Tim Olive & Katsuri Mouri – Various Histories (CD 845 Audio)
Tim Olive, a Canadian sound construction artist working out of Kobe, Japan, has created, during, the last decade some very interesting recordings. These are sometimes solo recordings but most of his catalogue is of collaborations with similar minded folks. Tim Olive here works with Katsura Mouri, member of the Japanese turntable group Busratch. During the decade they existed, Busratch performed using mainly turntables and that is what Mouri still is using on Various Histories. Recorded during a hot day in the summer of 2010, one can almost feel the distant presence of a tropical thunderstorm that is nearing. Mouri, also responsible for some minimal editing to the tracks, operates the turntables whilst Olive works with pickups, metals and wood. The probability that this initially sounds cold and clinical should be no surprise, all though quite often the approach takes the noisy disguise over the experiment.
The compositions on Various Histories differ from Olive’s latest, 33 bays. Not so much in style, but more in approach. The abstract cohesiveness of 33 bays that was the result of a collaboration with Costa Monteiro and was a masterpiece in such that that record created magic with analog sinewaves recorded that only got disturbed by humming and heavy buzzing, they essentially made electricity work for them. Also on this one they allow electricity to add complexity, albeit here the electrified tension of static charging mainly. Where 33 bays was modest, this collaboration puts the emphasize on presence and tension. Now it is more ‘what can we do with electricity’ to create total randomness, an anonymous vision on sound, experience and atmosphere making this almost feel as a works in progress, as if we are silent witnesses of sounds developing from an embryonic stage through a magnifying glass. The final track (the fifth) deserves a special mentioning as it is a beautiful haunting 15 minutes long complete desolate wandering through an electrified score, a piece that reveals absolutely nothing of its intentions, leaving one puzzled yet impressed as well. PvdG.