Work/Death might be a new name to most, but for anyone listening to noise that is lucky enough to be based in and around Rhode Island then Scott Reber’s grizzled drones are likely a well-known staple. Reber is something of the noise musician’s noise musician, and his deeply knowledgable and surprisingly technical take on the sound has left those able to source one of his rare tapes or manage to catch a show slack jawed.
One such tape is Phone About To Ring, which emerged from the ether on Reber’s own Three Songs of Lenin imprint last year with little fanfare. Now Type is proud to announce that it is being given the deluxe treatment, and has been remastered by Reber himself before being cut to vinyl for the first time. The music itself is hard to get a grip on - two effortlessly gloomy passages of sludgy, ominous noise, which in the wrong hands could end up falling into usual traps, but with Reber at the helm sound both fresh and deeply complex. Instruments are bashed into near obscurity by Reber’s steady-handed layers of tape hiss and crunch, and thick, doomy bass echoes like an earthquake in the background.
The most startling aspect of Phone About To Ring is Reber’s ability to inject harmony into his stark, low-end rumbles and piercing cacophony. Comparable to Tim Hecker or even Thomas Koner at times, Reber makes noise that has a lot more beneath the surface that you might initially realize, and Phone About To Ring is his most concise and involving statement to date.