Jérémie Mathes | In[Core]Wat[t]
A singular composition by intricate field recordist Jérémie Mathes, just out from Belgium’s top-notch imprint Unfathomless — In[Core]Wat[t]. These recordings were made while the artist was living in Cambodia over the past several years, traveling to pagodas and temples. The hollow drone and jangle sounds endless. It’s a completely meditative mix of murmur and hum reminding me of the moments when nature and humanity find a certain synergy. Cicadas and percussion and the pure howl of the wind, all fused into a reflective work that centers you. In the swirl of wind ghosts are awakened by lucid strings of a traditional instrument, perhaps a sitar.
But it is the au naturel percussion of rain that truly puts the mind and body at a certain ease. Having just had a massive range of thunderstorms just yesterday, this is a much more balanced setting, though he arranges his layers in such a way that it becomes quite chilling. And by that I mean both by way of relaxation and as a conundrum unfolding before our ears. I can certainly appreciate that he takes the whole of forty minutes to do so, opening layer by layer, and intriguing travelogue. He weaves passing voices of kids on the street with a decadent industrial drone from a tractor trailer that mirrors various small gestures of the artist as he captures the moment.
The dappled rustling becomes a secondary sound source after a while, falling to the background like white noise as other small actions are emphasized – but the inclement skies open up as an announcement can barely be heard over a loudspeaker in the distance. This one gets in your head, especially for active listeners, so if you are traveling while listening remember to “mind the gap”. Enigmatic harmonics vaguely infiltrate the setting as if a gong were being explored from the inside out. Mathes brings a certain sensibility, this continuous fleeting sense of falling or rising, hard to tell which, offering this beguiling sense of breaking through some unexplored cognitive pathway.