Klara Lewis & Simon Fisher Turner | Care
Editions Mego (12″/DL)
Care is a rare hard/soft edge collaboration, one that is instantly compelling in its ambient nature and soft vocalese, and a shock to the system with its sizzling electronic effects. British composer Simon Fisher Turner and Swedish sound artist Klara Lewis come together is four works that will have your personal memory drive full up. The opener, 8, has incredibly dramatic stops and starts, with these dreamy in-between passages, ambient drone roaming freely. Every so often you hear an effect like a zipper unzippering, or a contorted alien jam clash – not unlike some of the best twists from Aphex Twin for instance. The effect is a perfect blend of discombobulation and grounding, but there’s plenty of lead-in which gives you great pause to expect the unexpected.
The duo uses the left and right speaker channels to send percussion to/fro, in patterns unfamiliar. It’s a sonic affair that shakes and soothes. Voices and other field recordings enter into the tranquil ambient atmosphere. Drone takes a different phonic shape, with transparent layers more obvious and yet so elusive in the mix, this offers a healing in our problematic time in history. I’m half lost in the placidity, even with the finer incidental electronics that dot its periphery. A gorgeous piece that reminds me why I sometimes ask the Google Assistant to play the sound of the ocean to calm my nerves. And yet they manage to fit in some lil’ melodies, one that sounds like a Scottish folk song, amidst the serene open canvas.
Then along comes Tank, which creates a restless micro fervor of jitters, bathed in a wash of light violin and a bit of Middle Eastern vocal that passes like a sandstorm. The dizzy mix leads to what sounds like soldiers singing, then heavily edited. The track tries to strike an emotional balance in an imbalanced set of wartime conundrums. With helicopters and silences its an indelible set of acoustic circumstances to contend with, siting the uncertainty of outcomes. It ends with a quirky strum – a light at the end of a long fought battle?
The record ends with the drifting Mend which wavers like a drunken sailor with open-ended walkie-talkie like samples that pierce through an otherwise dreamy surface. The surface noise atop the muted, harmonious drone visualize memories unfolding: past-present-future. The track has this foggy harmony in which your ears will be surrounded by a stretched, intoxicating atmosphere that goes through into the fade out. Care is out today.