Boomkat Product Review:
Michigan's Infant inks an audio diary on 'sigla, sone', using his manipulated voice to haunt digitally corrupted recordings of crashing waves, nesting birds and snatched conversations.
There's a sensitive, personal quality to 'sigla, sone' that doesn't just emerge from Infant's use of archival environmental recordings. Sure, those snapshots help situate us in his lived reality, but it's Infant's use of the voice that provides the album with its beating heart. It's subtle at first: on opening track 'Part and Parcel' we're treated to a few minutes of textures ambience before voices start to hum around car sirens and bird calls like a swarm of bees conducted by Steve Reich. Infant teases the virtual choir around seagull honks, alternating the sounds while nervous drones douse themselves in the lake.
'Micah' is far more upfront. Here, the pitchy voice snippets are formed into a cloud of oohs and aahs, and Infant's environmental recordings are used to add texture and fizz. There's a euphoric, hypnotic quality to this material that separates it from most self-consciously "ambient" music. You can tell that Infant is familiar with 20th century minimalism, but he doesn't let that get in the way of his story. As the album develops, he invites us to spy more of his local landscape, building a gentle folk song over washing rocks on 'Pebble' and singing into dissociated emptiness on the album's plaintive closer 'Well'.