following on from two cassettes under his own name, one of which the Quietus rightly saw fit to include in its list of tapes of the 2014, comes a second foray into deep, heavy, scraping electronics by mark dicker. seen very much as a companion piece to talk of the university, universal processes expands on the aural themes of what came before. using a sparser palate, space and time are stretched even further, allowing for each of the three pieces to evolve into unsettlingly tense spheres of sound. universal processes marks an exciting leap forward for someone who is sounding increasingly sure of himself and his art.
"Unlike the hazy instrumental wash of industrial oscillators and alien drones that made up Livestock, this cassette tape is a real sequel to Dicker's more heavily Quietus-endorsed Talk Of The University, also out on Bunkland in April last year. Thematically, Universal Processes sees science and more specifically physics, come into the foray, as was foretold by Mr Dicker in his Quietus interview with Luke Turner.
"The idea behind the material is that I had observed how certain physical/scientific phenomena, such as the Doppler effect for example, mirrored personal, emotional experiences in an almost allegorical fashion."
The seven minute 'Doppler (on the coloured light of the binary stars and some other stars of the heavens)' on side one, most certainly examines the musical implications of the phenomenon (wherein waves emitted from a moving object seem to vary in frequency to an observer, hence a siren on a passing ambulance suddenly seeming to get lower as it passes by). Hard-panned modular tones pulsate and battle it out, rising and dipping in tone - but not note - on either side of the stereo field. They seem to come closer and go further away hypnotically, in the sonic equivalent of an optical illusion. To which "emotional experiences" Dicker is referring above remain somewhat mysterious, although around the four minute mark, the oscillations cut out, and Dicker's artificially deepened, disembodied inner voice pronounces "You've missed your ambulance", only for Dicker to add, "and they are infrequent."
'Larsen' similarly accumulates glacial drones and battling electronics into an utterly alien mass, over which Dicker almost yells, "Larsen! Pinprick! Deep space sarcasm!", addressing inner demons with ritualism. The ritualism of the man's music is deepening too, with the fourteen minute sidelong track on side two almost coming across as something of a sermon on the subject of optics. "Viewed through a lens, light bends around you," he opines, ushering in a truly galactic buzzing or sparse tones that slowly unfold into commanding vibrations, simmering with menace, and more essentially seeming to open up. Transmutation is going on right in front of our very ears, and the artist seems to access another plain, if only for half an hour. He announces, "information is never lost," before dissolving into the ether once more. Somehow Mark Dicker continues to operate at the highest possible level in his field (which he also happens to be basically alone in)." - the Quietus, Feb 2015
"We’ve been particularly fascinated by the pulverizing electronic shenanigans of Mark Dicker ... completely bent electronic sounds here, I was just bowled over by this tape... a mind boggling tape, if you can, I encourage you to try and get this one, this guy is doing some interesting work." FFFoxy Podcast 53, 22.02.14