Having found himself in a creative mire during the compositional phase of this work, Greg Headley felt that the time had come for a total erasure of what was recorded until then, which was not the least satisfying in regard to the original intentions. This is never an unproblematic decision: there’s always the risk of losing the worthy bits and pieces and not being able to find a new path to tread with greater satisfaction.
This sort of inner irritation is expressed quite well by the five tracks of Fragments Of The Dream Machine (title courtesy of J.G. Ballard, a declared influence), whose 37 minutes contain, in the artist’s words, “the most chaotic and noise-filled music I have ever composed”. While it is true that this is a mainly dissonant record, full of blasphemous distortions and zigzagging anti-melodies, the general impression is far from one of mayhem. Behind the turmoil, we notice the presence of somewhat soothing elements – a few seconds of droning tones, a slightly calmer moment of suspension. It almost looks like the creator of these soundscapes is finding pleasure in his very confusion at last, finally managing to bring the inventive flux back to a certain degree of discipline despite a detachment from a typical construction process.
That said, for sure this is not a recording that will be easily memorized. But that’s not the point. What matters is the idea of a man trapped amidst untied knots who ultimately threw away the exasperation of obligatory choices by letting the sounds do the talking. Headley, for what I can surmise, works with computers. Yet it is the uncooked quality of the emissions he produces that is best likable, which is what renders him a peculiarly autonomous, unpredictable figure in contemporary electronica.