Friday, May 07, 2004

Begone Western Rock!

Sublime Frequencies is a US record label which publishes field recordings by Alan Bishop (of jazz-rock noiseniks The Sun City Girls). Their current series of releases comprise of peculiar, beautifully edited recordings of radio, news broadcasts, conversations and found sounds from a variety of destinations. Three new records, 'Radio Palestine', 'Radio Morocco' and 'I Remember Syria' are particularly intriguing. This month's Wire writes that what seperates these CDs from other field recordings is that:

they are not merely recorded straight, out in a field, in real time - set up (you suspect), prearranged, documented and tagged. Instead we are presented with a re-edited mosaic of noices, voices, snatches of Saharan pop music, jazz and orchestras.... Palestine is practically an electronic collage of tiny radiophonic motes, combined with a piece of musique concrete such as [stockhausen's] Hymnen, that makes the piece more like a transformed objet trouve than a documentary.

Going back to Buck 65, who I mentioned in an earlier post, this is more in the way of scavaging for sounds, foraging for sources. I find lots of 'found sound' music / 'found object' art less than thrilling, and often positively pretentious. But there is something about this project which is very appealing. Of the CDs, which I've been listening to a lot recently, Radio Morocco is the most accessible, but all three are fascinating.

Anyway - if you really want a pretentious take on it:

Pitchfork get poetical