Title: Local Time | Blue
Label: Noise Bombing
Keywords: experimental noise Indonesia WITCHFORK
We can tell by the collage art ‘False Summit’ by Melanie Reed used for the covers of the double cd compilation ‘Local Time | Blue’ & ‘Local Time | Green’ that we are in for a treat. The only question we have is if we will ever reach the top of this mountain of sound, or will we be forever ascending as we traverse the terrain from which these tracks emerge: the Philippines, Australia, America, Indonesia, Canada, the UK, the Independent Republic of Aotea, and Japan. Let’s set off for the first part of our trek!
We begin with Joee Mejias who seems to be taking us into a rain forest full of dense large-leafed foliage and the constant pitter-patter of moisture dripping down from the trees above us. Animals moan all around, we turn this way and that, but can never catch a glimpse of them. Some of the critters seem to be playing multipipe wind instruments and clacking away on typewriters, it is amazing that they do not rust in this environment! The music twists around us and moves from one tree limb to another, it is mysterious and intoxicating.
Carla Ori arrives to take us onward with the sounds of ‘Phantom Flutes’ that lift us up into the boughs, we climb until we can see the all of tree tops. There is a buoyancy in this track that makes us feel perhaps we could fly if we tried hard enough! Alas it is soon over, we will need to seek out more of this artist’s music if we want to follow our dreams!
There is a rustling of wings and it seems that Morher has sent a great bird to transport us over the green canopy and to the base of a mountain. We can hear the wind rush past our ears and a sense of transcendence as the sound of keening voices comes out from beneath the feathers of our avian aeroplane. As we approach the maunga there is a gathering of cicadas and crickets, our welcoming committee! The voices swell in strength and power as the bird lands us safely. We climb down but wish that we could have continued a little longer, hopefully there is a return flight included in our travel package!
Menstrual Synthdrone is here to take us up the mountain, it is cold and a blizzard is blowing above us. Ferocious sounds of an ice storm assault our ears and we feel afraid – but we can also hear a melody being played by many hands that shows us the way through. The music is like a bright shadow that melts the path and even manages to dry the pathway so that we do not slip. We are in the thick of the storm now and thunder grumbles, but with these sounds to guide us we are fearless! And then, yes! We are through the chaos, and on a plateau beside a waterfall that sounds a little like passing traffic. As we suspected, we have not reached the summit yet.
Overleaf are waiting for us with a collection of fascinating noises – snippets of song intertwined with saxophone and the humming of a mixer. We are walking through a meadow that is very busy with the movement and conversation of hundreds of beings. They whirr and they vibrate, they squeal and they sigh. We have come to the edge of the meadow and get ready for another climb, and as the saxophone starts squawking at us to get a move on. The terrain is rocky, mossy, and little creatures keep leaping out at us chattering in a garbled way. The now-frenzied music spurs us on and we are making ground, almost at the summit! Or is it?
We are handed over to Marlo Eggplant who is making us a chair lift out of a broken piano. It will be lovely to get off our feet for a bit, and we are happy to sit and watch her performance as she hammers away. It is a bit bleak up here though so when it’s ready we climb aboard. The ascent is full of birds and wind, the chair lift is making deep piano sounds as it moves. She has done a great job and we glide ever upwards towards the clouds, soon the creaking piano and a hissing sound is all we can hear, there is nothing to see but cloud mist. It is getting a bit cold so we huddle together for warmth, but also because the journey feels ominous all of a sudden. As we arrive the piano chair lift bumps along and stops on a platform. We’ve made it!
The first thing we hear are the hypnotic sounds of Robot Kokako – we climb out and start nodding our heads in agreement with her words about rebellion and “the insolence of optimism”. We are drawn under her spell and follow where she leads, on a hard core stomp through the mud outside, and we see that we are now above the clouds. Surely we are approaching the end of our journey, the mountain top!
Yes, the final leg of our trip is here, and we are greeted by Yuko Araki with swathes of noise that are so intense that they obliterate our vision. We no longer have any sense of where or who we are… and as a musical sound emerges from the noise we fixate upon it, like a life buoy in a sea of static soup. The pace picks up and our hearts beat with an urgency for resolution, but alas when the album finishes we are once again in a forest of rain and clitter-clatter!
We realise that there will never be an end, every summit will be false, but we just have to keep climbing. If you want to take a trip through a world of sound, please listen to this release, you won’t be disappointed: