Son of Clay | Face Takes Shape

Komplott | CD

Where Herbert's seminal 1998 release 'Around the House' doctored domestic found sounds into voluptuously seductive house grooves, Son of Clay (aka Berlin based Andreas Bertilsson) sculpts snatched fragments of field recordings from his apartment into splintered digital chatter. Arhythmic melodies for an increasingly arhythmic audience.

Building careful, but idiosyncratic portraits culled from the miniature sounds of everyday existence, Bertilsson unveils often overlooked vistas: an expansive radiator, stretching out into the distance; a cavernous stairwell, harbouring a perfect echo; a far off fridge, humming persistently.

On top of these day-to-day fragments, squalls of sound trickle - strained harmonies, forever knocked off-centre - carefully constructed works and beautiful, detailed studies characterized by an uncompromisingly atonal ear.

'New Garden' hurriedly unravels, exposing the scattered fragments of garden railings (?) repeatedly struck, incessantly rippling outwards as echoes that fade slowly to reveal further (unidentifiable) samples. 'NoteBook' hovers likewise, a memory-soaked reprise locked into a groove that moulds and shapes (seemingly) the same set of sounds into a different outcome. The penultimate track, 'Two Polar Sleds', ticks metronomically over six time-stretched minutes, as chimes warp and bend as if detuned by passing magnets. Closing with the sublime elegance of 'For Astrid', Bertilsson concludes a striking debut.

Housed in an understated digipack featuring beautifully delicate drawings by Astrid Svangren, and mastered by Andreas Tilliander (Mille Plateaux, Mitek) this is a beautiful release - hesitant, uncertain and careful, but quietly assured. There's no doubt we'll hear more of Bertilsson's work in future.

[CM]



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