Amsterdam CS by Cinema Perdu

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OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: One of the latest on Moving Furniture Records is the multi-layered collection of field recordings by Cinema Perdu (Martijn Pieck), Amsterdam CS (short for Central Station), where this was recorded at several access points. The six tracks are only titled with their running time, which leads further mystery to an already cinematic narrative in this incredible wash of warm striated drone and distorted machinery. The first thing that hits me is how timeless this sounds, as in it seemingly captures a scope of memory of all time. Imagine, if you will, all the beings that have traveled through those spaces and tunnels (myself, I was through there back in 1997). He creates a stirring sense of depth, of hollowness. I appreciate the artist sharing a bit about basic ideology: “Stop and take some time to listen, in the way of John Cage: all the sounds have their own musical quality.”

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This is not a love letter to the sense of place per se. There are harmonies here that take there own track, mind the pun (or the gap!), but there are clear references to the overall in-situ experience, and that balances the much added artistic flair and deeper listening experience. One might hear something seemingly concave, which suddenly transforms into elongated open air, so the tangible quality feels luminous and tactile. The lows are super bass-driven, not but beats but reverberation. Mid way through voices become vaguely apparent and dreamy at first, as do what sounds like an avalanche of motion, which dissipates. A sudden rubber soled screech, and a louder crushing drone emerges. You are most definitely not in a typical train station, instead this becomes far more noir in scope. Cinema Perdu has also managed something that many peers seem to be remiss about, it’s polychromatic, not at all repetitious.

Flapping wings, muffled heavy filtered air systems and scanners, help to dramatize a broken raisons d’être here. It’s a collection of snapshot vignettes rather than a straight long-player. Those who love monster movie soundtracks will be fully engaged, as will those who enjoy cross-bred classical. Stay ’til the end where things get cerebral, rise, and float from view. This is a bright, bold record imbued with the balance of free-fall gravity and sense of place.

 

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