Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Infant Cycle / Dronaement "Split" CDR
A very fine set of abstract experimentalism from a couple of rather obscure sound artists, this is one in a continuing series from micro-indie Cohort Records (based in Monticello, IN of all places!).
The Infant Cycle is a Canadian artist (Jim DeJong) who has been releasing a steady stream of cassettes and cdrs since 1994. His 3 tracks here are subtle and understated soundtracks of varying tension and droning mood. His opening cut, 'Everything In Slow Motion', begins with a nicely bassy rhythm not unlike some of Lustmord's slow and deliberate semi-beat pieces. But whereas Lustmord surrounds his rhythms with lots of reverberations and spooky ambience, DeJong's track has a more playful air to it - and even a subtle tribal vibe. But it all ends rather abruptly as the track changes direction mid-song and becomes a faster-paced mantric drone and buzz. I liked the first half best. 'Field Musick For Marcus (Bag Of Hiss Life)' is a field recording of 'harbourfront' - a sedate and actually kind of calming soundscape, and 'Organ Music For You' is an obnoxious and 'industrial' sounding slice of shrill keyboard tones that evolves into a mellow ambient piece. Weird and schizophrenic.
Tucked in-between is a brief 40-second collaborative piece by both artists, and it's really barely there.
Dronaement is the loop/sample/field recording work of German composer Marcus Obst, and his series of 6 tracks are very quiet and receding in nature, pleasant and unobtrusive yet rather otherworldly and almost psychedelic at times ('Switch To Mono, Jim' is a good example of this confusing and inviting direction). He takes pride in NOT creating the usual dark and stifling industrial sounds, but wisely, he combines the dark with the light (after all, you can't have one without the other, eh?). His use of natural sounds (birdsongs, wind, maybe some insects or frogs?) is refreshing and lovely, too.
Overall, a mostly listenable selection of drone/ambient sounds to float away with, with an artful presentation (the disc is enclosed in a nicely-designed sleeve with informational insert). (Cohort Records)
The Infant Cycle