Boomkat Product Review:
Fathoms-deep tape-damaged outerzone sound collage painted over classical snippets. As haunted, idiosyncratic and memorable as they come; if you buy one Graham Lambkin record...
'Salmon Run' is Graham Lambkin's most acclaimed full-length and it's easy to see why. The ex-Shadow Ring outsider has made a name for himself over the last couple decades with a slew of solo sets and heady collaborations (with Áine O'Dwyer, Moniek Darge, Joe McPhee, Keith Rowe and others), but few records capture his craft as effortlessly and joyfully as this one.
Here he combines narrative storytelling with outsider art, daubing classical music recordings with filthy ferric paint strokes that drip with mischievous human eccentricity. The album began as tape recordings of Lambkin listening to music while photographing himself, then these pieces were manipulated and accented with additional sounds. It makes for a more-human-than-human listening experience: we all know the feeling of listening to music alone as sounds of people laughing, running water and whatever random acts of living permeate the scene almost imperceptibly. All that is brought into the foreground: wind chimes are amplified to sound like church bells and laughs, coughs and bird chirps like horns. The reality of Lambkin's listening environment is impossible to ignore, making us think more deeply about our own ritual of listening.
Lambkin's use of the room or the situation as an instrument brings a storyline and a glorious hyperreality to the record. It's impossible to listen to "Salmon Run" and not consider our own listening habits; in making something so completely personal, Lambkin allows us to reflect effortlessly. Striking a bizarre mid-point between peaceful and chaotic poles, "Salmon Run" is a truly unmissable record and a shining beacon in an ocean of experimental DIY recordings.