NATASHA BARRETT: Peat + Polymer 2xCD +3dB
Barrett is Norway’s most prominent composer of electro-acoustic music, if the press bumpf is anything to be believed. She has been awarded numerous accolades amongst the way in a variety of countries; and here provides a bumper pack of sounds that thematically draw on synthetic and organic sounds.
Disc one (titled ‘Peat’), focuses on a variety of natural audio, blended in with an array of ambient backdrops and the odd array of Jazz instrumentation. It is invariably a mixed bag that had the ability to engage and infuriate in equal measure. Occasionally, sporadic bursts of Dark Ambient creep through on a number of tracks; and it’s these interludes that stood out the most (albeit because they tick my personal preferences).
‘Oslo Sound Station’ opens up disc two (titled ‘Polymer’), picking up with rich sombre pads that immediately drew my attention. Alas, this was the only positive response I had to the entirety of this second disc, that clocks in over an hour, with the majority of tracks devoted to what I class as the ultimate time wasting hobby; Field Recordings.
Field Recordings are the audio equivalent of a photo album that no one else frankly gives a toss about. You know the scene, when family and friends make you endure near identical pictures of themselves sat round the pool in Spain, or eating an ice-cream at the beach, whilst they give you an inane running commentary of their holidays.
Don’t get me wrong; there are artists out there who are complete geniuses at sculpting the medium into actual musicianship. But these guys are few and far between; and I simply get nothing out of listening to a squabbling array of bustling ethnic markets and footsteps on Peruvian pathways. It’s as pointless as it is boring.