Graham Dunning | 1947
Fractal Meats (CS/DL)
In a mini-edition of only ten tapes this is a searing example of one of those tapes you don’t want to miss in your stack, and though it’s already sold out, nab the dl, you will not regret it. Improvisational drone from London’s Graham Dunning who has a singular, minimal vision. He told me that “Side A uses turntables with modified records, automated mixing desk, flicked springs, analogue synth and effects units,” while the flip side “uses the video game Half-Life but with all the sounds replaced with samples from rave tracks. A location within the game was selected for its collection of sounds and the player character left in.”
The atmosphere is melancholic, almost moping, like a chamber of shadowy despair at first. The title and cover come hand collaged from a film out of India, it’s an odd transposition of potential meanings. Though Dunning does his best to keep the proceedings to a low rumbling synths, un/structured in elongated ebbs/flows. What sounds like shuffling feet in dirt or snow, counters a looping pulsation that morphs so subtly.
When the tape is flipped there’s something slightly more akin to the industrialism of time being bent out of proportion by way of inner chime mechanisms restrained yet busting at the seams. Given the date (title) of the recording perhaps its the spirit of a relative, or another reference to something out of historical context? It makes sense to know he used “automated systems which were left to run” and when the sync falls slightly short at a few intervals it is when the ear takes note. John Cage is smiling somewhere in the skies right now.