The Object Isn't There


With The Object Isn't There, UK guitar player and producer Jack Allett has made a deeply personal masterpiece based around cyclical guitar parts and electronic percussion. Playing like a half-remembered fever dream with an aesthetic that is ragged, hypnotic, and spacey, its two side-long pieces touch on minimalism, kraut-infused dub, and euphoric dancefloor optimism. As comfortable being played after Manuel Göttsching's album E2-E4 (MGART 424CD) as right before a Terekke lo-fi house anthem, it is laced with the melancholy of an early morning post-rave comedown. Yet for all the references and name-checking, it's a record that is hard to compare to anything else, past or present. This record is about - insofar as instrumental music need be about anything - hallucinations. The title The Object Isn't There serves as a concise definition, derived from the quote "A hallucination is a strictly sensational form of consciousness, as good and true a sensation as if there were a real object there. The object happens to be not there, that is all." (William James, The Principles Of Psychology, 1890) Having experienced constant tinnitus -- a form of auditory hallucination -- for the last 13 years, Jack has long questioned the distinction of something experienced as being either there or not-there. Even if, strictly speaking, a hallucination is something that's not there, if the reality of how it affects day-to-day existence is undeniable then to any extent that matters, it is there. But The Object Isn't There is no tale of woe, nor simply a response to this one condition, and tinnitus need not be considered only as distressing or distracting. Allett sees it merely as one example of many things in life that cross this uncertain terrain. Allett explains: "There are obvious parallels here with the notion of active listening. There is room for emotion too, particularly an overwhelming, all-consuming emotion. Essentially the music here is concerned with being overwhelmed by a sensation, never really being sure to what extent you are conjuring it up yourself, to what extent it exists independently of you, but ultimately deciding that it doesn't much matter; the sensation itself was undeniable." The Object Isn't There was written, recorded, and mixed in Camberwell and Camden, London, UK (2012-2016). Artwork by Graham Lambkin; Design by Jeroen Wille. Mastered by Jack Allett. Edition of 300.