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SHOEMAKER, MATT - Erosion of the Analogue Eye

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Helen Scarsdale Agency HMS 015
Release Year: 2009
Note: lim. 300 letterpress edition with different handcreated cover-pics
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00

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"As said in the review of the new CD by Jim Haynes there is a small school of drone musicians, mainly from the USA who deliver some of the more darker outing in the scene. There are of course minor differences to be spotted. According to the cover of Schoemaker's new CD 'environmental phenomena' where recorded in Indonesia, Cambodia and USA, but its hard to spot these on the actual music, as he feeds them through a whole bunch of analogue synthesizers, guitar stomp boxes, reverb and such like. Only in the last piece 'The Analogous Eye' bird calls and wind sounds rise out of the mass, but even here things seems electrified. This makes that Schoemaker's music is altogether more 'electronic' in nature than that of Haynes or Irr.App.(ext.) and also a bit more 'louder', industrial perhaps. In his music he depicts empty industrial sites of long sustaining, rusty sounds of rusty object on even more rusty surfaces. The two parts of 'Erosion' are highly minimalist affairs of long sustained sounds. Not to be confused with the current wave of 'cosmic' sound artists, this goes further and deeper. An excellent work, sadly perhaps limited to 300 copies only." [FdW / Vital Weekly]

"The studio of Matt Shoemaker is alive with electricity. Impossibly complex wirings channel signal in and out of analog synth modules, an array of curious aluminums boxes with unmarked knobs, slinkies strung from ceiling to floor creating a set of giant spring reverb units, accelerometers attached to consumer electronic errata, and even a few conventional tools like guitar stomp boxes and a bruised computer. For all of the convoluted engineering that goes into Shoemaker's equipment, the resulting mesmerism in sound appears effortless and strangely organic. Shoemaker has enjoyed a semi-obscure career through his polymath activities that bridge such electronic experiments with a choice library of globe-trotted field recordings and a broad knowledge of avant-garde cinema. For Erosion of the Analogous Eye, Shoemaker waves his hands about his laboratory to construct an ever-evolving album for mutant dronemuzik. His electrical seas of synthetic bristling undulate with placid regularity, only to find Shoemaker contorting these brain-melting psychedelics into cancerous, atonal bellows. Out of his allotropic shifts, one can find swells of irradiated static transform into the graceful chime of temple bells; and electrical phase patterns slip into deep forest murmurings dotted with narcoleptic birds calls. On one hand, this album is prescient of the revival for progressive electronics currently underway in the flood of US post-noise projects; it's easy to triangulate this between Emeralds and Heldon. But on the other hand, Erosion of the Analogous Eye is the continuation of where Shoemaker had begun with his early work on Trente Oiseaux with its grotesques exaggerations of field recording into this beguiling piece of art. The artwork on Erosion of the Analogous Eye features unique hand-dyed abstractions mounted onto letterpressed paper. This has warranted a very small pressing of 300 copies." [label info]


"A very prescient, and very good, record by the sound-artist / field recordist Matt Shoemaker, Erosion Of The Analogous Eye pushes his work of tonal exploration and exaggerated found sounds into the neighborhood of many of the post-noise cosmic explorers who have been blossoming in every corner of the US it seems. At the same time, this is very much a Matt Shoemaker record, following a trajectory set forth through his acclaimed work on the once-mighty Trente Oiseaux label.
An ur-drone of analog synthesis opens the album, obviously harkening to '70s kosmische activities certainly a muscular revisitation of Schulze or even an extraction from Richard Pinhas. Such a lazerbeam of a drone has a lysergic sunrise feel to it, with the light and shadow brought into sharp relief, the colors shifted and separating into spectral bursts of yellow, red, pink, and orange. Yet, slowly, Shoemaker introduces atonal drones which clash with that introductory suspension. At first, the metallic slashes have almost an Andrew Chalk and Jonathan Coleclough feel, but Shoemaker quickly dispels those notions with a layer of field recordings of insects ravenously scurrying about. That introductory tone, which still continues through this first track, bends like a divebombing plane with Doppler tones trailing behind, descending in a series of bell tones. All of this in a seamless 17 minutes. A steady rhythm of gamelan bell tones opens the second track with accumulated complimentary drones shimmering and vibrating while harmonic dissonance abounds, collapsing into a quiet stream of percolating textures. Spread across 24 minutes, this track seems ancient and sounds beguilingly beautiful. Bellowing rumbles amplify out of recordings of rain, mud, and water and steadily arching through a metallic rattling of various pipes and gongs for the final track, which eventually gives way to an uneasy set of recordings of birds in a rainforest whose calls echo through the trees.
As with all Helen Scarsdale releases the packaging is stellar. Letterpressed text with hand-dyed paper. Each are different, each are quite special. Oh yeah, limited to a mere 300 copies!" [Aquarius Records]