Here is False Mercury (Digital, CD) – a trio comprised of Tim Olive, Takuji Naka and Frans de Waard and recorded at Extrapool in 2016, mastered in refined style by Jos Smolders and released via Japanese label 845 Audio. In the beginning there’s the reverberating exhaust of a heady drone. The single work is just over a half hour and its title, quizzical and open ended. Static hiss and tape loops are met in the middle with a gurgling sample, and hollow percussion. This record employs considerable microtonalities – so headphones are recommended for fully realized details here. Or just crank up the volume.
About six or so minutes in these aural chess moves make way for a sonic waterfall. It’s impressive the way this trio runs with the scope of their instruments. False Mercury has an orchestrated yet improvised feel where the levels go up and down with ease inside a mix that crams sharp edges and rounded out reverb lows. They manage to take hard and unkempt parts and pieces, corral them and make a sweet soup of offbeat broken harmony. It’s not an easy task to make a dynamic montage such as this. The randomness of bluegrass strings bent with a lazy bow to the crackle and hiss of rewinding tape is designed for active listening.
There is a moment where it simply the sound of amped-up tape just circulating, like crickets the electronic world is as bare as a garden in Winter. The slightest layers are added and subtracted here, all channels open into the final ten minutes. It’s as though you are experiencing a match between windy headcleaner and your own inner ear disconnect. It’s raw tearing and flaring punches in the gut towards the end, not in an emotional way, but detailing a very tactile record in the way in which it articulates its strange staccato scope and deconstructed music box feel.