Boomkat Product Review:
With a CV as long as your arm, 73 year old Tod Dockster has done everything from writing and editing films at UPA Studios in the 1950's, leading the design contingent at Montreal's Expo '67 through to producing American TV films throughout the 1980's. You might therefore think that he'd view his 1990 retirement as an opportunity to put his feet up and spend some time with the grandkids. If so you'd be woefully wrong. Taking his new found wealth of time as a cue to build a home studio, he then started work on this 15 years in the making Aerial series. Entirely built around his passion for shortwave radio, Dockstader collected in excess of 90 hours of recordings all taken at night and comprised of jumbled cross signals and odd auditory fragments plucked from the ether. Opening with the drone of dissonant airwave prolix 'Song', Dockstader gradually allows elements to skim into sight and in doing so summons up a stiflingly crepuscular atmosphere that'll have you glancing over your shoulder all night. This kind of malignant placidity continues throughout and conjures up the impression of stumbling upon late night activity being broadcast for ears other than yours. Whilst you may believe this would shun you as a listener, it instead has the converse effect, pulling you down further into the mix as you seek to decipher the barrage of sounds on show. Is that a backward voice on 'Dada' or the sound of the sea on 'Harbor' and if so, who was broadcasting it in the first place? Prolific and uncompromising definitely, Tod Dockstader is so enthralled with his subject matter that he'll soon have you utterly submerged in his world.