Tim Wright
8 Switches
USB flash drive (E123)


With 8 Switches, Tim Wright presents six black-and-white
microcinematic vignettes of retina-searing, hard-edged,
epilepsy-inducing sound and vision; digital hallucinations
drained of colour, synchronized to a soundtrack that is
relentless and unsentimental. Each new section presents
a variation on the same sleek, kinetic minimalism. As each
section progresses, the razor-sharp line between a host
of binary oppositions—black/white, figure/ground, silence/
sound, here/there, on/off — dissolves through sheer
velocity. The rapid-fire alternation between these binary
oppositions acts like the flicker of film frames, accelerating
until sound and sight are wed into a synchronous whole
in which neither the visual nor the sonic takes primacy.
Instead, each acts as mutually constitutive literalisation
of the other. As the distance from eye to ear collapses,
the distinction between the immediacy of one’s physical
sensation and its ghostly afterimage — those traces left
on blistered corneas and eardrums and optic nerves and
neurons — can no longer be maintained. Staccato pin-
pricks of light and frequency fuse into a single synesthetic
object and single overwhelming experience.
Joseph Clayton Mills

Tim Wright is a musician, composer and video artist
based in York, England. He is perhaps best known as
a producer of electronic dance music released under
his own name and the pseudonyms Tube Jerk and
Germ. Tim currently works as a sound engineer and
composer with Japanese choreographer Saburo
Teshigawara and Karas. In recent years Tim’s focus
has been on exploring algorithmic approaches to
audio-visual composition.


See also
Tim Wright (E176)

Out of print


I’d not like to suggest that there was a correlation between
exploring Tim Wright’s latest exercise in audiovisual torture
and the migraine I suffered a few hours later, but make
no mistake, this innocuous-looking memory-stick release
contains strong stuff.

Wright — aka Germ, Tube Jerk, etc., and currently one half
of dark electro anti-pop duo Viewer — has a substantial track
record for music that’s innovative, challenging and influential,
and with 8 Switches he again proves that he’s at his best
when out on a limb.

Sonically, 8 Switches is an uneasy electro flicker, microbeats
paired with the most distant ambience like a solar wind. Each
sound is richly textured, Wright playing with sound and render-
ing it malleable, physical. At times squelchy, at others scratchy,
there’s an abrasive quality to this instrumental work. Yes, it’s
electronic music, but bears no relation to commonplace electro-
pop, dance or ambient: this is electronica that uses tone and
frequency as a weapon.

Visually, it’s a sequence of black and white shapes shifting at
an almost subliminal speed to create a relentless stroboscopic
effect that scorches the retinas and seers the images onto the
brain. Close your eyes and they’ll be flashing behind your eye-
lids long after the explosive flickering barrage of fit-inducing
forms has stopped. I’m reminded of a passage from the brain-
bending 1970 novel The Braille Film by the late and criminally
underrated Carl Weissner, which includes the following passage
that refers to THE FLICKER, a film by Tony Conrad as follows:

“Flicker begins at four light flashes a second and anything
above 40 flashes a second is indiscernible to the eyes except
continuous light. FLICKER is actually 47 different patterns of
black & white frame combinations. The film starts with a high
flicker rate of 24 flashes per second, causing little effect, and
gradually lowers to a stroboscopic eye massage of 18 to 4
flashes per second. It is known to cause fits of photogenic
epilepsy in some subjects; others simply disintegrate.”

In combination, the effect is even greater than the sum of
the parts, a truly synapse-melting explosion, a sustained
assault on the senses that’s stark, startling and guaranteed
to disrupt the biorhythms, and even as I type I feel as though
I’m slowly crumbling from the inside, my brain and internal
organs liquefying cell by cell.
 Tim Wright may be a quiet man, but don’t be fooled: he’s
one twisted fucker, and the world is a better place for his
dastardly art.

Christopher Nosnibor at whisperinandhollerin.com