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- 17 years in Ektachrome by Fossil Aerosol Mining Project
7/10 Jim Staff review, 23 May 2014
An intriguing one this. Fossil Aerosol Mining Project is the sound wing of Afterdays Media, a US art collective that likes to consider contemporary culture as an archaeological artefact. While that reminds me of the Low song where the singer imagines his urine sample container being dug up in the future and exhibited as a King’s chalice, what it actually means in practise is gathering fragments of decayed tape, found sounds and field recordings. These materials are then layered, juxtaposed and processed before being woven into a fabric of sonorous ambient electronica. Fossil Aerosol have been doing this for over 25 years and so, as you’d imagine, this latest release is highly accomplished, full of the kind of depth and subtlety that rewards repeated listening.
The album has been structured to convey a sense of movement through time and across geographical expanses and climate zones, taking the listener from balmy backcountry depths where the air is thick with the cries of unidentifiable fauna to cold, industrial wastelands. The mesmeric ambient drones and layered synths that accompany this journey remind me of Alva Noto’s Xerox albums from a few years back, where sublime chords ring out from beneath a dense fog of static and other noise artefacts.
So, a stimulating release that would appeal to fans of sound artists who cover similar musical territory like BJ Nilsen, Janek Schaefer, CM Von Hausswolff or even antipodean electroacoustic outsider, Omit.
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