FERGUS KELLY – Swarf + Fugitive Pitch

Swarf is a three-inch CD containing 20 minutes composed by gathering gentle noises emitted via bowed steel rods with sheet steel resonator, edited in consecutive loops and logical sequences in order to let them appear like veritable pieces of music. Obviously comparable to an acoustic sculpture or an installation – think a cross of a sedated Organum and a shut-in-a-closet version of Jonathan Coleclough – characterized by a sort of imprecise lyricism made acceptable by the short duration of the five tracks, each giving a different interpretation of the basic concept. Not really harsh, but also not excessively placid; minimalist in a way. Small doses of aural satisfaction are in any case guaranteed. A sufficiently grown-up release in this busy area.

Fugitive Pitch utilizes a longer period to better develop the notion, this time showing the consequence of improvisations (by Kelly and David Lacey) with metals, plastic and drum parts in cellars located under Dublin’s Henrietta Street. The raw materials were processed and seamed after being recorded, thus maintaining the structural coherence that had already been detected in the shorter disc. Needless to say, the level of gratification is increased by the larger resonance deriving from the setting in which this was realized; still, although the record is not lacking in fascinating roars and rumbles – with an even more attentive ear to the enhancement of long-drawn-out upper partials – not too much of truly groundbreaking can be reported. There’s no doubt about Kelly’s seriousness of intents though, his sound world definitely able to sustain our curiosity for the whole extent of the program and, at the very least, constituting a pleasant soundtrack for this early morning. (Room Temperature)
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