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Cyborg Acoustics

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Album Review

Cyborg Acoustics is a spooky listen. The main piece, "Ghosts of the Gulag," is a piece composed for strings, percussion, and sampling. Dark and unsettling, it's a highly composed mixture of scraped strings and skittering percussion, with odd, underwater-sounding treatments and high-frequency clouds that appear and disappear in the mix. Between the treatments and Mesinai's sampling of the string players, one is never sure of what's being performed live and what's being layered on top with sampling. The other piece, "The Reanimator," is altogether different, with John Zorn playing alto sax accompanied by "genetically enhanced improvisers." This consists of sampled and treated performances by vocalist Shelley Hirsch, percussionist Tim Barnes, and Mesinai himself on piano, all sampled, treated, and mixed for Zorn to perform along with. It's not really an easier listen at all, but Mesinai's music is so detailed and original that it's fascinating. This is one that will reward listeners with a taste for uneasy listening.


Born: 1973 in Jerusalem, Israel

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Beginning with his work in Sub Dub, illbient/ambient dub composer/programmer Raz Mesinai crafted shimmering, spacious music that was among the dreamiest — and often eeriest — that the genre had to offer. After Sub Dub's breakup, Mesinai continued on as Badawi, adding elements of his Israeli and Middle Eastern heritage to albums such as Badawi Presents Bedouin Sound Clash and Jerusalem Under Fire. Mesinai's 1999 Badawi album The Heretic of Ether found him moving toward a more orchestral,...
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Cyborg Acoustics, Raz Mesinai
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