Offshore servers and undersea fiberoptic lines burning bright with each fresh Twitter heater; the more we connect the deeper we’re divided; but Alpine Decline returns to patch what they can back together with their own gently frothing sea of wire and flashing light. Most of us retreat to one box or another, and on Action Moves Away from the Center, the duo’s latest modular dispatch, their boxes pulse with a tentative narrative of how we might take cover in faith in each other. It’s dense, rich and tense, a sonic landscape conjured from confused political scrums, a channeling of the motion of aimless protests and fuzzy brute force also grimly, gauzily captured int he album art by Shangai design studio IdleBeats. If political writing is bad writing, fake news becomes entertainment and the truth is diluted into a constant background hum, sonic digests like this become ideas about how to pluck a signal from the noise/news. It’s vague, but vaguely about how we might make things right, how we might recover what’s left behind, how we might fix a new center and hold on to this ever faster spinning orbit of formless chaos.
Action Moves Away from the Center moves slowly and in no direction in particular. The sparse vocals scattered across its 40 minutes are ghostly missives from the past-as-prologue, or deeply dubbed apologies, recommitments. It’s machine breathing, appropriate noises for inappropriate times. Something to throw on to blunt the language blunting your brain and lay some soil for other spores to spread.