Boomkat Product Review:
The feted NYC/Berlin trio pose some lofty questions on this new album for R&S offshoot Apollo.
Previously spotted collaborating with Patti Smith and daughter on a tribute to Nico, the collective bring their evocative brand of experimentation to Apollo with this ambitious undertaking. “What is music, composition, and ultimately what is harmony?” ask Soundwalk Collective members Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli and Kamran Sadeghi in the conception and execution of ‘Before Music There Is Blood.’ Essentially a study in academic field recordings, this mini album is the compelling result of hundreds of hours spent at three prestigious music conservatories – the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (China), The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory and the Conservatorio di Musica S. Pietro A Majella.
Casting themselves as neo-classical peeping toms, the trio recorded conservatoire students practicing and rehearsing, capturing the sounds out of context and reworking them into a suite of four productions. From the Villalobos-does-electroacoustic meanderings of Auditorium Scarlatti to the supple string and polyrhythmic developments of Xiao Youmei Corridor and the foreboding Nico Jaar-style beat reductions of Cai Yuanpei Hall 27, Soundwalk Collective’s devil is forever in the detail, making what was evidently hours of painstaking work seem quite natural and otherworldly. The hushed, ambient operatics of Rimsky-Korsakov Court are even blessed with a closing, and rather cosy remix from Max Loderbauer.
RIYL Erased Tapes, Frahm, Arjunamusic, Jaar.