“The Waste Land” reviewed by Words & Guitars

An intriguing download and limited edition cassette release from a new Portuguese label Crónica, documenting the work of researcher and artist Luca Forcucci. Forcucci’s website cites his intellectual debt to Pauline Oliveros’ concept of ‘deep listening’: the ability to appreciate and perceive an environment then offer a sonic (or other) response. The results in this case are a testament to what can be wrought from this approach and will jolt the heart of anyone who appreciates dark ambient, Ben Frost’s more raw output, industrial’s less beat-driven sonic explorers, or horror soundtracks.

There are three decisively different experiences here. The title track is a glowering abyss in which metal shears, shimmers and tingles while more granular sensations split the surrounding vacuum. There’s not necessarily a visible progression, it’s more an evolving storyline rather than a cyclical experience. It developed from Forcucci being provided with an anonymous six minute sound recording and an invitation to create a soundtrack to an (unnamed) documentary. Whatever those original pieces consisted of, Forcucci’s response sounds akin to being on the launch pad under a NASA rocket: a cascade of sparking violence.

‘Voices From The Coal Mine’ involved sounds being projected into the power plant of an abandoned coal mine – a space that responds with a breadth of resonances and sudden shocks. It’s a well-chosen location laced with ideas of human use and abandonment, of less than sympathetic interaction between man and earth. The twittering of birds re-inhabiting our leftovers occasionally enters around the percussive core.

‘My Extra Personal Space’, uses the results of walking in both urban environments and the countryside to layer up an intriguing composition in which removing the divide between each space creates a disturbing whole. It’s a walk in the uncanny, the places that are not quite one nor the other. The crack of pebbles underfoot, the chatter of gulls – pressed tight against a bell chiming as if for invasion; the creak and grind of road traffic; the Paris metro. It’s a constant hubbub undercutting the imagined idea of countryside in which nature quietly wheels in peaceable patterns and man is becalmed. At one point a gull comes so close it sounds like an assault, a forlorn fight back against this encroachment. Nick Soulsby

via Words & Guitars

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