REVIEW: Scratched CD – Scratched CD

Scratched CD is a one off music project by dark ambient, experimental, noise musician Outer Cloud. Its an album of harsh texture, bassy drones, and dark ambience. Scratched CD employs an almost vocal like harmony to his samples and music, modernizing what Miles Davis did with the trumpet so long ago.

I’ve always come to these experimental projects with a bit of distance – most of them are not that good, and with genres like dark ambient and noise, its very easy to fall into a cliche trap. Scratched CD avoids this issue by utilizing one of the more obscure internet genres to emerge from the last decade – Deep Internet.

The music here is less of a drone, the spaces are not all blacked out by the same note, played endlessly, instead the album features these short, distorted, warped and chopped samples of various youtube videos. With this, the album has an almost musique concrete property to it. Samples are broken down to their bare basics, and then re-purposed to fit the soundscape.

The album does overstay its welcome. It lends itself more to background music, on my first active listen I found myself more annoyed by the sounds than anything – if I had only used that one listen I would have surely rated this below a 5/10, but something about it brought me back. I listened again a couple days later but this time with an odd ritual. I placed my phone under my bed and let the sounds be muffled out, and it played much to the albums benefit. An uncomfortable wash out of sound, a cleverly composed test of patience.

Songs like “not titled 4” and “not titled 9” stick out in the tracklisting because of their brevity, the experiment hear reflects the means used to make em. Tracks like “not titled 3” and “not titled 8” stick out because of how much they drag on. After a while, the sounds stop being bizarre and new and exciting and started to become repetitive and boring.

To Outer Clouds credit, he managed to craft an album that is both musically interesting and conceptual, one with a feeling of completion out of random samples and clips. Thats not something the average creator could do. Its a commendable project to undergo, I only wish it wasn’t such a formidable project to take in.

7/10

Listen here: https://outercloud.bandcamp.com/album/scratched-cd

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