MICHAEL NORTHAM – Solar Night

Mirror Tapes

Northam inhabits sonic highlands where apparently ordinary actions are informed by a portion of just anything in the intersecting areas of exploitation of concrete substance, field recordings, deconsecrated ritualism and tactile entrancement. He applies an individual discernment of the “beyond” to a series of gathered materials which turn out to be, with the passage of time, the means to a connection with certain dimensions of the psyche which not everybody is ready or willing to experience, despite the evident traces of environmental life and human tampering. The alteration of the mechanisms of insight elicited by some parts of this tape – most notably, the splendid consecutiveness of “A Tunnel” and “Sonorous Skin” – is obtained through the adjustment of raw components that – although somewhat fathomable – collectively form a milieu of morphing shapes and translucent threads whose layering defines bulking masses of acoustic muscle. The spellbinding factors become essential, gradually unconcealed intensities summing to generate scorching rays of unexplained information. In these agglomerations, the single elements may be completely diverse – wooden flutes, insects, bells, crumbling ground, gurgling liquid, mysterious voices – but the glue that keeps everything together is our own reaction to the unusual combinations. A palliative against the ruinous effects of instrumental gluttony, Solar Night is an important release – on cassette – from an interesting Malaysian imprint.

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