OLIVIA BLOCK / KYLE BRUCKMANN – Teem

Either/OAR

The instrumentation includes field recordings, piano, reed organ, oboe, English horn, accordion. Both artists are credited with “editing & mixing”. In the first of four movements, rustling noise is utilized as a complement of an abundance of stratified oboes, mainly in the acute region. At times, the sense of presage elicited by the music recalls Fred Frith’s “Kick The Can” (on Speechless), melodic arcs moving inside the bush.

The second and longest part starts with a wobbly dissonant drone, think Niblock rendered by the Master Musicians of Jajouka. A kind of melting is perceived, then snippets of events – pitches, gurgles, held tones, everything sounding fairly natural. One notices an alternance between mechanical/industrial taste and quiet contemplation. The result is often indecipherable, with sudden illuminations and openings. Around the tenth minute, a throbbing cluster – soon ceasing its existence – introduces a segment where nocturnal tranquillity, distance, interference and liquidness weigh the same. It’s a fine amalgam of reality and hypothesis, ending in consistent dissonance.

The third track is characterized by an initial ebb and flow: there’s movement from unknown sources, some manipulations of objects. Tactile, yet powerful. More undercurrents are detected, frenetic activity occurring as aborted chords try to get their voice heard. Hundreds of rays of different consistency glowing upon an unstable ground, echoes of Biota materializing for those in the know, just for instants. Chaos, invulnerability, urgency, silence.

Final chapter: great control of the upper partials by Bruckmann, additional oscillations and throbs. A stasis of sorts is achieved, a feel of elevation begins to emerge, all parts fusing into a whole. Weakness revealing intensity, suspension, oblique lights changing colours before a Reich-like pulse pushes us towards the end, the ultimate doubt lingering on: where does this organic sum belong – and where do we?

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