Boomkat Product Review:
Installation artist Brandon Labelle has had his work published via such eminent experimentally minded record labels as Sirr, Ground Fault, Selektion, Meme and Digital Narcis, having been most recently found contributing to the TouchRadio series. In addition to his audio output, Labelle has written extensively and authoritatively about his craft, which only serves to cement his position on the uppermost tier of the sound art world. Radio Flirt, realised in conjunction with fellow artist James Webb was originally presented at the Netherlands Media Art Institute, and utilised small radio transmitters dotted around the building to transmit various sounds and spoken messages. These recordings interact with their surroundings, behaving as a kind of mediator between the listener and their location, with a running commentary that's playfully taciturn and occasionally quite comical. 'Staircase' might be a light-hearted take on Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting In A Room: "You're on the staircase, I'm just hiding here in a fucked up way at the top [...]" whispers our narrator in conspiratorial tones. He then goes on to give an account of the building's interior, interpreting its structure almost in a childlike state of wonderment. All the while you're left disorientated by a subtle intermingling of location recordings, establishing some entirely other, fantastical space that may or may not be in anyway related to the actual sonic properties of the staircase in question. As an offsite sound piece it's all a bit confusing, and like so much of Labelle's published work it's ultimately rather mysterious and dislocated. This is hardly a problem though, the five wonderful pieces on this release are designed to interact with the listener's own environment, drawing you into some beautifully realised, fictitious topography. Excellent.