A Global Taxonomical Machine is fascinating. It is unique. It is intelligently, carefully crafted.
However, that doesn’t mean you’re going to enjoy listening to it.
Art with a capital A, this collection of electronic sound collages and vast silences would have been confrontational a decade ago by virtue of its almost total lack of recognizable musical elements. In 2005, most listeners who don’t buy their music at Wal-Mart are at least passingly aware of minimalism and sparse electronica, so Taxonomy aren’t exactly offering a wholly revolutionary concept. It turns out you can get a pretty cool experience without melody or harmony. We already knew that.
Still, if you’re willing to invest the effort it requires and deserves, A Global Taxonomical Machine can be quite absorbing — full of static, fuzz, subliminal clicks and sharp, modem-like sounds. On the rare occasion that something resembling a melody comes into focus, you’ll latch onto it like a long-lost sailor to land.
Still, a few elements, like the five minutes of complete silence that comes midway through the record, are a little too artsy for their own good. Stuff like that is the main reason you can’t expect A Global Taxonomical Machine to provide a conventional reward; what you get out of it will be determined entirely by what you put in.