Feeling like David Wallechinsky of late, I itch to get back to reviewing. One of the albums released on Netlabel Day is C. Reider’s Certainty Reducing Signals on the netlabel Happy Puppy Records which is run by Lee Rosevere. Both men are big proponents of sharing music, the Creative Commons culture, and the Netlabel scene. Rosevere is a radio producer in western Canada, and beyond running the wonderful Happy Puppy Records for 15 years, he is also a accomplished musician and composer. You can find his work on Free Music Archive and Bandcamp. C. Reider’s began his musical sharing journey in the tape trading culture of the 90s. The Coloradan composer has released many experimental albums as well running his own netlabel, Vuzhmusic.
I bring up their biographies, such as they are, any discrepancies are of my doing, because I wanted you to understand that their connections to the Netlabel scene run deep and strong. It is simple enough to share one’s own music, but to promote other musicians’ work, for free no less, shows a wonderful sharing spirit.
C. Reider’s Certainty Reducing Signals is both a fragile and harsh record. Reider talks about the quiet noise (or let us say, the fragility of music), ambient works that embrace the world noise and process it into an opaque musical pieces. The easy opposition, the yin to the yang, of quiet noise would be something like a harsh noise wall, but that’s really not what Reider’s music is about. I don’t know if Reider has a harsh noise wall record in his discography and I would not be surprised if he did, but the coarseness found in Certainty Reducing Signals is not that and it is not necessarily an anti-ambient statement, rather Reider’s music expands on the instability and agitation of ambient sound.
There is no signifying C. Reider sound as each album stands in its own place and time, each is a by-product of Reider’s encompassing environment; he is quite open about this. The ten tracks on Certainty Reducing Signals are a testament to the diversity of Reider’s approach to music; listen to “Twisted Bridge Dub” and “Unpermissive” as an example. Though these tracks might be different from each other, they derive from an artist confident in sound and space. Like many musicians, Reider speaks publicly about his artistic insecurities, though it’s Reider’s uncertainty which builds a auditory world of strength coexists with frailty. A wonderful example of this is “A Harsh Bunny Town”, an whimsical and contrary title, that explores Reider’s sonic outlook which is full of bends, augmentation and reduction.