LAWRENCE ENGLISH: Approaching Nothing CD Baskaru

LEnglishApproach

LAWRENCE ENGLISH: Approaching Nothing     CD   Baskaru

I have encountered many works by Lawrence English; and more often than not, have found myself impressed.  Bearing this in mind, I was quite eager to set my ears upon this latest piece of work.

‘Approaching Nothing’, is one long 30-minute track.  Unfortunately though, it doesn’t contain any music; and is in fact, one long pointless piece of field recordings.

English has fallen into the trap that so many people have when venturing into this genre.  For all the artistic press bumpf that accompanies the work; it all becomes a tiring exercise in nonsense.  I cannot even be bothered giving the inane explanation for this recording, as it is nothing but a collection of random environmental sounds; and no amount of artistic posturing is going to make it any other than what it is.

The true disgrace with an album like this; is that there are many talented artists out there striving to get signed to a label, whilst Baskaru are wasting the planet’s resources on drivel like this.  If I hadn’t already encountered English and some of the remarkable work he is responsible for in the past; I wouldn’t be giving his name the time of day in the future, if I were just basing his musical career on this travesty.

3/10

LAURENT PERRIER: Plateforme #2 CD Baskaru

LPerrierPlateforme

LAURENT PERRIER: Plateforme #2     CD   Baskaru

Perrier has delivered here, the second instalment in his ‘Plateforme’ series.  Once again he has created tracks from sound sources submitted by different artists.  The first instalment walked a fine line between being something worthy of note, or something that got chucked in the bin; and I cannot help feel but that this is floating on the same ship.

Once again there is more than a fair share of glitch and ambient interruptions to keep this album just about interesting enough.  Statically charged bursts of sound tiptoe and trip over rumbling earthy Dark Ambience; and when these excursions come to light, they can be pleasurable.

I will give Perrier credit; he could have destroyed this album entirely with a talentless collection of field recordings.  However, he has chosen to sculpt and build the sounds into something more; and in some respects it marginally does a better job than its predecessor.

6/10

SIMON WHETHAM: What Matters is That it Matters CD Baskaru

simonwhetham

SIMON WHETHAM: What Matters is That it Matters CD Baskaru

The UK’s Whetham has been producing albums for over ten years now. His latest on the French experimental label, Baskaru, follows many a path he has trodden before; and why break something that doesn’t need fixing?

With a collection of titles that befit the length of the songs they represent; opener ‘Things Just Fall Where They Want to’, covers a wide-ranging space of ambience that for the most part is uplifting and refreshing.

It takes a while however for the track that follows (‘One Side of the Border’), to come to life. This is mainly due to Whetham’s obsession with field recordings; but luckily he does piece these together cohesively enough, as not to deter the listener.

The title track itself, is an exercise in Drones, Dark Ambient and gutter driven noise. I am a fan of all three; and Simon turns everything on its head, with a barrage of brutality and visceral sonic rage. ‘The Innocence of Deceit ‘ follows much on the same path, albeit more sparse.

The rest of the album delves into paranoid ambience, field recordings and music with a great feel for spatial and sonic awareness. Overall, Whetham has produced a dramatic album that is completely misrepresented by its artwork; and should be a terrifying surprise to those who are invited in by the cover alone. Enjoyable and interesting from start to finish, there is much on here to tempt me to check out previous output.

8.5/10

YUI ONODERA: Semi Lattice CD Baskaru

yuionodera

YUI ONODERA: Semi Lattice CD Baskaru

Japan’s Yui Onodera; a student of both music and architecture, has produced a few releases now and I have missed them all up to this point. His latest seven-tracker is effectively the same song split into individual parts.

Track 1 pitches varying degrees of ambient, multi-layered and resonating over the top of one another; gradually becoming an overdriven swell of guitar noise, that instantly reminded me of Fennesz.

The clattering percussive elements of track 2 show an evolving change in tack; where compression and reverberation is key to the chamber resonations that give the song a full warmth and glow.

Track 3 for me, is where Onodera shines at his brightest. Ever so slightly delayed pads, wash over each other as a rich sonic wave; and gradually build into a deep tsunami of sound that envelops the listener, holding their head just above the wash.

Yui holds his own when comparing him to others that toy with this genre. As stated earlier, he does owe a lot to Christian Fennesz; and there are touches of others, such as Dalhous along the way as well. ‘Semi Lattice’ is an accomplished piece of work that isn’t afraid to change mood and pitch on a dime; and is an excellent listen from start to finish.

9/10

EMMANUEL MIEVILLE: ETHERS CD Baskaru

emmMieville

EMMANUEL MIEVILLE: ETHERS CD Baskaru

Many people have given praise to Mieville and his work with field recordings. Many know my stance on the medium and that it should be utilised sparingly and with versatility; and it is always worrying when and artist uses them as his/her main source of production.

Opener ‘Fertile Drone’, sadly is a mess from the off. A clattering racket of nonsensical gibberish, that only comes to life after four and a half minutes of pointless recordings that we couldn’t care less about; which is a shame really as the droning ambience that appears from this point on, really added something special to the proceedings.

‘Sur Le Pont’ is just an array of electrical recordings, whilst ‘Watt Station’ is a multitude of machinery sounds; that only come good towards the end. The final Track ‘Island Ferrysm is a combination of the last two tracks sound wise, but isn’t any less worthless.

The real shame with Mieville’s latest output; is that within the realms of the redundant recordings, he shows the odd flare of originality that he fails to capitalise on. Momentary lapses where he actually produces music; and forgets his misconceptions that we give a toss about his random collection of stupid recordings. He does piece things together better than a lot of people who fanny around with their own self-importance in this way; but really should invest more time in his obvious, albeit rare, real talents.

6/10

FRANK ROTHKAMM: Wiener Process 24xCD/DL Baskaru

Frank Rothkamm-Wiener Process

FRANK ROTHKAMM: Wiener Process 24xCD/DL Baskaru

Yeah, you read that correctly: ‘24xCD’. As it happens there are only 24 of these in the world as well, so it’s likely you will have to download this if you want a copy.

In 2010, Rothkamm was diagnosed with Tinnitus, so he started to research a source of medication by sound treatment that would either mask or eliminate the high frequencies he is subjected to on a daily basis; unfortunately for the rest of his life.

Frank seeded the work here from a single algorithm and split into 24 one-hour ‘zones’ over the complete boxed CD’s. In fairness it’s ludicrous and to the majority of you out there (myself included), you will hear nothing but different pitches of hisses and whirs that will drive you insane.

I am torn here, as I have to review this as a work of ‘music’. Maybe it’s art and this in itself maybe is actual music in one form or another; but to me it’s nothing more than one mans experiment into treating a horrible illness. If it does end up aiding him with his issues, then more power to him (if indeed it helps others as well, I will applaud him); but as an album release, this is nothing more than pure self-indulgent rubbish, and my score in this case is based on musically properties alone.

4/10

CELER: Sky Limits CD Baskaru

celerskylimits

CELER: Sky Limits   CD Baskaru

From the liner notes of this release “Hill towns and empty houses pass by, but the smoothness of the train blurs the view”; and this is all Will Long needs to say to portray what he is trying to achieve with this album. With the opening pads of ‘Circle Routes’, the listener is dragged into a sea of enriching ambient with direct immediacy, with layers of folding bliss that are as hypnotic as they are drenched in solitude; where just over nine minutes of your time disappear without realisation.

Each track is interspersed by a field recordings equivalent that represents Long’s daily life in Tokyo and these can be forgiven thematically speaking, as they drift and glue the reflections of Celer’s memories, that are evocatively played out on seas of endless apparitions.

From the desperate throttles of ‘Tangent Lines’, to the threads of hope portrayed on ‘Equal Moments of Completion’, Will Long cascades a shimmering array of swells and pitfalls that simultaneously spark images from all ranges of key change and sound; that disguise the similarities and familiarities of each song, complimenting each other as an albums worth of work, embodying a concept that never fails to impress; where on some other releases this would undoubtedly be deemed as ‘samey’.

As a whole, ‘Sky Limits’ provides enough of a rich tapestry as any for a self-respecting ambient fan to lap up with gusto. As such this isn’t an album that you can just pick up and play; it takes a set mood and space in time where the listener is prepared to sit down and wholeheartedly envelop themselves in another persons story.

9/10