keywords: electronic eumig ambient drone electronica experiemental improv improvisation noise synth United Kingdom
label: Courier http://couriersound.bandcamp.com/
Courier Sound is the quality micro label that always delivers interesting music and hand packaged DIY beauties. It has been quite a while since the label released its last album, but as they prefer quality above quantity their latest album is pretty much worth the wait.This time the label brings the debut album of a very promising sound artist named Nick Dawson, someone who manages to provide the best in what seems to be a minimal shape and form: Molding the soundscape with its bare hands into a moving master piece of drone works.
It’s a conceptual album, triggered by the sight of a found 1965 Eumig ‘Electric R’ camera back in 2014. The ambient pieces are inspired by the mechanics of this unique camera, and by staring at the sun through one of its rotating lenses.
Nick interprets his inspiration by improvising in a single take with an Arturia MiniBrute routed through a Boss ME70 effects unit and a Strymon Big Sky reverb unit. That might mean pure abracadabra for anyone who is just here to listen, yet, it would be stupid to leave these details out. But all technical and conceptual details aside, how do these individual tracks come across?
F = 0.5x
This is a warm welcome for each listener; going for a humbling drone of kindness that even though the technical concept, feels more as if we are listening to a temple full of spirited souls who hum that special ‘ohm’ word in perfect harmony. It sounds very holy and in sync with the universe and the mystical side of it.. It calms listeners down while pulling them into a realm usually only attended by professional meditators. The sound gets a little soft-bottom rhythm inside, keeping the peace and harmony in sync with time and space.
Now that every listener is welcomed warm and nicely, the more industrial side of the internal clock works can be revealed. This is the task for ‘Electric R’ which is not only the name of the found camera but also a perfect choice for the title of this track, as the sound that will keep listeners entertained sounds very much like an electric RRRRrrrrrrrrrr. It’s perhaps difficult to explain on paper, but when you lend your own ears; you’ll understand what I mean. The electric rolling ‘R’ might be coming across very minimal, but it’s the sound production and treated effects on the sound, that turns this track into a gateway of magic mushroom generated states of mind. Or perhaps something more unnatural, as the sound is fairly industrial-like, but moves around like a steady bumble bee that goes from flower to flower.
I’m not sure if it is within the music, but I could hear bird sounds, softly singing while the showcase of the electric flying R passes through the ears. The birds might be imagined, or actually in the recording; but the music is of a psychedelic kind, which makes it hard to keep reality from fantasy.
A very short track, but a great appetizing quick moment of attention grabbing…
Personally I think Rotating Lens is the best soundscape on this album. Sound wise It manages to become a nice balance between F = 0.5x & Electric R. The sound is industrial, natural & ambient in a psychedelic atmospheric way. It’s easy to forget where you are and who you are (or who you are with), when this wonderful track plays itself out. Just sit back and let it be the sound that will guide you to a nearby dream.
This is an interesting short work, making itself present like some kind of plastic tightness that didn’t sound like anything else, then itself.
Is another fantastic drone based work, hypnotizing in a way that is focusing purely on one sound and manipulating it as it passes by. It zooms in the air, like a horn in the distance at a competitive football match without the game or loud supporters. Perhaps it’s more a horn you’ll hear when bad weather might hit the country, but somehow the artist makes this potentially unnerving sound into one that is smooth and pleasant listening material.
f = 2.0x
The last work on this album is the one who covers the listeners with the final audio blankets. The harmony presented within the drone is one that has the volume of an honest male choir humming their hymn in peace. When they have finished their delightful job, there is a big change to feel superbly relaxed and at ease. An album that might successfully turn the ones who suffer from sleep deprivation into a lovely bunch of dreamers & for others who would like to stay awake; just as adventurous.