Jo Thomas’ music flirts with disaster at a tiny level. In “Glitch,” there is a rising tone like something about to explode, but the tension of those imminent pyrotechnics is secondary to how the intensity is framed in small dimensions: The real tension is hearing it all play out in sonic language that is actually quite subtle.
In “Alpha,” the title cut of the release on which “Glitch” also appears, bell tones and bassy thrums and white noise are sliced and shattered, resulting in a riveting sequence of tiny, split-second occurrences. “Dark Noise,” the quietest of the three tracks by far, is also the most self-effacing, providing no easy momentum or urgency, and relying instead on drawing the listener into a field of what could be nocturnal insect noise heard through thick glass and an increasingly diminishing illusion of comfort. Alpha was released by the label Entr’acte back in 2010, and has just been added to its excellent SoundCloud page.
More from Thomas, a tutor in Electronic Sound and Music Culture at the University of East London, at jothomas.me. More on the release at entracte.co.uk.