NERVE BUMPS is a twisted, tantalizing excursion. The diverse percussive dimensions soar through conglomerated whirlpools of sound design, flooding with events of a horrific injury, shaping Dax Pierson’s professional and daily life.
In 2005, he toured with Subtle when their van hit ice, they flipped and his seatbelt malfunctioned. He was partly paralyzed from foot to fingertip and spent a decade recovering. In that time, new technology proliferated methods for creating music, and Pierson ventured into these fresh horizons. In 2019, he released Live in Oakland, influenced by recent experiences.
NERVE BUMBS (A QUEER DIVINE DISSATISFACTION) was released February 26, 2021, on Vinyl LP, Digipack CD and cassette, through Ratskin Records collective and Dark Entries Records. With awesome labels and distributors by his side, “Nerve Bumps; A Queer Divine Dissatisfaction’’ is one of the most glorious adventures, an intricate instrumental piece with a quote from choreographer, Martha Graham, that influenced the sub-title:
“No artist is pleased. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
“Adhesion” delicately raises synth strings in avenues of golden circuitry, swirling en masse. Sharp percussions are deployed, thunderously sweeping the sounds deployed, gyrating variation, while drum-fills mediate new forms. Rambunctious though kept ideally organized. Circuits of android communities pulse in a crystalline blaze, infiltrating our ears with amazing terrain. “For The Angels” begins, where “Adhesion” ended. Arpeggiated synth-patterns exercise dips in low-frequency, bouncing back into normal channels, then crisp undulating transformations in the membrane of its sonic particle. The measurements are kept simple but still riveting. Subtle percussive notes shape the manifold’s surface, twisting dimensions with the synth-line, keeping a steady pace. Pale shrieks sprinkle in reverberated sonic starlight, streaming the atmosphere as an ethereal, angelic body. I love the drums in this, with the snare’s sound kept slightly trashed and analog while relying on synth devices to manipulate kick patterns, forcing an honest blend of all ingredients.
“Snap” is just that, snapping our minds into a twisted void of sampled voices, mixed with rustling atmospheric sounds, illustrating a new darker corner of NERVE BUMPS. But, this abyss immediately softens. “I Slay The Pain” tempers the storm of anxiety. Evocative, stylistic drums command the sounds, commanding with an iron fist into each section, of which “I Slay The Pain” flows through myriad. DAX PIERSON seizes this ephemeral glory, eternally showcasing power I haven’t heard in a long time. Sounds clash, clang, in a quiet disposition of madness and rebellion, inviting each specter of sonic warmth to blanket every crevice, flowing as chopped audio signals, with electronics forging emotional objects, secured by the percussion’s proximity, with the music’s wild aesthetic. At times, an opulent theater of musical landscape, displayed for the ears to witness, each breath-taking model of intense compositions, while others severed reality. As in “Keflex,” the psychedelic rush of atomic frequencies accompany the drum’s raw power, being an amazingly baffling performance in what can be harnessed in the unlimited potentiality of sounds and mindful creativity. “For 2_24” had its sweet kicks, a corpus of enticing soundscapes, but “NTHNG FKS U HRDR THN TM” is a perfect closer to NERVE BUMP’s eruption of profundity—a dark horizon clashes with the atmosphere’s fabrics. The plenteous shades of synth designs looped and revolved, shooting motion to dart through frequency, curving upward and leaving a trail of paint to coruscate faint, tonal rings. Meditative within this episode of destruction, as the music’s appetite desires a quiet descent. Not being chaotic, essentially, but awakening to entirely different applications of undiscernible arithmetic.
Dax Pierson forged some of the most incredible soundscapes, vacillating approaches of destruction, but then towards a jovial rebellion that bathed in the diverging emergence of both primal states. Beyond the scope of anything you’ve heard before!