Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Field Studies

Trawling the internet a couple of weeks back and a posting by Chicago based Field Studies label caught my eye. Once in a while I will go trawling, see what is out there. New sounds to be found etc. The Field Studies blog mentioned two new releases by Astronaut and Floating Gardens + Slag Heap. I knew nowt about any of these projects, but the descriptions (sound synopsis....or should that be synopsi in the plural?) intrigued. Astronaut being a "tri-synth kosmische mind lock" and the Floating Gardens split tape with Slag Heap is "Music of memory: The first descent below the canopy, resonant synths unfold in the garden temple of the lower level". So there y'go. I bought in the thought of hearing Popol Vuh meeting Neil Campbell or Cluster or some such. £9.50 for the both.
Astronaut are a New York based trio featuring Andy Plovnick (of Andy + Zeus), Dan Lopatin and Lee Tindall. "Prayer For Mitnick" 3"CDr is a re-release of a 2007 3" CDr on Antenna Alliance. This may or may not be a homage to famed computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, information is slim. The sound is of raw synth and ampnoise with the odd oscillation, nothing grabbed me by the ears I'm afraid.
Floating Gardens + Slag Heap tape is a different kettle of fish. I have tried to do research on Floating Gardens but have gotten nowhere. T(he)y provide the track "Tonefloat In Omni" - interesting title, maybe a nod in the direction of Kraftwerk or (as mentioned) Popol Vuh. No. The track is a slab of new age (almost) christian synth doodle. If this was released in 1973 it would have a sleeve designed by Roger Dean. Whilst playing I sat thinking "how near am I to buying some old Camel or Hillage"? Slag Heap is the solo project of Chicago based musician Connor Camburn. His track "Dope House" is a poor recording of cheap keyboard drone. I think the cassette is a C20.
I am in slight disappointment at what I have received, but when you dip your toes in to the waters of the unknown not everything is going to be jewel it?
I may try the Astronaut CDr again.

1: Field Studies logo.
2: "Prayer For Mitnick" by Astronaut.
3: Floating Gardens / Slag Heap tape cover.

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