artist: Chris Herbert
catalog #: krank101
formats available: CD
Release Date: September 18, 2006
Content: Mezzotint is a collection of digital, textured pieces assembled through the extensive manipulation of found sounds and environmental sources. A dedicated non-musician, Chris Herbert has a long-standing interest in intuitive composition and the elastic nature of sound as a resource, influenced by the collage ethic and the instantaneous capture of performance. Working with decidedly low-tech methods (Chris uses minidiscs, a battle-worn desktop PC and a badly-behaved delay pedal), many of the tracks came into being through guerrilla sessions during his day job. The pieces are essentially improvisations created by extended rehearsal and juxtaposition. Mezzotint is the consequence of a continual process of subtraction and composting, leaving just a trace of melody or the implication of rhythm. The result is a spontaneous, embracing the mystery of faraway broadcasts and the internal experience: a clouded, busy music of vertical activity and blended, indistinct color as opposed to narrative uni-direction. Chris' signature swampy, gaseous, and even dirty, crumpled sound is a welcome contrast to the clean, edgeless granular cloud aesthetic employed by an increasing number of artists.
Context: This is Chris Herbert's debut release. He lives and works in Birmingham, UK and has performed live at a series of one-off electronica events organized by the Modulate A/V collective (one of the city's key avant garde digital arts organizations.). He has also worked alongside local artists in creating sound installations reclaiming the city's post-industrial spaces. In addition to Mezzotint's sequel, Chris is currently at work on a sequence of pieces inspired by urban field recordings, to be broadcast on Resonance FM.
1. Stab City 2. Elisa 3. Chlorophyll 4. Suashi 5. Horse Latitudes 6. Cassino 7. Let’s Get Boring!
Utterly quiet, with a pulse-soothing beat, it takes several listens to reveal itself, like a dark room slowly brought into focus. First come the contours: a crackle that suggests old vinyl, a warm blanket of earthly hush, and that unwavering but organic beat. Then come the details: little snaps in the sound bed, the vinyl crackle transforming into more of a door creak, thin layers of wisps as simultaneously compact and flaky as fine phyllo. And then there's that beat, so steady that over time, as the other sounds make themselves more apparent, it softens and recedes, becoming the equivalent of invisible. Marc Weidenbaum Disquiet August 11, 2005