Following up Vol. 1 from 2015, Anthony Child, better known as Surgeon lets all the masks and hard edges drop to the floor for the material released under his own name. Taking single long take field samples recorded in the jungle as backing tracks to his much more ambient hardware improvisations. Come, get yourself zenned.
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Well this is a long album. 1 hour and 10 minutes of Anthony Child wandering the jungle, getting distracted by extravagantly coloured bugs and tripping on roots and probably just getting lost. Really lost. 1 hour and 10 minutes of lost. He’s probably still there, hiding in a temple doing his best Marlon Brando impression, waiting for the cash to roll in and building The Technohammer.
Anyway, he’s made an album, this time not performing techno Surgery but instead revisiting his Maui Jungle project started last year before the apocalypse began. For those who haven’t heard it, these ones are completely devoid of hammering beats, instead taking field recordings made in Haiku-Pauwela, Hawaii and overlaying them with synth jamz on the Buchla Music Easel. For those who haven’t heard that, I present to you Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
The backdrop itself usually consists of a constant shriek of crickets/cicadas, accented occasionally by the sqwuwawk of a Hawaiian bird (I don’t know any, I’m not Jamie) and dabbed with a bit o the old echo just because. Across the release it’s more or less the same in varying levels of loudness (sometimes barely there at all), but it’s the synth work that’s the real centrepiece here. It’s just nice of him to include his source of inspiration in plain hearing on the record.
Of course, the synths themselves are delicious. They range from the chugging minor stutter of the first 2 tracks to the pentatonic, almost new age technicolour yawn of Laurie Spiegel on ‘I Remember’ and ‘Amore’. The repetitions expand and contract as he tweaks the dials, turning a timid plink into a sharp sizzle and back again. The clarity and fizziness of the oscillators remind me of Ralph Cumbers’ reincarnation as Some Truths a couple of years back. V v good stuff, if a little derivative.
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