Kahn (American, living in Zurich) and Olive (Canadian, living in Japan) recorded these pieces while on tour in Japan in May 2014. This release features two unhurried explorations for radio, synthesizer, and mixing board (Kahn) and magnetic pickups (Olive). “Fukuoka,” presents a series of gradual unfurlings; pockets of pockmarked, dented and torn glass clusters, tumbling upon and over each other, perhaps briefly interlocking by way of some fragile barb, only to instantaneously break loose. “Osaka” is more comfortably structured, framed by a few small squalls abetting the range of synth and radio static; an instrumentation that resides between thin layers of shifting, jittery translucent timbres.
Kahn and Olive both demonstrate exceptional attention to unrecognized sounds (see Kahn’s ongoing Unheard Radio project), and one of the unique attributes of these pieces is their ability to make sounds whose sources, even with limited tools, aren’t quite placeable. Their sound palette occasionally finds tension between understood words and speech as sound: hearing a sound that may or may not be speech, and speech that may or may not be understandable. They possess a unique resourcefulness on this release that makes it a surprising listen.