Billy Gomberg (b 1979, Chicago) is a musician and video artist living in
Brooklyn, New York. His studio practice incorporates analog synthesis, digital
treatments, acoustic recordings and custom programming that gives rise to
electronic sound caught gazing at its own physicality, acoustics in love with
their own abstraction.
Billy's debut CD release displays abstract and complex dimensions of texture
and tone that might make more sense at first on a subconscious level
before it will on a conscious one. Therefore, it is advised to first approach
this music from a pure listening standpoint, free from preconceived notions
of musical structure and form since it can defy such prosaic logic.
"These tracks are the start of my working toward a more immediate sound -
improvisation w/software, real-time construction of the sound material and
structure, taking priority. While some material comes from software in
real-time, all other sound was generated by Roland Juno synthesizers, plus
a few tracks incorporate my voice. Post-production editing and treatment
were mostly employed to find the clearest expression of my improvisations
and shape them into more conventional 'tracks' or 'songs.' When
improvising in this style, I do have a sense of trying to find a 'song,' and
letting that take me somewhere else.
Somewhat more abstractly - where was I when I started this work - a good
portion of this album was started just after I moved to Brooklyn in 2005.
Risking clich, this is raw sound, a discovery of style (or a total lack of it). I
just make music, it's a space between the listener and myself. In this way,
sound is 'simple' - it's presence as we listen gives it expression, our listening
finds its language." (Billy Gomberg)
Billy has exhibited or performed in New York, Boston, Providence, London,
Lisbon, Graz, and Zurich to name a few, plus he was one of the artists
featured at the first and/OAR label showcase event during February of 2009.
"If I call this disc "ingratiating", I don't intend the term with the slightest pejorative tinge. In fact, I was unable to dislodge this thing from my CD player for several days, it was that winning. At a gloss, it's oddly retro, though its points of reference are scarcely more than a decade old: the ambient glitch music of people like Fennesz from the mid to late 90s. Fennesz is an unavoidable referent, I guess, though there's more going on here than that, but Gomberg's general palette is that of rich, ringing, creamy electronics spiced with small bits of noise shrapnel. There's loose repetition, even the odd, pulsing rhythm. And it all sounds so goddamn good. Tracks like "Into", with its snaky little groove, echoing clicks and vestige of a melody just worm their way in, impossible to resist. And "Solo" is positively deadly, sauntering in with perhaps a vague nod to the rhythms in "Are You Experienced?", and tumbling through the room, all manner of detritus attached to its sides, heedless, a little boastful even, exiting in all its hilarious glory, jauntiness intact. "Comme" is the best potential crossover disc I've heard since Radian's "rec.extern". Check it out, get some for your friends." Brian Olewnick for Just Outside