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SHOEMAKER, MATT - Spots in the Sun

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Helen Scarsdale Agency HMS010
Release Year: 2007
Note: third album by this field recording artist from USA, creating trancy, massive dronescapes, extremely atmospheric; lim. 400
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00

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"Dieser Autodidakt in Seattle hat mit seinen dröhnminimalistischen Soundscapes schon Anklang gefunden bei verwandten Seelen wie Francisco López und Bernhard Günter, der auf seinem Label Trente Oiseaux Shoemakers Groundless (2000) und Warung Elusion (2001) herausgebracht hat. Der neue Dröhnscape reizt Hörsinn und Phantasie mit vier Szenen, zu denen man, je nach Wildheit der Imagination, sich Sonnenflecken und Protuberanzen als fernen kosmischen Klangsturm, oder auch einfach ein Fleckchen in der Sonne am Badesee vorstellen mag. Jeweils taucht man ein in grummelnde Tableaus aus Rauschpixeln in vibrierenden Grautönen und schimmernden Monochromien, die in einem Zoomeffekt kulminieren. Als ob das Mikrophon vom Bild angesaugt und verschluckt würde und in den letzten Sekunden akustische Großaufnahmen des Schlunds liefern würde, in dem es verschwindet. Im vierten Teil meine ich bebende Cymbals, Dutzende von Cymbals, als Quelle ausmachen zu können, ein metallisch sirrendes Klangbeben, das im Raum zu schweben scheint, und über das sich dunkle Dröhnwellen hinweg wälzen. Als ob Shoemaker Makro- und Mikroebenen ineinander blenden würde, meint man im Bildgewebe auch die molekularen Reibungen und partikularen Kollisionen wahrnehmen zu können. Letztlich aber verschwinden Katz und Maus im grauen Rauschen. Kennt ihr den? Begegnen sich ein Ästhetizist und ein Anästhesist unter einer Autobahnbrücke..." [Bad Alchemy]

"Matt Shoemaker pulled his chin away from his hand after several ponderous moments, positing that the title to this electrically-charged opus of encrypted drone holds at least two entry points. The most obvious reference for Spots In The Sun would be the astrophysical study of sunspots with all of the allusions to earthly disturbances triggered by events millions of miles away. Yet, on the other hand, Shoemaker also proposed an earthbound reference to regions of the world that only exist -- perhaps literally, perhaps psycho-geographically -- under the intense glare of sunlight. He then shrugged his shoulders, hoping for an ideal situation in which his audience will confront his work as a vacuum and allow personal references to be drawn from within. In simplest terms, Spots In The Sun is a grotesque, sonic landscape with details exaggerated out of proportion and narratives folded upon themselves in a magnificent abstraction of electro-acoustics, rarefied field recordings, and particulate matter plucked from the ether. Shoemaker works in monochrome, shaping his gray tonalities into rhizomes of shadow which occasionally erupt in brilliance of hyper-realized clarity. While the familiar sounds of encircling birds, turbulent weather, and temple bells litter Shoemaker's recordings, the sonic topography describes a vulgar and hostile landscape where fits of delirium and circadian arrhythmia are common human responses. Shoemaker achieves these complex metaphors through labyrinthine drones spiraling through irradiated fog and glassine vibrations, punctured by the scars of a landscape in perpetual revolt. In many ways, Shoemaker's Spots In The Sun could be mistaken for Bernard Parmegiani at his most focused or even John Duncan at his most gracefully brutal." [press release]

"....Shoemaker's music is always present, and perhaps a little more raw than mentioned counterparts, but that's what I like this release. It moves more wildly through various textures from semi-soft to semi-loud in a more continuos manner and thus Shoemaker can be lumped in with some of the drone crowd than say with his microsound counterparts. In the field of drone music his collage techniques may seem odd, but it's surely an original voice. A high quality work, with minor and vital differences." [FdW / Vital Weekly]


"Have a glance back at our most verbose descriptions about anything from the avant-garde fringes of music making, and you'll most likely find a common metaphor of specific locations, or rather the memories that the author attributes to that space -- good, bad, holy, abject, transcendent, etc. Upon listening to Spots In The Sun, we find ourselves returning to the well-trod linguistic device of comparing sound to the detached memories of place; however, Shoemaker's exploration of psychogeographic sound never grounds itself upon a specific location -- like a crumbling hospital, reclaimed World War II bunkers, or even his own favored locations of the jungles of Indonesia. Rather, Shoemaker drops the listener into a sunbleached environment, where heat, humidity, jetlag, fatigue, and general environmental claustrophobia prevent any of the specifics to make themselves known. While Shoemaker's landscapes are openly hostile toward the listener, these swarming masses of sound are incredibly alluring, drawing us in even though we may know better than to enter these openly toxic spaces. Shoemaker is always teasing us with small hints as to where we might be, with screeching birds, temple bells, and the patter of rain; but before we can begin to triangulate a position, Shoemaker rips us from our locale with a ruptured crescendo and drops us somewhere else. It is through the drone that Shoemaker achieves all of this and more, his swarming monochrome morphs from complex vibrations into radioluminescent clouds. Spots In The Sun is an exquisite manifestation of abstracted field recordings pushed to the point of grotesque minimalism, and is indeed some of the finest that we've heard (comparable to the likes of BJ Nilsen, Machinefabriek, Loren Chasse, Philip Jeck's Surf, and mnortham)." [Aquarius Records]