Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Edu Comelles - A Country Falling Apart (Audiotalaia)

The country in question being Spain, where all the sounds here were recorded under a set of rules which required that no conventional instruments be used. So essentially these are field recordings though I believe some of the sounds have intentional human agency. The elements on each track are described clearly, from chairs being pushed around in a university to the activities of flies around a dead fox to abandoned trucks to railroad friction and much more; all "are related somehow with issues such as dereliction, abandonment or misuse". You almost get the sense the works are composed--the chair piece, for instance, doesn't sound all that far from a contemporary work for string orchestra; there's a sense of orchestral structure at play. The flies serve as a kind of pizzicato over moans from a watermill that carry an amazing feedback quality, again with a real sense of composition. This is the case throughout, making the designation "field recording" feel entirely off the mark. And these are strong, muscular structures as well, quite plastic and forceful. Crucially, Comelles always retains a fine sense of air and space, even if that air is ozone- and mildew-tinged. It allows the pieces to rotate smoothly, to consistently offer different aural vantage points. Really impressive and moving; my qualms about field recordings fall by the wayside when they're as strongly reconfigured as is the case here.

An enclosed code also gives you access to a few excellent downloadable files from the label site.

If you have the slightest interest in this area, don't let "A Country Falling Apart" pass you by.


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