reviewed by Jack Derricourt
Nick Storring’s new release, Exaptations, is delightfully winding. The two, side-length pieces offer journeys of sound, not little pecks on the cheek. With a recording style to bring about atmosphere, as different instruments swirl and contort as if moving through the vastness of space, this record provides an evolving mixture of noise, given the room to grow.
Also, I owe a big thanks to Storring for teaching me possibly the most fascinating biological term I’ve come across in a long, long time.
A-side “Field Lines” starts soft and moving, but ends up flooded with crisp noises. Everything from to guitars to zen chimes to steel drums, it’s all present in some form — whether a sliver of sound or a rolling shock of presence — on this recording. At times, the tension becomes quite palpable, with rattling percussion, distant strings, and minor notes being plucked, like the sound of some unknown horror scene. Other times, the playful quality of rhythm and jumping starts of noise feel entirely child-like and free. It’s a wonderful exploration of sound placement and the contextualization of textures.
“Yield Criteria” is a different beast, brimming with alien sonics and metallic lustre. While the first track wavers and wanders, the second side to this menagerie seems chained to a world of cold fascination. As more and more probes voyage out into the solar system, you have to wonder what their sensors would hear if they were sentient, communicating with their brittle world of origin. Maybe it would sound something like this?
I like how open and imaginative these tracks are. Storring’s finds intricate ways to tease his work in ways I would not have expected. If you need more ambient in your life, put this on your list, then buy all the albums on that list, including this one.
Top Track: Both of ’em
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)