July 2015 short reviews: Dirk Serries & Rutger Zuydervelt - Buoyant (2015, Consouling Sounds); Richard Moult - Last Night I Dreamt of Hibrihteselle (2015, Wild Silence); Andrew Weathers Ensemble - Fuck Everybody, You Can Do Anything (2015, Full Spectrum).
A second mix for May, featuring music by Dirk Serries & Rutger Zuydervelt, Andrew Weathers, Lutine, Áine O’Dwyer, Caught in the Wake Forever, Brian D’Oliveira, Wolf Maps, BC Grimm, ACV, Aveparthe, and Amanda Feery & Michael Tanner.
In my 2012 review of The Cloisters, I had written about how the imagined landscape (Britain, in these cases) features so strongly in some strains of contemporary experimental folk music. Granted, this has been a central theme in folk since the 60s revival, but as I argue, the ease with which electronic manipulation can be applied these days has really influenced some of the more experimental folk works in the past decade or so. This heightened interplay of the ‘acoustic’ and electronic, and in a broader sense, between the rural and the urban, makes for a liminal artistic and imaginary field that is finding different forms of expression these days.
By now I think we can safely enshrine Michael Tanner in the hall of fame of composers who… — well, I still have difficulties describing this movement, if indeed it is one, but I would say that it is characterised by a modern or forward-looking combination of instrumental (mostly acoustic) music with electronic recording and editing techniques, field recordings, and sampling. At the same time, rather than running with the obvious theme of futuristic urban music, these composers look backward and inward, to a partly real, partly imagined historical landscape.