Conrad Burnham – Guide Down

For a wholly peerless listening experience, look no further than Conrad Burnham’s latest experimental sound bath, Guide Down.

Released in February on El Gran E Records, Guide Down finds Burnham, an unorthodox LA-based composer, creating raw, nightmarish soundcapes with synthesizers and a manipulated pedal steel guitar. To make things even more surreal, a drummer, Mark Lierly, added intensely violent beats and percussion throughout most of the record.

The music here generally wades deep into ambient territory, with eerie electronic drones slowly creeping along with melty metallic sounds panning madly from speaker to speaker. When Lierly’s drumming appears, it is often compressed and repetitive enough that it pushes the entire song into a near-industrial kind of style. Songs like “Bowflex Stranger” erupt like a white noise machine giving birth to a cluster of alarm clocks. They clang, they shriek and they fill the listener with a palpable sense of anxiety.

Fans of The Orb and early Future Sound of London will find a great deal to love about this record. Click here to order your copy on cassette, CD or digital from El Gran E Records today.


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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