Woodsmoke by Glottalstop

So I was about to do a food post, when I was stopped by the latest release on Tartaruga records. For those of you who aren’t aware, I create music myself; well, that was until my music became the growing, deep mystery I call Miss K. I am sure I won’t be kept from making sounds myself very much longer, but in the mean time I will focus on the talents and adventures others.

So back to the newest release from Tartaruga – It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It probably won’t be yours, but I dare you to give it a try. It is called Woodsmoke and it is a release from Glottalstop, the newest project from Oliver Barrett. Oliver is a very talented sound maker whom I collaborated with myself some years ago.

From what I have heard, Woodsmoke is unsettling and dark and not for the faint-hearted. The sound of decomposing tape reminds me of that beautiful work by William Basinski, ‘The Disintegration Loop‘ (by the way, this is one of the best soundtracks we found for getting Miss K to sleep, in case you are on the hunt for your little tyke). Of course on top of the tape sounds, Glottalstop is layering all those very difficult and lilting sounds made by cello and electronics, creating a pulsing landscape that just won’t sit still under your feet.

If I were in a very deep and large limestone cave, with drifting light coming through small chinks in the stone canopy above that is where I would myself imagine the sounds of the side A excerpt track on the Woodsmoke/Tartaruga page. There is something almost meditative about this track. It wills you to push past that which is menacing and notice its beauty. That is the kind of aesthetic I really appreciate.

The side B excerpt begins with a kind of call and return of cello and electronically simulated sounds which I assume to originate from the cello at least in part. The octave-dropped cello creates a stepping-stone base for the track, but as it jumps from ear to ear in a pan, it becomes harder to place ones feet on those stepping-stones and it feels like the water between them begins to lap at your ankles, threatening to pull you into it’s current. Instead of pulling you under, the shore at the other side recedes from your reach and you are left a little stranded. This is where I find this track difficult to navigate and I think that is the intention. As it is an excerpt, I am assuming that it continues it’s difficult foray into the unknown… this I am yet to find out.

A thumbs up from me, but then I am biased as I’m a fan of Oliver’s work. You can check out some of his other sounds on his bandcamp page.


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