Winds Measure

Gilles Aubry: processed field recordings.

A semi-concealed gemstone from 2009, retrieved from a box of old promos with inexcusable delay. Aubry – specialized in installations and pieces for radio – collected echoes from the insides of a Berlin building called Stralau 68, an onetime site for experimental activities, altering them via computer and electronics. Divided in three movements, the work is a defectless exemplification of what I feel disposed to in this area: concision, compositional awareness and talent in treating the substrative components of certain recurrencies, privileging the factors that make a sound improve into something very close to our internal turmoil, perhaps destined to change state and become a calmness of sorts later on.

The first movement introduces a masked throb amidst a wash created by the reverberations of the local trains, which – opportunely modified – recall an industrial marine setting. The second revolves around an engulfing seclusive hum interspersed with appearances of pressurized flashes and more concrete sonorities. The third, in a way directly related to the beginning (given the return of the trains’ far-flung echo), ends instead with insidious incisive highs that leave us in a bit of rational displacement when the record’s over. I listened to s6t8r five times and am still at a loss for words to set forth the impact that it made on my systems, but one thing’s for sure: it’s one of the finest works in the genre, thanks to its balance of mnemonic stimulus and lack of bells and whistles.

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