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CD Feature/ jgrzinich: "insular regions"

img  Tobias

jgrzinich's insular regions is one of the most beautiful drone/field recording combinations i've heard in a long time. surely it's all in the source materials, which are some incredibly sensitive field recordings from estonia; but more so it's the way that he's put the compositions together - every sound has it's own place. nothing seems to linger for too long, and everything is given it's breath. the cd contains two tracks, the first a bit more "brittle" sounding like an after rain's random drops falling on tin, while an engine hums in the distance. it's a shorter work that i can't listen to without thinking of the environment of tarkovsky's film stalker. the second track is called second portal, and indeed it is the doorway to a space of very deep listening. it begins with a drone whose tones seem to move slightly in and out of each other. it's a patient composition that allows the drone to spread it's wings for about 15 minutes or so until other activity begins - creaking, crinkling, dustings...it sounds like we are listening from the inside of a giant ship's hull, gently swaying in the sea. the seemingly stillness and beauty of both works comes from grzinich's patience with the compositions - giving all of the recordings that make up the works a purpose within them. the first few times i listened to the cd i had no interest in knowing the source materials, i simply rolled along blissfully for the ride. eventually i felt the need to open the booklet and find out what i was listening to. here instead of unraveling the mystery, grzinich gives us more poetry. instead of listing sounds for each track we get "reconstructed notes from the field", which are diaristic writings about field recording sessions and grzinich's listening experiences that lead to the work. certainly there are moments when a listener can hear "interjections of tossed peas" or "the constant hum of a large fan", but without exacting which track has which sounds, one is left not quite knowing. is the cd a shadow of the text or the text a shadow of the recordings? either way, from within the great span of this disconnect is a world containing an absolutely beautiful listening experience.

By Steve Roden

Homepage: jgrzinich
Label: Sirr Ecords

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