srijeda, 16. travnja 2014.

Night Shift - Trespassers Guide to Nowhere (2012)

Trespasser's Guide to Nowhere

Rusko-finski, 77-minutni vrtložni vodič kroz Sve, utetoviran u vaše uho. 

Coming up next release wise, will be a full length collaborative effort between the Russian trio Night Shift, and the main man behind my favorite Finnish band Ous Mal, Olli Aarni. An incredibly inventive sampledelic mash up of Russian folk melody, filmic referenced dialogue, field recordings and crushed and twisted electronic nuances, this cerebrally manipulative release is not one to be missed! It will be available in two versions….
The first, deluxe limited version of 100 copies will come in the form of a"faux-rigami" pop up book of sorts, each hand bound with unique antique book covers, and including hand printed/typed inserts, and pop up pages made from the oversized sheets from a 100 year old hand written ledger…all encased in a hand made/stamped black slip case. Insanely labor intensive! See attached pics please!

Time Released Sound has done it again.  After making a huge splash in 2011, the label has expanded far beyond its ambient beginnings and is now beginning to make waves in the experimental field.  This marks a natural progression for the label, whose handmade packaging and DIY attitude have drawn the attention of a diverse number of artists.  The latest is the Russian trio Night Shift, joined by Olli Aarni, also known as Ous Mal.
Ous Mal has proven himself to be a maverick even within the Finnish experimental scene; his willingness to cross genres within single songs has become one of his clearest hallmarks.  So it’s no surprise to find that Trespasser’s Guide to Nowhere is full of influences and samples; the surprise is how many.  Not only does the album include elements of disparate genres, ranging from folk and ambient to trip-hop and mashup; it also brims with field recordings, film dialogue, backward masking, and snippets of old vinyl.  At any moment, a choir may sing, a brook may babble, a door may open, a public service announcement may be made.  From tap dancing to trains, motorcycles to marching bands, this one really packs it in.  With four DJs in the booth, the album operates like a mix tape, in love with the breadth of sound.  There’s music here, too: piano, bells, electronics, drones.  In fact, it would be difficult to pinpoint anything that isn’t here.  It’s as if the quartet threw all their ideas on the table and decided to adopt every one.  There’s even a horse whinney, reminiscent of that used by The Avalanches on their meticulously crafted debut a decade ago.
For some listeners, the sheer number of sources may be too much to handle.  Samples scoot by like seagulls in a hurricane, and the tracks blend together to form a single 77-minute mix.  Some will call it generous, others overstuffed.  But those who love sound variety will be fascinated.  There’s not a nook or cranny anywhere that doesn’t have something stuck in it; it’s like a curio shoppe waiting to be browsed.  “Do you have a bicycle bell?”  “Right here, sir!”  “Some old jazz?”  “It’s around here somewhere … found it!”  Every sound has its place, and every placement makes sense; each key shift is gentle, like the subtle transition from dusk to dark.  When the fireworks begin to pop, they seem celebratory; Night Shift has shoved more bodies in the phone booth than anyone thought possible.
As the final track counts backwards to one, the album seems over, but in the album’s final minute the volume rises again.  The album’s abrupt opening sample is repeated, then the song is cut off in mid-trajectory.  Trespasser’s Guide to Nowhere is meant to be seen as a closed loop, but the bracelet has snapped.  The way to restore it would be to splice the beginning of the opening track into the final seconds of the last.  But this is not Night Shift’s intention; they want the edges to be jagged.  This way listeners can imagine an endless cycle, a map whose left edge repeats its right, a trespasser’s guide to nowhere.  The packaging in the recommended deluxe version bears this out: a labyrinthine origami-esque wallpaper star encased in a reclaimed antique book.  Where it begins, where it ends and how to make sense of it all is secondary to the beauty of the art and its feeling of fragility. - Richard Allen

The first thing to note about Night Shift’s Trespassers Guide to Nowhere is that it isn’t music in any conventional sense. Far beyond any notion of storytelling, it exists in a plane between our contemporary understanding of music and what we generally consider as just ‘noise.’ Utterly incompatible with any of the genres or styles that we like to assign to albums so that they can be easily archived in the correct train of thought. The album displays ambient-like sentiment, with a sly hint to storytelling without ever really seeming to follow through, but often departs for more raucous and experimental ground. It then compiles sounds both old and new: flirting with one, then the other and then both without a care in the world. It’s the auditory equivalent of the Navidson Record; it just doesn’t seem to fit. The second thing to note is that the label has omitted an apostrophe in ‘Trespassers.’ Apparently the album doesn’t fit with conventional grammar either.
It’s also important to realise that because of this confusion, what you’re reading now isn’t a review; more a bewildered reply from a man who can’t quite believe what he’s been listening to these past few days. Pinning down Trespassers Guide... could be likened to pinning a tail on a donkey that sits inside an impenetrable, opaque box. And for all we know the donkey might also have disappeared in some theoretical quantum physics event (Schrodinger reference there, for those inclined). So while points will be covered, and examples made, I’m afraid to say the confusion will likely remain. Especially if you decide to listen to it.
Trespassers Guide... operates mainly around field samples of all kinds: from the dotting of pencils and scraping of chairs to a short extract on wolves being introduced to an ecosystem. It’s these soundbites that often mark changes or transitions - of which there are many - and it’s with these that any narratives or motifs are described. ‘School for the Gifted,’ which after much thought appears to retell the inner workings of a student’s mind, uses the opening and closing of doors, as well as bells, gongs, chants and whistles to signify a change in place and tone. The story is simple enough, but it’s clearly told without the use of any comprehensible language (although those who speak Russian will have an easier time). Other tracks aren’t quite as direct, but you can often take the title as a reference point and allow the music to create a more vivid description of whatever Night Shift are trying to portray: whether that be an image, narrative or, in this case, an emotional reflection on a narrative.
You can see how easy it is to get lost, then, as understanding takes time even for the more straightforward tracks. Sticking with ‘School for the Gifted,’ which again I must stress is as simple as the album gets, we see that the track showcases at least four distinct styles. It momentarily courts a simple electronic build up before abandoning this for soft, downplayed piano and shortly again for a more sustained stint of wave-like drones and claps. Later, we hear the introduction of flutes and a childrens’ choir, although this is slowly encroached upon by a swarm of glitch, scratches and static. Throughout all of this, Night Shift manage to maintain a remarkable amount of momentum and, once you accept the album’s rather schizophrenic nature, there’s no noticeable jar in tone or mood. It still feels like a singular track.
Elsewhere in the album, we see Night Shift mimic motifs in separate tracks in order to change and distort the image the original made. Defying its glitch elements, ‘Woods Scare’ creates a purely organic landscape with it’s use of rich, lush drones, field samples, echos and the surprisingly fitting inclusion of a Gregorian choir and even a short, triumphant tirade of trumpets. ‘Orthodox Transmitter,’ which follows, revisits many of the same styles while installing them with a much more tinned, mechanical twang before continuing full throttle with a techno bassline and a thick wall of drone: now oppressive and scratching as opposed to rich and lush. It’s playful, if just a tad soul destroying, and thankfully ‘Woods Sooth’ interjects to return the album to the more ethereal, organic vibe that ‘Woods Scare’ introduced. This is not to blemish ‘Orthodox Transmitter’ as substandard as it’s a fantastic piece of music, it’s just that as a deliberate move to distort such a beautiful track as ‘Woods Scare’ you can’t help but personally feel oppressed.
Apart from ending with the exact same sample as it begins, the continuity of Trespassers Guide... seems purposefully sketchy. The track titles and adaptation of motifs give a strong hint that a story is being told here, and some parts are obvious. For example, the album begins with travelling, the protagonist (presumably a self-projection from the listener) later falls out of a tree in ‘Trees Beckon, But Hospital Catches’ and they then run away from hospital into the woods where, as both titles and music show, things get a bit freaky. The full tale is certainly quite a bit more complicated and, I assume, based on metaphor rather than straightforward fact, yet told as it is in such an unobtrusive manner it adds yet another nuance for anyone mad enough to get over the music itself.
Because Trespassers Guide to Nowhere is mad, but in that very particular strain that runs parallel to genius. It’s an incredibly experimental and imaginative journey, and one so deep that you risk losing yourself completely after only a single listen. Night Shift have collated influences from the very furthest reaches of today’s musical scope and added a little magic of their own to create something the likes of which you’ve never heard before, and it’s better than anyone could have hoped. - -

Nema komentara:

Objavi komentar