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Rodolphe Alexis - The Glittering Thing On The Mountain [Gruenrekorder - 2016]

The Glittering Thing On The Mountain brings together a selection of fascinating, beautifully recorded, and varied field recordings made in one of the more remote & untouched jungles of Japan.

This CD release appears on German label Gruenrekorder-one of the most respected & consistently quality bound field recording/ sound art label around. As expected from this label, the CD packaging is thoughtful conceived and beautiful illustrated. It takes in a full colour digipak, which on the front takes in a beautiful landscape picture of untouched & dense jungle vista. Also featured is a 12 page inlay booklet- this is also full colour taking in a selection of wildlife pictures, jungle landscapes, overhead shots, and a page of text outline the releases themes.

All the recordings featured here where captured in the  summer  of 2014 on  Iriomote-Jima- which is southern most island off  the coast of  Japan.  90% of the island is covered by jungle and mangrove, and it has never really been inhabited by a large human population- so both the wildlife & their habitat has remained mostly untouched by man.

The recordings where captured by Frenchman Rodolphe Alexis- who is field/sound recordist, sound artist and designer. He has been releasing/ creating work since the early 2000’s. And The Glittering Thing On The Mountain is his third full-length release for Gruenrekorder.

The CD features nine tracks & a total running time of fifty one minutes. The nine tracks have running times between one & nearing fourteen minutes. And each track is equal in both its crystal clear recording definition & interesting/ distinctive sound capture. With Alexis artful managing to cut the recordings at just the right moment, so you get enough of the sounds to fascinate & sooth, yet they never outstay their welcome- which of course is key to a great sound recordist.

The tracks offer up a mix of bird, insect, frog, & bat recordings, with sometimes the backdrop of water recordings appearing from the streams that make their way through the islands greenery.  These recordings were captured at different times of day, so you also get the nice mix of type of sound activity in the jungle. From the dense yet subdued simmer of  the night-time jungle, through to the bright chirp & awaking of the mourning, on to the more  vibrate & chatting interplay of the daytime.

In summing-up  The Glittering Thing On The Mountain is another well presented & conceived collection of field recordings from the Gruenrekorder label. It’s a release that  mangers to whisk one off on sonically rich  & often unique sound journey- that’s both soothing, beautiful and at times quite alien.

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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