Jonathan Coleclough and Andrew Chalk 'Sumac' (Robot/Siren/ICR, 1997) Take Two...

Alright, just finished re-reading Junky by W. Burroughs, hanging out a bunch with work people but mostly by myself, drinking, smoking and aimlessly avoiding sleep until early hours, saw Wavelength and it's a visual drone masterpiece, my tinnitus is worse than ever, I've been avoiding shows, excited about the second esoteric sounds recording, been sparsely working-musically and for my income- but when I'm at work and during other times the world around me seems hazy, like someone has stretched Mylar paper over my eyes. Time just seems to pass and it's hard to remember details from my day, like a junky, who over the past year of his habit can only remember the times he was sick. But when you're "On the Nod" time stands still, like floating in a numbing pool of warm salt water leaving your mind with nothing to cling to.

Sumac swallows time.

The album is like that warm salt water. There are no particular moments to cling to, no hooks that get stuck in your mind. It is impossible to reflect on this work without coming back to the piece as a whole, because it can only exist as an entity of itself, from start to finish. It is a product of emergence, a complete sum of it's parts. Actually, I wouldn't even consider this album to have a 'start' or a 'finish'. When you hit play you aren't starting the album, you are simply given access to an eternal flow of sound that exist regardless if anyone is even listening.

When you are tapped into it though, and when you do let it slowly blanket your mind and body until there really is nothing else but
Sumac, that's when any conventional notion of time ceases and it is only in allowing the sound to overtake you can you then fully appreciate it's mind altering qualities.

Ok, I know I promised something that looked like a proper review of this album. Sorry to disappoint, but I simply can't do it.
Sumac doesn't exist as an album to me, it is something else entirely that is beyond attempting to define. I will provide an observation though, I have the sneaking suspicion that the piece is backwards, similar to the second track of Chalk's brilliant Goldfall album, a backwards remix of the first. Does this mean that there is another forwards version of Sumac locked away in Andrew's closet or Jonathan's backyard shed? We can only speculate, and hope that one day it might surface.

For the sixty of you have downloaded this already, look no further. If you haven't heard this, do not hesitate to make your world better.

If you want to own these, you had better be willing to shop around and to spend a few bucks. My advice is to be patient, it doesn't happen too often, but these do surface from time to time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great pairing of two premium sonic artists, thanks for this one! zabba