Music Reviews

Artist: Fossil Aerosol Mining Project
Title: August 53rd
Format: LP
Label: The Helen Scarsdale Agency
Building sonic collages from sampling old cassettes and film stock and sprinkling them over arhythmic synthetic and processed atmospheres, Fossil Aerosol Mining Project have managed to put together a 7-track collection that has elements of modern digital soundscaping, elements from the halcyon 90’s era of downtempo a la The Irresistible Force, and more spoken-word-led works that bring Negativland to mind.

“The Failed Resurrection Of Easy Listening” takes queasy samples of light guitar musak and bends them into something bordering on parody, with a faint but steady rhythm that somehow manages to cause toe-tapping under the craziness. After its jingle intro, “V Broadcast” is an example of a deeper track, in which the soft reverb-washed pads are allowed to wallow more; “Retail Retrospect” explores that mood further, reversing the arrangement is it ends with snippets of lift music. “Monroeville Detritus”, with its echoing short snippets, has a slightly more horror-film twist to it, despite the sample eventually being revealed to say “attention all shoppers” which is perhaps not the scariest dialogue you’ve heard today…

The last and longest track “1991 from 2015” is a slight anomaly, with a sparser and more overtly digital environment in which the tape recordings are more heavily stretched, layered and retoned into a more accomplished, almost quasi-symphonic arrangement that wraps things up in an impressive fashion.

As experimental sound collaging goes, it’s actually quite accessible, practically pop music in relative terms. Quite mellow at times and borrowing rather cheekily from radio broadcasts, it seems to revive the spirit of works like The KLF’s “Chill Out” but with a new recipe. It’s a properly interesting bit of work that is worth detailed exploration.

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