Tarab - Housekeeping [Sonic Rubbish - 2018]I’d never heard of Tarab before Housekeeping, but this is a very accomplished release, of equal interest to ears tuned to field recordings, electroacoustic music, or noise. The CD has two long tracks, both past 15 minutes, accompanied by an insert that explains the album. Housekeeping is just that: a release that tidies up lots of discarded, neglected, and forgotten recordings - those files that lurk at the back of the computer - and combines them finally: gold from base metals.
So, as you might perhaps assume, there is a collage approach here, creating a patchwork of different textures, timbres, and sounds. Most of these sound ‘raw,’ unprocessed and straight from the field recorder; some do sound processed but I suspect that all the elements of Housekeeping are indeed ‘raw’ and perhaps merely EQ’d. The album features many bare noise textures, possibly the result of feedback systems, or contact mic work and manipulation. Perhaps the finest example of this is the very opening of the album, which has swarms of noise swirling around the stereo field, like the most experimental of Harsh Noise Walls. Elsewhere, Tarab weaves in creaking doors, footsteps, high-pitched micro sounds, severely low-end rumbles, galloping machinery, and eerie drones; all of which are recorded to explore and display the reverbs and ambiences present in the spaces. These differing elements are collaged together in blocks, unhurried - though there are some quick edits and jumps - but still creating an energy, and all are testament to the skilled ears and sonic abilities of Tarab. The alchemy reference earlier is actually a very valid one; there is perhaps a sense that the raw materials of Housekeeping are somewhat restricted or dour in sonic terms, we might even say that the majority are percussive/metallic sounds and drones, however, across the 38 minutes of the album they become colourful, even psychedelic and hallucinatory.
This is pitched perfectly between the worlds of field recording, electroacoustics, and noise, with a very deep articulation and deployment of texture and timbre - but enough grit to keep noise folk interested. Both pieces, simply titled ‘HOUSEKEEPING I’ and ‘HOUSEKEEPING II’ are fundamentally similar, though the latter feels like it has more subdued passages. Both pieces are also enveloping worlds of detailed sound, of movement and stasis, confirmation of the creator’s careful editing and composition. So, yes, an unhesitantly recommended album, particularly for those interested in junk noise and the more ‘physical’ side of noise.