Russell Haswell - Scandinavian Parts (Immersive Live Salvage Supplem [iDEAL Recordings - 2012]
This 73 minute CD is a live document of UK sound artist Haswell’s noise actions across four days of his April 2010 performance schedule.
Produced, performed, and mastered by Haswell himself, this disc is surely the closest experience next to having been present. Interestingly, Haswell provides listeners with more of a “concert field recording,” mic’ing the room from the stage position rather than acquiring a signal directly, giving “Scandinavian Parts” a unique flavor that complements his ongoing documentation of live performances contained in earlier Mego releases. Though I feel like the overall intensity of the performances suffers a bit in the translation— the excellent audience reaction does help fill in to some degree. As for the noise itself, Haswell commands roaring, screeching flocks of diving pitches amongst full-on chainsaw-to-the-ear washes filling every available space. The April 4th Gothenberg set is particularly good, even including a well-deserved encore of audience-punishing aural sandblast. Throughout, Haswell keeps things brief— usually getting in and out of any given set in about 20 minutes, which tends to keep things moving across the duration of the album.
As a standalone album, “Scandinavian Parts” probably isn’t the most vital release you’ll pick up this year, but it certainly is an enjoyable one