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Boomkat Product Review:
FIS’ restless soul meets Maori sound artist Rob Thorne for a viscerally engaging suite of textural wrestles in Clear Stones, which documents the results of their recording sessions made in Berlin using a rich palette of traditional Maori instruments undergoing electronic augmentation. If you like the idea of music that emulates the copulation of Orks or sounds like Rashad Becker’s notional species at an afterparty in uncharted wilds, this record will light up your mind.
Employing the lesser heard likes of the taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments translating as singing treasures) - including the pūtātara (conch horn), pūrerehua (bullroarer), tumutumu kōhatu (stone percussion) and pūtōrino (both flute and horn) - the results represent an often surreal augmentation of their usual tonalities, with accentuation of certain elements uncannily defying the recording space and taking on encrypted new meanings when divorced from their conventional modes.
It would appear that FIS’ contributions are often barely perceptible but crucial to the transformation of the instrument’s use, persistently evading perception of the source of the sound that we’re faced with. It’s a dizzying and immersive experience to thread yourself thru, one that neatly dances around and plays into preconceptions that come with FIS’ music whilst rendering it at its most porous, naturalistic and open to elemental influence.