Flint Knippel’s 1994 cassette release, “Flood Victim”, is an intriguing exploration of improvised music that treads the line between structure and chaos. The album, which appears to be a document of one or several live performances, presents a compelling journey into the realm of electric guitar-based improvisation.
“Flood Victim” ventures quite a bit into noise terrain, often pushing the boundaries of conventional musicality. However, it manages to stay firmly grounded in a more structured style. This balance between structure and free-form improvisation is achieved through the employment of riffs and bits of melody along with a steady beat. These elements serve as anchors amidst the cacophony, providing listeners with familiar touchpoints in the otherwise unpredictable soundscape.
There are moments within “Flood Victim” that manage to shine through. These are the instances of pure noise guitar that punctuate the album. They come across as raw and unfiltered expressions of emotion, providing a stark contrast to the more structured segments of the album. These moments serve as the saving grace of this release for me, offering glimpses into the potential that lies within Flint Knippel’s improvisational approach.
Those who appreciate noise guitar and are open to exploring the unconventional side of music might find something worthwhile in this album.