-present this collection of bold, powerful and unique recordings in one place, deserving of renewed attention.

This album collects the following releases, previously issued 2018-2019 on cassette:

Report & Recital
New Policies
An Observational Comedy In Two Acts

Remastered by Renato Grieco.

Dedicated to the memories of Blair Adams, Justin Vargas & Simon Morris.

Additional information

Weight 0.065 kg
Dimensions 14 × 13 × 1 cm