Boomkat Product Review:
Renowned extreme sound fetishist Russell Haswell returns with his first release of 2009, following from last year's awesome 'Second Live Salvage'. 'Wild Tracks' is a complete departure from his real-time computer generated improvisations, collecting 15 tracks of 'deliberate recordings' amounting to 73.59.96secs made with other multi media / film projects in mind. The 'Wild Tracks' recordings don't feature any overdubs or compression and document a wide variety of audio experiences including a blowhole in Jamaica, inside an ant colony, a horde of flys feasting on a rotting pheasant carcass, on a helicopter ride in St. Lucia and two waterfalls in Co. Durham, all detailed on the rear of an accompanying a2 poster, and housed inside the unique KIDZBOX™ packaging (the first commercial to do so, according to Emego!). These sleevenotes are your guide for the release, specifying the techniques and types of microphone used, for instance a hydrophone was used to record 'Falling Snow *4, 20dB (Extract)' and a parabolic dish was used to record 'Local Gamekeepers Shooting A Few Fields Away'. Making the distinction between this and average field recordings, Haswell states "They are not field recordings...they include, and document the noise pollution any regular 'field recordist' would remove or avoid!", so don't expect Chris Watson levels of detail or even the same sounds, you're within the ears of Russell Haswell so be prepared for extreme dynamic level changes. The experience of 'Helicopter Trip' is as visceral as any of Russell's previous recordings, and does beg the question whether this is an elaborate ruse designed to fool us into thinking we're not listening to synthesized sound, but if we trust Editions Mego and the recordist, there's only a few very minor edits made throughout the entire disc. This is certainly a release for those who like to savour and relish intense sound experiences and could possibly qualify as one of the most unexpectedly fascinating releases we've had all year.