If the only thing with which the 12 tracks on Slide Thrombosis were imbued was a degree of malevolent steadiness we usually encounter when getting stared down by giant mechanical lizards copulating under a rain of electric crust, hot bone shards, and blobs of paste made of shredded motherboard, we’d have to admit that the grunts of “meh, forgettable” from dismissive critics might contain some merit. But The Conduits, two reclusive characters residing in the American south, assemble their loop-dominated tracks with more complicated and nuanced bad feelz.
About a third of the sound sources on the album are field recordings captured while traveling on public transportation, where they eavesdropped on and surreptitiously recorded other passengers talking, streaming music, and watching videos. Another large chunk of the content, also field recordings, comes from anomalous weather and atmospheric activities (some mundane, some assumed to be paranormal environmental events caused by experiments going awry due to sloppy and/or indifferent adherence to protocols by underpaid employees of nefarious corporations).
Sterility and lack of feeling are definitely present, but The Conduits’ sound processing and additional electronics decimate their sources into terse fragments. The tracks are bent, damaged, frozen in a state of oxidation, undermining their own sense of predictable drone-ishness with clouds of unease, revulsion, and discomfort. Innards are gorged upon. Old timey footage of buildings collapsing is reassembled in the wrong order. Itches are scratched until they become lesions. No course-correcting is needed when the destination is oblivion.
"These microscopic snippets of audio play out in stuttering loops, although rather than concentric circles of sound they are more like wobbly Venn diagrams. It’s a hypnotic listen, never quite abrasive enough to be noise, never quite ethereal enough to be ambient. A soundtrack for a world where everyone’s plugged in and everything is knocked slightly off its axis."
- Daryl Worthington for Spools Out column in The Quietus
"It is a weird album...Whatever was taped on the subway, it is no longer to be recognized. Loops are cut short (however not as short as Oval once did), and sometimes it seems they only take the residual material, the sounds after the sound; sometimes you only recognize a tiny fragment of a voice, a scream or music...I found this a fascinating album: the multitude of loops and the variations within a self-imposed concept (which I may not understand entirely). This is surely quite a different take on the whole notion of 'music with field recordings'."
- Frans de Waard in Vital Weekly.