Boomkat Product Review:
Jan Jelinek’s Faitiche label drops in on a milltown in the NW of England for a beautifully evocative lowercase session, like some blurred crossover with Craig Tattersall’s cotton goods universe.
Andrew Black's debut is a perceptive, simmering set of manipulated environmental recordings, with artificial synth tones drowning out brutalist sound sources. Hailing from "one of the UK's post industrial North West Milltowns", Black is used to blocking out noise; his training was in architecture and public space, so the concept of tweaking environmental recordings - manipulating space, if you will - came naturally. Fascinated by the idea of a room's acoustics, he contorts them gently, using "artificially generated frequencies" to dim the dominant sounds in the recordings. What we're left with is a sequence of beatless symphonies that pulse with the energy of the spaces where they were recorded, like a trace echo.
Opener 'Rhyolite' is the album's most generous composition, clocking in at just over 15 minutes. As it gradually unfurls, we hear the original recording - a transmitted vocal like some train platform announcement - with dust and crackles lifted into the foreground. Black slowly and pointedly introduces his hypnotic tones, as if he's pulling out stops on an immense pipe organ, and by the time we've hit the five minute mark, the original recording is a distant memory. 'Soft Fascination' is a gloomier proposition, sounding like an underwater inlet tube, and 'Silica' is the sound of whooshing machinery - the tones play a background role, humming beneath gaseous purrs.