In the Alpine mountains, and in New York City, 2 field recordists roam the landscape, pulling out snippets of what goes on and storing them away for later use, where they will be curiously excerpted and juxtaposed. Working in this way, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Felicia Atkinson have created Comme Un Seul Narcisse, a sublime tapestry. 550 LP copies on Shelter Press.
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- Comme Un Seul Narcisse by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma & Felicia Atkinson
8/10 Jamie Staff review, 22 March 2016
In which Alpine sound artist Felicia Atkinson and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, in field-recordist mode, weave together sounds culled from the city and the mountains to produce a wondrous tapestry. Although the tapping of pipes / scraping of bottles and juxtaposition of crying gull set against a wall of scratchy white noise did have me scratching my head for a few seconds.
Atkinson and Ledesma take us on a journey. In fact, they take us on two parallel journeys through fragmented sound, teasing us with tantalising glimpses of melody; the resulting collage filling in the gaps between their respective individual works -- the music concrete of Atkinson and the ethereal ambient vignettes of Cantu-Ledesma. Birds tweet; the ghost of something rustles; icicles melt in the morning sun; a distant bass rumbles out a ramshackle offering. There's Jefre with his tape recorder on the NYC metro, documenting a rattling carriage - where is it going? When will it return?
The tracks across the LP spell out "Objets Melancoliques"; side two opens with a clarion tinkling electric piano stepping and winding upward through a pretty hillside melody, in an overture to introspection hinted at throughout the record. Then we are back with the birds and the haunted hinterland of apartment suburbia, and the sounds of metal and wood and the earth. Jefre opens his packet of Ryvita.
It's a slightly discombobulating initial listen, but one which will reward your patience by offering up many a sonic gift on repeated sessions; a nuanced suite of music for the mind. I recommend a good pair of headphones.
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