Palimpsests

Here’s another collection from Fossil Aerosol Mining Project, a fascinating art-music collective thing whom we last noted for the 2015 release, The Day 1982 Contaminated 1971. As previously noted, their method is to rework obscure sound sources, and the two main criteria for the selection of these sources appears to be (a) the formats are old, decaying, or obsolete – such as dictaphones, reel-to-reel tapes, cine film soundtracks; and (b) they are found in remote or forgotten places, such as abandoned warehouses and decaying cinemas. From these unlikely materials, great beauty is fashioned.

Revisionist History (ADM19) shows them taking their craft a stage further. All the music here was created by “grafting old artifacts onto new material”, as they put it, and making use of very contemporary studio practices. In this, I suppose they hope to achieve a physical layering of the old onto the new, and bring themselves closer to their imagined goals of time travel, spirit-world wanderings, triggering buried memories, and getting corpses to leap up and dance. This particular record is extremely slow-moving and the sounds are delicate and fragile, but the attentive listener will soon find themselves in sympathy with this unusual and evocative project, carried away on the drifting canoe of memory as it floats down the sluggish river of the past…or something like that. The patina of age is very much to the fore on this set; scratches and glitches attach themselves to the surface of the sound itself, creating a very subjective impression of deterioration and decay. The music itself is almost wholly abstract, a vague murmuring and ethereal drone, apart from some snatches of near-recognisable speech and tiny fragments of musical passages struggling to make their way across the time barrier, and nearly drowning in the process.

Revisionist History presents a near-blank screen for the listener to project their own dreams, hopes, memories, fantasies. Very fine. From 27th June 2016.

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