Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Andy Futreal - Before Knowing Remebers (TD54)

gentle medicine for an inward journey.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

While one might perceive Andy Futreal's discography as brief, it is brimming with quality and diversity.  Ophelia Wanders, in 2007, presented beautiful improvised acoustic guitar and percussion.  His gentle touch on that release reminds me of Tape, the Apestaartje label, and Rick Tomlinson.  Subsequently, On Wrack: Oud Improvisations, Reactions, and Abstractions, Andy plays the Oud, along with lapsteel, shortwave radio, noise and piano.  The Oud and shortwave radio create otherworldly sounds.  Wrack is a true Sloow tape.  Before Knowing Remembers, released on the venerable Tape Drift, finds Andy at his finest, creating a beautiful collage of sounds - the type of stuff that makes you want to click repeat.  In its execution it feels like the confluence of many postcards - memories hang delicately from gently plucked strings; introspective moments weave through the shortwave radio and field recordings; and the sonic elements of the recording allow one to be in touch with the moment.

Before Knowing Remembers, a single sound collage, was recorded between 2009 and 2011, in Cambridge UK.  On this recording, Andy utilizes acoustic guitar, piano, sugudu, shortwave radio, lap steel and computer.  The field recordings are from Asia, the UK and the US.  The piece moves at a pleasant pace and is punctuated with noise, fractured songs and field recordings.  The gentle plucks of the acoustic guitar are coupled with field recordings, which imbue the surroundings with light colors at times. Andy's style sometimes recalls the softer moments of Ben Chasny.   However, this sound collage is not uniform in neither pace nor feeling.  Passages of acoustic guitar give way to bells, noise and other instruments.  Some parts of the track are introspective, exploratory, celebratory - a true journey.  As with most of the music on this site, I recommend experiencing this release without the presence of external stimuli.  Therefore, it should be enjoyed alone and in its entirety.  The end of the collage is entirely different, in sound, than the preceding 25 minutes.  In the final minutes, various instruments, computer and piano combine to create some of the lightest, most introspective moments experienced this year....the gentle piano combines nicely with the field recordings of children voices and shortwave radio.  A strength of this release is the tempo and construction of the collage.  In this sense, the track ends perfectly as shortwave radio and field recordings close out the experience.

This is the first cd-r reviewed on the site, and one of the best recordings of 2012.  A lot of people try to pull this type of stuff off; yet, there are not many that can match Andy.  Before Knowing Remembers is a sincere statement about time, space and culture - a celebration of life.  Support this beautiful effort by purchasing the cd-r through either Tape Drift or Flipped Out.

peace to you, friends :)