Boomkat Product Review:
Tomoko Sauvage follows her much loved "Musique Hydromantique” LP for Shelter Press with a new album of abstracted and deeply involving binaural recordings made with her self-built “natural synthesiser” - water-filled porcelain bowls and hydrophones - this time recorded in the echoic confines of a water tank in Berlin with a natural 20 second reverb.
Using the brick-built 19th century facility in Prenzlauer Berg as a resonant variant in her entirely organic set-up, Tomoko sounds out an absorbing conversation between wordless vocals and hovering, etheric tones produced by a range of porcelain and glass bowls filled with water and recorded on hydrophones. You’ll know the stuff if her 2017 album ‘Musique Hydromantique’ was as popular around your place as ours. But if not, welcome to an artist and music of the most sublime calibre, recalling an echoic relation to Akio Suzuki’s elemental sound poetry, or a beautifully refined, atavistic throwback to the earliest cave music or even back when we had gills and shat in the sea.
Sauvage suspends us in fathomless, waking dream space that most sensitively brings to life the sensation of swimming in a huge aquarium, as she mistakenly believed the space was formally used for. Never mind that the space was originally used to dry fish; Sauvage’s imagination and haptic sleight of hand adapts techniques of hydrophobic feedback and new textural sources to generate the feeling of floating in a dark - but not malign - space within a waking dream. Fingers and skin on small objets, and hard and fluid surfaces, animate sounds resembling murmuring sea mammals, mermaids and more phantasmagoric creatures of the deep that appear to swim around the head.
Although its not quite the "ultimate well being” experience as its predecessor, ‘Fischgeist’ is wonderfully lost in its own dimensions, like slowly emerging from an extended stay in an immersion tank - not fully back to reality, but increasingly aware of its presence, just outside.