P.D. Wilder "F/M"
P.D. Wilder is the founder of the Grizzly Adams fan club, a vegetarian extreme baker, and known to his friends by a multitude of nicknames: Chaos Pad, Boss DD3 Digital Delay, Loonytoad Quack, Triple Sod, Shatner’s Bassoon, to name a few.
With live appearances he is nothing if not consistent. With a never-ending slew of dates on his calendar (many of those with instrumental act, Hotel Hotel) it is no wonder that it has taken this long to see a new release from him. The issue of names and his sparse release schedule over the last five years only serves to make his music more enigmatic. On “F/M” – his first solo outing in who knows how long, he adds further mystique.
Spread across thirteen tracks, F/M is like a trip through sub zero temperatures. With track titles such as: “Glacia”, “Snowdrift” and “Foam Ice” F/M is all about the ice. With a guitar and few effects, Wilder traverses every possible mood one could associate with the cold and in doing so, provides a lot of mileage within the album. The atmosphere is one of a musical nomad roaming deserted roads, keeping an audio travel diary through the American Midwest, with periodic stops to document on guitar, whatever weather he experienced at the time.
“Blizzard/Undefined” takes epic to new levels with a sense of anxiety setting-in as the listener is pelted with unrelenting stormy winds in the form of guitar drones stretching over nearly thirty minutes. The track succeeds with its sense of discomfort, to the point I briefly wanted to skip past it and onto one of the more ambient pieces, but eventually I surrendered to the catharsis it induced and the reward it paid off with.
Interestingly enough, there are a few areas of the album where the production is a bit sketchy: “Purple brings out the Green” for example, but the effect is such that thematically it benefits the sounds – as if the frost is gradually eating away the speakers until all but cold wind remains.
As mentioned there are thirteen tracks, some as brief as thirty seconds. Whilst not a complaint, it is hard to know whether they were included as interludes or are portions of unfinished tracks. Depending on the listener this could distract from the overall experience of the album, but I don’t really think so. 8/10 -- Zac Keiller (22 January, 2009)