Label: Brombron Format: CD
Edited down from a week’s recording in and around Extrapool studio in Nijmegen, Holland by Antenna Farm and Main in the summer of 2000, AF_M is the first in the Brombron series of collaborations initiated by Staalplaat and Extrapool. Using laptops, guitars, environmental and close-miked recordings and the studio itself, the five untitled tracks were improvised then later whittled down in strict order of recording without extra processing. This real-time production gives some sense of immediacy to proceedings, and provides a solid and essentially straightforward conceptual base to the CD.
There is a certain sonic purity to taking the crackles, crunches and hums of objects isolated from their acoustic setting and placing them in conjunction with sound sources either more usually regarded as instruments (guitars) or tools (computers). The percussive patter of applied contact with microphones; the audible hiss of an open mic or running tape; effects units triggered or left to work off their interacting inputs. The fed-back, looped or distended tones that fill the space between irritant and adapted environment crawl to the accompaniment of levelled-out repeating delays, digitized abstraction, deracinated noise detonations, drones and pulsations, electronic constructions. The exterior intrudes in the shape of motions, rhythms and even notes that are apparently the results of human action – hands fiddle with the input, place half-guessable implements and objects in the role of acoustic source or subject, building the whole into an expansive, highly abstracted yet involving piece.
AF_M places itself somewhat in the role of augmented document, where the selection and positioning of sounds in the dynamic interplay of time, symbolic resonance and volume almost becomes the be all and end all. Almost, because the expansive possibilities for imaginative immersion are many; equally, as the artists implicitly recognise, the recordings are not necessarily easy to engage with. Thanks to the collaborative nature of the project, the organic elements remain extremely strong for the most part- this is not mathematical software music, but a high/lo-tech extrapolation of sound sculpture shot through with the dynamism which comes from temporal- and space-specific artistic exchange. Perhaps the best approach to this record is one of open-minded exploration, and the sounds or music, whichever term suits, of AF_M certainly demand a willingness to listen.
-Antron S. Meister-