Sunday, February 26, 2012
Richard Garet - Areal (23five)
Another strong effort from Garet, part of a long string of same, departing a bit in structural terms from prior work in that the piece has a number of breaks and shifts, even as the substance of the music will be recognizable to listeners aware of his music. The tonal haze prevalent in Garet's sound is there, but drops out every so often, leaving the aurally delicious crackling and rustling that it had been enveloping before. When the tonality returns, it has shifted, acquired some darkness and edge, distant, metallic moans having become discernible. These welcome dissonances proliferate as the piece continues, the tonality escaping any cloying factor. It concludes in a wash of almost insectile sounds, bleak and cold--nice.
The Automatics Group - Summer Mix (Entr'acte)
Well. I remember when Theo Burt was creating sublime music/video pieces with arcs and circles in a delicate ballet, where the merest touching of boundaries elicited gentle beeps. Lovely work. He's also part of the Automatics Group, which I'd written about once before, a very different animal. Here, he's producing and "phase-resetting" while his erstwhile partner Peter Worth is, along with presumed relative Solomon Burt, "testing". The titles of the pieces are the names of the groups whose music is subjected to Fourier transforms that strip the sound of selected layers, leaving a kind of skin (I thought of sloughed off snakeskin more than once). I take for granted that the actual process is rather complex but I choose to simply reflect on the experience of the sounds as presented.
But that's not so easy. Essentially (and the four tracks aren't so different) one hears a gauzy, disembodied wash of sound over a beat, the latter tending to fade out somewhat only to well back in. It's not, to these ears, inherently fascinating except when heard as part of the process that formed it. There's a general Reichian feel to much of it, due to the rhythms and the perceived (if not in actuality?) crossings of beats. But much of it, perhaps unfortunately, reminds one of a severely remixed "Different Trains". Still, there's something going that retains my fascination, even if it's of a more technical rather than aesthetic nature (knowing I shouldn't differentiate).