Boomkat Product Review:
‘Strange To Your Ears’ is a real oddball of a release, even in the wide-reaching and consistently confounding Trunk catalogue. Jim Fassett was a radio broadcaster in the 1950s and 1960s and became fascinated with the possibilities of manipulating everyday sounds using at that time very new and exciting tape technology. ‘Strange To Your Ears’ isn’t as well known as his cult favourite ‘Symphony of the Birds’ but is no less arresting in its approach on what would become musique concrete. With Fassett guiding us through each piece and specific source - animals, children household sounds and plenty more, he unhurriedly informs us how he manipulates each to result in something entirely different. Occasionally I’m reminded of the subtle and deeply atmospheric tape manipulations of Delia Derbyshire or her contemporaries, but for the most part what Fassett was doing was a precursor to far more polarizing experimental work. At this time these odd hiccups and drones would have no doubt amazed listeners, and to be honest looking at the current crop of new releases, folk still seem fascinated when you slow sh*t down, so maybe we haven’t really moved on that much at all? Having Fassett’s soothing voice added to the proceedings make it an incredibly unusual release (not incomparable to Daphne Oram’s ‘Oramics’ compendium), and one which should surprise and inspire more than you might think. ‘Strange to the Ears’ is yet another Ace in the Trunk Records pack.