Tom Recchion ~ oaxaca dawn | bamboo

coverIt took ten years for these recordings to see the light of day, and Elevator Bath has finally done it in a big way, with a lovely picture disc.  Of course, one can spring for the digital copy, but with picture discs so rare these days, can one really pass up the opportunity?  Just look at the vinyl and one can feel the dawn approaching; play the record and make it happen.

Earlier this year, we reviewed the sounds of Two Beautiful Mornings from  Flavien Gillié and Marcus Eads.  “oaxaca dawn” is a third.  Gillié’s recording contained a rooster, but Tom Recchion‘s recording is filled with roosters, as well as active birds, barking dogs and full-fledged animal insanity.  Recchion calls this daily racket “a barnyard turned up to 11”.  In one sense, this cacophony acts as a crazy alarm clock; in another, the sense of nature’s fullness acts as airborne caffeine.  Are the dogs barking at the birds?  Don’t they know that these birds are there every morning?  Or are they just happy to be alive?  A new dog (or a bird imitating a dog) chimes in at 12:44: the last one to awaken, now eager to join the choir.

bamboo forest“bamboo” is a more restful recording, captured in the bamboo forest of Maui.  Play this side for a panda and it will go wild, enticed by the sound of so much food.  But of course pandas don’t live in Maui.  (Note to DreamWorks: plot for “Kung Fu Panda 4?”)  At first, the wind sounds like rain, the knocking stocks like a downpour against a hardscrabble roof.  But soon the sounds begin to sort themselves out.  The overall effect remains dramatic, but benign.  Recchion had the good fortune to encounter the forest during a time of transition between turbulence and peace, gracing the recording with periods of propulsion and lull.  Little wildlife is apparent, although one might guess that it is there, buried at the roots or swaying in the branches.  All too suddenly the recording ends; the reverie is shaken, the journey now a memory left to be replayed.  (Richard Allen)


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