No credits are given as to instrumentation or composition but the first track opens with a simple, melodic electric piano line that sounds as though it’s from Paul Bley circa 1973 (I’m guessing it’s Hoffman) accompanied by the crunchiest of noise, though the latter is sparely deployed. The rest of the music isn’t this overtly mellow but it does play very nicely with the tension between surface sheen and underlying anxiety. Most of the time, one of the pair is producing softer-edged sounds (though not melodic)–rumbles, cloudy thrums, etc. while the other is worrying this weave with needlelike shards or irregular jags of static. Even the fourth track, all aflutter with rapidly fluctuating flapping sounds and screeches, sounds as though it’s being restrained, held in check by the overarching hollow throb that achieves dominance at the piece’s conclusion. The thoroughgoing sounds that are almost always in place give one a sense of stability, but the tones and textures of the other elements pick at any feeling of comfort, painting a bleak, ultimately corrosive soundscape. Really impressive work. Hoping Hoffman and Olive continue this collaboration.
(Brian Olewnick, Just Outside)
Five intense pieces of electro/acoustic/magnetic music. The longest piece, ‘No Flag 5’ is to be found at the end of this release and is a beautiful drone-like affair of all things electrical; a great piece, but perhaps a bit atypical of the other four pieces. Here things buzz and sing too, but throughout are also a bit more noise-inspired with shrieks of feedback dropping in and out in ‘No Flag 4’ or the deep rumble of ‘No Flag 3’. The opening of ‘No Flag 1’ is very musical with a broken-up piano tune, but ends in more drones. Many of the sounds used stay together quite closely, thus making the music perhaps a bit more claustrophobic. However this is the noise that I like.
(Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly)