daphine & lyndsey - seascape no. 1 (kiks/gfr, 2012)
a somewhat mysterious recording by a "duo" moniker of one ben hallatt, dictator of kiks/gfr, one of my favorite n-th wave pre-industrial tape labels.  coupled with the too-appropriate copy, "no frills... rough and ready zen meditation" and a plethora of black and white images of our seemingly generic subject beach, including details of shells, the package as a whole has a slightly tongue-in-cheek air about it, both a striking example of, but also a pat on the head to, the often too-serious and usually bland field recording genre.  in this instance, we find ourselves transported to the entirely familiar, too expected, sound of crashing waves, gulls, and spray.  a lack of wind screen on the microphone offers further envelopment in the landscape of whooshing white noise in a way that may not be standard field recording; the microphone's presence calls attention to itself.  the intention feels off-the-cuff; unprepared; accidental.  voices mingle with the waves--are they screaming in ecstacy?  desperation?  children playing?  we can't be sure, but there is a story in the land, wind and water.  later in the tape, creaking fences and windswept cloth suggest human absence--the voices are gone but the objects remain.
joseph edward yonker - an entry into something of an exit (suram fortress, 2015)
it could be easy to overlook this tape in favor of joseph's melodic work with willamette, in collaboration with danny clay, or solo under his pasture moniker. but this tape is a necessary contrast to the sighing melodicism and nostalgic patina found in the aforementioned projects, offering instead a glimpse into a crunchy, ping-ponging post-industrial landscape. the sounds explored here are in the lineage of pioneering explorations in electronic sound art: musique concrète and electro-acoustic musics.  but the relative density and texture of the pieces' sounds: slapback-delayed crackling; coiled metal springs; and microphone feedback, and overall attitude bring to mind the freeform tape experiments of primitive industrial music.  nonetheless, an entry... offers a fresh perspective on these related yet aesthetically opposed styles by utilizing the restraint, discipline and sonic detail of the former, as well as the un-classical rawness and isolationist atmosphere of the latter movement.  the tape suggests the elusiveness and relativity of beauty as much as joseph's other endeavors, only from a different, more primal, perspective.