Chris Herbert is a sound architect with a nice, intuitive approach: he is equally adept dealing with melodic material as he is pure texture, and Katushki holds the ear’s attention throughout. It really pulls off that trick of changing constantly but imperceptibly, ending up somewhere altogether different to where we came in.. Released in a limited edition of 100 cassettes, on the Low Point imprint.
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It’s only the beginning of the week and we’re barely out of breakfast, but Low Point have already served up a fine dessert of ambient crumble -- ‘Katushki’ is the latest from notable sound sprinkler Chris Herbert, who’s previously done things with Kranky and Lawrence English’s Room40 -- the distinction between those two labels finds a nice resting point here, as Herbert straddles the soft and often melodic drone of the former with the debris-shuffling of the latter.
This tape offers two super-long pieces with elastic architecture -- they sound soft and pretty but can be fired your way for maximum impact. The first track rises out of still, anonymous chords into watery sound effects and synthetic chirps, caught somewhere between a journey ‘cross the galactic void with Kyle Lanstra and a marine biologist dive with Dolphins Into The Future. Herbert’s callous approach to texture is what I love the most: he builds “Supposed Corona” into a noisy, busy-bodying drone before leaving just one layer alone, shimmering on its own -- before switching into sounds not distant from Godspeed’s “Static”.
“Memorex Delta” is an equally lovely and equally dynamic piece that can weather sharp ambient sustains to reach lovely bouts of tape hiss that make me feel like I’m waiting out a day of rain from a kindly living room. He takes you so many places, does Herbert -- a lot of artists like this will only give you one, but he’s selling a multipack of dimensions at reduced price.
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- Katushki by Chris Herbert
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