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Anthony Child - Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle vol. 1 (2015)

4-11-2015, 21:29
Music | Electronic | Ambient

Title: Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle vol. 1
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Editions Mego
Genre: Electronic, Ambient
Quality: 320 Kbps
Total Time: 85:37 min
Total Size: 201 MB


01. Bypass Default Mode Network (8:45)
02. Mr Naturals (7:16)
03. A New Moon (9:05)
04. Down in the Gulch (2:01)
05. Watching and Waiting (5:50)
06. Midnight Rain (10:39)
07. The Chief (7:49)
08. The Chief (reprise) (9:22)
09. All Around and Inside (3:54)
10. Eternal Note (15:26)
11. The Way Home (5:30)

The title of Anthony Child’s new album of improvisational synthesizer music is deceptively dry — miss the adjectival electronic and it could be mistaken for a collection of field recordings. The implication is presumably intentional, in that the rainforest on the Hawaiian island of Maui plays as central a role as Child in generating the record’s vivid, hallucinatory atmosphere. Throughout you hear him listening and engaging in dialogue with his surroundings. The incessant chatter and hiss of the jungle’s insect and bird chorus are often audible above his modular system’s sustained metallic tones and spiralling arpeggios. But even when the volume swells to a roar and those non-human voices are drowned out, their rhythms still permeate his playing.

Such attunement to environment is characteristic of Child’s music. He has discussed how his yoga and meditation practices inform the intricately wrought yet pummelling techno he produces and DJs as Surgeon, and the harmonic divergences of his last Surgeon album, 2011’s Breaking the Frame, drew inspiration from Eliane Radigue, Alice Coltrane and Coil. Outside the rave, his current AV performances with artist Ali Wade emphasise tripped-out visuals — slow motion shots of outdoor spaces and half-recognised faces are etched with pulsating geometric patterns, infusing the familiar with the unreal.

Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle Vol. 1 also recalls a psychedelic experience. An accompanying short video filmed from Child’s meditation hut in the forest captures the gentle shimmer-play of sunlight through canopy leaves. “Mr Naturals” is grounded in a similar feeling of stillness by the thrum of the surrounding wildlife, yet its surging momentum evokes synapses firing at bewildering speed, their thought patterns cascading, eddying and tumbling. The environment’s presence is always felt even when unheard, and these recordings call to mind the rich psychoactive flora of rainforests and the shamanic practices of certain indigenous forest peoples.

Handled differently, this might have come across as crass or touristic. Yet the subtlety and awareness of Child’s playing, and his responses to the sonic contours of his surroundings, give credit to non-human entities as equally active participants. There’s little sense of a (white, male) artist seeking to encounter the sublime in capital-N Nature — what Kathleen Jamie identified as the “lone enraptured male” tendency in nature writing, so present on records like Ben Frost’s By the Throat. The ecological interactions these recordings chart are murky, strange and often unsettlingly intimate, as with “Down in the Gulch,” which rakes the skin with venomous bleeps and razor foliage.

Field recordings of wildlife can often falsely suggest impartial documentation, but whatever we observe, we also affect: Human activities now influence every aspect of Earth’s function, from climate and nutrient cycling to ecosystem flows.

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