August-20-2005 [ review ] - dale lloyd
From the intensely wind blown metallic banging of the first interesting track by justino [ruidobello] to the final one featuring renowned recordist Chris Watson's great hydrophone recording of tidal turbulence (sounding very close to sound design for a science fiction film...), this otherwise humble and unassuming CD release of straight-up field recordings has a few fine moments that might surprise and perhaps astonish many a unsuspecting listener.
The peak of such astonishment comes from Takahiro Kawaguchi and his excellent track entitled "White Out". I won't go into too much detail, but I will say that many will be hard pressed to figure out what-in-the-world is going on in the course of its duration.
And with a sharp "BEEP-BEEP", we hear the beginning of a track by Asuna of an air conditioner from two different vantage points. In the right channel he captures, what his notes refer to as, the "air condition of air conditioner"; and in the left channel he captures the "solids condition of air conditioner". Perhaps two different kinds of microphones were set up on the same air conditioner and then recorded at the same time? If so, it's a nice concept and one that needs to be explored more often in the realm of field recording work. It indeed sounds like a contact microphone was used for one channel, while a regular microphone was used for the other. The highlight of this piece is at the end when the unit suddenly stops with a short "BEEP" and then we hear its long final breath trailing out of hearing range, and just when you think the track already ended, you hear a sudden "CLICK". But maybe this takes an esoteric sound geek like myself to appreciate this...
Next comes a playfully serendipitous capture by "howling voice" chanteuse Ami Yoshida. Here we have what sounds like distant childlike melodies being broadcast into an empty train station or shopping mall from some kind of retail display or video game, and unintentionally playing in sync with the various sounds in the immediate vicinity.
And not to be forgotten, the second track by Yasuo Totsuka entitled "La Grande Illusion" lovingly frames a day-to-day moment with Ozu-like attentiveness with what might be a radio playing standard romantic period chamber music at a place of employment like a restaurant kitchen.
Perhaps I've given too much away, but it's certainly a release for dedicated sound geek collectors, and maybe some of the less dedicated might appreciate a release like this as well.
□ Dale Lloyd (http://www.and-oar.org/)