This is Thomas Bey William Bailey’s first recording for the Elevator Bath label in Austin, Texas. The sound artist, researcher and book author has released two version of his new work “La Production Interdite.” One is an instrumental. The other features a fascinating spoken word addition, on the subject of autoscopy.
Defined in the album’s notes as “the visualization of doppelgängers or phantom doubles,” Bailey’s half-hour long noise composition is a perfect stage for the reading.
This all fits well into Bailey’s preference for work that explores what he calls “under-reported ‘threshold’ states of consciousness.” His last effort – A Desperate Expediency for the Brazilian label Seminal Records – dealt with enhanced interrogation.
His brand of noise art is abrasive and unpredictable. It is a safe bet that he’s never heard an extreme sound he didn’t like. This work runs the gamut, from silence to oppressive white noise. He employs both analog and digital instruments, including EMS’s Buchla modular system in Stockholm.
Somehow, amidst these sharp edges and hard surfaces, Bailey produces a kind of darkly beautiful soundscape. This is no easy listen. But it maintains a contemplative feel, even when it’s overwhelming. Imagine a beautiful painting, done all in black and battleship grey.
Bailey’s work has earned him invitations to collaborate with artists across the U.S., in Japan and Europe. This release is likely to grow that circle of admirers. After all, who doesn’t love a good ghost story?