And now, for something completely different. As you could probably guess from the title, the Dielectric Field Recording All-Stars are a group of artists who created this collaborative release somewhat unknowingly. Given a treasure-hunt sort of list of sounds, everyone involved (ten different people) went about gathering their different recordings. In some cases, these artists created their own collages before sending them in, but in most, they just sent in the loads of sounds themselves, where they were compiled into this one semi-cohesive release by Die Elektrischen.
To say that it's a difficult listen is probably putting things lightly, as the nineteen track is completely all-over-the-map. There are samples of animals (dogs, frogs, birds, pigs, and many others), insects, people eating, mechanical noises, people talking, random street noise, overheard music, shortwave radio, and about one hundred other things. Oddly enough, it starts out with music (a song by Annie Lennox, if I'm hearing things correctly) overheard at a cafe mixed with short wave radio and crickets. From there, it moves through subway buskers performing Bach on strings, a recording of someone getting pickpocketed, and what sounds like the noodlings of a band testing out their new effects pedals.
There's plenty more where that came from, but essentially you get the idea. There are fragments of melody and even songs that creep in every once in awhile, along with pieces that sound like the power-electronics field recordings of BJ Nilsen and the gurgling earthy close-miced captures of Jacob Kirkegaard. Obviously time has been spend editing the pieces together into three and sometimes even four or five separate layers, making for some unique connections and juxtapositions, but it essentially often sounds like the mechanics of every day life (albeit somewhat enhanced and sequenced for prime effect). There's nothing that's done to shock, but the release does have its harsh moments along with some surprisingly fragile ones. For most, it will be a little too out-there, but if you're looking for the sounds of life through a different set of ears, this hourlong journey has some interesting things going for it.