CD HMS 003
reviewed by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma>
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.