The Star Pillow
GERMANY MIDIRA RECORDS MD041 CD (2017)
What could be more remote to the pre-Saturnalian nervous system than the memory of the sweetest summer that never happened? Italian duo The Star Pillow tap into this sentiment, yawning out four stretches of endless, balmy radiance that bring the evenings of that lost season into calm and immediate focus. Stripping summer of all natural connotations (i.e. the usual environmental recordings), TSP instead props up the prone listener on elliptical, waveforms of low-end tonality that seduce us into blissful submission. One for bedtime.
GERMANY MIDIRA RECORDS MD035 CD (2017)
Even prior to playback, Iran’s Tegh (aka sound artist Shahin Entezami) signals a superimposition of numinous on the terrestrial with the cover’s four lens flares passing over a mountain range that could be either above or below sea level. The resulting cognitive dissonance of this situational uncertainty is soon evident in the avalanching of majestic organ tones with ear-scouring noise textures. Thrown into a state of alertness, the listener is whisked off to where the senses threaten to collapse under atmospheric pressure. Less nuanced than the Fennesz tribute it initially resembles, Downfall is a spiritual descent simultaneously wondrous, mortifying and far too brief.
PORTUGAL CRÓNICA 130~2017 CD (2017)
Cabinets stuffed with academic credentials and accolades, Glasgow-based Graeme Truslove is a seasoned sonic scientist; using metaphorical microscope to illuminate the sub-cellular dimension’s peculiar turns of phrase, weaving these into chaotic tapestries with which he invades performance spaces. He may not be the first to have covered the cline between fixed-medium electroacoustics and real-time sound manipulation, but he flits between states with commensurate confidence. His ‘performative-algorithmic approaches’ birth wonders such as the multi-part ‘Suite II’, which monitors the potent undulations of a liquid life form under glass: its trembling, alien beauty erased in a flash of furious splattering against the looking glass. Easily the most visceral and variegated of today’s offerings, the measures of relief of its softer, more diaphanous moments are but brief intercessions of self-deluding dream between nerve-peeling screeches of reality.