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James Edmonds - Wood & Concrete [Heretic Records - 2008]

Wood and concrete as it’s titles suggests is a mix of organic and non-organic mater- The  organic textures in the form of various manipulated field recordings and non organic elements in the form of guitar, laptop textures and manipulated rhythmic and cut blocks of sound. With Edmonds building dense and detailed yet often calming and harmonic sonic pictures from these two elements, I guess best described as active and dense ambience meets musique concrete.

It brought to mind Brume’s  take musique concrete thats often dense and rhythmic, but with harmonic, soothing and wondering guitar elements that shimmering and darting through the warming/active jungle of sound. On offer are nine tracks in all totalling 36 minutes, which feels just about the right the length so you pleasantly submerged in Edmonds sonic world and not downed in them. He users all manner of field recordings be it rhythmic arranged dripping textures, bird song, room chatter, insect like buzzing, crunch stones, stream train noise, etc.  Along with all manner of hazy, muffled/drifting static, sonic scuffling, rubbing, drag and pitter -patter, sample and looped harmonic texture and stuck ambient tuneful drifts.

With all the tracks staying dense and often quite sonically hectic but this never turns into harsh, negative or suffocating noise- this is dense but never airless. It seems each track is a rich and tight sonic cave that are full of elements, but always unlined or drifting by a calming air and melodic tendencies. It’s all packed in a rather nice hand painted and textured fold out cover yellow and red cover.

An interesting and cleverly detailed mix of sound and textures with the harmonic and often structured guitars elements working nicely and in an original manner along side the layers of field recordings.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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