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CD Feature/ My Fun: "Sonorine"

img  Tobias

There are artist that everybody likes and My Fun is one of them. "The Quality of Something Audible", the first full-length of Justin Hardison's project, aimed at "exploring the subtle detail and beauty in everyday sounds", was a favourite with the critics and sat comfortably between Krzysztof Penderecki and Pierre Schaeffer in some reviewer's Top 10 for 2006. Hardison had touched upon the remains of a seemingly forgotten legacy: Emotions, nostalgia, daydreams and a love for the small things in life. If there was anything that some thought reproachable it would have had to be the fact My Fun was so decidely „un-progressive“. That, as we learn with the advent of "Sonorine", is exactly the point.

With his new work, Hardison actually allows sentiments and sentimentality even farther into his world. Fascinated by the thought of catching elusive moments in music and on vinyl, he wilfully loost himself in the history of "talking postcards" and media which would allow you to record personal messages. "Sonorine" is therefore, if you like, the sound-made result of this quest and simultaneously a sort of frozen thought itself. For the time of the album's duration, the listener shares the composer's desire of making his source material come to life through the power of his imagination and by "framing and editing it like you would with images on a postcard".

Slow, sonorous scraping opens the album, as the needle hits the groove in backwards motion and then thick, sirupy drones trickle in, coating the hillscape of Hardison's fantasy with sweet sugar candy. Highly processed, yet never artificially smoothened harmonics and musique concrete-like collages of various concrete sonic events penetrate the texture of time, hitting a nerve, suspending any sense of movement.

There was nothing "new" about "The Quality of Something Audible" – now there is something decidedly oldfashioned about "Sonorine", a feel-good vibe that lingers over the album like the smell of milk and cookies filled your grandma's kitchen on a Sunday morning. Progress, however, is neither the enemy nor the goal – it simply doesn't matter. Hardison's aims are much closer to home than the airy-fairy utopia of academic colleagues, but that suits a music which sets out to remain within the realm of the immediately tangible.

It needs to be stressed, though, that "Sonorine" meanders through some darker passages as well. Suddenly, the key changes and the whispered promises of just a minute ago appear ghoulish and hideous. Towards the end, the field recordings are allowed to take center stage and "A Field in Freilassing" is nothing but humming crickets, wind and the occasional car driving by. As much as it eschews grand statements, the album follows a clear yet winding path, culminating in the silent hymn "Anchor". Justin Hardison's My Fun may be an act everybody likes, but he has achieved this despite doing something many dislike: Taking riscs.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: The Land Of Records
Homepage: My Fun at MySpace


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