Annabelle Playe | Geyser
DAC Records (12″/DL)
Geyser is from French multidisciplinary sound artist Annabelle Playe and is her third full-length effort — it’s one to keep an ear out for. It offers something solitary, about infinitesimal fragments slowly expanding toward the far corners of the horizonline. It’s a balance of soft and hard sounds, rugged and distorted microsounds turn gassy and nearly imperceptible, suddenly rising, growing, uprooting from the surface. Split by side, this is Geyser A. After five minutes things calm to the slightest dimensional separation of gong and bare drone. The containment, with its striations and warped strings revs wildly after a respite. The unrest is like a helicopter rescue in the wild, you can almost hear screetching tires exiting the scene. The breadth of highs/lows is generated by this sort of escape act of distortions. It’s effectively modular causing high tension palpitations.
One thing I’m imagining is a pairing of Playe and someone like Aidan Baker – wondering how they may riff off one another in a live setting. Maybe its too challenging? Maybe throw in some fine lines by Ilpo Väisänen for good measure? There is some sort of connection that alludes me in the moment, knowing it’s not only transitional, but physical and sonic. As the record is flipped to Geyser B the setting looms low, raspy and uncoiled. The big sound wall is once again teased but there seems to be some apprehension at first, as a chugging train passes (or some semblance thereof). The bold drone makes its passage more methodically here.
Playe develops this incredible vortex where its hard to understand if its concave or convex, it is, however, all about dimension – and I’d be privileged to hear this in surround. A spaced out atmosphere starts to take over, one that is highly pressurized. And suddenly as if several tension wires snap there is this sensation of release, as the buzz grows thinner. But another strain starts to grow in pitch, never regaining its footing. In its fading layers electronic blips and emissions slowly degrade, along with a grainy, isolated drone. PS: Wipe yer brow+ wait for it….no spoilers.