The self-titled debut from Throat Mask collects four improvisations from the duo that are built around random processes and hover constantly between collapse and coalescence. The recording sees Nathan Gray attempt to guide his unruly stack of sputtering and chiming digital automations while T. Kowalski responds with fm, digital and analog synthesis and sparsely gestural midi drums.
Side A keeps returning to Gray’s voice, occasionally it’s recognisable but more often it’s faltering or shredded by gusts of processing that pick it up and spatter it across the walls, Kowalski calms things a bit with soothing tones but then interrupts himself with brutalist digi-drums that stomp around a bit before leaving, embarrassed.
Side B is a side-long instrumental called Crypto Rap that really gives the duo time to explore their unique strategies of embarrassed silence, self interruption, inappropriate shouting and talking over one another. Without resorting to hyperbole Throat Mask is “unforgettable” in the same way that the most uncomfortable of social occasions are, the sweaty mnemonic of awkwardness is impossible to shake.