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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Ákos Garai - The Imagined River [Kaon - 2014]

This 3inc CDR finds Hungarian sound artist Ákos Garai creating a rather enthralling & moodily atmospheric track built around manipulated river/water recordings, &  haunting electro texturing.

This release is part of the La Rivičre series- each of which finds a sound/ experimental artists, utilizing recordings made in & around the Taurion River (a 107 km long rive in western France), to create sound art/ ambience/ or experimental sonic fare.   And I guess you’d classify the release to hand as a mix of manipulated water bound field recording, slightly edgy & dark ambience, with a hint of more seared electro texturing.

The 3inc CDR comes in a small fold out colour sleeve that takes in enlarged & pixelated photograph of a river. It’s a fairly plain & simple bit of packaging, but it works with the fairly subtle yet  bleakly moody Sonics with-in.

The single track featured here comes in at just over the fourteen minute mark, and is based around field recordings of the Taurion River made by French sound sculptor Cédric Peyronnet, whose most known for his project toy. bizarre. 

The track opens with this deeply mournful & troubled hovering electro drone/ synth haze- this is weaved with these building layers of flowing water field recordings, & this thin almost staticcrackle  like sheen. By around the third minute the troubled drone & original field recording elements fade back , and in  it’s place we get these sudden resonating peaks of  electro clicking textures, and these are enshrouded by this haze of unsettling tolling bell/ vibe texturing. At around the 5 minute mark we move into seemingly just field recordings of rushing river, with slight bird call & wind in the background- through I think there maybe two or three layers of field recording present here as the water does feel quite busy & shifting( in different directions) in it’s sonic flow….so it’s both peaceful yet there’s a feeling of slight panic there too. At the ninth minute we return to the mixture of  the mournful & troubled electro/ synth hover, and the more focused water rushing field recordings-these sound like there of a enclosed drain.


All told this release is a very effective & haunting mix of mournful drone work & field recordings. And over the last month or so, I’ve often found myself playing it over & over again. Garai  has really  managed to perfectly capture a real feeling of  dread & uneasy, bringing to mind either sinister/macabre goings on near a night-time river, or that feeling of being watched when you're walking alone in the country side.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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