Boomkat Product Review:
Properly engrossing and cataclysmic widescreen recordings of brass and percussion booming around a bridge in Köln on this wonder from NYC composer/sound designer Lea Bertucci for London’s emergent experimental music platform, SA Recordings. It sounds like a panoramic blade-runneresque fantasy, one of the most satisfying experimental records we've heard in a long time - huge recommendation.
Using the 14 second reverb in the hollow of the Deutzer Bridge that spans 440m of the Rhine in industrial NE Germany, Bertucci’s two ‘Acoustic Shadows’ remarkably recall some kind of Vangelysian brass panorama and Alvin Lucier’s ‘Chambers’ in their stunning widescreen scope and proprioceptive playfulness. Anyone typically seduced by the atavistic appeal of echoic caves, canyons or palatial spaces - grand and industrial - will be in their element here, utterly immersed in unfathomable spatial dimensions that can’t help but induce an intended sense of wonder.
Through a system of physical, instrumental performance and animist intent, Bertucci plays out into the space, records the results on microphone, and works back over sections fed back into the space via an 8-channel speaker array, accumulating disorienting feedback loops that explore the resonant frequency of the space and voice the characteristics of its internal architecture.
With the first piece she throws us back into some ancient or medieval state of mind, with long brass tones swept around the concrete surfaces and building in textural richness along with the road noise above, variously recalling states of amniotic lushness, first-person-on-the-moon isolationism, and Blade Runner panoramas streaked with towering gas flares. ‘Percussion’ on the other hand is initially more tentatively pointillist, with ricocheting woodblock hits that calmly then frenetically feel out the space but never quite gauge all its angles, before thunderous waves of bass instil impending panic and we somehow emerge blinking and dazed at the end while a pack of Swiss cows stroll by.
Properly stunning, stunning record.