Boomkat Product Review:
A widescreen, deeply immersive field recording collage/portrait of South California’s Salton Sea created by Joshua Bonnetta, highly recommended if you're into The Caretaker, Chris Watson or William Basinski...
Created in dialogue with Ron Jude’s photobook of the same name, Lago makes for our 3rd encounter with Joshua Bonetta’s work, following a clear conceptual line from his American Colour DVD/LP for Senufo Editions, thru 2014’s award-winning investigation of radio waves and landscapes Strange Lines And Distances, to dowse for the human or the hauntological narrative amidst the locations of Jude’s desert photography.
Using contact mics and hydrophones to grasp the landscape thru a Nagra 4.2 recorder, the results were edited and mixed between New York and California to form a segued series of sonic postcards which almost imperceptibly strafe from day - narrated by local voices and the natural elements - to strand us in a colder, lonelier, heavily evocative nocturnal phase by the study’s end.
It’s every bit as ghostly as we’d imagine The Caretaker soundtracking Gummo could be, prompting a subconscious showreel traversing parched architectural ruins, sand-worn desert detritus and squinted distant lights, all threaded with a human spirit that’s by turns literal and tantalisingly elusive.
Field Recordings are notoriously difficult to produce with any degree of originality, but with Lago Bonnetta has managed to coax an absorbing narrative out of the everyday, an effect only enhanced by the beautiful visual representation enclosed within.