Todd Barton - below this time does not exist
by Ian Rapp
Todd Barton is indeed a master of the Buchla, and is perhaps best known for his use of it, but here, on his newest release, below this time does not exist, he is using not only Buchla, but Make Noise and Intellijel modules, among other tools. Unsurprisingly, it his mastery of sound movement and the space he deals out is typically sure-handed. There's definitely a 70s aesthetic at play here—more tones than tunes—yet Barton's explorations of sound and their travels is, as always, fresh. Whether it's the slow, drawn out bell-ish tones and metallic arcs on "collective delirium" or the elongated, stretched whale talk on "jump, fluctuate, materialize," there is an encompassing structure to the tones, themselves contained, trying to escape. Maybe that's the theme on below, time that's trapped, in this case not wanting to escape, but to contemplate. It's a bit of a sobering thought, isn't it?