Hui Terra (Lp)
Label: Soda Gong
Hui Terra. The dreamlike shape of the half-heard word, abstracts with
faint impressions of bucolic landscape, or handfuls of translucent and
brightly-colored gemstones that hold odd, elusive, asymmetrical form.
This enchanting, gently surreal debut album from Alex Cobb’s Etelin
project explores the power and playfulness of impulsive action diffused
through electro-acoustic and ambient sound.
This music was created with digital synthesizers and a sampler in the
four months immediately following the birth of his first child, a hazy
period marked by a lack of regular sleep and a diet of INA-GRM, Nuno
Canavarro's "Plux Quba", and Microstoria's "Init Ding" – records that
appeared to produce both stimulating and soothing effects on a newborn's
nascent consciousness. Recorded and arranged at all hours, this is an
album that reflects on moments of tumult and fragility. Cobb sews small
sharpnesses and surprises into its movements to uncover different
aspects of each sound source, doubling as hypnic starts cast to advance
and variate the narrative in subtle and unexpected ways. Sound and
atmosphere manifest in eccentric, alchemical fashion, as though forming
in processes of sublimation - solids dissipating into vapor - and
deposition - clouds resolving and dropping to the ground in piles - to
an obscure and domestic rhythm. There's the purveying sense of moving
within the boundaries of small, hermetic ecosystem. This is underscored
and doused by a slow, blooming sense of warmth; growing joy without
bombast. Even the more startling textures conceal this same truth and
emphasis, such as the alien, sour salt-butter electronic babble in
"Little Rig", largely sampled from Cobb's son's voice at just a week
old. It is emotional music - devoted, affectionate, and playful.
Matthew Kent, February 2018.
Cat. number: SODA001LP