TERRAPIN – Killing HF Harlow (CD Fratto9)
On Fratto9, a label with close connections to the Italian experimental label Boring Machines duo Terrapin has brought out Killing HF Harlow. Harlow was an American psychologist doing devastating experiments with animals investigating effects on their social behavior. Possibly the controversial nature of the experiments have played a role in the rise of the animal liberation movement
The ep (the 6 tracks span approximately 23 minutes) is best seen as a stunning attempt to rewrite a piece of recent history by slandering a scientist responsible for abusing animals (social isolation of infant rhesus monkeys more specifically) in the name of human progress. According the title and the accompanying information this recording is an attempt to obtain new attention for the experiments carried out by Harlow, and listening to the clinical character it could be interpreted as an aural report of isolating and even torturing the person. A sinister approach, especially after realizing that Harlow has been dead since 1981. The electronic abstract compositions are dark and bleak and more than once reminded me of the isolationist ambient genre that was popular during the nineties.
Terrapin are Giovanni Lami and Shaun McAlpine releasing their first work on the Italian label Fratto9, and the Italian connection does not stop there, as the music on Killing HF Harlow is not too different than for example composer Tricoli, when he is in a more relaxed mode. Creepy electronics, sonically inert with deep bass, murky atmospheres and the absence of vocals make for a trip to easily slip into a white fog of paralysis. Produced by Guisepe Ielasi. PvdG.