Ross Adams - Nord Rute [ Gruenrekorder - 2012]Well-respected field recording and sound art publisher Greunrekorder adds another fine release to their already-essential Compass Series catalog with sound recordist and designer Ross Adams’ “Nord Rute.”
Combining interviews with Sámi herding families in Northern Norway with field recordings and music, Adams creates a mesmerizing portrait of the Sámi people, their land, and oral history. Particularly fascinating are poet Ánde Somby’s haunting reflections on Sámi mythology, reminding the listener of the harsh natural environment that had a hand in fashioning such ideas. Perhaps best about “Nord Rute” is the total absorption and realization of field recordings as a musical form, neatly avoiding the perils of over-processing interesting recordings into digital soup, or worse, being too precious and doing nothing with the raw material. Instead, Adams works everything into a tight 43-minute ride into the heart of Sámi country, leaving nothing out.
Although “Nord Rute” is impressive enough on its own, Gruenrekorder caps off the album with two “bonus” offerings by sound artist Ed Handley, re-working Adams’ recordings into two 10-minute cuts, “Tundra” and “Oil,” both of which feature numerous interesting musical additions—bells, bass, even beats-- to the Adams material for an abstract electronica-inflected sound that would not be entirely out of place on a Bjork EP. Definitely recommended!