Bourdon Du Kinzie by A.F. Jones

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A.F. Jones | Bourdon Du Kinzie
Unfathomless (CD/DL)

Recorded in a post-industrial area of Port Townsend (Washington state) the newest in a long-running series from the exceptional limited edition Belgian imprint Unfathomless is from A.F. Jones, the man behind Marginal Frequency. The disc Bourdon du Kinzie is made up of a single forty-one minute composition, Bourdon du Kinzie (N° 3 from N° 1), 48°08’33” N 122°45’39” W.

A breathing entity is contained in what sounds like a rusty industrial tight quarters, a thickly claustrophobic sound. From the start this sounds as though the maker is in a hazmat suit recording his footsteps through a long-forgotten empty hallway. The metallic reverberation and low-grade hum seems to drown out a nearby waterfall or rushing river. A continuous flow of muted static rolls on as footsteps move through what could be a silo or other enormous structure.

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A barely audible frequency is emitted, in a way mimicking the communication between a lighthouse and passing ferry or water vessel. It’s a deep chugging that ripples and bubbles away freely. These are, in fact, some form of field recordings from “an acoustic space, recorded on a January afternoon within adjoined bunkers, inside of a defunct munitions battery…” Having traveled through much of the Pacific Northwest and having documented the many abandoned spaces along the way myself, I can most definitely attest the power of curiosity of such spaces – both with both the passing of time, and man’s imprint where we least expect it.

RUINS INSPECTOR: Jones’ approach is dramatically patient, subtle and otherwise a research project, overturning the peculiar functionality of a foregone facility. He seems particularly interested in surfaces, and what lies just above and just below them. Even in the inner cover art he seems to be exploring the ‘heartbeat’ of the structure. There are captured breezes, murmurs and more rumble than series magnitude ordinarily allows. For an extended period Jones pretty much keeps the listener on an extremely limited, so minimal excursion you may feel inherently left in the dark. And just when it may seem interminable he allows for a swirling and shaking drone to envelop the air field. The final nineteen minutes are the most alluring in terms of negligible shape-shifting. Hints of voices, echoes, maybe even a passing storm seem to be much deeper beyond the immediate coordinates. But there are signs of life emerging and elapsing from perception – as well as intermittent higher frequencies.

As we near the end the piece rumbles and bloats moreso, perhaps emulating what it may sound like on the flipside of a mountain while a tunnel is being bored through — taking you deep inside a restricted zone. And just when you thought it would fade out a large metal door growls open (like some kind of dragon-like apparition) and slams a few times – keeping the listener wide awake.

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