Robin Parmar & David Colohan - “...between…” [Gruen Digital/Gruenrekorder - 2014]On “...between…”, Parmar & Colohan offer up 10 thought-provoking, sonic excursions. The tracks incorporate and meld various sounds and techniques, relying predominantly on field recordings, electro-acoustic manipulations, ambient drone, and some solid (though often subtle) instrumentation. This blending of techniques is exemplified by the opening track, “Hilltop, Surrounded by the City.” Beautifully played piano and an undefinable ambient sound, mingle with wildlife recordings, to create a track that is equally majestic and meditative.
The song titles themselves often clue in listeners to the source or setting of the tracks as they unfold. As the title implies, “Mornings in the Cafe” offers a quick glimpse into the bustling life of a morning eatery. The track is almost straight field recording, but with some twists and bends to manipulate the raw sounds. Other tracks such as, “Birds Eating Bread From a Frost-Covered Wall” and “Trains Seem Slower From London Streets” further explore minimally manipulated field recordings.
Perhaps my favorite track on the disc is “The Cat Dreams of the Coming Storm.” Over 5:19 minutes, storm and rain recordings collide with forcefully played piano. It’s a rather eerie piece and kind of sticks out to me from the rest of the disc. The final tracks “Region of Quietude” and “Phase Space Timbral Transform” once again mix instrumentation with field recordings. The former track incorporates strings with a harmonium-like sound, while the latter presents a droning instrument not unlike a Tibetan singing bowl.
It goes without saying, as with all Gruenrekorder release, the recordling quality is excellent.
I’ve had a really good history with Gruenrekorder and always look forward to their releases with delight. “...between…” is no exception. Parmar & Colohan have created ten skillfully crafted pieces to accompany you through life’s mundanities and then transport you to the ethereal realms. Hal Harmon