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CD Feature/ Cherry Beach Project: "silo 11"

img  Tobias

Many people seem to think that experimental music inherently implies provocation. Which, in turn, probably has to do with the fact that the majority of listeners automatically feels intimidated if a composition defies conventions, breaks implicit agreements or simply disturbs rather than pleases. As this album prooves, however, there is a third way. “Silo 11” is an experiment in every single one of its conceptual fibres, it is a journey into unknown territory with a faint suspicion of its destination but no  prior security regarding its outcome – and yet it is never looking for cheap thrills or silly shock effects.

In any case, don’t let yourself be put off by reading about the background to this recording (as interesting as it might be). After all, two guys making noise inside an empty waste oil storage tank usually means that you’re in for a session of industrial madness or whitnessing a high-browed intellectual analysis. The first suspicion is more easily refuted than the latter: These bodyless flageolets and limpid rumblings on top of a continous distant stream of deeply pitched roarings and metal reverberations comes as quiet as a cat in the night, stealing round corners with bated breath and relying on the suspense of anticipation, rather than the horror of releasing the tension. Regarding this as an academic endeavour, meanwhile, would disregard the personal backgrounds of Nigel Craig, the man with the idea to the “Cherry Beach project”, and Joda Clement, whose Aluvial recordings debut “Movement + rest” was a summary of years of experimenting with acoustic and electric sounds alike and of finding his own and personal approach. Clement especially has been working hard at finding intersections between the purely “musical” and the “environmental” or even “common”. The entire aim lies in getting away from ivory towers, not in errecting new ones. Consequently, there is a fine line between “Silo 11”’s methods and its results: This is not music for an installation, this time the music is the installation. Similar to some of Luigi Nono’s longer works, small islands rise up from an endless sea, offering the listener a place of rest and reconnaissance before disappearing to the bottom of the ocean again. In between stretch passages of emptiness, of vague allusions and bleak, but multifold metaphors. Strangely enough, it’s not frightening at all.

Part of that has to do with the fact that the musicians have refrained from excessive post-production. As far away from you as this place may be, it is by no means artificial or as construed as the chambers of “Saw”. And secondly, Craig and Clement have allowed the outside world in – for a minute,, a helicopter hovers the air outside, its rotors buzzing with a dull, but immediately recognisable hum. It’s a moment with a wink, which takes out all heavyness and adds a touch of humour. After that, you can say goodbye to all notions of provocation and allow yourself to freely wander the landscape of this 40-minute trip.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Joda Clement
Homepage: Mystery Sea Records

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