(And/OAR)

The strange coincidence between the intentions of Kenneth Kirschner, who on May 6, 2001 recorded sounds from the Financial District of Manhattan to start a new documentary work about New York, and the disguised organizations that decided that this particular area would become a symbol of destructive political greed masked as “war of religions”, is what gives this work its ominous complexion. All the involved composers designed their tracks by working on the same sources, most of them with stunningly engrossing results and – above all – keeping their own artistic personality intact and recognizable. Kirschner’s field recordings – here presented in an abridged version, the full one being available for downloading at the label’s website – privilege obscure imagery of pulsating nocturnal energies, whirring loops of distant noise, traffic and subterranean hiss as disquieting presences scrutinizing us from behind. Steinbrüchel and Ximm are at the extreme opposites of the sonic range: the Swiss artist offers an almost immutable, low-frequency electronic drone while Ximm seems to depict the movement of inhuman entities from the underground in what’s the most active track in terms of scansion. Taylor Deupree’s is probably the most “musical” contribution, his short track mixing interlocking circular patterns of harmonic semi-degradation with what sounds like heavily processed “concrete” sounds. Finally, total silence and, possibly, solitude are necessary to appreciate the dynamic range of Tomas Korber’s piece, clocking at 22’04″ and, for this reason, the one track that touches all the different sensations – silence, menace, human and urban activity – that the whole record means to let us experience, and that become reasons for more and more anxiousness with each new listening, thus determining the complete success of this conceptual, yet emotional project.

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