COELACANTH
MUD WALL
HMS003 CD Helen Scarsdale


The Sound Projector, Issue 13
2005
reviewed by Ed Pinsent, 28/10/2004

Here's their other release for this season, a single 58-minute cut. Helen Scarsdale has rescued this release from comparative oblivion of its original obscure issue on the Mystery Sea label. Taken from recordings make at 'a private performance,' Mud Wall is packaged in layers of opaque, green murk. Three screenprints, half-tone photographs of extremely obscure shapes, are slid into the jewel case. Each card is backed with a puzzling prose or poem piece, alluding to water, minerals, the passage of time... immersion within this 'mudbath' of clues, visual hints, and of course sound is perhaps the best way for anyone to enjoy and understand this unique sound-art entity. As both sources and methods remain cryptic, it's impossible to categorize. The music simply trundles in with gently fascinating waves, rattling, churning, and gurgling. Again, without expending reams of useless prose, may I commend this CD to you all very highly. What's more impressive about the 'Canth is the quality of air and space that is suggestive in these very 'open' recordings of theirs - even more so than in the recent Brent Larner escapade After School Activity. Yet at the same time, Mud Wall has density and surface. This is the very converse of the often-claustrophobic world of sealed off, blocked-in digital music. Wonderful, nearly inexplicable sounds; let this duo show you the hidden mysteries of life.