Rob Funkhouser is one of our favorite musicians in existence. There, we said it. From the insane dexterity in his live acoustic performances using homemade percussion instruments to his continuing composition studies at institutions of higher learning, Rob Funkhouser has proven time and again that his musical ambition knows no bounds. Over the course of our knowing him, he has dabbled in digital tracker-based midi programs, thumb pianos he made himself, synthesizers, laptop performances, oscillators, string quartets, piano pieces, harsh noise, etc. The list goes on and on, and his archive of audio work stands as proof to his success in the aforementioned excursions. We have always desired to push Rob to his limits in the pursuit of channeling something extraordinary from him, and it is with great honor that we add Rob Funkhouser to our small inner-circle of absurdist exemplars with the arrival of his first anti-release, Baptism.
Baptism is a nearly 15-minute composition whose creation was wholly influenced by and embraces the concept of water. Featuring the sounds of numerous tiny objects manipulated through a bucket of water, and enhanced with melodic musings of thumb-piano, Baptism is simultaneously soothing and unnerving. A persistent undercurrent of shuffling static fills the void with an organic, constantly evolving breath of life, serving as a jarring contradiction to the ethereal, reverb-dipped moments of thumb-piano. The piece feels like a metaphorical representation of the physical act of baptisms, as the sounds of water rushing over you fade into the calming bliss of an oxygen-less euphoria.
Baptism is quite literally a fully transparent cassette completely submerged in water. While the felt pad and metal plate have been removed to prevent rust & corrosion, the remaining plastic shell & magnetic tape inside remain almost entirely unaffected by the water, awaiting an opportunity to be played back in its new, cleansed form.
A1 – 14:18 – Baptism [forward]
B1 – 14:18 – Baptism [reverse]