Liquid State Bypass, Frenetic Alloys

Mark Craig

Liquid State Bypass

Tape art

Prior to hitting play on the Soundcloud stream of an excerpt from Liquid State Bypass’ Frenetic Alloys, I hear rodents scurrying about in the space above the light fixtures dotting my room’s ceiling. The fixtures are not sealed, which creates a sort of access to the gap between the floors. Potentially these rodents rustling about overhead could peak over the rim of the fixture and past the fluorescent glow of the suspended spiral bulb to observe the foreign habitat below.

I peak my head over the rim of the fixture, hit play, and peer into Sandy Gordon’s world of Liquid State Bypass through the glow of my laptop. This world is as foreign to me as mine is to the vermin.

Foreboding pulses of drone greet my entrance upon a dank, subterranean corridor. Flickering strip lights allow a brief glimpse down a hall with endless doors lining either side. Slow scrapes of pain and pressure dance amongst the tight quarters and the strobing lights. Unbeknownst to me at the time, these creaks, crackles, wines, shrieks, moans, and scrapes are all the product of Gordon's use of metallic objects to manipulate the sublimation of crystalized CO₂ (dry ice, to the layman) into a gas. Through one of these doors Mr. Wizard’s eccentric daughter is torturing a block of dry ice with a butcher knife and a dinner bell. A fucked up peep show for the likes of Eli Roth and Bill Nye.

I can hear the rodents more clearly, now. Scampering about overhead, peering over the fixture into my world distorted by Gordon’s. Maybe it’s the track? My reality is briefly inverted.

The corridor becomes drier. The activity in the gap above my ceiling becomes more audible. I can now hear the high-pitched squeaking of the rodents. Are they fucking talking to each other? I’m straddling both worlds. The Soundcloud cursor drifts closer and closer to the excerpt's end. There’s a door. The hinges are rusty and the door is awkwardly fitted to the frame. Its bottom scrapes the floor when its opened. There’s another door, and another. All are similar in their construction.

The final door is reached. The cursor stops. I hear the Dopplering “woop” of a police cruiser's siren passing by outside my window. The activity has ceased overhead. “I should probably do something about these free-loading tenants,” I think to myself. “If left unattended, those bastards might try to mount a coup.” Frenetic Alloys is available on Solid Melts, in an edition of 50 cassettes.

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