Wednesday, 2 February 2011

two new releases on 3leaves

Ákos Garai | BARGES & FLOWS

2011, 3L005, CD-R, 100 numbered copies

Mathieu Ruhlmann & Banks Bailey | ANÁÁDIIH

2011, 3L006, CD-R, 100 numbered copies

the first thing to say about these two new releases on 3leaves is that they look great ! packaged in environmentally friendly brown card slipcases, complete with obi & a photographic print attached to the front. This attention to detail is also present in the choices the label has made in terms of the material it issues.

I have to say that the write up on the 3leaves website for the cd by Mathieu & Banks doesn't (for me anyway) capture what one will find on this release & that is why I haven't included that here. My advice would be to buy it & lets it's sounds capture your attention without referring back to those words. Here we have both straight field recordings & the sounds created by the artist from natural objects. This is music of detail & whilst the pieces occasionally become very active indeed there is always a sense of space & forward movement. I confess that the hydrophone recordings of water born insects & plant life sound like they were recorded with the hydrophones I make (correct me if i'm wrong) & if so then it's great to hear them put to such use.

This music sounds like ones ears have been placed on the living ground, twigs pushed aside & leaves crumpled by ones breath. All around nature is moving, waiting & speaking not to the human but amongst itself & we are listening in on some form of bio-acoustic radio signal, complete with static. A disc well worth checking out - but grab it fast as there's only 100 of them out there !

Next up we have a new cd of work by the labels owner, Akos Garai which focuses on untreated field recordings of, as the title suggests, barges & river flows. Capturing these types of sounds is a well documented area these days. I have 35 cd's on my shelves by different artists featuring the creaks & groans of barges, jetties & other structures floatings on rivers & lakes. However, what is interesting is the way the sheer number of discs featuring these sounds illustrate that even though they all use unprocessed field recordings it is in the choices made by the artist involved that the success of the release is decided. I'd guess that around half of those discs are 'ok' - more documentary than anything else & of the others there are only a handful that really stand out. So far, I think this one by Akos can be added to that handful. When I made my first jetty recordings back in the 1990's I was fascinated by the range of sounds & the way things moved from incredible subtly to ear-pounding force. I would listen for hours to a single structure & become transfixed by its voices. The way Akos has put this cd together, by recording in autumn 2010 & deciding on the choices by October does manage to capture something of a sense of his immediate fascination with these sounds. I think with sound worlds that have been well explored it's always best to keep things simple, as if saying '& this is what my ears liked, simply presented to you'

I'm glad to have this cd & to add it to the handful of dics in this area that I will listen to many times. Again, I recommend you get hold of this pronto - 100 copies only !

you can find more info + sound clips & a way to order by visiting the 3leaves website here.

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