Album, Single and EP Reviews


  In A Frame by Control Unit

In A Frame cover art

Artist: Control Unit
Title: In A Frame
Catalogue Number: Alt.vinyl AV043
Review Format: LP
Release Year: 2013

Some regard vinyl as a holy thing and some swear by the sterile purity of all things digital. Some musicians do songs with melody, harmony and rhapsody and some just throw everything that others would discard into the electronic kitchen sink just to see what will happen. The latter would seem a plausible explanation for Control unit’s album “In A Frame”.

As it spun round on the turntable of love, the music contained on this suitably heavy slab of black vinyl seemed almost accidental as if a veritable thunderstorm of distorted sound fragments and lonely sequencers had soaked in to the grooves. This randomness is nothing less than to be expected of avant-garde musicians like Silvia Kastel and Ninni Morgia, of course, with the primitive and the robotic meeting in “Andromeda” and the dying beats of a heart driving the title song “In A Frame” along. There is purpose even if the direction is unclear.

It’s hard to rate an album like this. If you consider it in comparison to the melodic perfection of Burt Bacharach then you will quite rightly wonder why Control Unit even bothered. That, however, is not the point. In the basement shadows of the avant-garde world, the world rotates on peyote and the eternal search for the truth becomes the search for Spock instead. As for “Tuning” – I was simultaneously hypnotised and infuriated by this point - a song more creatively named considering its inherent discord is hard to think of. Then the penny dropped and all became clear. Even with the use of ancient analogue toys in its creation, “In A Frame” is nothing more than the nascent sound of the Krell.

IF you need further proof of this album’s other worldliness then try playing it at 45rpm or try playing it backwards. You might even come to the conclusion that it sounds better backwards but that would, in all likelihood, get you hearing the words of the Devil (especially if you live in Texas).

The album is a limited edition of 275 copies and comes in a heavy silk screened card cover.

Review Date: July 8, 2013