Ink 19: April 1999

Escape Mechanism

"A product of one hundred percent recycled culture" boldly claims the sticker on the front of this, and though I can't verify that Escape Mechanism has lived up to this claim one hundred percent, I would tend to believe so. Blending recognizable portions of sound with truly one-of-a-kind found stuff, Escape Mechanism takes the neglected art form and produces some quite extraordinary tracks. "Being" uses a William S. Burroughs sound bite set to a looping percussive track, rinky-dink piano and background industrial sounds that fade in and out. "Why does the light fall?" repeats a portion of the Beatles' "Flying" with sonar pings, slowed-down monster sounds and a panning chorus. Of course, dissecting these compositions into their components does little to provide an idea of their eerie appropriateness. Your mileage may vary, but I find Escape Mechanism to be more musical than Negativland (the expected collage comparison), and in fact possessing a style all their own. Players on the field of sound collage have been few and far between, advances in technology notwithstanding, and I'm glad to hear outfits like Escape Mechanism making a mark and moving things forward.

- Anton Warner