SETH NEHIL – Furl

A conceptual prolongation of his previous Flock And Tumble (also on Sonoris), Furl incarnates a somewhat more structured version of Seth Nehil’s accumulation of organic, environmental and instrumental substances. It is difficult to approach this work without thinking of it as a cycle of compositions, for the chains of events appear planned with extreme care. However, the sense of unfathomable ambiguity and doubt about the actual origins of the sounds heard are typical of this artist’s field of research. The feel of imminence and contiguity, the space left to each manifestation for being weighed up and evaluated by the listener’s imagination, and the circumscription of vagueness within the borders of a fractional solidity are all strong points of this album, which gives perspectives on the manipulation of sonic phenomena that are both innovative and familiar – especially for those already acquainted with Nehil’s output.

Five pieces are comprised in the disc, the duration not exceeding the limit of ten minutes. They make the time flow quite fast, given the numerous invitations to scrutiny during their unfolding. Nehil applies restraint and congruity as not many comparable composers are able to; he places a percussive incident right before or after the extended tones of something appearing as spectra of processed ringing metals, mixing the elements with customary attention amidst the tiny granules of a rustling vulnerability. Urban flavours were definitely used – unobtrusively, never overwhelmingly. The inexactitude of certain frail reverberations is perceived as an ideal dressing to happenings that stimulate and confound rather than affirming an explicit point of view.

According to that logic, the most absorbing chapter is “Swarm”, in which human voices (one of the record’s very few recognizable constituents) are utilized in puzzlingly anomalous fashion: short phonemes (say, “Hoo”, “Hey”, “Ha”, arranged in slightly out-of-phase mode) seem to depict a condition of precariousness, hesitation expressed by developed creatures arrived on the scene of existence with huge delay. Like the testing of an echo, in a way, or a hopeless call to check if someone responds even if the eyes aren’t seeing anything in proximity. It’s a strange, fascinating moment that beautifully complements the fleeting mirages of this acoustic microcosm. Those who loved the preceding release will not want to miss this, which keeps showing various unopened doors leading to inexplicable discoveries.

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