?A Spectacle and Nothing Strange? is the second long player from Denmark?s Trio Trash, and despite the title it?s actually pretty darn strange. The mood is narcotic from the beginning as chiming electronics, cut-up voices and thumping beats slowly propel the expansive dub workout ?The Hit With the Beat? into an alien jazz wasteland. Early Cab Voltaire and minimal Tortoise come to mind here. ?Jamaicatronic? is even more interesting, building from barely perceptible cycling hums to a shower of organic/machine drones and repetitive fuzz guitars, before mutating into a stream of blissful bubbling tones. ?Trendy Design? comes off like a glitchy version of smooth jazz, while ?Here Goes Schoenberg? sees jarring piano strikes and gently cycling rhythms spliced with cut-ups of what appears to be a work by the titular composer. And ?Baily Dressed Up For Disco? aurally references everyone from Jandek and King Crimson to Matmos before running its befuddled course.
If it isn?t clear by now, Trio Trash is high concept and schizophrenic. Not everything on this CD works as compelling sound art to my ears, and if forced to place them in one genre, I?d have to get lazy and go with the ever vague ?abstract electronica.? Gastr Del Sol could be another reference point, given some moments feature sterling vocals juxtaposed with shivery electronics, but Trio Trash is more scattered on its own skewed trajectories. Sound wise, anything and everything is game--tapes, samples, live instruments, laptop, trumpet, live/recorded percussion, various effects--and it?s hard to latch on to much of it as anything more than an exercise in carefully crafted experimentation. It?s never less than fascinating, with stellar production all the way around, but I have trouble recommending ?A Spectacle and Nothing Strange? to anyone other than avid readers of The Wire and devout fans of, you guessed it, abstract electronica. 6/10 -- Lee Jackson (1 July, 2005)