Strange Lines and Distances will be released later this year on Experimedia as a special edition gatefold LP and DVD. Until then enjoy this brief excerpt from the film.
Strange Lines and Distances is a two-channel audio-visual installation focusing on Guglielmo Marconi’s first transatlantic radio broadcast. The work is inspired by Marconi’s belief that sound never diminishes, but rather grows incrementally fainter and fainter. He believed that with an adequately sensitive receiver, one could amplify the echoes of history. Strange Lines and Distances looks at and listens to the past, revisiting Marconi’s original transmission sites in order to explore the hauntological aspects of radio and landscape. The installation invites a consideration of the monumental impact of the first wireless transmission, and explores the medium’s potential to conflate and fragment both space and time. Strange Lines and Distances takes its title from a passage in Francis Bacon’s utopian text New Atlantis, in which Bacon imagines a futuristic society’s culture, politics, history and media. In contradistinction, Strange Lines and Distances moves backwards, retrospectively exploring the invention of radio while looking for echoes and historical intimations of the past within the present.
Strange Lines and Distances’ dual channels represent the transmission site in Poldhu Cove, U.K. and the receiving site at Fever Hospital, St. John’s, NL. Each historical site is documented using 16mm colour negative film. The sonic composition was created from site- specific field recordings, shortwave and longwave radio recordings and archival material. Mired in static and atmospheric interference, the recordings exist as fragmentary spectres of outport beacons, noise, musical passages and human voice. Visually, each channel contains imagery that resonates and rhymes with the opposing channel in terms of shape, line, colour, light and optical geometry. Through a visual examination of the sites’ topographical similarities, the work plays with the juxtaposition of landscape, architectural ruins, flora, and geological and meteorological phenomena. The images unfold as a series of long shots, and this play with duration creates a montage that asks the spectator to consider distance and the poetics of form.
Now available. Stream it and buy here it now. There are a very limited number of special clear vinyl bundle editions.
Already Gone is the second full length album from West Coast dream-drone unit En, the duo of Maxwell August Croy and James Devane, following their well-received debut album The Absent Coast (released in 2010 on Root Strata, which Croy runs alongside Jefre Cantu-Ledesma). For their sophomore release, the pair have opened up their tonal palette considerably. While the comparisons that critics made of their first album to the work of Tim Hecker and Stars of the Lid still hold true, Already Gone finds Croy and Devane mining even richer sonic climes. Here, the duo pull back the curtain on some of their source material, a move that allows the diversity of their instrumentation to resonate. On The Sea Saw Swell, Croy’s acoustic koto pings across the stereo spectrum as a looping guitar figure from Devane apparates from the haze of a beautiful, slowly shifting drone. The side-long closer Elysia is likely the duo’s defining recording to date, an epic slow-burner that reaches heights both angelic and cacophonous. Ultimately, it is the harmonious marriage of the organic and the obscured that recurs throughout the album that proves its defining trait, and it is precisely what makes En stand out in the ever-growing field of contemporary drone/ambient musics. En tour Japan with Grouper in late April.