Music Reviews

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Artist: Mountain Black (@)
Title: Closing In
Format: CD
Label: Moozak
Distributor: A-Musik
Rated: *****
It's not so difficult to realize that Melbourne-based sound artist and sound designer Martin Kay in the guise of Mountain Black knows many fictional tools which belongs to movie soundtracks and narrations in general, but the lack of precise space and time handhold and visual references subtend the intent of remove any narrative plot from its sonic art, which stands on an amalgamation of processed found sounds, field recordings and drone by means of cross-synthesis processing techniques and digital editing programs. Such a choice could floor many followers of this branch of sonic experiments since many sound artists who deal with field recordings are trying to render a sort of narrative line or let their arts move within the fences of conceptual frameworks at least, so that this purge by Martin could be the best invitation to sharpen ears as if they got outfitted by powerful receptors which can grab the slightest vibrations of resounding particles. However many listeners could fall into temptation of building a sort of narration due to the sonic clues that Martin Kay's astonishing sound modelling and the interceptions of his contact mics provide such as the intriguing dichotomy between "Diegetic" and "Non-Diegetic", a couple of tracks which refers to the role of sounds in films: when a character of the movie or a fiction in general can listen sounds, you can say that sound is diegetic, while on the other hand when the sound (for instance soundtrack itself) cannot be heard by the character, it is termed non diegetic or extra-diegetic. Mountain Black's translation of this concepts is absolutelly interesting: while "Diegetic" features the "usual" well-recorded insects, birds, burning pyres and other almost imperceptibles sonic elements that the "storyteller" can listen, "Non-Diegetic" seems to have been recorded while the key player falls in a light and disturbed sleep while watching TV. The above-mentioned temptation could be fed by some logical and sonic chains as well, such as it happens for the two parts of "Glass Eaters" (a sonic translation of hyalophagia?), the two detached sonic inputs of "Waiting Room" (a distant vocal noise and a white squall), which flow into the following "Messin", and the almost silent "Bind", which seems to be a sort of preface of "Non-Diegetic", but any chance of narrative cohesion cannot be but delegated to the imagination of listeners. I recommend a closer look (and a closer listen) to Mountain Black's website in order to understand both aesthetics and "poetics" as well.



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