Subduction is an avant-garde electronic project brought to life by the duo of William (Brian) Van Huss and Ian Briscoe. They formed with the intention of releasing one collaborative effort capable of perfectly capturing the unique bond that exists between the two, as well as humanity as a whole, yet also comparing and contrasting what makes them unique as indivduals, painting a bleak musical picture of the great divide between two souls and the .
Little is known about the mysterious Ian Briscoe. Briscoe builds and plays his own moog synthesizers, including those heard on this album. He also contributes vocals on the track "Celebrate". William Van Huss is certainly a mysterious and enigmatic figure in his own right, although he happens to have the better documented artistic career of the two. Van Huss is a multi-talented artist, known for producing works in several different mediums. In 1989 he founded Psyche Zenobia, a company created for the purpose of distributing his creative works. Although he has received the most recognition for his musical output, he has also responsible for producing numerous paintings, drawings, poems, essays, fanzines and photography pieces. Under the Psyche Zenobia Music imprint, he has released five albums to date, including this joint release with Digital Meltd0wn Records. "Bad News From the Inner Solar System" could be considered a "return to roots" album for him. One of his first bands, Ghoul Feeding, was a noise rock band that experimented with improvised sounds using a wide variety of found instruments. His career demonstrates an undeniable ability to continuously evolve as a musician, always seeking out and exploring new territory, with his music reflecting his growth and maturity on a personal level.
"Bad News from the Inner Solar System" is anything but a conventional album, and attempting to pigeonhole it into a specific genre would be futile. "How Very Much (I've Loved You)" utilizes tape loops, moog synthesizer, and various other elements. The tape loops are samples from the notorious "death tape" recordings of the Jonestown massacre, discovered by the FBI during the aftermath. The samples, accompanied by what sounds like blasts of steam, along with an eerie moog give the track a very haunting sound remeniscent of early industrial musicians such as Throbbing Gristle.
The next track uses samples in a much more upbeat way. All of the samples used in "Greetings" are from the Voyager Golden Record, a gold plated phonographic record containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, which both Voyager spacecraft carried during their launch in 1977. The track opens with a sample of a female singing a Peruvian wedding song recorded by John Cohen, followed by samples of songs from Indonesia and Africa, and finally the U.N. President's greeting for those who might discover the Golden Record. These samples are backed up by a groovy beat, which wouldn't seem out of place in an old school hip-hop record. One might normally expect to hear such songs accompanied by bongo or djembe drums, yet it works perfectly in this case and helps to tie it all together.
"Celebrate" is the only track on the album which features vocals contributed by the artists involved. Ian Briscoe delivers the vocals on this one, which backed up by Van Huss on stylophone and short wave radio. It could be considered EBM (Electronic Body Music), as it combines elements of both industrial and electronic dance music.
The grand finale of the album is the epic "Anything In here", which clocks in at just under 23 minutes. It could be considered an electronic jam session of sorts, as it was recorded live in one session. As with the previous tracks, it features a variety of different synth instruments, audio samples, and various other sound effects. Some of the samples used are taken from the movie "The Fly". The sound similar to a fax machine heard throughout is actually the teleportation device from the movie.
This is an outstanding debut release from the duo of Briscoe and Van Huss. "Bad News from the Inner Solar System" is at times earthly, at others celestial, often desolate, and yet heartening also. If the goal was to make a statement concerning the human condition, it achieves it remarkably. If you consider yourself a fan of experimental music, or the other genres mentioned, you owe it to yourself to listen to this.