Monday, March 5, 2012

Windmill Waterwheel - Waterwheel Windmill (Notice, 2011)

Windmill Waterwheel – Waterwheel Windmill
Notice 2011

This tape is the second of two collaborations between Kirk Marrison (Fibreforms, Kiln) and NYC guitarist Charlie Nash recorded in 1997, released in 2011! According to the press release, Nash “provides a variety of musical textures with objects, [and] prepared/played guitar]” and Marrison “sculpts these into teeming atmospherics.”

On "Line", some scraping and a-rhythmic plucking is heard on the electric guitar. Then enters some electronic warbling drone and more ambient electronics. There’s a very gentle drum machine going as well. “Atmospheric” is a pretty apt description, a wide palette of sonic textures mixed really well here. A nice balance between harmony and dissonance in the kind of sounds being applied. The noisier sounds aren’t abrasive or aggressive at all, but really tasteful. The song ends with a similar guitar scraping sound that was heard in the beginning. "Gyro" starts off with a warm bottom drone, a subtle bass beat, and the ambient electronic sounds, which sound so fucking good! A really gentle kind of musique-concrete aesthetic. "Ayre" features a light drone, what sounds like an electronic bird chirping, and some quiet guitar scraping. "Rain" features quite a departure from the previous material on the tape. Acoustic guitar playing haunting folk melodies, with some brushes on a snare. Somewhat different stylistically, yet the ambient sounds remain relatively similar. The following track, Sand, begins with some pulsating and static-y electronic noises. Then a pretty subtle but quite groovy rhythm, on what sounds like a tom, enters amongst the electronic hiss and static fading around. A synth-sounding melody repeats throughout the track, kind of holding all the (gentle) chaos together and creates a hypnotic rhythm.

Side B is just one long song titled "Heavywater (D2O)." More ambient mix of electronics wash about. After a couple minutes, a warm, low drone enters, fitting quite nicely among the more textural sounds. Beautiful harmonies to the drone, drifting. The drone fades away as a wide mix of more percussive sounds enter. The pace of the music as different sounds enter and exit is quite slow and gradual, yet also precise. An ominous, bassy, electric guitar melody enters, sounding like harmonics on the strings. Everything comes to a gradual silence for what sounds like a bassy drone of string instruments, like violins, slowly playing chords, eventually closing out the tape.

A somewhat complex album, with a great deal of processed sounds that are difficult to identify. Nonetheless it is especially a fine display of “sound art” explorative tendencies, harmonious drone, and minimalist rhythms and melodies.

Cassette for purchase:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind review. This was an enjoyable release to work on with Kirk and Charlie.

    Release still available :

    All the best,