Chris Watson & BJNilsen - Storm [Touch - 2006]Storm is Chris Watson & BJNilsen take on sound painting with weather sounds and textures, Though they also use of various sea based animal noises too. All to make three tracks that go from soothing, to violent ,to down-right alien sounding. Though sometimes it does drift a little to close to too little happening, theres enough marvels of sound source and texture change, to make this worthwhile.
The release is split into three tracks- one by each party concerned, then one from both parties togeather. Chris Watson starts the album off with No Man's Land, which enters with the sound of a denser crowd of bird calls and wing flaps. Itís almost as if your sitting among hundreds of birds and having land and clamber all over. As it goes on the sound of crashing waves is introduced, the bird sound become more of a background sound as rain makes it way into the mix. By the four minute mark all bird sounds have gone as we giving some rather lush sea sounds, the tones of the waves seem so well divined and recorded you can almost taste the salt in your mouth. Midway the track seems to reach itís height with crashing and stormy seas, before dipping down into one of the strange and alien sounds on offer here, itís this lapping water sound, come odd gurgling come haunting cry sound. Iím guessing it must be a sea lion or some such animal, but it's quite Goosebumps raising stuff, all tainted with a deeply sad air.
SIGWX is next which is the collaboration piece between Watson & Nilsen , it seems to concentrate mainly on lapping almost rhythmic sea tones, to bop along the on the crest of a wave sea storm, itís strangle comforting and reassuring as a track, not showing much of the more hectic and alien tendency of the first track.
Lastly we have BJNilsen track Austrvegr -which starts with whipping rain tones, and develops into deep drone tones like listening to the sea from within a vast shell or cave, this eerier rumble is present for much of the tracks running time .Towards the end Nilsen captures some very rewarding wind sounds mixed with needle like downpours and ocean wash, which are both barren and some how calming.
A perfectly recorded environmental sound record with some very rewarding and captivating textures of sound. Itís just a pity that here and there, and certainly on the second and third pieces, it literal seems to their tread audio water, going nowhere fast.Roger Batty