Label: Hallow Ground
Preorder: shipping out on or around November 23, 2023
Tropic of Capricorn is the second album by Lawrence English and Werner Dafeldecker. Based on field recordings made by the prolific Room40 owner that were subtly but decisively altered with electroacoustic techniques through the German improv legend, these two long-form pieces blur the lines between acoustic ecology and aesthetic interventions, concrete local sound worlds and boundary-defying art. They put a focus on our relationship with nature as listeners as much as they call into question where nature ends and human perception begins. They are deeply confusing, disorienting perhaps, in the most beautiful ways. English recorded the material that form the basis of the duo's Hallow Ground debut on two different field trips.
One led him from the Western coast to the Pilbara region in the North of the country called Australia, the other to the central desert into the lands of the Arrernte people. When recording the soundscapes, the artist put a focus on the residues of failed colonial aspirations. "The buildings and objects that remain from the failed cattle pastures and other endeavors create uneasy sound worlds of their own," English says of the regions that are also places of extraction, especially the heavily mined Pilbara. "There is a distant drone of industry in even the most remote of places; an unsettled sense of heavy breath on the land." He brought home a document of natural reclamation in time. The rich source material was then given to Dafeldecker. Spatializing the recordings with transducers applied to different surfaces such as wood, stretched animal skin, glass, or metal surfaces and also re-recording parts of the recordings, he created discrete events that were inserted into, or rather enmeshed with English's recordings. What Tropic of Capricorn invites its listeners to listen beyond the preconceived notions of how nature is supposed to be represented in sound and to instead embrace the immediacy of the sensation.