Chris O'Connor/Sam Hamilton: Tidal Dees and Harboured Dums
By Bruce Morley and Drew McMillan
Put creative percussionist Chris O'Connor and jack-of-all-improvisations Sam Hamilton together in the Wine Cellar, aid and abet with some intentional seriously over-compressed production by cellarmeister Rohan Evans, and the result is a soundtrack for Tim Dammen's film 'Anguish'. David Lynch would pay someone like Angelo Badalamenti big money for a soundtrack like this - but in fact this album is actually more interesting than he would get. Despite being murky, threatening and brooding, it's also warm, inviting and intriguing, drawing the listener in. Throughout four improvised, separately titled tracks, O'Connor and Hamilton create a cyclic, constantly changing but consistent and organic soundscape, driven by implied pulse and momentum. There's no 'rhythm section' playing here, just a perfect amalgamation of electronic and acoustic sound sources. The liner notes list O'Connor on drums/percussion, Hamilton on electric guitar/electronics/bass/computer, and Evans on "additional atmospheric bass". However it is often difficult to determine who is responsible for particular elements within the overall sound (a sound which itself is difficult to describe - let's say, somewhere between Flying-Nun-without-vocals and Rosy Parlane's 'Jasmine' album). At just on 33 minutes, it is brief, but it's nice to hear this soundtrack stand alone, a triumph of the minimalist do-it-yourself improvisation ethic. Available through firstname.lastname@example.org.