Music Reviews

Artist: David Toop
Title: Entities Inertias Faint Beings
Format: LP
Label: Room40 (@)
Rated: *****
It's not the first time that while listening to some outputs by David Toop, I vividly perceived the sensation that he's one of those swimmers who could never tread water in his imaginary "Ocean of Sound", as his relation with sound (with any kind of sound) seems to be almost symbiotic. He could turn or translate into sounds, that he mostly grabs from surrounding reality, is not limited to data taken from sensorial overloads, but also to the highest spheres of critical thinking, philosophical reflections, mental fugues or spiritual alignments or misalignments. This skill has not been invalidated by three periods of solitude, which seem to have inspired the sonic rings he drew on the aural grounds of "Entities Inertias Faint Beings". In line with his thoughts on the essay as mentioned earlier "Ocean of Sound", he stated that the music of this release already existed in the form of spores or dormant clusters of digital files and the way by which he woke these clusters up is utterly enthralling from the intellectual point of view. The description of one of the above-mentioned three periods of solitude could render the stunning slideshows coming from his intriguing sonic aesthetics: "The first was in Queensland, on Tamborine Mountain (an aboriginal name), so silent at night that I listened to recorded music - Japanese gagaku, Buddhist ritual from Bhutan, Korean Confucian music – as if drifting into cavernous black space. Stepping into sleep, I saw a hypnagogic image - a transparent swimming pool suspended over the mouth of a volcano. I read Stephen Mansfield’s book on Japanese stone gardens – “Successful stone arrangements seem almost alive, the elements conversing among themselves with an occult vitality, the call and response that has been noted between well-placed rocks resembling the chanting of Buddhist sutras”; daylight listening in chill air, hearing whip birds, butcher birds, noisy mynahs, kookaburra chatter, rainbow lorikeets; catapult elastic, I wrote, radio waves in a kettle, electric buzzers. On Queensland’s Gold Coast I gazed at a distant humpback whale breaching out to sea, watched Yasujiro Ozu’s 1934 silent version of A Story of Floating Weeds, listened to cicadas burst into life as a helicopter flew overhead.". A fascinating Plato-like sonic anamnesis produced by distillation and condensation of sleeping or just awaken beauty.

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