Horizontal by Kevin Drumm.
Bandcamp Link: Horizontal
Horizontal is a longer release from Mr Drumm, about 90 minutes. Getting through it took a couple days.
Also, unfortunately, it is Drumm in a quieter, more delicate mode, so not a particularly good commute soundtrack. The road sounds pretty much destroy it.
So, instead of being a commute soundtrack, it ended up being a System Administration Soundtrack. A waiting for things to happen soundtrack.
Things are happening continually in the music, yet it is fairly static.
I was thinking about it, and it reminded me most of spending time examining a Calder mobile. Speculating what might be influencing its motion. Is it the wind? Gravity? The Earth’s rotation?
Likewise, I wonder what Drumm is doing to create this music. Does he just set up the different samples and let them go, a sort of Rube Goldberg mechanism, and the events he launches interact on their own? Or is he involved with the processing?
You probably have to be in the right frame of mind to just put this on and dig it, but I find it is good music to think to. Think about concepts like leaving space in your music, not just for your ideas, but for your listeners’ ideas as well.
Final Protracted Spillings(Vol.?) by Kevin Drumm.
Bandcamp Link: Final Protracted Spillings(Vol.?)
Final Protracted Spillings(Vol.?) is two tracks. On the Track A, Drumm is in what I call Sound Field Mode. A very slow build leads to static fields of shimmering sound, which occasionally intersect. There are some pretty cool subsonics, if you’re paying attention, but mostly it is peaceful music.
Track B is a bit more eventful. It almost sounds like it involves a pipe organ, or samples thereof. A bit spooky, with more dissonant interaction between the pitched sounds.
The March Flog by Kevin Drumm.
Bandcamp Link: The March Flog
One, or two, cool things about bandcamp is that some artists allow you to subscribe to their output. For a minimal fee you can support them in a sustainable manner and they make their whole back catalog and any new releases available. Plus, they usually make other interesting bonus stuff available.
So, if an artist is someone like, say, Kevin Drumm, who regularly produces one or two albums a month, this is a pretty great deal.
You get a couple releases a month, and he gets a subscriber.
One of the other cool things about bandcamp is that artists are no longer tied to the temporal limitations of certain formats.
For someone who is writing drones, two twenty minute sides, or one 45 minute disk, might not be enough. “March Flog” is 4 pieces, each around 30 minutes. Around two hours of music.
They pieces are named after parts of the day. “Morning”, “Before Noon”, “Afternoon”, and “Later”. On these, Drumm is in more of a sound field mode, than in an extreme noise mode. There are no Jack Hammers or Band Saws.
This is peaceful, meditative music about sonic events which slowly interact with each other and then separate. Like watching clouds float across the sky. Well, that, and some pretty awesome sub-bass.
How you feel about Shut In is going to depend on how you feel about drone.
I like some drone-ey music and some leaves me wondering who dropped the paper weight on the organ.
For me, it’s all about the texture of the sounds and the idea of sound as a physical object in space. Also helps to have some bass in the mix.
Anyway, I enjoyed Shut In even though there’s not a lot of obvious “musical” type stuff going on. Good textures and nice bass. If you turn it up, it almost sounds like the quieter bits of a SUNN O))) concert.
Like Roland Kayn, Drumm doesn’t usually seem to have much truck with traditional musical conventions of harmonic or rhythmic organization.
Sounds function, to a certain extent, as motifs. On Relief, the sound of a cricket rubbing its wings together seems to be the motif around which the shimmering static and harmonic washes organize themselves.
It’s a bit like watching the static on an old television, a la Poltergeist, and waiting for your brain to find the patterns, whether they actually exist, or not.
Bandcamp link: Sheer Hellish Miasma
For a second random selection from Mr Kevin Drumm’s oeuvre, I selected “Sheer Hellish Miasma”. Sheer Hellish Miasma is nearly the exact opposite of the quiet and peaceful “Trouble”. The sound samples I can identify sound like band saws, radio static, and jack hammers.
This is definitely an old school “Industrial” sound.
Now, turning these sorts of sounds up to car, and teeth, rattling decibel levels as you wend your way across the city isn’t to everyone’s taste. But if a sort of ‘symphony of industrial noise’ is something you can imagine listening to, you might enjoy “Sheer Hellish Miasma”. #SheerHellishMiasma
An online acquaintance, Ian Fenton of Frozen Reeds, had mentioned on occasion that s/he was listening to Kevin Drumm. Since Mr or Ms Frozen Reeds knows a bit about electronic music, I thought I should check out what is up with Mr Kevin Drumm.
I still don’t know much.
Mr Drumm is a very prolific recorder of music. Going from his bandcamp page, he records and releases an album or two a month. He also appears to be from, or live in, Chicago, IL.
I selected Trouble at random because I liked the cover and the notion of “Trouble”. However, Trouble is one of the least troublesome records I’ve run across. If I had to pin down the sound source, I would guess some sort of Tibetan ringing bowls, but it could be something as simple as a treated or bowed guitar.
The record, according to the liner notes, is, “Intended for quiet listening (suggested stereo system volume setting 4).” And it really is quiet album. It was a rainy day, and between road noise and the rain, it was pretty impossible to hear Trouble while driving. So not a great commute soundtrack.
However, it is pretty great music to listen to as intended.
Turn down the lights, put on the stereo, and zone out as sounds ring across and back from the event horizon.