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Illusion of Safety
The Need to Now (Experimedia) CD

 As Illusion of Safety, musician Dan Burke often works at the extremes, shifting from dense, earsplitting noise to brooding, atmospheric soundscapes. This beautifully packaged, limited edition CD on Ohio’s small Experimedia label finds Burke—at least for the most part—in minimalist mode. The pieces are stark and spacious as Burke allows a variety of field recordings, unearthly hums and sharp, metallic tones to hover and drift, creating a quiet, eerie intensity. There are a few disquieting exceptions, such as “About When,” with its bursts of frenetic drum and guitar snippets sampled from jazz records, and the disc’s final track, “History is Selective,” which has an unexpected Gaelic-style vocal interlude. The album’s finest moments, however, are its most bleakly austere and unsettling beautiful.

—Susanna Bolle


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