The San Francisco duo of Loren Chasse and Jim Haynes, working
under the name of a prehistoric fish once thought to be extinct,
have discovered a lost spell for slowing down time and unlocking
the voices of things that stand still.
The single hour long track on Mud Wall is an index of
ephemeral phenomena expanding and contracting, breathing in
and out. Contact microphones rubbed on the earth create a resonant
glow. Empty jars of glass, bits of wood, and sheets of rusted
metal are sought after for sound, not played like instruments.
This is not music so much as ritual. I can't shake the images
from Tarkovsky's Stalker when listening to this CD. A
post WWIII world brought to life by objects that on their own
don't imply the apocalypse: abandoned cars run over in a field
of grass and an empty warehouse flooded with rusty water. Something
in the way the actors move around and through them electrify
their presence and fill the space with a spiritual resonance.
The dark browns and vibrating whites on Mud Wall are
drawn out of the everyday by the body movements of Chasse and
Haynes. They investigate small sounds that are more like
secrets, quietly discovering what's on the surface of a rock
or hidden in a block of ice. They hear lost voices picked up
in ultraviolet lights. The history of the world being transmitted
in slow motion through shortwave. Chasse and Haynes are time
travelers, and Mud Wall is a document of their travels.
A snapshot of a netherworld in the distant future. The slow
downed movements of a prehistoric past. Or maybe one of the
forgotten worlds that Borges has brought to life in a dream.