A trio of new releases from Experimedia demonstrates that Jeremy Bible & Jason Henry are alive and well, and making great work as usual. Housed in very extravagant fold out packaging with beautifully photographed natural elements such as burnt wood, leaves, mould etc, they more than hint at the quality of the releases contained within. Also included in the trio of releases is a new work from Illusion of Safety, a group that should need no introduction to 40 somethings like myself, who invested a lot of time and energy seeking out IOS releases many years ago in what would arguably have been their heyday. Dan Burke’s project resurfaces in the form of The Need to Now , a 7 tracker that does not dissappoint these ears, having not heard their more recent materials, this was a welcome opportunity to experience IOS’s distempered sampling, and edgy, tightly wound atmospherics. IOS have distilled their overall sound further since I last heard them, leaving yawning chasms of near silence to add drama and anticipation, allowing their taut, aqueous ambiences to swirl around sharply focussed field recordings and organic elements. Once again, IOS demonstrate a mastery of the medium in a welcome comeback.
Next up is Vector, a fine release from Messrs Bible and Henry specialising in stripped bare atmospherica, and discrete washes of near oceanic sound draped with granular surface textures. Pieces like “fndt” take an oblique approach, where the sounds of what appear to be jungle or forest ambiences are interleaved with oddly out of kilter sonic presences, somewhere between urban gamelan, and ritualistic chanting moving in and out of focus. The overall recording technique is slightly tainted, like oxidised metals, grating and grinding against each other, leaving a trail of dusts and shavings. In fact, the ensuing tracks, “flck2” and “rtn” have a similar feel, creating shimmering, dusty trails, that feel somehow unearthly and disjointed, yet holding the attention all the while.Closing track “Imp”, once again uses organic sampling to fuel auditory out of body experiences with razor sharp sampling wrapped around an eerie piano or keyboard central theme, a dreamy, hazy closure to the whole proceedings.
Next up is Shpwrck from Bible and Henry, with trademark titling pared down to the barely discernible, leaving a measure of interpretation to the auditor. Once again, the pairing fuse heady organic field recording with strange, angular atmospheres, that remind me of some of the early recordings on the UK’s EM:T label, back in the day…in the main, these are eerie and spacious works, conjuring dark, but not altogether uncomfortable imagery, infused with the spirit of Dada, being a close cousin of musique concret perhaps, or some of the early works of Pierre Schaefer at times. Pieces like “sphotnblp” are pure experimentalism, using light and space to perpetrate areas of wondrous tonalism. The duo’s overall approach is certainly a breath of fresh air, as their canvas is littered with creative and original solutions, defying any obvious genre (always a good thing in my book), and creating a language all of their own. These three releases come with my highest recommendation, and in the words of Bible and Henry – “excllnt”. BGN