Vorpal: Digressions

Digressions finds Pittsburgh native Andy Kozloski following up his Vorpal debut An Incomplete Guide to Vorpal Music with another hour-long collection of ADD-afflicted material. The 15 tracks are at times dizzyingly complex, packed as they are with micro-edited bits and pieces, yet Kozloski translates his affinity for frenetic sound design into a healthy number of satisfying moments; even seizure-gripped material like “Epileptic Funk” exudes its share of musical sanity and, in those instances where the material is presented most simply, the album is all the better for it.

There's certainly no lack of detail: amidst hiccupping breaks and drop-outs, “Expatriate” swims through an encrusted swamp of crackle before exiting with crisp hip-hop breaks and sweetly emotive melodies, while a soaring flute and singing violin rise to the surface of epileptic beatsmithing in “Rene Eespere's Trivium Lovingly Reimagined” (Kozloski's classical jones also emerges during the slippery orchestral boogie of “Cartoon Violence For Camille Saint-Saens”). No amount of cyclonic noise entirely obscures the central beat splatter of “Surreptitious” and, though its title might suggest otherwise, “Latenight Drunken Email” actually impresses as a rather suave sampling of melodic restraint and driving breaks. Digressions' material often suggests that, were Kozloski to curtail the tendency to swathe every track in a swirl of manic edits, his material's fundamental musicality would come to the forefront even more (the relatively straightforward soundscape “A Fractured Panoramic in Dusky Orange” a case in point). It would also flow better minus the incessant tempo derailment that stuttering edits bring to otherwise propulsive cuts like “Dolor.”

September 2006