Boomkat Product Review:
Wonderfully gauzy, minimalist textures and woozy timbral shifts from Aussie sound artist Felicity Mangan, making innovative use of a Hohner harmonica for the One Instrument series.
Joining the likes of Neel and Donato Dozzy on the Berlin-based programme, Felicity showcases a beautifully tactile approach to her instrument that resonates with her background in wildlife recordings, effectively prizing the infidelity of natural sound and intuitive, amateur performance over skilled rigour.
Using The Echo Harp model of harmonica she picked up at a Hamburg flohmarkt in February, 2020, Felicity creates a naturally lush, if lowkey, sort of blissed out sound across ‘Bell Metal Reeds’, coaxing breath thru metal to conjure a groggy airborne waltz of windswept, string-like tones and swaying timbres in the first part, with something more akin to baroque chamber music in the stately progression of the 2nd, before appearing to zoom out and de-focus her sound into 12 minutes of glacial, granular swirls on the 3rd.
It’s only in the fourth and final part that we can identify the source of the instrument as a harmonica, as it takes on a sort of bluesy tone peppered with the sort of glitching rhythmic spasms that recall the strongest early Raster releases.