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- Translations 01 by Michael Pollard
8/10 Brian Staff review, 21 December 2012
Well this record is a challenge to comment about on the drab morning that is apparently the last day of Earth if those pesky old Mayans were as visionary as these internet-clogging survivalist freaks believe.
Mr. Pollard is one of those people (like myself) who obviously love standing on the top deck of a ferry on a stormy day, getting buffeted around by the elements and splashed by orgasmic sprays of crazed sea water. Here he spreads thickly, over two sides of crisp black wax, a set of ‘Material’ studies. S1 comprises a lengthy piece derived from the submerging of a stereo hydrophone under the sand on a beach. Pollard then shifts his weight on the surface to create a strange unearthly furry granular sound that carries with it aural elements much like an incredibly moody and ominous gust of wind that you’d expect to hear whilst hunkered down in a shoddy nuclear bunker after a blast. So in this context it is terrifying. Now it sounds like he’s added the tormented scrunch of a gale-blustered carrier bag into the mix. But of this I am quite unsure.
Overleaf there are three segments. Firstly something that sounds like the supernatural tonal grumble you’d get from the master of minimalism, Eleh (check Ant’s great review). He produces this deep soporific shimmer by dropping a cello on a carpet with a microphone attached to the bridge. John Cage eat your heart out.
Onwards we march into an experiment involving four computer generated synthesized tones played back simultaneously in a lofty-ceilinged room. Then there’s a long-winded boffin-headed process by which this fannying about results in more beautifully hypnotic and mong-tastic austere drone that resembles the increasingly close night flight of apocalyptic aircraft. This is the soundtrack for those loons who are expecting fire, brimstone and damnation this very 21st December. There’s two more brief bits at the end but you can surely read about them on the Spectrum Spools website, This isn’t the Wire you know, I’m not clever enough to waffle on at length about the myriad qualities of pieces of string...
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