My Favourite Album – Ben GwilliamSeptember 11, 2012
My favourite album by Ben Gwilliam aged 31 & 10 months.
Annihilate this post
Its sort of funny to look over a stack of cds, vinyls, tapes and the malarkey and think that there is one within that pile that stands above all for me as a favourite singular thing. In actual fact, I don’t have a favourite album, rather a smaller pile of revolving releases that has frequent plays that tends to accompany me when Im working away on stuff in my studio. There is however one specific disc wedged between the entr’acte Korber-Wehowsky disc and The Butthole Surfers ‘Locusts Abortion Technician’; Joe Colley and Jason Lescalleets’ ‘Annihilate this week’.
This four track disc is part of the ‘Brombron’ series that Korm Plastics maestro Frans de Waard has ran since around 2000, and is a residency style recording opportunity where he invites two musicians who may not of previously worked together to spend a short time in the Korm studio at Extrapool in Nijmegen. No doubt many people who read watchful and listen to this area of music will be familiar with both Artists, therefore I think the concept of getting these two together for a week or so seems like an opportunity that must be grabbed and on all accounts this disc delivers a great listening experpience.
Track one ‘Prayer’ starts off with what could be a bin-aural recording or a discrete handheld stereo mic picking up the clattering of keys as (I assume) Colley or Lescalleet opening a door, shutting the door walking downstairs into a basement like acoustic with a drone behind closed doors, which opens to a dense reverberation that melds for the remaining ten minutes. Like the next track ‘nervous laughter’, a direct use of compression or sharp editing of bird calls (native to Nijmegen maybe, they remind me of crows somewhat) is woven through further tonal undercurrents and such smaller cracking akin to treated tape or digital artefact. These are traits that I have come to appreciate about both Colley and Lescalleets ways of working that has become a more critical and developed practice in the years since this came out (2006). They have both equally got listening sensibilities that respect and develop the material that they have.
Through the remaining tracks the work becomes enveloped in set sounds that I assume they have composed together (rather than improvising with sound) and continued to the edit and master process that happened back in the states at a later date.
What has brought me to consider this record as something that sits as a regular listen is how it reminds me of extrapool itself and the experience I had with Jason Zeh when we did our Brombron in 2009. I know the walk down the stairs to the basement space, it may even be a different stairwell to another space or even a different building (as extrapool has relocated once). To me the album sounds like extrapool in a way that working intensely with focus does with someone that you haven’t done so before, finding ways of breaking down materials and preconceptions or in some cases, just trying to get through it! As many may argue, both Colley and Lescalleet have made better things before and later on as solo or collaborative efforts; as such one cannot distil down to what is or not best, but rather frame the music personally and right now this cd is still firmly wedged.