Dual reviews

Dual - Pyroclastics

"A bunch of noise" - Noise is relative. When Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring was first performed in 1913 in Paris, its sonic dissonance and rhythmic clatter—meant to express and mirror our higher tolerance for noise in the mechanized world—were met not with thrown tomatoes, but a full-blown riot. If they'd been played this album then, one wonders whether the audience would have full-on imploded into a mushroom cloud of flesh. Which is a roundabout way of saying that listeners of 2106 might see Pyroclastics' basic reliance on noise-as-what's-annoying-now as rather quaint.
Listeners of metal are divided on noise: Some think it's shit, some appreciate its massive relevance and influence on so much else of what we listen to. Personally, I consider myself something of a noise fan, and this third Dual album—the band is, surprise surprise, a duo, consisting of Doug Theriault on custom-built guitar/electronics and Ed Chang, electronics—ain't half bad. It references, as is hard to avoid, the usual Alec Empire/Merzbow axis, but also leaps into Naked City/Mr. Bungle/Atomsmasher/Venetian Snares territory as well—the bouncy jazz-grind bop of "Shadow of Death" being a prime example of this tendency towards improv.
Nonetheless, Pyroclastics is a pretty familiar listen, and since it doesn't vary its message throughout, or take any particularly impressive risks, it's nothing you haven't heard before done better or even noisier. But for those moments in your life, and for me they come three, maybe four times a year, when just nothing else will do the trick but noise, this collection of scatterbrain percussion, hiccupping distortion, and all-out controlled chaos spazz is as functional a well-timed headfuck as should be expected from any self-respecting noise album. If that isn't a contradiction.

Daniel Lukes - Decibel magazine (with Iron Maiden on the cover!)

Dual Pyroclastics

Ed Chang, già dentro progetti come Spin-17, Rust Ionics,
Agents At Midnight, Hang Degc., vanta anche collaborazioni
con personaggi come Aaron Dilloway (Wolf Eyes), Donald
Miller (Borbetomagus), Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra),
John Dieterich (Deerhoof) e David Nuss (NNCK).

Insieme al chitarrista Doug Theriault, invece, si occupa
dell’avventura Dual, che con “Pyroclastics” taglia il traguardo
del terzo album, che arriva dopo “{duel}” e “Destroy All Improv”.

Il tutto (16 tracce compresse in 28 minuti) viene prodotto tramite
l’elettronica di Chang e la chitarra di Theriault, ed è un duro
colpo per orecchie e cervello.

Giocando sull’improvvisazione, vengono sputate fuori a raffica
schegge noise e beats grindcore da lasciare tramortiti. Suoni
‘strozzati’ e caustici, feedback laceranti e nevrosi multiple.

La durata complessiva del disco potrà sembrare sostenibile,
ma alla fine se ne esce quasi con l’impressione di avere subito
una sottile e fastidiosa tortura.



Massimiliano Drommi

- 16-4-2007


Dual - Pyroclastics

New York City noise-monger and electronic musician Ed Chang can always be counted on for a brain-melting slab of recorded insantiy and Dual's Pyroclastics is no exception. Dual is Chang's collaboration with guitarist Doug Theriualt, and this is their third release.
There's no way to describe the monster lying dormant on the CD, waiting to unleash itself on the listener – like John Oswald on acid? Like Oval in a very bad mood? Like a laptop in a hurricane? Steve Vai in a blender? Songs don't begin they just blast out of nowhere at a hundred miles an hour. The songs don't end they just fall apart in a really charming way.
This is frenzied, manic spastic insanity and it will either really cleanses the pallet or drive you fucking nuts or both. I love it! Fans of experimental noise – this is your music!

Gordon B. Isnor , Left Hip Magazine

Dual - Pyroclastics

Severe noise/thrash from the duo of Ed Chang (electronics) and Doug Theriault (guitar), sixteen tracks in 28 minutes. Chang, among other things, fills a percussive role, cycling samples from who-knows-where in overlaid and chaotic patterns. The briefer cuts, and there are several less than a minute, inevitably remind me at least a little bit of those sub-15 second pieces Zorn included on the first Naked City disc, though these are far less overtly structured. They’re intense and assaultive but after the initial barrage, I’m not sure what’s left to ponder. Theriault’s guitar, in pieces like the relatively lengthy “My Ashes, Your Eyes”, takes on connotations of rapturous metal solos, flagellating through the space in an orgasmic frenzy. There’s something to be said for that when delivered with such abandon, I suppose, though I also feel a contrary impulse, one that counsels, “Rein it in a bit, guys”. It’s interesting how, despite any real regular rhythms, vocals, etc. there’s a decidedly rock-like feel to this session, more so than a purely noise/improv sensation, though some of the more disjointed cuts almost get there. There’s even a slight tinge of dub in a piece like “Tremor, Out of Space”. Not a bad outing if you’re so inclined and over its course, the out and out willingness to consistently nail balls to the wall becomes at least a bit beguiling. There’s none of the adolescent obnoxiousness that mars (for this listener) much other work in this area and on the final track, one titled (archly?) “Pastiche”, there are occasional hints of wider sonic concerns.
Brian Olewnick - Bagatellen

Dual - Pyroclastics

Dual pairs guitarist Doug Theriault with Ed Chang, here on electronics.  The aim is to produce short, sharp bursts of power improv.  Chang is essentially a digital drummer, firing out trills and rattles of pseudo-Metal beats.  Theriault's guitar wriggles histrionically through high registers, descends into depths of super-detuned sludge, and lays down sheets of unfretted glissandi.  Pyroclastics occasionally chokes on its own distortion.  There's no real let up within any of these blasts, except when one of the players pauses briefly for breath...

Sam Davies - The WIRE.Oct 2006

Dual - Pyroclastics

Noise guitar and electronics by Doug Theriault and Ed Chang. Collage of phrases from the one-sheet: "unearthly tectonics" "shredding it up like a real experimental guitarist should" "particle smasher blast-beats" "setting the blender to, well, explode." You get the idea. Most tracks are short and intense, with very fast cut-up samples along with the guitar.

Pick any track – they’re all amazing (and similar). Most tracks end about 4 seconds early.

KZSU Review

Dual - "duel"

DUAL are two twisted NYC improvisors, guitarist Doug Theriault and electronics manipulator Ed Chang, and {duel} is a compilation of free noise bouts recorded between 1999 and 2001. It's an insane and exhilarating disc, sounding like Derek Bailey's drum 'n bass album as realized by Alec Empire's Digital Hardcore Recordings. Theriault veers from Bailey-style subterfuge to big Van Halen licks and churning industrial fuzz, while Chang works best when he simply lays down a thumping distorted beat. The record company puts it best: "No holds barred, hardcore free improv in the worst possible sense between two improvisors at their peak (of the day), speaking in a language no one but themselves could possibly hope to (or want to) understand." Totally gross and totally fantastic.


David Keenan - The WIRE Issue 215 January 2002

Dual - "Destroy All Improv"

29 tracks - very short, concentrated bursts of manic, frantic energy,
channelled into lively and aggravating music to start your day better than a
flask of hot java. Doug Theriault mangles his guitar, Ed Chang slaughters an
electronics kit, and together they improvised everything live in the studio
in NYC in year 2002. Besides being energetic, it's also pretty violent
stuff - picking up trace elements from hip-hop, Napalm Death, Sonny
Sharrock, and erm.anti-capitalist protest marches. From hip-hop music for
example, they clearly like the idea of crash-collision sound sources used
with mucho aggression, but they discard everything else from said genre.
Napalm Death have taught them how to keep tracks really short (an excellent
idea which more musicians should take on board), and Sharrock has opened
doors for the guitarist's free-form notions. I thought anti-capitalist
content was made explicit on cover art - a car being wrecked - but maybe
that's just vandalism for its own sake! Maybe this whole record is vandalism
against 'proper' music, which they feel needs to be destroyed. A harsh
surface prevails for the most part, and loose bohemian-styled playing
throughout. By about mid-point of CD, these two hyper-active youngsters calm
down slightly and the initial frenetic mood subsides into more considered
forms; but the erratic playing style is not less predictable, guaranteeing
more surprises per square inch than your average kettle of improvised fish.
As to the imaginative track titles, they're all pretty witty, but what could
possibly beat 'Topography of my rectum'? Heck, that may even be a bratty,
sarcastic response to the title of INCUS 1 (look it up, sports fans). A real
goodie - plenty of stuttering, feedback, controlled explosions and hairy,
electrifying, 'gestural' art music.
ED PINSENT 30/09/2004

The Sound Projector #13


Destroy All Improv


Ed Chang and Doug Theriault deliver a CDR that is bound to cut shreds and slices out of your ordinary senses and implant a wildman’s wild thoughts and dreams in your mindscape, as they dip into treacherous currents of contemporeana: This is New York City April, and it couldn’t be fresher. I don’t believe my son over in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, will have this influence him, but I kind of wish it would; we all need some insanity vitamins now and then, and these guys spread the honest stuff far and wide, in a jagged pattern, between the Now and the Then, making Easy a little Tough, which is healthy, yes, healthy and wholesome.


The label issues this information about DUAL:

DUAL is Doug Theriault on guitar and Ed Chang on electronics. DUAL's music is about the tension, release, destruction, resurrection and intersection of sound-objects in space. And kung fu, lots of kung fu. Listen. And Learn. Enjoy the Magic.

Chris says: Imagine Merzbow, Photek, Aphex Twin & Van Halen in a blender then multiply that by 15 million!


Sure enough – but I hear other guys in there too, if we must compare, like for instance the formidable desperation of John Zorn, thinking especially about the corrugation of a CD like Spy vs. Spy from 1989, and I hear Rotcod Zzaj and his accomplices, as well as Jeff Kaiser and Chris Forsyth. These DUAL guys are probably much younger than those aforementioned, and I’m sort of happy to hear a couple of guys who’ve restored the right kind of panic! This is good stuff for forlorn ears and used-to-it-all souls, because if you let the content of Destroy All Improv invade the crevasses of your thought forms, your shattered thoughts and disrupted feelings will paint numerous in-the-skull masterpieces – so be it! This is not just improvisation and haphazard electronics. This soars in the domain of modern art music. Tough luck if you can get it!

The beautiful cover – a latter day revolution enigma! – brings joy to an old fart like myself who’s been around a Europe where The Baader-Meinhof network blew up banks in the 1970s in a gesture of political poetry, but I suppose DUAL’s cover refers more to latter day world trade organization resistance and anti-globalization. Nonetheless, the cover and the music harmonize, both coming across in outrage and spiraling destruction of values that serve us no more, right?

The music – often cut-up, shredded, poured out like gravel into the machinery of night – manages to make a lasting impression of feverish zeal, unforgiving efforts and also of a love of universal justice which hovers over all these forcefully desperate moves.

I hear a star-crushing machine at the edge of the Horizon of Events, sucking the matter of contemporary society into its unappeasable void, beyond which the black hole of Truth compresses the plans and dirty looks of the powerful into a singularity which looses all meaning, all here and now, perhaps to seep out into another dimension through the gentle activities of Quantum Mechanics at Planck length dimensions; who knows!

Some of the titles of the short tracks may supply some ins on the workings of the minds of these relentless but very talented artists. Let’s ponder the significance of titles like Sin Is Plenty, Shredded Truths, Topography of My Rectum, Rebuilding Destruction, Molotov Cocktail the Rich and so forth. Crude poetry of today, one might say. Sure! I’m glad every time I hear young people with the will and power to let the power and strength of frustration take shape in art and music; we need these young prophets more than ever!


Sonoloco Reviews




"Dual are Doug Theriault (guitar) and Ed Chang (electronics), the 'exquisite’ production is by Scott Colburn:  furious attacks that make you think of Zorn in Naked City's times in session with the Truman's Water of 'goodspeed the hemorrage'  (I think this is supposed to be Godspeed You Black Emperor - EC) dealing with industrial stuff d'antan and with Bailey's covers.


Pluriequations too hard to imagine?  I know even for me.  But I don't know what else to say.  Someone would maybe like to kill me for a review like that but I really don't know what else to say but this is an album that makes you literally scream. (8/10)"

Blow Up Magazine (translated from French)

DESTROY ALL IMPROV (Toast and Jam Recordings, 2004)


Dual is a clever experimental duo consisting of Ed Chang on electronics and Doug Theriault on guitars. Here, each of the 29 tracks is a small world of experimentation with electronic sounds, noises and guitar phrases. Theriault plays some chords in tracks like "Sin is Plenty" letting Chang deliver his electronic ideas. But most of the time both musicians are delivering dissonances or multiple rhythms at the same time making each track really innovative. It is amazing to listen Chang twisting and smashing each electronic sound that he delivers, such as a sort of horn in "Protest in the Bedroom" that is twisted and turned making eat a completely different sound in just a few seconds. This is pure experimental music with interesting ideas and a lot of variation (each track is completely different from the other). For open minded people.


Favorite tracks: "Protest in the Bedroom", "Forever lost" and "Come and Eat"

 Contact: www.tandjrec.com




Dual is local improviser-about-town Doug (Office Products) Theriault and NYC/PDX composer-player-character Ed (Blindfold) Chang, who shrewdly describes the caustic union as an exercise in "assault-and-battery improv." Song titles sound like settings on Satan's blender--"Puncture," "Tenderize," "Flay," "Serrate," "Emasculate"--and Theriault's fingers-in-the-Cuisinart guitar work chops up ragged scraps of feedback, detuned plonks and seizure-inducing fretwork. Chang shoots out rapid-fire beams of radioactive electronic noise, defibrillating beats and monster-movie samples. All told, as refreshing as a slap in the face with a razor...the best way to wake up in the morning, really.


Willamette Week, John Graham




Free-jazz improv feel to this noisy sound collage. Crazy maniacal feel to it all. Improv noise guitar playing figures in front amidst heavy samples, treated drums (acous and electro), and fine tape manipulations. Like Zorn or Mr Bungle and Caspar Brotzman in a cyclone. Most songs brief. Seriously fucked fucked up for the seriously fucked up.

KZSU Review