Monday, February 29, 2016

Basil Kirchin - 1971 - Worlds within Worlds

Basil Kirchin
Worlds within Worlds

01. Part I - Integration (Non-Racial)
02. Part II - The Human Element

Worlds Within Worlds is what happens when tape loops of sampled environmental sounds, animal calls and random noises are slowed down so that new patterns and shapes, not recognizable at normal speed, appear with their own envelope, becoming perfectly visible new sounds, so the listeners become inhabitants of a brand new world.

The jazz sextet here playing (bassoon, marimba, organ, cello and double-bass plus Evan Parker's soprano sax) waves completely free, increasing the sound density while underscoring the dusty harshness of these scary and dark inner worlds surfaces, yet it serves to blunt and grind down their sharpness being at the same time our map, our interpreter and our only handhold to known reality.

A journey through sound that turns solid, becoming intricate dark landscapes that appears demanding and full of pitfalls but is emotionally utterly rewarding.

This is awesome.  Slowed-down recordings of animals and other sounds provide a compositional backdrop, while a small free jazz combo, well, free jazzes.  Some of the nature sounds are downright alien-sounding and the manipulation can be pretty illuminating insofar as it opens up the sound and makes it fresh and approachable from different angles.  Of course, it would just be a bunch of sound effects if the jazz combo wasn't good, and they're great--especially the saxophonist, who conjures unheard-of timbre out of his instrument in surprisingly listenable ways.  Percussion is pretty sparse, and there's a bit of guitar too.  To my ears, Side B has very little in the way of nature recordings, which is a little disappointing considering the album's stated purpose.  As noisy as this sounded on first listen, it sounds more composed with every subsequent play.

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