I enjoy noise/sound-art stuff like this but am never quite sure how to review it. Nonetheless I thought this was worth making some mention of. Hal McGee’s humbly-titled latest is 60 minutes of concrete sound collage (broken up only where the tape needs turned over) made up of field-recordings, some circuit-bent electronics, and spoken-word, all captured on a handheld cassette recorder and then mixed together. It blends into a kind of midrangey white-noise from which emerge at various points voices, Casio keyboards, city traffic, police sirens, amplifier feedback, construction machinery, barking dogs, chirping birds, electronic noise, and bits of Hal ruminating about the ideas and theories behind his work, or talking to his dogs. As dense, abrasive and dissonant as it is, it can be rather relaxing. It’s also great to put on (with or without headphones, depending on the circumstances) when you want to ignore or drown out every other sound going on around you, which has made it helpful for me when I’m at work trying to concentrate on code while a construction crew is working next door, because with this playing they blend right in. It can be downloaded from bandcamp for $2 or, in true old-school home-taper fashion, acquired on cassette by mail order or trade (see this link).
The story begins with teenage me purchasing a homemade cassette tape that caughtmy eye in the record store I then frequented. Its title, ...… Continue reading