Boomkat Product Review
On the face Michael Pollard's Translations 01 looks like Spectrum Spools' most formal, even academic offering to date; but there's a playfulness and sense of mischief behind the scientific veneer. Pollard, best known as boss of Arbor (the Brooklyn label home to releases by Robedoor, Emeralds, C. Spencer Yeh, Carlos Giffoni, Renel Hell et al), approaches his work with both discipline and an openness to serendipity: 'Material Study 01 (Sand)' is a recording from a stereo hydrophone buried under the sand in a lake, while 'Material Study 02 (Cello and Jacket)' originated in the sound of a cello as it was dropped onto a carpeted floor with a contact microphone taped to it’s bridge, before being subjected to an elaborate chain of processes involving a sustain effect pedal, wind breakers and more. 'Spatialisation Study 01 (One freeze from seven positions in a house)' finds Pollard observing the effect of frozen computer tones from, yes, different rooms in a house, using a portable SD card recorder and stereo omnidirectional condenser microphones mounted on a homemade disk baffle; as for 'Spatialisation Study 02 (Forty-nine tracks of isolated and overlayed clicks generated from the material and positions of the previous study)' - well, the title tells you all you need to know. The last piece is 'A Pencil rubbing for the album cover' - literally. A piece of rice paper was taped to a textured wall with stereo contact mics taped to the wall along the top and bottom edges of the paper; a pencil was then slowly rubbed against the paper in vertical lines from top to bottom and recorded direct to computer, and then the rubbing was scanned to adorn the album cover you see before you. Mastered by Russell Haswell.