April 19, 2019
Review on Chain DLK about “Fog Horns”
In the spectrum of ‘art music’- experimental, avantgarde, postmodern, whatever other labels will loosely fit- aspirational and high faluting language is the norm, with listeners encouraged to recognise the deeper meanings and connections drawn out through the sounds and their either connection or disconnection with their source and their production process. So it comes as a breath of fresh air to discover that Felix Blume’s “Fog Horns” is precisely that- it’s the sound of some fog horns, for 33 minutes. And it’s excellent.
Side A of the LP is an 18-minute track recorded during a ‘fog horn concert’ in Piraeus port area Athens, a seemingly live recording in which various large ships blow their single note horns in normally long blasts. Out of the layering and call-and-response of simple tuned warning systems appears a form of drone symphony, the horns become bassoons and tubas performing a slow and accidentally complex improvised musical pattern. The tuning is largely complementary, but intriguing in its contrast. You quickly forget you’re listening to prosaic industrial sound and interpret it as an immersive piece of neo-classical.
Side B ‘remixes’ this material, and is where Blume’s work really starts. The tones recorded in the first piece are stretched, echoed and effected into much darker territory. The naturalism is ripped away and the drones suddenly becoming more sinister, the environment much more alien and intimidating. It’s in three five-minute parts but essentially works as a fifteen-minute drone piece with a strong organic component, building to the final part where tones are bent into string section style arrangements worthy of, and strangely reminiscent of, 2001 A Space Odyssey’s journey beyond the infinite. Although it’s from the same source material as side A, it’s an entirely different work deserving a different arbitrary genre label.
Having first heard Blume’s work on his powerful “Death In Haiti” release a couple of years ago, this “Fog Horns” release is less emotive, and arguably less imaginative; however it’s still a captivating listen.
April 19, 2019
LP Vinyl / Label: Discrepant / Release date: 19th April 2019
Listen on Bandcamp / Spotify / Deezer / Amazon / YouTube / Google Play / iTunes & Apple Music
French sound artist Félix Blume keeps pushing the boundaries of field recordings for our enjoyment. “Fog Horns” captures the sounds of boat horns in Piraeus, Athens, Greece, the port city that serves some of the most important ferry routes in Greece nowadays. Yes, boat horns are annoying, sometimes disturbing and even absurdly disrupting if you live in a port city or one that is blessed with the arrival of cruises. We all know that. But we also knew that recordings of funerals could be tricky, and Félix Blume pulled a gem out of last year’s “Death In Haiti – Funeral Brass Band & Sounds Of Port Au Prince (CREP51)”.
And he has done it again. The A side reveals a long track recorded during a fog horn concert whilst side B features three ‘remixes’ of the same recordings, paying respect to what Ingram Marshall did in “Fog Tropes” in three different ‘movements’. In a way, B side sounds like the perfect soundtrack for the recent remake of “Suspiria”. But Thom Yorke got in the way.
Jokes aside, there’s something magical about these horns. In the eighteen minutes of the first side, Félix Blume explores the concept of a concert played by those horns. The horns dominate but sounds of the surroundings create a perfect balance to the drone hysteria. The surrounding sounds are the heartbeat of this track. The horns are the metal section of an orchestra, while the rest works like the strings. Hidden melodies are revealed when you listen to this with your full attention, and the more you do it, the horns become less present, vivid. It’s one of the many crafts of Félix Blume, the more you live with his music, the more you focus outside the plot.
If those eighteen minutes sound tremendously real, the three tracks on the other side feel like a horror film. The warmth disappears to become cold ambiance, beautifully textured and enigmatic sounds take over. Horns are still heard, but they’re a different kind of horns. It seems that Félix Blume is playing with our perception, from bliss to horror. A honk will never be the same again.
With collage artwork by Evan Crankshaw.
Recorded by a AB Setup with two B&K 4006 microphones, on a 633 Sound Devices recorder, in Wave 96kHz 24bit.
Side A is the recording, without any effect and only light editing, EQ and mixing.
Side B is a sound creation, mostly playing with the speed and some repetition, done with the material of Side A.
A1. Fog Horns (18’04)
B1. Horns in Fog pt1 (4’51)
B2. Horns in Fog pt2 (4’33)
B3. Horns in Fog pt3 (5’44)
PRESS: Chain D.L.K,
BROADCAST & LISTENING SESSIONS: Spot! Bordeaux (Fr),
Fog Horns by Félix Blume
April 17, 2019
21st of April : Curupira, creature of the woods presented in Bangkok
This Sunday in Bangkok, my film “Curupira, creature of the woods” will be shown among an amazing selection of films, curated by Julian Ross & May Adadol Ingawanij.
Curupira, creature of the woods
“โซนลึกในป่าอเมซอน ชาว Tauary ชวนเราฟังเสียงป่า เสียงนกเสียงสัตว์ มีเสียงประหลาดแทรกซ้อนเข้ามาให้ได้ยินด้วย เสียงตัวอะไรคลานอยู่รอบๆ ต้นไม้ บางคนบอกว่าเคยได้ยินเสียงนาง แต่ไม่เคยได้เห็น ใครเคยได้เห็นเป็นอันไม่ได้กลับออกมาอีก นางร่ายมนต์ชวนคนเดินป่าหลงทาง ชื่อว่านางไม้ Curupira งานชิ้นนี้เป็นงานเสียงระทึกขวัญขับบรรเลงเพลงของป่า”
April 15, 2019