Richard Francis runs his CMR label from his homebase in New Zealand, mostly releasing lathe cut 7??s by bands in the country?s underground. On this album of his own, he?s created three pieces of fieldrecordings, recorded indoors and outdoors, manipulating the outcome in some ways with homestereo speaker hiss and, uh, by rubbing stuff (ie. Fabric, plastic and that kind of things, you pervert).
The results are too minimal to compare Francis? work to the likes of musique concr?te giants like Luc Ferrari or Pierre Schaeffer but the idea of chance recordings sewn together into an engaging whole is comparable. Save the engaging part, though.
It?s difficult to dissect these three episodes because of the minimal approach to the material. The first track starts with slow moving static, there?s progression but it?s hardly audible when you don?t pay attention. There?s a lot of crackle and hiss, buzzing noises, at times sounding like a couple of eggs boiling in a tin pan.
The second piece starts off heavier but seems to stem from the same material as the first piece was. Learning that these sounds were recorded in 2003 and the material for the first track some three years later makes me wonder what Francis? methods of selection are. Or his ways of recording. The track has some nice progression in it though, the static transforms into a more whistling tone as time evolves, without ever abandoning the rainy hissing sound present throughout this whole album.
The third and final piece, and don?t get me wrong, I love minimalism, sounds like a bad remix of John Cage?s ?4?33?. It?s a piece so mute I can ditch my final comparison of this album to some form of ambient instantly.
The conclusion is clearly that this album is extremely underwhelming. Only to be bothered with if you?re intensely interested in the many ways of musique concr?te, ambient and/or soundscapes. 3/10 -- Joris Heemskerk (28 November, 2007)