četvrtak, 5. prosinca 2013.

Barnett + Coloccia - Retrieval (2013)


Faith Coloccia i Alex Barnett skeniraju metalnu noć.
Noć polako izgara u njihovim tvorničkim pećima. 

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In the flow of traffic / The family cars, in the dim / Sound of the living / The noise of increase to which we owe / What we possess. We cannot reconcile ourselves. / No one is reconciled, though we spring / From the ground together—"

Artist and composer Coloccia was a founding member of experimental group Everlovely Lightningheart, and is perhaps best known as one half of Mamiffer (alongside Aaron Turner, with whom she also runs the SIGE label and publishing imprint). She has contributed to recordings by House Of Low Culture, Boris and William Fowler Collins among others, and collaborations with Circle and Daniel Menche are forthcoming. Her work has appeared on such labels as Hydra Head, Daymare, Conspiracy Recordings and Profound Lore.
Alex Barnett played in Oakeater but since 2009 has been active primarily as a solo artist, with releases on Catholic Tapes, DRAFT, Nihilist and others. Most recently he contributed to the Mamiffer/Locrian record Bless Them That Curse You.
Barnett and Coloccia are separated by two thousand miles; nevertheless this record was born primarily out of condensed in-person meetings rather than penpal file-trading.
Following an initial exchange of ideas, the bulk of Retrieval was recorded over three intensive days at Otic Sound in Vancouver, with Coloccia contributing treated vocals, tape-manipulated acoustic recordings and AM radio sounds, and Barnett adding an array of synth instruments to create further loops, drum sounds and other rhythmic elements.They then reconvened at AVAST! studio in Seattle for a final session of mixing and editing with engineer/producer Randall Dunn.
The resulting LP is about time and place, synthesis and environment. It's an invitation into the woods, to find that which reveals itself only to the lost. A grave, deeply introspective work, pastoral in essence but cosmic in scope.

Opening with the stately, medievalist sequences of 'Harbor', Retrieval's narrative takes in subdued techno abstraction ('Hallway'), chrondritic psychedelia ('So, How Much Do You Know About Me?'), saw mill gear-grind ('Repeating Pit') and eldritch noise invocations ('Retrieval', 'Bird's Eye'). Throughout, it invigorates without consoling. - blackesteverblack.bigcartel.com/

Blackest Ever Black welcome Barnett + Coloccia to their coven with the desolate scapes of 'Retrieval'. Whilst both artists have a background alloying metal and experimental modes - Faith Coloccia with Mammifer, Pyramids and Everlovely Lighteningheart, and Alex Barnett in Oakeater or more recently, solo for the likes of Catholic Tapes and Nihilist - their introspective 'Retrieval' collaboration is perhaps best defined in terms of their palette: tape-manipulated recordings of acoustic instruments layered with synths and AM radio sounds. Recording sessions for the album with legendary engineer/producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Boris, Sun City Girls) at his Avast! facilities in Seattle, the results are, as the label puts it, "pastoral in essence but cosmic in scope", a sound that lies on mossy, sodden textures whilst projecting into slate gray skies and beyond. Its atmosphere lies somewhere between the wistful neo-folk ambience of early Eyeless In Gaza and the sort of liminal post-techno/doom zones of recent exploits from Barn Owl, segueing from depressed synth minimalism to windswept, wooded scenes and clouded widescreen vistas. It's by turns one of the label's quietest releases thus far, and one of its most subtly effective, a real slow burner for the long nights ahead. - boomkat

The word retrieval implies going out from your present position. Items retrieved may be lost or at a distance, even if that distance is psychic (in the case of memories) or metaphorical (in the case of something broken) — distance from an original purpose. It may involve salvaging something unknown, as from a wreckage, or fetching a known quantity, but in either case, retrieval circumscribes a space that the retriever must cover to reach the completion of the process. In fact, the content-less space that encloses the item-to-be-retrieved is the sole obstacle for the retriever, its unknown quantities the danger that hovers over the process. It is in that space that the item may have lost itself irrevocably, irrecoverably. Retrieval, by Alex Barnett (Oakeater) and Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer), unfolds here, hoping to dislocate the listener into various degrees of lostness while at the same time evoking the texture of place.
Place is an elusive quality in music, and yet it’s also primary for many musicians, particularly those on the outside of typical genre spectra. Experimental musics often aspire to create environments, but the method for doing so is at best unclear. This music is meant to not only fill (or leave empty) space, but to also paint the texture of it. Barnett and Coloccia’s methods here differ greatly from the mimetic methods of, say, The Pastoral Symphony (the 6th), in which Beethoven realistically evokes a thunderstorm and the sounds of a folk dance. On Retrieval, it isn’t field recordings of birds and insects that transport the listener outside; it’s the moods, issuing out of the slow but consistent rhythms, harsh textures, and minor-key melodies. Therefore, the content of the space painted by the duo slips away from easy explanation, since the space’s detail consists only in a blur of emotions and reactions to the sharp attacks of Retrieval’s filter envelopes and slow release of its nebulous, treated vocals.
In this way, Barnett and Coloccia avoid the mimesis of any specific locale, and listeners never find themselves anywhere definite. We are never sure whether the musical space has transformed into a forest or a factory. But it is certain that we have gone somewhere, then somewhere else. The progression of Retrieval is a deepening of this dislocation. Its beginnings, though certainly uneasy, describe a familiar but still strange reality; we can place each individual keystroke of “Harbor’s” almost harpsichord-like synths, until a slowly-building texture unfurls beneath the top layer. But by “So, How Much Do You Know About Me,” the listener confronts a delayed, heartbeat-esque bass thump with horror movie strings. The final piece, though it employs the recognizable static of AM radio, pulls the listener even further (farther) into novel space with its uncertain tonality and rhythm, its grating radio and synthesis, and its haunting vocals.
Texturally, Retrieval features a narrow palette despite the wide range of synthesizers and techniques the duo employed. Perhaps a wise choice, in that the vast variety of all the gear the duo used could become paralytic over their short recording period. But it also entails a kind of limitation on the scope of the transportative qualities of the work; Retrieval doesn’t tour the listener through many, various landscapes, but it does push the listener down a dark but apparent path through a nebulous but affecting space. Thus, we become lost without forgetting that we are there, along this passage. It’s not clear what object or experiences hide in this particular dislocating space. Perhaps the lostness is what we are seeking, and the space itself will become a memory to be retrieved. The going-out would then become a going-in — the retrieval, the lost; and the found quantity, the unknown. - 
Barnett is Alex Barnett,  primarily  a solo artist, with releases on Catholic Tapes, DRAFT, Nihilist and others. Coloccia was a founding member of Everlovely Lightningheart, and is perhaps best known as one half of Mamiffer. When they got together it was MOIDER (murder)......well perhaps not but they have created a nice pastoral synth album which will appeal to fans of the myriad of re-issued 70’s synth opuses as well as a more subtle kind of late night paranoid driftiness.
Although opener ‘Harbor’ hurts my ears, ‘Switch’ swiftly sooths them again with some beautiful plaintive synth work. It swoops, it swoons, it drifts. They use old school Moog and Korg synths to produce downbeat synth minimalism which is subtle and slow moving but with additional scatter from AM radio and seemingly found field recordings the album creates a subtle, eerie mood occasionally disrupted by bursts of noise and discordant figures lurking in the shadows. - Norman Records

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