Banks Bailey 'Upwelling' (Mystery Sea, 2010)

Along side his collaboration with Mathieu Ruhlmann, entitled Anáádiih, Banks Bailey has steadily increased his release count of limited run cdrs since 2008. His latest for MS is strictly his own, in which he blends field recordings–an obvious passion–with the sounds of resonant bells, intermittent speech, and quivering drone. Because I've always lobbied for this sort of organic soundscaping to be dealt with in the long form so as given enough time to flourish, I was assured to find that Bailey decided to comprise Upwelling as a single 45 minute track.

Very generally speaking, the term upwelling refers to an oceanic process that involves the propelling of wind driven nutrient-rich water to the surface of oceans--where it takes the place of nutrient-depleted waters--a fitting title for a work that is rife with the sounds of water. Compositionally, neither the field recordings nor the drone ever become overbearing. Instead, Bailey opts for a gentle rise and fall between the two, creating an effect akin to that of tidal movement.

Though fairly consistent throughout, the piece works best at around the ten minute mark, where Bailey's microclimates take on a distinctive industrial tinge via metal clattering atop a bed of stifled ambience, and at around 25 minutes, when the sunken resonations of chimed bells creep into perception from deep below the surface.

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