Scorched Earth Policy Lab | Scorched Earth Policy Lab
French sound artist Thierry Arnal has been creating sound projects and collaborations since 2009 now introduces a new project called Scorched Earth Policy Lab and debuts four Void tracks here that run for over fifty minutes. Opening with an activated drone that sounds as though it’s rumbling, tumbling, circulating. Patching in other sound waves an industrial cyclone emerges, though Arnal keeps the setting rather mid-tone and low range yet there’s a very tactile nature to the way he’s crafted this. As it cycles ’round a wonderful albeit somewhat eerie radar-like scope advances, in what sound like one of those invisible shields we’ve seen on tv. It has a lot in common with the best of science fiction.
Towards the end, after some sonic flare, Void 01’s drone falls away to allow reversal synths to elapse into the fade out – making way for Void 02. Here things open in an ambient atmosphere, slightly grey and blurry. What sounds like a melancholy violin over some super-low rumbling static starts to warp and whistle like wind. Just imagine transmissions from Sputnik as it hovers at an altitude high above the atmosphere. Yes, it sounds as though it is giving off the sense of rising and monitoring with sound waves aplenty, becoming ghostly outside its core. After the midpoint here things become somewhat inflamed and fiery like a nosedive plunge in progress, being monitored remotely. This record will most definitely appeal to sci-fi followers everywhere with its empyrean patina.
Void 3 starts with a buzzing quality, far more mysterious than the previous two pieces. The drone is infectious, and sets out to subtly swallow you whole. It’s a slippery slope. Though what is presented appears as a massive floating orb, drifting in a calculated path, growing and glowing. One of the key things to note about Scorched Earth Policy Lab is his ability to slowly and persistently grow layers with a dual sense of volume and rarefaction. His sound is large and quantitative at times, and at others so unexpectedly incomprehensible. The effects produced are so alien and seductive. This sensation moves right through the closer, Void 4 where it seems something has become a bit agitated. Mind you there’s calm in the forecast yet a squeaky industrial widget finds its way into the system. The track ebbs and flows with electronic signatures not too unlike those familiar with any number of 70s-style sci-fi themes. The layers here are bass-heavy and murky, drifting from the centered components that are churning away. Slowly the core begins to evaporate into the dark rumbling roll, leaving only detritus in its shadow.