Rangers - Scrap 2xcs (2013)


a taste:
Rangers - Scrap {excerpts} [2013] by Bezoar Formations

As the most recent entry in his gradually expanding Rangers catalog, Scrap sees Joe Knight working in a full-fledged archival/collagist mode, something like a skewed Texan one-man-band interpretation of The Faust Tapes. A dizzying range of styles and forms are orbiting within this sprawling double album, sometimes as mere one-minute fragments and elsewhere as wholly realized song-length pieces. A partial and scattered index: blisteringly fuzzed duo-guitar psych levitations; claustrophobic pseudo-Industrial churners; lucid Ethiopiques-ish desert soundtracks; feedback-encrusted noise burners; tightly-assembled and dirigible-shaped floating pop ballads; cactus-spiked slo-mo biker bar blues; deranged warbly tape-manipulation head scratchers; “lurkers only” stadium rock exercises; fictional late-nite local-access themes and over-Xeroxed degrado-funk, among dozens of other non-genres. The dozens of edges and corners fold into themselves, an origami box disguised as a pair of cassettes. Of course, those of us already knee-deep in Knight’s musical output know that he’s been charting these scissors-and-glue territories since back in the Volvo Jungle Mist days. (True heads may even recognize moments from those earliest Rangers investigations reworked with crisper fidelities within the tunnels of Scrap…) However, rather than having each fragment threaded into the next as a hazily flowing tapestry, each song on Scrap builds and inhabits its own clearly-defined miniature environment before abruptly halting and moving onwards. The whole package has a genuine workbench-notebook feel, a solo artist experimenting with new strategies and refining older ones, documenting the movement of energies and ideas over the course of two years for his own amusement and our communal benefit.