It is getting ever more difficult to categorise or classify certain releases that come my way, with an increasingly growing core of artists that fuse a multitude of disciplines and genres, commentators like myself are struggling to slot these releases into neatly describable pigeon-holes. Very loosely M.Griffin is indeed a minimalist, maybe even an ambient artist that much is for certain, but his sound is not easily contained within any category of music as such, as the material here is sourced from field recordings..ok..so he is a field recording artist, but then he uses these field recordings and manipulates such sounds as steel sheet cutters, aircraft and ocean sounds, electrical transformers etc to create slightly angular ambiences..so he’s a musique concret artist as well..are you getting my drift? It seems as if my job is getting more difficult, and yet from a consumer’s point of view, I guess you just need to know what this all sounds like, right?
Well, not to be confused with the recent Chartier/Tietchens “Fabrication” release, Fabrications opens with Water is Silver – a dense, vaporous piece that draws upon all manner of ambiences, including looped, echoing voices, that nowadays sounds a little cheesy, and would have benefitted from being edited out of the final mix..but hey ho..it adds a little humanity as a reference point within this swirl of breathy ambience. Gravity is similar, using a bubbly central theme which then opens up into cavernous ambience, and once again..those little echoing voices creep into the mix.
By the time I get to half way into this collection, I’m getting a general feel for Griffin’s approach, and whilst the use of a variety of sources is admirable, a lot of the time, the ambience is washed out with endless reverb, and low- end sounds that detract from the beauty of the field recordings. If you are proudly declaring that “no synthesised or non-acoustic sounds” are present on the recording, then it seems strange that it is then made to sound just like it DOES have synthesised material on it..this a capably handled collection of works, but I feel that Mr Griffin could have pushed the beauty of his source material forward, and not over treating it would have yielded a more impressive result. Not earth-shattering..but well worth a second listen…and for all you old Isolationists out there, this will most definitely float your boat. BGN