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hazard
land
touch   2002
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touch label website

album rating: 2
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submitted by anton on 1-Dec-2002

my first experience with hazard was lech on malignant records, the album that even now (six years later) withstands the test of time, creating melodic dark ambient textures that clearly stem from industrial influences. after that debut, b. j. nilsen continued exploring found sounds and field recordings, subsequently releasing material on touch and ash international.

land is an organized collection of tracks that were performed live during touch label showcase this past year. in this respect it is a follow-up to his full-length wind. although I do find the conceptual side of field recordings quite intriguing, roughly half of the album would appeal to someone more interested in the field of isolationist electronica - these tracks crackle and buzz along, but fail to attain any semblance of depth and emotion that are reached on my favorite tracks - "substation", "old lead mine" and "windmill." those three tracks are the reason alone to pick up this album. interestingly enough, they are the ones where the sound sources have been processed and altered the most.

"windmill" reminds me of vladislav delay - a thick, slightly pulsating stream of liquid sound; microscopic glitches and vibrating bassline sending ripples through the calm surface of this track. despite its simplicity it has an incredible emotional charge, a combination of organic serenity, shimmering deep waves of ambience, and caustic, abrasive uneasiness that runs as an undercurrent throughout the whole track. "old lead mine" follows the same path, but it intensifies the contrast, deepening the bass, as well as bringing in more prominent organic noises. finally, slow-building "substation" reaches an overwhelming effect, building immense dark landscapes just with the aid of wind recordings.

I have always been cautious with found sounds recordings, since their conceptualism is often both the means and the end, often turning into a sound study. I tend to favor those that move away from conceptual purity into the world of music. hazard comes from the background I can relate to and his music is aimed at creating deep atmosphere with a strong emotional presence.


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