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Illusion of Safety



Since 1983, Illusion Of Safety has been the ongoing project of Dan Burke and a rotating core of sonic agitators from Chicago -- most notably Jim O'Rourke, Thymme Jones (of You Fantastic!, Cheer-Accident, and Brise-Glace), and Mark Klein. Throughout its numerous albums, Illusion of Safety has constructed bleak collages of decontextualized media events, atonal drones that don't do much to stop the headaches, and hammering digital rhythms too harsh for Wax Trax!.

Illusion of Safety's agenda bears more than a passing resemblance to the work of post-structuralist thinker Jean Baudrillard. Each album is an aural investigation of the fear responses elicited from two distinct and often diametrically opposed phenomena: the hyper-saturation of the media and the sublime power of nature. When presenting its investigations into the media, Illusion of Safety speaks with an ironic disdain, as if the media is complicit in -- if not responsible for -- all the world's horrors. Emerging from this context, Illusion of Safety's collage-based work consists of claustrophobic, nightmarish sounds of eerie digitized buzzing fraught with psychosexual samples. Over the years, IOS drifted away from these ideas, but has recently begun to explore them once again. 1998's Bad Karma represents a return to the chilling collages of over-mediated sound, which vary from the recordings of a campfire mixed with low-key drum loops on "Shadowplay" to the malevolent sonic lurching and disturbing field recordings of "In 110 Countries."

Meanwhile, Illusion of Safety's investigations of natural sounds find the group in awe of their experiences. Ominous and sometimes subsonic drones billow and churn in unison with the disastrous forces of earthquakes and hurricanes, as heard on the double CD masterpiece simply entitled Of & The.