Los Angeles musician and synth fetishist Ted Butler performs as Head Dress. His album, Confidence Intervals, takes shape from eight selections of downturned, toothy experimental music, all of which were composed using only synthesizer modules from Make Noise Music.
Head Dress's moniker and music thus far have evoked scenes of the post-dancefloor. Black-clad admirers gather around some LA aqueduct, gazing at the orchestrators, nodding in time, rapidly documenting via social media. This is not a colorful suggestion but a real life instance.
Confidence Intervals remains experimental throughout, skipping from the bounding scrapes and scratches of Pasadena to the very quizzical, score-like composition Closed Eye, Rolls Back. On Teenager, a possibly hopeful, sort of Reagan-era arpeggiation, we're called back to Butler's focused performances for the Modular On The Spot collective (#modularonthespot, if you're curious), from which this live-tracked piece is taken. The album crescendos with Lastly, a long-form, beat-less drone-techno piece that builds to a Stars of the Lid-styled, metallic halt. It's a fascinating hard stop, abutting a good deal of track seven's energy with the final, many-faced piece, Confidence Intervals. This title track frames the album, reclaiming the tones of Heavy Hand and Rinse with a look at the hard atonal through thuds, dry swarms, cuts of feedback and nearly constant, fluttering synthesizer spittle.
Confidence Intervals chokes and screams because there is a kind of violence to it. Not the hyper-aggressive, slamming digital sort, but something carefully designed to be slow, angular and frightening.