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Midwich - The Swift [Altar Of Waste - 2014]

The Swift is a single 65 minute track that blends together layers of drone matter, subtle textured noise repetition, and field recordings to create a fairly entrancing long form work.

Behind the Midwich project is Uk Leeds based Rob Hayler. The project has been active since 2000, and has released around 55 releases- many of these have appeared on Haylerís own label Fencing Flatworm Recordings, as well as a whole host of other underground noise/drone labels.  This is my first taster of the projects work, but seemingly itís always blurred the lines between noise, drone, and field recording work- through apparent this is his most lengthy work thus far.

The track opens with a mixture of buzzing cable drone & subtle sweeps of harmonic points- the cable  buzz sort of  hovers, while harmonic pitchers are very subdued. By around the 3rd minute the harmonic edges have complete departed, and we  are just left with a mixture of low-down fringe like purr, which is overfed by this slowly chopping & brooding like drone pattern- from here on in the track just seems to get more & more oppressive in itís suffocation /sinister vibe. The next notable addition happens around the 12th minute when another lower buzzing grain drone appears- this elements sort of hoovers in & out in a almost slow breathing like pattern. This new texture  seemingly becomes more & more the central, yet the other textures are still present- they just are been pulled back in the mix.  At around the 22 minute mark we get a very faint taping & rattling mixes of sounds- these sound like their some form of distant & blurred field recording, maybe of a train or factory. By around the 30th minute more & more subtle /subdued sound details  have been added to the  track, and these take of: a continual ticking sounds, layers of bird song twitter, more distant machine detail,  vehicle-on-road sound, cutlery movement, etc.. these elements seem to both make things more pressing & hypotonic, yet strangely surreal & dream like too. In the last five or so mintues we return back to just the drone elements, and the track slowly fades back.  All told this was a reward piece of work that sees Hayler subtle building and morph the track in often quite a surreal yet oppressive manner- meaning my attention was kept my through-out the tracks full runtime.

All in all The Swift mangers to nicely blur the boundaries between drone, subtle yet pressing walled noise texturing, and manipulated field sonic tapestry. I look forward to hearing more of this project work in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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