Jim Coulter presents a piece of music about the Scottish coastline and the associated fishing communities. Haar evokes these places and notions with samples and synths and tape-saturated sounds, building up to a kind of wobbly rural techno, covered in fuzz and moss. Haar is released on vinyl by Esk.
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- Haar by Jim Coulter
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I don’t know what it is about the sea inspiring the work of musicians these days, but it works for me. I’m on my second review today of a duo of records which are very specifically oceanic -- not just coastally themed, but fully out at sea. But you don’t care about that.
This here double-pack of vinyl is the latest record by Jim Coulter. He has named it Haar, the Scottish word for sea mist or sea fret. Because he is from Scotland. What does it sound like? Well it’s as if fellow Scots BoC bought a barge with Gigi Masin and are enjoying voyages up and down the East coast of Scotland together. Then Jim inherited the slightly damaged vessel off them. There are hazily bucolic synths, tape-saturated bleeps and the occasional jittery drum-machine driven pulse. The end result is an extremely pretty sonic tapestry flowing evenly with melodic swells and consistently rhythmic waves.
‘Dasan Drone’ is an example of Jim’s deceptively rudderless techno. His electro-barge initially follows a true course as plotted by our hero but he soon loses control and finds himself whirling in concentric circles. Thankfully this situation was resolved. He upgraded to a ‘Clipper’ which was cumbersome at first but his workmanlike attitude prevailed and -- like his chosen ship -- the track and record, overall, was a well-constructed triumph. Aaand I’m out of seagoing metaphors.
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