Nick Sutton x Matthew Faulkner | Preludes/Renders
Paper Folds Ltd. (CS/DL/Print+Video Set)
This is a split recording with works by Nick Sutton (Preludes) and Renders thereof by Matthew Faulkner. At first this is like a Twitch session gone awry, with lots of flickering shots fired and enough glitch to shake a stick at. However in that blitz of electronic melee are sensitive layers of pure and wavy open signal. Sutton branches off from his more funky techno leanings and from his savvy soundtrack work to muster an abstract experimental record that pounces. To offer only preludes is a unique approach, it sort of infers another half (or three-quarters) still lay at bay. But these short tracks, averaging a couples minutes each, just dazzle.
Into which these layers open/close, each Prelude (1-7) really has its own unique character, from a bouncy spirited feel to more elusive atmospheres. At one point it sounds like he is unfurling the top layer of masking tape, next it’s a percussive clacking that rises and falls in curvaceous form. His final Prelude 7 is more harmonius and fluid than many of the others, more of a scaled down ambient track with a gentle flow.
Now on to Matthew Faulkner‘s Renders (1-6). The vibration, the reverb, the illusory tones all come together. He’s used all samples from Sutton, and turned them inside-out, made a bit of music concrete to dip your toes into (ears in this case). He seems to focus on the industrial pitch, with some subtlety, but most of a brutalist I’d imagine. Mind you, there are moments in repose here, but there’s always something bumping against the sound sphere he’s concocted. This becomes most obviously dramatic on Prelude 4, where it sounds as though a digital batcave had been disturbed during hibernation season. The unmistakable layers bring highs and lows and lots of twitchy activity. He goes into an abstract dark ambient on Render 5 (which you can hear above) but then scales it down to the end. That’s when his cosmic mix starts to emit a garbled message that stays way below any man-made radar. Rendering, in the a/v sense can be one of the most anxiety-causing processes, and I think he’s captured that spirit some. Instead of a happy ending on a tranquil note, after this buzz-fuzz has cleared he simply pulls the plug.