CD HMS 003
reviewed by Lee Jackson
Coelacanth, the duo of Loren Chasse and Jim Haynes, weaves a graceful
but chaotic tone spell on Mud Wall, where the natural environment
literally becomes the instrument of choice in a piece thats
equal parts studio abstraction and metaphorical representation. As
do many sound sculptors today, the duo largely draws its noise from
processed recordings of a variety of natural objects and occurrences
(copper, stone, glass, sand, rust, wind, water, mud are all employed)
to arrive at some of the most vividly alive sound dreams to emanate
from the Jewelled Antler related substrata yet (or at least since
the last Thuja album).
Presented as one 60 min track separated into three parts, Mud Wall
begins with the serene drone hums and isolated, echoed drips. Steady
low tones murmur on an ascending slope; a barely audible bell rings
before a dense, layered wash of sound settles in a breathing pool
from which ancient formations slowly rise and gently subside. The
wind is another vivid participant, suggesting the transcendental sound
sculptor of Mirrors minimal classic Eye of the Storm,
though this is drawn with a busier, more tangled brush.
Its tempting to hear this album as a fairly static, cluttered
work on first listens, but closer examination reveals something much
more cavernous and carefully designed with layer upon layer of ancient
elements appearing and disappearing as surreal tonal juxtapositions.
From the liners: "I can describe it in no other way than this:
In that moment, I was certain there were ancient forces listening
In a silence like fossils." For at least an hour, I can hear
it too. Coelacanth delivers the kind of aural meditation that reveals
itself incrementally, making Mud Wall fertile ground for repeatedly
exploring the preternatural nuances of the most concrete of realities.