DISTORTED + DETACHED: Regular collaborative duo Mathieu Ruhlmann & Joda Clément have recently released one of their most obliquely provocative records to date with Sound Diary of Quiet Pedestrians. Over four tracks they lay out an atmosphere that is filled with atmospheres ranging from earthy natural elements to floating particles of open air acoustics, all lined with a slippery aura. The opener, Crook of Land, leaves the listener in a somewhat ambient listening space, with sound effects that purr into Gore and Hastings, a work of elusive drone as if you were lost mid sea with only the dense fog surrounding your periphery. There are distant screeching systems at work that seem to cry out loud while a blunt horn slowly howls. This is a coordinated composition of noises, effectively being organized, separated, paced.
The collection of creaking, high pressure starts and stops, are actually all quite understated, though it’s utter action, in constant motion. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease“…literally! The flow into Point-No-Point is fairly seamless, and the track, with it’s field recordings of light crackle and passing jets, brings back the high-pitched metal on metal squeaks that drag, mimicking atonal wind instruments. This record more accurately offers a sense of unquiet than evenness. It’s a poker-faced long stare.
While most of this record is below mid-range in terms of noise, this is far from easy listening. Finally, Middle Arm, delivers the impacting drone whir. It’s misshapen, distorted, low-fi, but it’s about the set-up. Though it doesn’t build too much, sparse whistling emotes and recedes, and other signals flash briefly to clear the plume of drawn mechanical breath. It’s all slight of mind, illusory, and gone in seconds.