Kim Cascone - The Knotted Constellation (Fourteen Rotted Coordinates) (CD Monotype Records)
We're at the softer edge of the Interzone where lines of linear logic begin to strain. Parallel realities cross and interrupt at the snap of electrical faults.
The bells herald a welcome. Play, replay, reverse, a warping is promised. Crack. Plains of sound cross in and break off. There are suggestions of the elemental make-up of the sounds but only suggestions. Things won't get broken down entirely here. They bend and stretch but won't break. You'll need to go elsewhere, deeper into the Interzone, for that particular walk into insanity.
Field recordings work with/against processing. Crackle. A deeper thrum reverberates from within the Earth. Water trickling into a steel sink; outside I hear the the rough sea hissing. Bird song cuts in; outside I hear the ever-present seagulls squawk. Nature and artifice. A croaky laugh loops and merely by hearing it over and over transforms into an alien sound.
Cascone's longstanding and thorough work with micro sounds and electronics has brought him to making recordings where a complex field of sound is created. There's an unnerving ambience to it which is enjoyable but I would have liked him to push things a hell of a lot further - to break it the whole thing apart into its fundamental elements, at the risk of it all disintegrating. Why not take electronics beyond the levels of the known (not in terms of volume) and see what happens when it breaks? But that isn't the point here.
The result is a very conservative album. There was clearly an intention to create an album of a particular feel. What's most attractive about is that the field recordings utilised come from all over the world. USA, Germany, France, Turkey, Lithuania, Spain. Artificial borders are crossed. Nice to see that the whole album was made using Linux too.
Fret de Wilde's stark cover art is fitting. Pixelated, energised electrons in a black vacuum. Our minds, instinctively searching for something recognisable, see the formation of grid patterns.
Presented in a digipak and dedicated to Peter Christopherson. HM