Genre: Ambient Noise / Field Recording
Three untitled tracks
Although Redglaer hails from Portland, (a city with one of the healthiest experimental music scenes in the United States) this album “American Masonry” was recorded in Tulsa OK. What can Tulsa possibly offer that can not be found in Portland you might ask? A warehouse with a million square feet of empty space to record in. I asked Bob Bellerue about tis space, and this is what he told me:
“For me the appealing thing was based in the fact that I could be as abusive as I wanted in the recording environment and it didn't hurt anybody's ears..... It became musicalized from the natural reverb. I've never cared for reverb as an effect but natural reverb as an exquisite thing to combine with harsh noise. Electronic effects have nothing to add for me, though I still try to find them since it is easier than finding another million-sq-ft warehouse and a giant PA and several hours to fuck around.”
The results of this recording turned out to be a nice testament to the quiet power of empty spaces. I have to wonder if the title of this album “American Masonry” has something to do with the warehouse. Perhaps it stores products for a company called American Masonry, or has a sign that say American Masonry. I like this idea better than thinking this album has something to do with American Freemasonry!
“American Masonry” is takes place in three tracks averaging fifteen to twenty minutes each. I liked the first track the best. It sounds the way the soundtrack for Frank Herbert’s “Dune” should have. Colossal sand tides of electronic feedback and static. I imagine the floor of Matthew’s Warehouse pulsed and churned like the desserts of Arrakis when the worms are coming. You hear the sounds of the interstellar winds during space travel. This track is the sound of mathematical distances charting black holes. It swallows all light, but somehow sound passes through.
The second track utilizes the same types of sounds but to me had a distinctly different fell. This was probably not Bob Bellerue’s intention, but track two totally reminds me of traditional African tribal music. I kept picking up on vague rhythms that don’t fit into western or eastern time signatures. I imagined I could hear the wailing of simple double reed pipes, and the beat and drone of ritual percussion accompanying a tribal choir. Once again there is also the feeling of vast distances and time. But here it is the sands of the Sahara, the central African grasslands, the dark heart of the Congo. I hear stormclouds rolling over the veldt. The quiet prehistoric thunder of a herd of elephants. I don’t know what it was that made this African to me, but try as I might I cant see it any other way.
The third track of “American Masonry” is the longest, but to me it had the least to say. Not that it is bad, it just didn’t conjure up such crystal clear images in my head. Track three has an overwhelming feel of doom to it. This is a scared and angry crowd waiting for something to happen. This is the sound after a car accident when everyone is crying or screaming and all the crickets have stopped chirping. It builds and builds, but we aren’t allowed the climax. Nothing ever happens for the crowd of people. The police never arrive at the accident.
I liked “American Masonry”. Redglaer has quite a few other recordings available through Anarchy Moon that should be checked out. Also watch for Redglaer on tour this Autumn!