Info Tripartite Collision - Bill Thompson 
"Tripartite Collision"
by Bill Thompson
State Sanctioned Recordings (SSRCD002)
"Tripartite Collision"
"Feb'23rd (second excerpt)"

Bill Thompson's URL


fn issue October 2011
'N-Plants' - Biosphere
'Sky Snails' - The Electric Golem
'Echo Park' - Willamette
'Gramophone Transmissions' - Broken Harbour
'Negative Space' - Blue Sausage Infant
'Home Patterning' - compilation
'Polychromatic Integers' - Richard Lainhart
'Generate Records' - compilation
'Sung In Broken Symmetry' - Aquarelle

Bill Thompson is a former guitarist now moving in electro-acoustic improvisation circles, whose sound falls somewhere between Keith Rowe and the more ambient Arcane Device. Although his early professional career was with a number of ensembles in Austin, Texas, he moved to Scotland in 2004 to study with Pete Stollery. Since then, he has been active in a number of different aspects of the Scottish experimental music scene (check out the links from around Scotland on his web site). He has a number of releases on various mp3 and CD-r labels, and Tripartite Collision is the second release on a new label, State Sanctioned Records, released in an edition of 200.

The title track sets up a deep drone, with jerky, skittering short bursts, and a lead voice composed from quick static movements and feedback squalls. He adds another, harsher drone at the top, very raw sounding. The occasional voice in the mix recalls short waves. It eventually gives way to a rich, full drone, with a gradual elimination of all but the smallest events that might get in the way of a full appreciation.

The opening sound of Feb'23rd is voices, treated until they sound almost like sea birds, slowly evolving into a sound mass where the opening sounds are fast moving, almost a melody. I get a lot of avian and reptilian imagery, but a lot of serenity as well. Heavily manipulated voices appear from nowhere, the first sound that doesn't sound completely electronic in origin. After a long, very quiet section in the middle, a slow pulse, repeating about every eight seconds, becomes the first new layer, and is soon joined by another, even slower oscillation. The piece builds to a final high point around after nearly a half hour, then slowly fades away. Thompson has a video of a live performance of the piece on his web site, which is not the same performance as the one on the CD.

Thompson shares with Arcane Device a way to use a raw electronic sound without having it sound harsh. He sets a number of sounds into motion with different rates of change, and slowly evolves the texture over the course of the two fairly lengthy pieces. Tripartite Collision successfully treads a middle ground between ambience and noise and is an excellent set of analog electronic drones.

Review by Caleb Deupree


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