S/.: sharply piquant noisescapes of electronics, percussion and objects

Marco Ferrazza and Giacomo Salis, S/., Australia, Hemisphärenokukyo, HNK020 limited edition CDR (2020)

With 20 releases to its name already, Hobart-based Hemisphärenokukyo (sorry, I can’t get the correct notation with the Japanese characters) is a mighty little publisher / imprint focusing on the outer parts of the universe of field recordings and their manipulation. Some artists who have releases on this imprint are shared with Belgian-based Unfathomless (Leo Okagawa, Philip Sulidae, Jared Sagar, Tarab to name a few). “S/.” might look like a very diminutive release from a small publisher but the sonic universe contained within its 26 minutes seems quite huge, at least while you’re hearing it. Right from the start you’re hearing noises, bubbles, creaks, crackles, scratches and what could be fragments of melody or drone that are so clear and so sharp, they seem larger than they really are, and your ears are hurting from the impact.

Between them, Ferrazza (electronics) and Salis (percussion, objects) cook up three pieces of noisescapes that grab your ears and penetrate your brain and insist you pay close attention. Not that you really need much persuasion because many sounds, especially the little twittering or bubbling electronic ones, have a cute charm that’s hard to resist. In particular track 2, posing those beguiling little electronics with the sharper, almost screechy metal objects, is a very focused little piece. The long final track takes some time to find its feet – the electronics and the percussion seem to be groping around in the dark – but at last with shimmering chimes and stuttering chitter-chatter scratchiness it finds its direction and keeps going (or perhaps muddling) from there.

This recording is a piquant little appetiser for what I imagine is plenty of hearty main-course music from Ferrazza and Salis both together and as individual musicians.