Boomkat Product Review:
Superb electro-acoustic drone, environmental found-sound crackle and extreme weather intensity from Room40/Touch/NNA alum Olivia Block. Elevated, cinematic material for fans of BJ Nilsen, Lawrence English or claire rousay.
Longform Editions comes correct once more with this extended set from the Chicago-based artist. The piece is billed as a reflection on "an overwhelming collective sense of human anxiety and grief about the destruction of the natural world and, the inevitable decay and obsolescence of Western (particularly American) culture." So it feels like it's come at the right time?
Microcassette recordings are gently transitioned into Block's expertly-recorded weather sounds, that heighten the urgency and focus in on the piece's environmental message. Rainfall and wind becomes floods and gales, and as the sounds erase the elements of human presence it feels like a somber but timely message. The water feels like it's entering from every crevice as wind becomes punishing and incessant.
But it's not all bad news, the final third of the track gives way to eerie organ drones that give a faintly hopeful, if minor key, coda, before becoming sodden. Moving, poignant material from one of the most consistently effervescent practitioners around.