Just over a year on from his last release (collab album Flower Garden of Rejuvenation) with the electronic/experimental label Moongadget Jay Bodley brings us a new sound landscape in the form of the long player album December.

Recorded over two years while flitting between his mother’s home, his adopted home in Brooklyn NY and Blacksburg VA the five tracks are ultimately derived from piano, guitar and field recorded sounds. These basic sound sources have then been pushed through some extreme sonic manipulation and  you will find it difficult to believe they were not all the product of some vast modular synth system spewing out randomly generated sounds. The end result is a set of tracks with a distinctly electronic flavor, sometimes extremely harsh and industrial then veering off into quieter humming drones. Be warned that the pure noise sections eg. the first five minutes of Livonia, end of Cosmic Trigger 1 and parts of Frost  get quite unbearable if, like me, you have hearing that is sensitive to high pitched white noise.

There’s much to like here too though. Parts of Cosmic Trigger 1  sound like a space elevator pumping ambient bell pulses gently into your ear as you ascend on a twinkling breathy hiss of static cloud to watch a sunrise illuminate the wide horizon. Frost delivers, true to its title, the music of icicles melting over shimmering drones. December is suitably hushed and certainly the quietest track  on the album with its slow pulsing drones that build to a crescendo then fade.

For me this was more a piece of sonic art suited to an installation or a live audio-visual gig than a traditional album. Few of the sounds get a chance to fully develop and expand in the mix before they immediately morph into something else,  which is why it has that algorithmic sound generator style of sound.

Experimental listeners will no doubt soak this up though and as a piece of sonic art combining a harsh and wintry theme with nostalgic memories of home locations it does produce the goods.

A Setting Sun – December. Moongadget. Released 13/12/2011 as a digital download via iTunes www.moodgadget.com/december

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