Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best Albums of 2011 #9 Gareth Davis and Machinefabriek - Ghost Lanes (Dekoder)

Hopefully back on track with this list! Sure it's 2012 and I'm still writing about 2011 but all the rest of the albums on this list are really great in any case. Ghost Lanes was originally released as a 3" cdr in 2010 but was re-released in 2011 by Dekoder on vinyl with an extra track, doubling the album in length and effectively making it far more than your standard reissue, enough to make me consider it a new release and thus applicable for this list. Machinefabriek's Rutger Zuydervelt is a mightly prolific dude, putting out seemingly dozens of albums a year, but his collaborations with clarinetist Gareth Davis might be his best. On the title track, Davis' clarinet scrapes and screams, finger taps and gusting breaths picked up by careful mic placement. The clarinet here is eerie and off kilter and would be cool even on its own. But paired with Zuydervelt's brooding, desolate electronics and drone - an impenetrable wash of dark atmosphere, sonic grit, and cryptic sonic wasteland soundscapes - it becomes something even more thrilling. The second track, "Mackerel Sky," is heavier on the harmonics, with great thunderous washes of sound. As far as I know, these recordings were entirely improvised. If that's true Ghost Lanes is truly the work of two performers that are intensely in sync with one another. Great as background music and incredibly rewarding of close listening, these two dark, intimate, and wholly unique pieces are what collaborative experimentation in this vein should be. Truly amazing stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment