Philip Samartzis & Eric La Casa’s “Captured Space” reviewed by Vital Weekly

Now, here’s a name that I haven’t heard in some time. Philip Samartzis was quite active some fifteen to twenty years ago as what was then called a laptop artist. Funnily the last time his name appeared in these pages, back in Vital Weekly 675, was with work also recorded with Eric La Casa. That was a trio, also including Jean-Luc Guionnet, and I wasn’t blown away by that work. Now the two of them return with a forty-seven-minute cassette of recordings made in South Africa. That seems to be a popular location for field recordings (do any of these field-recording artists worry about their carbon footprint? I once raised that question on social media, to which there was one reaction, ‘everybody should worry about their footprint’. I am sure young miss Thunberg would not agree). They recorded wildlife I’d say, but also rivers, trees and “bush camps and safari lodges, gift shops and restaurants”. The audio was used in an installation of which this cassette is a stereo version, which is all about the natural world (animals, rivers, trees) and the constructed world (roads and restaurants). They were limited in moving around in the Kruger National Park, everything was recorded inside a vehicle, another captured space, perhaps. yet there is nothing muffled or distant in these recordings. Instead, it is all very vibrant, moving around with extended choirs of cicadas singing, animals breathing, cars passing and people talking. Even if one was never in this part of the world, you have a pretty good idea of life over there. It is a very fine, no doubt, but like the previous, also not something you haven’t heard before. I was thinking that goes for many things reviewed in these pages and it is perhaps not a great argument. It is lovely stuff. (FdW)

via Vital Weekly

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