Boomkat Product Review:
Fragile and disarmingly subtle widescreen drones and field recordings from Aussie composer and clarinetist Sam Dunscombe. Seriously haunted electro-acoustic music that tells the story of an abandoned town in the Mojave desert > RIYL Arne Nordheim, Deathprod, Jim O'Rourke, Lustmord.
Like all good projects, "Outside Ludlow" has a great story behind it. Dunscombe was exploring California's Mojave desert with a friend when they discovered a spool of reel-to-reel tape hooked on a cactus. They took the tape home and digitized it, adding Hammond organ and a field recording they'd made outside the ghost town of Ludlow, where the tape was found. The resulting piece is surprisingly evocative; you don't have to know the story to perceive the eerie desolation trapped within Dunscombe's subtle hums, crackles and drones. Echoing Deathprod's earliest grotty, cassette-smudged material, the piece slowly evolves as Dunscombe introduces an extended, shimmering Hammond chord, adding to the general unease.
On 'Desert Disco', Dunscombe continues the story, looping a fragment of tape while adding the subtlest analog synthesizer elements imaginable. It's almost tough to discern what's on the tape and what's coming from Dunscombe; the sound of the tape heads create a phantom rhythm that eventually gives way to humming drones, but nothing is overly present, and nothing is clean. It's transcendent, delicate material that's more than just a charming narrative - "Outside Ludlow" is an outstanding release that sounds like Jim O'Rourke scoring an Andrei Tarkofsky movie.