Hot on the heels of 1883 - Sound Model I, his contribution to Matière Mémoire Éditions’ sprawling and ambitious MMXX series, Carlos Casas returns with Siberian Field Recordings, an astounding body of manipulated sonic materiality, issued on cassette by the Italian imprint Second Sleep. Brilliantly rethinking the terms and expectations of musique concrète, it stands as one of Casas’ most exciting releases to date, deftly blurring the lines between ethnography and experimental sound through the collision of captured ambiences that brim with life.
For more than two decades, Carlos Casas has been an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist, highly regarded for a body of work that rests at the borders of documentary and experimental cinema. Since the late 2000s, he also developed a singular, adjacent practice in sound, producing a handful of full lengths and EPs over the last ten years that span the worlds of musique concrète, electronic, electroacoustic, and ambient musical composition, as well as collaborating with Phill Niblock, Z'EV, Nico Vascellari, Prurient, Sebastian Escofet, Nastro Mortal, and others.
Siberian Field Recordings, issued by Second Sleep, belongs to a longstanding body of work - beginning in 2006 with his Siberian Fieldworks series of films - through which Casas has mined the remarkable potential embedded within one of the most desolate landscapes on the planet; using image and sound as a spatial instrument to capture atmospheric qualities and enhance perceptions. 'Siberian Field Recordings is an aural journey that immerses the ear in the human experience at the top of the world; paying special focus to varied methods of communication, both real and abstract.
Across the cassette’s two sides, human utterances intermingle with the ambiences and sounds of the natural world and the clatter of industrial activity, moving from territories where the interventions of the artist’s hands remain discrete and ambiguous, toward explicit electroacoustic, droning textural expanses - drawing on field recordings and captured short-wave / radio frequencies for material - that render surprisingly imagistic, abstract narratives of elastic meaning - punctuated by pulsing and fractured rhythms - that fall within a strikingly original zone at the borders between minimalism and industrial music.
Like all of Casas’ output, Siberian Field Recordings represents a visionary approach to the specter of humanity through a stunningly singular sense of sonic artistry. Stretching to roughly an hour of immersive listening and issued by Second Sleep as a beautifully produced cassette, this one can’t be missed. It’s sure to fly off the shelves, so grab a copy while you can!