Boomkat Product Review:
*Amazing debut collection of location recordings and drone works somewhere between The Caretaker and Thomas Köner, presented in a beautiful screen printed digipak* Fascinating debut release from Skjølbrot, aka Bristol's Dan Bennett. 'Maersk' is a sort of spectral travelogue using field recordings from various locations together with electronics, vocals and cloaked instrumentation to create a deeply engrossing and peculiar sound world of disparate textural juxtapositions. The seven songs are based around specific locations or events, each designated in the track's title. For example, the first track 'Rue Victor Masse to Gare d'Austerlitz' refers to Iannis Xennakis' time in Paris during the '61 Algerian massacre, and uses field recordings of streets and metro woven with plaintive piano and spatially dynamic electronics to evoke a strange sense of energies colliding, almost attempting to capture the resonance of their aftermath. Later, 'Migrated' conflates the imagery of birds, from the impact of a bird strike on the Bibliotheque Nationale to Senegal Parrot recorded in Bristol's Victoria park, using their half-erased field recordings and nature to lend a trace of environmental sensitivity over his chilling drones. There's also a certain preoccupation with container ships, not least in the album's title, but clearly in 'Shipbreaking' which references the Unimask Pass in Alaska in an austere piece of creaking, deeply tormented electro-acoustic scenery, and 'Idle Fleet', filtering maritime VHF radio signals with the "...resonance of demolition equipment impacting on shipbuilding shed in Plymouth" and the imagery of hundreds of idle container ships in Singapore, eliciting majestic Ballardian imagery. This feel for traversing time and space is never more literally vivid than 'Ballad Of Windfarming', putting an Alan Lomax recording of a Scottish folk standard 'Braighe Loch Iall' to suspenseful use against the sound of supermarket refrigeration units and a wind farm at Whitelee, the largest onshore wind farm in Europe. Together, the subtle execution of , the eroded grid references, and the handmade execution add up to something far beyond the sum of its parts.