Boomkat Product Review:
Leaving Records' Celia Hollander considers American rail transport on 'To All Trains', a commission from MetroArt LA that attempts to mirror the traveller's experience, from the navigation of crowds to the intercontinental train network and the planes that connect countries further afield.
It would have been too easy to use field recordings, right? Hollander takes a more abstract look at her subject matter on 'To All Trains', preferring to evoke the feeling of mass transit, rather than project its well-worn imagery with chugging engines, railway calls and crowd sounds. The piece opens with chattery, staccato synth plucks to suggest an individual navigating a busy station - Union Station to be exact, the biggest railroad hub in the western USA.
As the piece chugs on, Hollander introduces reverb to propose the chaos of crowds from afar, transporting us into a placid dreamworld in the central section and letting the plucks almost disappear completely, swallowed by blooming, new age drones. Soon, the tranquility is interrupted by cosmic analog arpeggios that suggest the technological connectivity of the rail system, and the piece's final act takes us to the heavens, gazing on the mass of planes, soaring above the clouds.