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TARAB - I'm Lost

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: 23five Incorporated 23FIVE 019
Release Year: 2014
Note: new TARAB work with various levels of possible meanings based on the phrase I'M LOST, a "schizoid-conrete opus", where all kinds of field recordings are used & processed in different way => from short & harsh collages to post industrial sounding factory drone noise passages, the Australian sound artists creates again rough & inspiring 'found sound' landscapes...
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"A schizoid-concrete opus of environmental sounds heightened, stimulated, decontextualized, and teased into a psychic puzzle of industrialized and post-industrialized detritus, I'm Lost marks another milestone in the ever impressive catalogue from Australian sound-artist Eamon Sprod, who adopts the moniker Tarab for his endeavors. The title is one that explodes with a multitude of meaning. There's the geographical frustration in losing one's way as the surrounding landmarks fail to match with whatever technology may be in use (e.g. a sextant, a compass, an iPhone, a torn map, one's poor memory of a childhood neighborhood, etc.). There's the psychological implications of being lost from the existential narratives that we have scripted for ourselves due to broken relationships, failed jobs, dead relatives, natural disasters, the hand of God, etc. In addition to these possibilities, Sprod proposes that the notion of "lost" could also be an inversion of the idea of the "found object" or the "found sound," instead becoming the "lost object" or the "lost sound." Sprod's semantic wordplay is hardly a conceptual gimmick, as he fully immerses himself in the confusional framework while maintaining a consummate technical prowess over his field recordings. The compositional approach is rhizomatic, with dead-ends, wrong turns, and reprisals of these same dead-ends and wrong turns, offering a blackhumor sneer at the stubbornness of humanity's inability to learn from our mistakes (e.g. pollution, blight, poverty, disease, etc). Within the album's harsh edits and disjointed collages, Sprod renders sound with dysphoric associations through his vacant drift, crumbled gravel, scalding plasma-tube frequencies, and putrid factory noise. I'm Lost achieves the same psychological gravity as heard in the works of Sudden Infant, P16.D4, and John Duncan with an even greater sense of dislocation from those pioneers of radical tape splicing." [label info]


" "Careful arrangements of sonic rubbish." That's one hell of a great artist's statement, courtesy of Eamon Sprod (aka Tarab). Over the past decade or so, this Australian sound-artist has quietly produced some of the finer examples of composition through field recording. His work is hardly the stuff of pleasantries from a soft ambient whoosh set as the backdrop to various birdsongs plopped willy-nilly for the intrepid listener to identify. Nope, there's always the threat of psychological, psychic, and existential violence lurking throughout Sprod's work. When the insect chorales push through to the foreground, it's symbolic of pestilence, disease, blight, and the simple fact that much in the outback can fucking kill you. It's easy to tap into the ultra-violent, post-apocalyptic, doomsayer, and/or isolationist scenarios mapped out elsewhere through the Australian psyche (e.g. Mad Max, Chopper, On The Beach, Bad Boy Bubby, etc.); and Sprod carves out his own niche in digging through the hinterlands of urban neglect, locating meaning of psychogeographical import (or the lack there of) within a recontextualized sound object. Since his debut Surfacedrift back in 2004, Sprod's work has steadily exhibited a maturation in conceptualization and aesthetic complexity, culminating in the schizophonic collage-tactics of I'm Lost.
The opening salvo of leaden thud, turbine roar, and pressurized blasts of air slithering through release valves is a torrent of concrete-actions, jump-cuts, and dead-ends, as if Sprod has decided to dematerialize the listener and purposefully mistranslate the coordinates between alternate realities of equally miserable / fascinating locations of industrialized bleakness. When he settles upon a singular space-time continuum, it's a vat of uranium churning at the bottom of an oil drum, while the container itself quickens its half-life through atomic fission. Another turn and Sprod channels an ethereally unholy skree of a thousand particle accelerators amassing their beams on a single contact microphone, ending up with something akin to a far more uncomfortable Phill Niblock or Rhys Chatham, manifested through what could be fluorescent bulbs. The quiet passages of textural rummaging that Sprod intersperses throughout I'm Lost have the queasy feel of somebody pulling off scabs from old wounds. Equal parts Cronenberg and Schimpfluch (Lanz, Phillips, Eb.Er., Zeier, etc.) - so of course, it's fucking awesome." [Aquarius Records]

"When reviewing 'Strata', the previous release by Tarab in Vital Weekly 911, I already noted that he's not the world's busiest bee when it comes to releases, but with steady intervals there's always something new. The title could refer to being lost in a geographical sense of the word, or being lost from 'existential narratives that we have scripted for ourselves' (broken relationships, failed jobs), but Eamon Sprod uses it for 'lost object' and 'lost sound', opposed to 'found object' and 'found sound'. He still uses field recordings on these five pieces here, but also to a wider extent than before the collage/cut-up aspect in all of this. 'Strata' seemed rather un-manipulated, but 'I'm Lost' is surely the product of lots of manipulation. Firstly through the layering of sounds and secondly through cutting these up and re-assembling these sounds. It makes that this music is a bit more noise like than before, jumping around in all these weird and unexpected cuts. It's not easy to say
where Tarab gets his field recordings; if they are tied in to specific location(s), or thematically linked or from whatever source he seems fit. Maybe they all stem from pollution sites, I thought, as to a certain extent it seems to me this album is also a bit darker than his previous work, or perhaps many other works by those who work inside field recordings. It may share the negative worldview of say Joe Colley or the near-broken equipment of Francisco Meirino and with both of them it's a similar collage like styled, dynamic work of collage and cut-up. And, if you have been paying attention in the past few years, it's this dynamic form of noise - loud, quiet, high, low - which, combined with a refined sense of composition, is something that I enjoy very much. Therefore I can easily say that this is Tarab's best work to date. Strictly personal opinion, obviously." [FdW/Vital Weekly]