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Stephen O'Malley - Salt [Ideal Records - 2008]

Salt started off life as an audio backing to Sculptor Banks Voilette work or collection entitled Bleed- here the full 74 minute piece  is issued for the first time packaged in a nice slightly oversized cd sized arty like fold out sleeve.

The piece concentrates purely on long play back and feedback loops created by acoustic guitars and bass waves which O’Malley circles around and around you. With the piece basically been made up from one sustained organ like tone and another pulsing high pitch tone and slight textural feedback detail. It can  become quite hypnotic when you let your self fall under its spell, the problem is that it’s just too long for its own good at 74 minutes with little or no sonic change through out. It becomes like walking across an almost changeless sonic desert at first there’s the novelty and pressing persistence to it- then at about the 20 minute mark it  frankly becomes tiresome, draining and untimely rather boring. Maybe it would have improved if they’d be some moving visuals to go along with it or of course seeing it played in it’s original context- but as it stands there’s just too little going on to keep ones interest or attention through out the whole 74 minutes runtime.

An nicely packaged item and in theory an interesting sonic concept and idea, but ultimately it will have you looking at your watch & willing it to end which is not good from any kind of art.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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