Budhaditya Chattopadhyay’s “Withering Field” reviewed by Vital Weekly

It’s been a while since I last heard a full-length release by Budhaditya Chattopadhyay from India; Vital Weekly 873, if I am not mistaken. He works with field recordings, and his new work deals with “extensive fieldwork and recordings made at specific sites now considered Special Economic Zones (SEZ), situated in South Asia. It aims to delineate transitions of indigenous habitats dislocated from their natural settings, forced to gearing fast towards a contemporary urbanisation”. The underlying idea is the destruction of ecology by mankind. “The project not only intends to foster the capacity to reconnect with the tribal community but also makes the displacement of natural landscapes and societies audible for wider public awareness”. None of this is on the cover of the CD, so if you don’t look up this information on Bandcamp, you have no way of knowing. And so, what remains? With the current climate crisis, you could wonder about the ecological footprint to get these field recordings. Still, when I posted this as a comment on social media (not something to do with this artist), I got “let everybody worry about their own footprint” as a response to “how dare you to ask this?” But I am the sort of person who likes to stay
at home anyway, so easy talking here, I know. In this work, I believe that to hear sounds from tribal communities, percussive music being processed, slowly moving into a conveyor belt of sounds. Then something that resembles a train and other sounds from the industrial society. At times a bit too familiar, but towards the end, the last twelve minutes, the piece goes into a very subdued mode. Sounds disappear into the mist of time, and atmospherics remain. The residue contains some beautiful shimmering tones. This might be the lover of all things abstract talking, but this final one-third of the piece is a true beauty, and the first part is quite alright. (FdW)

via Vital Weekly

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