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CHASSE, LOREN - Characters at the Water Margin

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Unfathomless U22
Release Year: 2014
Note: finally a new release by LOREN CHASSE (who was once active with ID BATTERY, COELACANTH, and in THUJA) who assembled field recordings from the Olympic Rainforest in Washington, USA, near the Pacific Ocean; you can hear his activites and interactions merging with the pure sounds from air, ocean, wind, stones, wood, etc. etc... very pure "exploring sounds" in this series of MYSTERY SEA, dealing with "spirits of specific places", lim. 200, full-colour cardboard-sleeve, inlay
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €14.00


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"These recordings were made at the edge of Washington states Olympic Rainforest, where the Hoh River meets the Pacific Ocean. The point of entry to this landscape, named Oil City on the map, is no more than a place where the road widens before coming to an end at a trailhead. Just north of the road, through the trees, and on the homestead of the late Captain Hank who one day disappeared at sea, is the ghost of an oil rig and some comings and goings along a plank road. Early 20th century settlers had been ambitious to start an oil industry here but it never took off. Chal-ator Hohlegend describes a race of upside down people who once lived on this shore and went about their domestic lives rather inefficiently until a transformer-god, Kwati, set them upright. Can it be inferred, then, that the Chal-at also listened at ground level?
Massive cedar, Sitka spruce, and Douglas fir logs pile up here on a dense litter of granitic pebbles and driftwood, all worn smooth by the sea. The surf resonates in countless hollows across this implied architecture. Elevated walkways bridge the sea wrack and lead to secluded rooms with makeshift furniture and fire rings on floors of stone and sand. A dense rainforest rises steeply behind this beach. Human passage between Oil City and the mouth of the river, and at the jut of rock on the way to Jefferson Cove, is strictly regulated by a fearsome tide. The animals of this seashore, though rarely seen, have upon each and every surface left a shadow scattered." [Loren Chasse, January 2014]



"Now here's a name I haven't heard in quite a while, Loren Chasse. His last work before this one 'The Footpath' on Naturestrip, which didn't make it to these pages, I think. That was in 2008. What Chasse was up to in the meantime I don't know. Maybe other, non-musical activities required his attention. Here he has a work of nine pieces of sounds he recorded at the 'edge of Washington state's Olympic Rainforest where the Hoh River meets the Pacific Ocean'. This point is called oil City, but the oil industry never took off. I must admit I have no idea what I am hearing here. Yes, there might be the sound of water, maybe birds, but what else? That is hard to say. It sounds like Chasse has been rumbling through the woods, shuffling logs, pushing stones and such like. Likewise I have no idea to what extent there is something done after these sounds are recorded. Is there anything done post-recording? Some kind of sound processing? Digital and/or analogue? Hard to say. Very few moments I thought it was, and then perhaps not at all. Nowhere, never. All of these things I was thinking about while playing this release. Lots of questions, but altogether it make up for some truly fascinating music. It's partly like an audio diary, of someone exploring an area full of lumber, small creeks, birds and searching for a hide out, to spend the night. Setting up camp, listening to wildlife somewhere, nocturnal humming and crafting a boat. I might be all wrong actually. It makes up quite a fascinating release altogether. Quite intense, quite unsettling even, but also quite beautiful. Great stuff." [FdW/Vital Weekly]