Excavation Series 11 – Noise May Provoke Hornet Attacks
Dive in, but head’s up when you cross the road, this goes well beyond looking both ways, let the natural traffic sounds and impending anxiety sweep you up, with head on a swivel, and get the fuck out of the way fast or you are toast. Every kind of horn imaginable is present in an ever-growing chord, each one higher pitched than the last, maybe the recorder is stationary and just watching the city whizz by, nothing more relaxing than sipping a coffee and reading a book while Calcutta or Delhi or Bombay bombs the speaker’s threshold, just another lazy day with the squeaking rails and motors hum-humming, your brain exploding with the mulitude of tiny sounds hitting escalation, prayer and musical interludes a mirage of the calmer life, it’s many-parts-making-the-whole platitude ringing absolutely correct while microphones vibrate and blur in the heat of the day.
The final tape in our new three-part batch comes from Robert Millis, he of the group Climax Golden Twins and frequent contributor to Sublime Frequencies. Robert’s Indian Talking Machine project, a culmination of his travels in India surrounding everything to do with the 78rpm gramophone record industry, is a stunning photo-collection and musical compilation operating at very high levels of ethnology/musicology and guerilla research.
For our series, he’s taken a more diaristic approach, including personal field recordings captured on his travels, everything out of doors and in the moment, whirring activity and claustrophic crowd-filled chant, hissing traffic noise and jeeps and motorbikes and buggies and wind and bells and movement and trance, he’s delivered a one-of-a-kind mixtape for us, one that not only shows the real life audial experience shadowing his travel and hot-spot expertise, but one that pushes the boundaries of concrete music and experimental field recording. It finds the perfect sweet spot balance between modern kitchen-sink verite sonic snapshot and the older, more primitive era of classical music playfulness and scratchy surface noise ambience. One flows out from the other’s river, and they all flow seemingly back and forth between old and new, hovering that deadly fine-line of novelty throwback record, think whistling birds or the sounds of the big city, (but now in full stereo spectrum!), and performance sound art mastery.
Luckily for us it’s all quite teetering, teetering over the edge appropriately, again imitating the confusion and everything-at-once of the cities’ high, and we are honoured to put this out and to share it. Noise May Provoke Hornet Attacks, says it all really, side one is filled with field recordings and side two showers in some beautiful 78 recordings nestled real nice.
Millis is a big inspiration to us, and speaking alone here, having his mixtape masterpiece included in this original trio of big-time works, a batch that includes Phong Tran’s incredible All India Radio tape recordings, and Ian Nagoski’s wonderfully curated Javanese collection of older Jaques Brunet recordings, is a very special thing. I truly did not see this coming, and we’re stoked to keep the train rolling along.
This tape was fully pro-done in an edition of 100 copies. Cassettes come with a digital download code.