Wild Sonic Blooms: Where We Overlap (Rattle)

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Pulse Arc
Wild Sonic Blooms: Where We Overlap (Rattle)

Where We Overlap seems a very apt album title for a collection of pieces which brought together New Zealand sonic artists Megan Rogerson-Berry, Jeremy Mayall and Kent MacPherson with drummer/composer Reuben Bradley, taonga puoro by Horomona Horo and Japanese singer, composer and sound artist Haco from Japan.

The artists' name however might be a little unrepresentative because while these are undoubtedly sonic blooms (sometimes unfolding with the slow grace of time-lapse flowers) they do not seem that wild.

In fact, the overall impression here is one of cautiously confident collaboration but where sounds emerge organically through quiet and nuance rather than the volatility of unstable elements.

Some of these pieces, such as the delicate and almost romantic eight minutes of Magnify, sound like field recordings from inside a space capsule of the mind, or (on the more uneasy Murmurate) the sound of an ancient forest where ancestors still walk and whisper.

The most urban these pieces get is on the stark Pulse Arc and the menacingly Gothic oppressiveness of Immovable.

Microcosms with its mid-ground percussion, pulsing and electronics suggests some underground city going about its business.

There is some subtle exotica here too (Iridescent) and a haunting Emerging Light.

The two short Interlude pieces seem interestingly at odds with their surroundings – popping sonic funk – but in fact punctuate the mood neatly with their more grounded sound.

Electronic innovation of this kind usually commands a tiny audience of like minds (and with any luck film makers in search of a stateless and non-referential soundtrack). But these 16 evocative pieces over 80 minutes – recorded over a couple of days at Wintec in Hamilton – offer, aside from the stentorian tone of Immovable, a largely languid and restful sound installation for the home.

Or a gallery.

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