Roland Etzin - Sonic Drawings [Gruenrekoder - 2016]Sonic Drawings is a four track album of found sounds, analogue and digital machines and self built instruments, and is designed to give the listener the feeling and effects of the world around us. The chasm between silence and noise and what fills that void. The musicality and richness of the machines in our world played out across the albums 50 minute span.
Starting with “Wand” just under two minutes of what can only be described as a robotic cow and I’m already to stop listening to the rest of this album. The description is pretentious enough without this as as opener. However continue I do, and I have to say track two “Vinschgau” actually piques my interest a little. But four minutes of deep bass drone sadly come to an abrupt halt when some cow bells, birds and a what sounds like a motorbike take over for two minutes before the bass drone comes back and by nine minutes this track is taken over by the sounds of church bells as the bass drones fades off. Actually the last minute is probably the best bit of this track, nay, the album!
I’m rapidly losing the will to live. I like field recordings, but these first two tracks really don’t inspire you to listen to the rest of the album. But, soldier on I must.
“Wasser” begins with a slightly distorted drone that jumps between 2 notes as a the water sounds are brought up in the mix. The crackling and pulsating static noise that permeates the track as the water is sloshed and repeated give the impression of the last embers of a fire going out.
“Garten” is 35 minute meander of a track taking in a deep base hum, deep distorted bass noise, tinkling metal, motorcycle noise, bird song. The sounds of the street mixed with some self built machines. I must be missing the point because I’m left utterly clueless with this. And I’m sorry, but I do want to waste 35 minutes listening to it to get the point.
This album is the perfect example of how a field recording albums shouldn’t sound. It’s pretentious and has all the emotion of the microphones used to capture the found sounds. The every day does leave impressions on our memories, but these impressions are sometimes happily forgotten by our subconscious because we don’t need to retain them. The world doesn’t need a sonic drawing of it, because our own minds don’t need the reminder!Adam Skyes