It is true that RKFaulhaber’s discography of published work is ludicrously scant. It is also true that Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound) and Matthew Waldron (irr. app. (ext.)) have both tried to pull Faulhaber out of obscurity, but have thus far been unsuccessful. And it is true that for 30 years, Faulhaber has toiled in his studio and pondered the ramifications of his theories on ‘texture music.’ Much of that audio material had been shelved or passed on to his friends and colleagues as ‘unfinished studies.’ The Helen Scarsdale Agency had the good fortune of publishing one of those few Faulhaber albums – The Sleeping Moustache from the collective mind of Waldron, Stapleton, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, J.B. Haynes, and Faulhaber – and The Agency has found itself some fifteen years later at the right place and time to extract another album from Faulhaber.
Two conceptual frameworks overlap in the construction of Dugong Weeps. And if we can be honest, both read a bit dry; but the cerebral ju-jitsu belies an aestheticization of his digital synthesis that is both uncanny and sublime. So, there’s Faulhaber’s ideas on ‘texture music’ – which emphasizes “the intrinsic temporal, spectral, and spatial relationships of sound without relying on periodic, metric rhythms, or hierarchical cardinal pitch relationships to convey meaning.” And the specific tools at his disposal in the construction of Dugong Weeps are pure, digital synthesis. “No acoustic sounds were recorded or sampled, no musical instruments, electronic or otherwise, were used, and no external effects processing was employed.”
Dugong Weeps is marked by a mercurial liquidity and a science-fiction expressionism that engender very anthropomorphic responses to these radically reworked bits of coded tone, noise, and silence. Faulhaber’s spatialization and polychromatic constellations recall the classic works from Francois Bayle or Bernard Parmegiani, but with an emphasis on the teethclinching frequencies and psychological disturbances from the Nurse With Wound / Hafler Trio axis of post-industrial collage. A challenging listen, but an absolutely rewarding one.
Mastered by M.S. Waldron.