Somnambule - Writing About Music

Mount Analog ~ New Skin

This album is a generous treat for fans of leftfield improvisors who also find themselves attracted to evocative soundworlds. Notable contributors to this project include Eyvind Kang on viola, Bill Frissell on guitar and Tucker Martine who produces, supplies field recordings and plays harmonica, omnichord as well as a host of other instruments. Martine’s production at times suggests hot Southern afternoons spent drifting down rivers on lazy currents, but don’t be misled by this observation to the conclusion that there’s anything at all indolent about this music. Rather, its tonal colours have been carefully adjusted: earth tones tweaked toward the golden, upper registers enriched with vibrant azures. Martine subtly guilds found sounds onto layers of acoustic and electric instrumentation. These include the types of gently off-kilter sounds encountered when a radio drifts off its station, the tired yell of a blues musician or smalltown streetnoise heard from the middle distance. Such elements are like filigreed dust patterns or the sunlit shadow of a lace curtain cast upon an interior. There’s something time out of mind about Mount Analog: it’s as though the music was recorded two or three generations ago, even though the cut and paste collaging and the occasional burst of heavy percussion are notably contemporary. Much of this album provides the sort of sensory delight experienced on reading Bruno Schulz’s descriptions of home (“...blazing with sunshine and scented with the sweet melting pulp of golden pears...”) in his novel The Street Of Crocodiles. Mount Analog’s New Skin isn’t the work of somebody secreted away in one on one communion with their computer, instead it’s a lovingly crafted and very beautiful work which surely reflects an intimately observed engagement with the lived world.
Colin Buttimer
March 2004
Published by Grooves magazine