LAWRENCE ENGLISH & WERNER DAFELDECKER: Shadow of the Monolith LP Holotype Editions
When field recordings are done right (this is rare by the way), then something truly interpretational and engaging can come of it. More often than not, an ‘artist’ records an array of drivel, pops it out as release and sits back stroking their chin whilst those with any common sense use the proverbial album as a drinks coaster; no such chance when Lawrence English is involved.
I have been a fan of English’s works for a while now. Here in collaboration with Dafeldecker they have electro-acoustically explored the Antarctic peninsula; with a selection of recordings taken from raw source material to envelop the listener in a sea of microscopic cracks and evolving frequencies. True, things don’t really come to life until track three, ‘Intake’; reverberating as a low swell of low frequency ambience, but careful attention to detail assists in a well placed, subtle journey of exploration to this point.
Yes as with all releases of this ilk there are tendencies where you just wish for something more. A few of the tracks on here are just situations in time which inevitably rely on periods of silence and random noises; and I will be honest in saying that these interludes do absolutely nothing for me.
Once again though, all is saved with the barren departure of ‘Outtake’ that capitalises on an icy cold atmosphere and reverberated drones. I would have preferred this release to be an EP, or an album with more items of this ilk to delve into; where focus is shifted squarely to Lawrence’s strengths as a Dark Ambient experimentalist.