Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Artist: Stuart Chalmers (@)
Title: Shimmering Reflections of the Endless Myriad Moment
Format: CD
Label: ZamZam (@)
Rated: *****
The alienating effect of the field recording, supposedly grabbed on the occasion of unpleasant walking whereas bad weather and lashing wind seem to evoke ravages of time and other voices and forgotten melodies (the jammed music box seems to play the first tones of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake") from inner depths before they sound like falling down a sink drain, in the initial "Pulse" opens this release by tape manipulator and improviser Stuart Chalmers (also known as Skarabee and tusK), whose artistic path has been deeply marked by a course on sound engineering and music technology at the Birmingham Academy of Sound. His passion for tape manipulation is clear on the following track "Emerge", where a viscous loop, seemingly based on slammed doors, electric hums and a recurring wailing sound precede tape fast whooshes which could be made by a light pression on forward button during normal playback, obsessive tweets and even some broken beats before Stuart decides to change side as well as on the disquieting and sinister obliquities of slowed bells and e-bows of the following "Mirror". The following sample collage "Harvest" could be perfect for a really frightening horror movie since the nursery rhyme sung by a baby, which introduces to this strange listening experience, where appalled shouts, those thuds which can easily be associated to those horror movie effects which simulate the typical pace of the killer on wooden stairs (of course!) as well as to the heartbeat during high-tension moments, reversed bells and other sonic clues. Fast-forwarding tapes on a carpet of disquieting whistles, strange cries and voices come again on "Fragment", where other somewhat nightmarish sonic inserts seem to simulate a devastating and adventurous hungover which begins with the awakening in the middle of an Arab market. The ever-present tape whoosh accompany the listening till the final clouded track "Return", whose final field recording lead listeners to believe that "Shimmering Reflections of The Endless Myriad Moment" could have been just the audio documentary of a bad mental trip.


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