Texas' mysterious Impossible Nothing painstakingly constructed
the monumental four-hour tour de force of Phonemenomicon (2016),
consisting of 26 ten-minute collages (each one lasts exactly 10:00).
Why 26? Because each piece is titled after a letter of the alphabet.
A alone contains more ideas than the average three-minute song, lined up
to compose a cinematic score with sections that are sentimental and sections that are pure fun.
B plunders hip-hop music to create a hypnotic syncopated industrial clockwork.
C begins like a lame sample of a lame funk-soul song but soon becomes
a harrowing psychodrama... except for returning to a funk-soul party.
D deconstructs jazz with a dizzying multitude of colliding fragments.
E toys with a pounding Afro-funk shuffle but quickly delves into constantly mutating machine music and towards the end blends in a powerful punch of riff and drumming.
F dissolves reggae steps into a molasses of warped electronica that at the end is hijacked by a jazz jam.
G targets what sounds like the soundtrack of a thriller, but then takes a detour into a surreal exotic chant, only to end with a more magniloquent cinematic theme.
H is another tribute to euphoric soul music of the 1960s with a great
break/solo of distorted keyboards at the seven-minute mark.
A similar breathtaking solo opens I.
J first disintegrates funk-jazz of the 1960s, then shoots a
hysterical techno missile, then sets in motion cold machine music, then
rediscovers humanity in a soaring synth drone and sounds of the beach.
M concocts a romantic trumpet melody over mechanical polyrhythms that turns into a funk orgy and a videogame sonata.
A female shouter has to duel with a rapper, an accordion and a big band in N, one of the virtuoso pieces littered with all sorts of incidents.
K is pure dancefloor, while S ends in a frenzied state of panic.
By the standards of this operation, P is ambient music: the source cannot be identified and all we hear is a hypnotic sequence of beats and chords; a very captivating pieces of instrumental dance music, that towards the end morphs into a sort of xylophone melody. Musique concrete artist Pierre Henry should have done this.
Slavic-gypsy music and dubstep are the ingredients of O.
R intones a spastic reggae dancehall beat and a petulant keyboard launches into an anthemic melody played at triple speed. Three more minutes and the
piece is invaded by alien noise so that, when the petulant keyboard resumes,
it feels like UFO music.
T is an even more creative take on reggae rhythm as played by an army of
sentient industrial machines.
W dishes out some Hendrix-ian chaos mixed with vocal harmonies of the ancient past and ends in a festive beach party.
X paints another surrealistic exotic panorama, this one with Indian and klezmer overtones.
Z sounds like a synth-pop take on Los Del Rio's dance craze Macarena by electronic funk-jazz guru Herbie Hancock, slowly contaminated by a horn fanfare and by an ecstatic hippy chant.
Whenever the artist injects humor or satire, the project evokes the
Residents, but clearly a lot more
science went into these four hours of superhuman cut and paste.
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