Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Alfredo Costa Monteiro - Endlessness (anòmia)

The concluding segment of Costa Monteiro's trilogy for electric organ, this LP presents two works. Both are steady-state, drone-like pieces, both deeply layered. The dominant sound is in the higher registers, warbling slightly and even a bit shrill, but there are so many things going on below and around it. Swells appear, attain some prominence, submerge again. Almost like focussing your depth of vision, you can almost choose to hear certain strands  at the "expense" of others--it sometimes seems like you can will things into existence. I'm not sure if this is possible to perform live but, if so, it's tantalizing to imagine these sounds swirling around and through one's membranes.

Yet another strong work in the extraordinary catalog of Costa Monteiro.

anòmia at bandcamp

Mariska Baars/Rutger Zuydervelt - eau (Machinefabriek)

A dreamy half-hour spent floating with Baars and Zuydervelt. Baars' lovely voice is overlaid, enhanced and manipulated in, I imagine, many ways--though never losing its essential "song" sound--sometimes seeming to be singing in some imaginary language and woven among (appropriately) liquid electronic textures, what sounds like backward guitars and doubtless much more. Given the title and cover image, the result is almost a kind of program music, as one easily imagines diaphanous water spirits wafting through the azure, drifting slowly down into the ever-darkening blue. A few surprising and mysteriously sharp clicks transpire later in the piece--sonar pings, perhaps. Distant voices? Boat motors? Hard to tell as one's senses have numbed somewhat. Ambient done right, well worth a listen.

Machinefabriek at bandcamp

Tarab - Housekeeping (sonic rubbish)

Tarab (Eamon Sprod) has always been a unique organizer of found sound and field recordings, back as far as his first recording, 'Surfacedrift' (2004). 'Housekeeping' continues down that path, this time employing, as one might surmise from the cover image, numerous items accumulated in his home over the years. Sometimes the sounds are more or less recognizable--the clatter of smallish, thin metallic items such as silverware--often they are not. The cascade of noise that greets the ear on the first track is wondrous, especially when experienced at high volume. Tarab manages to attain extreme degrees of depth and transparency while maintaining sonic richness--a seriously impressive range of timbres. It's kind of thrilling, in fact, not an adjective normally applied to field recording collages, but this has the hurtling excitement of a dangerous amusement park ride (alternatively, like running with scissors). The second track contains a greater ration of hums and deep rumbles, sourced from who knows where. The edits throughout are excellently chosen, suddenly shifting to blurred conversation, back into a hyperactive and explosive kitchen, back into billowy, dark clouds; the disc ends in a buzzsaw--or a blender. Excellent work.

sonic rubbish

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