SIREN CULT: HAUNTED COBBLESTONE SUNSET CONCERT SERIES #3
CDR: Free Matter For The Blind FM4TB-H3 [2005]


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From my first impressions of this label, by no means are they going for feel of an elite underground label, rather they seem to operate with a DIY aesthetic that is most associated with tape labels that were so prevalent in the years before CD’s became the dominant recordable media.

So, in quoting directly from promo blurb for The Haunted Cobblestones Sunset Concert Series: “Ending at sunset with the first recording and beginning at sunset with the last recording - individuals play what they will out the third floor window on a desolate cobblestone street in the last days of summer. Attendees listen street-side, eating tacos or stretched out on the concrete. Stereo recordings made in a single take - screaming kids, violent cars - sirens and animals to be considered as collaborators”. It is quite a cleaver concept actually, where the CDR’s act as a formal document of the concept, as well as the ‘concert’ performance, whilst creating an experimental release that can in itself be considered as an actual album and not merely a live album from the project involved.

Thus, it is an unfamiliar project of the name Siren Cult whom produced the third release in the series, with this amounting to a short-ish 35 piece. Drawing quite heavily on the unwitting sound contributions of the late evening streetscape (voices, footfalls, passing cars, radio/ TV chatter, birds etc), these amass to provide the canvas to which Siren Cult added their sonic wares of odd rhythms, random distortion & feedback, looped sampled sound bites etc. Yet, in listening to this as a collective whole, Siren Cult’s contributions are particularly sporadic. Whilst granted, a certain live performance element may have been lost in translation, nevertheless this all comes across in a very erratic improvised manor.

Although interesting in concept this particular recording does not really grasp my ear in a positive way as it is too fragmented and does not seem to have an overall direction and focus. Basically as is the case with conceptual improvised music, when it works it works well and when it does not you can simply hear it, with no great explanation being required. Although this CD may fall flat, a better bet is the Area C album in the same series [read review here].


RJS

[Free Matter For The Blind]

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