Tarab — An incomplete yet fixed idea
Symphonies of Dirt | Tarab’s An Incomplete yet Fixed Idea (Aposiopèse, 2017).
are field recordists and then there are those who will crawl around in
the dirt for that perfect sound. Since his debut album from 2004,
Surfacedrift, Tarab’s Eamon Sprod has been fine-tuning his unique brand
of highly immersive, geographically targeted sound work. Contrary to
your typical passive recordist, Sprod likes to get up close with his
environments, his sound design often necessitating a physical
engagement—you might even say, relationship—with his locales. However
compelling, this engagement can be fleeting, resulting in “half
narratives” that when strung together tell the story of a vagabond’s
unquenched desire to free the sounds trapped within this earth. It’s no
wonder he once titled an album, I’m Lost, because he’d probably stay
that way if he could.
Sprod’s sound palette has remained more or less the same over the
years, and An Incomplete Yet Fixed Idea keeps on track. We’re graced
with hissing fissures, nondescript rattlings and scrapings, the
incessant buzz and churn of bygone industrial wares, symphonies of
dirt, tactile grime, foraged sounds, abused sounds, and sounds of
rain—we’ll leave it there but that’s just scraping the surface (sounds
of scraped surfaces!). Compositionally, this is one of Tarab’s
tightest, the transitions between his fragmented narratives feeling all
the more succinct. An important factor in Tarab’s music is
juxtaposition, and Sprod only seems to be getting better at it. The
quick, frenetic energy of his more spastic recordings balance out with
cavernous drones and booming rain, to the extent that after it’s all
done one can almost make out the topography of the artist’s sonic
playground. This is but a testament to Sprod’s command of the visceral
capacity of environmental recordings.
The aforementioned recordings of rain feature regularly on An
Incomplete Yet Fixed Idea, which is a phenomenon that I can’t imagine
Sprod experiences too often in his native Australia, but who knows? The
frequent return to rain punctuates the album with a gratifying sense of
home, as if each time marks a new movement in the work, a new chapter
in this story. As a very recognizable recording, the rain breaks up the
two 20 minute tracks into something more digestible—it’s easy to lose
all sense of time and direction when engrossed in a Tarab album.
Ultimately, this is only one element in the complex sound world
sculpted by Sprod. His recordings, though often fragmented and quick to
expire, are the seed from which his compositions grow. On An Incomplete
yet Fixed Idea, he’s proven himself once again.
The Alcohol Seed
alias Eamon Sprod appartient à cette famille de musiciens (comme Eric
La Casa, Thomas Tilly ou Cédric Peyronnet par exemple) qui composent
une musique concrète qui révèlent ses sources issues d’enregistrements
de terrain ou également baptisés field recordings.
Tarab ne cherche absolument pas à conserver une idée de réalité mais
plus à composer avec ces éléments dans un montage dynamique et toujours
L’ambiance générale est liée à une idée de ruines et d’abandon, d’objets et de lieux fantomatiques.
Eamon Sprod is a Melbourne, Australia-based
sound artist who releases work under the name Tarab. Today, we listen
to his upcoming effort An incomplete yet fixed idea which is out on
Aposiopèse–a non-profit record label based in France and Belgium.
Tarab’s work involves the re-contextualization of found sounds and
field recordings, and while he’s been active since 2011, this is his
first release for the experimental acoustics label Aposiopèse. Composed
of two long-form tracks running just under, and right at, twenty
minutes, An incomplete yet fixed idea continues Tarab’s fascination with
“discarded things, found things, crawling around in the dirt, junk, the
ground, rocks, dust, wind, walking aimlessly, scratchy things, [and]
The artist’s sound collecting strategies in the past have reportedly
involved the kinds of visceral interactions between Sprod’s microphone
and the environment that includes burying it in the ground or scraping
it across surfaces, what he might be referring to when he says,
“crawling around in the dirt…”; but, beyond that, Sprod also seems to
take a very hands-on approach to re-contextualizing the sources through
constant processing and recycling of these field recordings. The result
on “An incomplete yet fixed idea I“, which you can listen to below, is
a psycho-acoustic journey through sound and silence. Blurring the lines
between the natural environments of his original recordings and the
processing they undergo subsequently, Tarab draws the listener into
fascinating acoustic spaces that seem at once familiar and alien all at
the same time.
arrangements of sonic rubbish." That's one hell of a great artist's
statement, courtesy of Eamon Sprod (aka Tarab). Over the past decade,
this Australian sound-artist has quietly produced some of the finer
examples of composition through field recording. His work is a far cry
from the pleasantries of a soft ambient whoosh set as the backdrop to
various birdsongs plopped willy-nilly for the listener to identify.
There's always the threat of psychological, psychic and existential
violence lurking throughout Sprod's work. When the insect chorales push
through to the foreground, it's symbolic of pestilence, disease, blight
and the simple fact that much in the outback can fucking kill you. It's
easy to tap into the ultra-violent, post-apocalyptic, doomsayer and/or
isolationist scenarios mapped out elsewhere through the Australian
psyche (e.g. Mad Max, Chopper, On The Beach, Bad Boy Bubby, etc.), and
Sprod carves out his own niche in digging through the hinterlands of
urban neglect, locating meaning of psychogeographical import (or the
lack there of) within a recontextualized sound object. Since his debut
Surfacedrift back in 2004, Sprod's work has steadily exhibited a
maturation in conceptualization and aesthetic complexity, leading to
his first piece of vinyl as An Incomplete Yet Fixed Idea.
He eschews any notation as to the sources of these sounds on An
Incomplete Yet Fixed Idea, but their meaning is clear. This environment
is a hostile one. Torn metal and shattered concrete rupture in tandem
with stinging buzzes and noxious industrial vibration throughout the
album that takes its composition cues from the G*Park, Dave Phillips
and Francisco Meirino as well as Luc Ferrari and Michel Chion.
Brilliant work as always, from Tarab
the forty minutes this record lasts there is much to be enjoyed. From
obscured rumble of dirt found in the desert, to kicking around in an
abandoned industrial site, wind over barren land, animal sounds and
Tarab takes you on an audio journey through Australia I would think;
there are no locations mentioned. In fact there is hardly any
information at all on this record. That perhaps adds to the mystery of
Tarab tells only the story he wants to tell and the rest remains a
mystery. That makes most intriguing music, and ‘An Incomplete Yet Fixed
Idea’ a great record. (LP by Aposiopese). (FdW)
Tarab focuses on a hazy journey with the
engrossing “An Incomplete Yet Fixed Idea”. Capturing field recordings
alongside electro-acoustic manipulations, the songs have a surreal
quality to them. By trying to offer another view of the sonic universe
that surrounds, it at times feels almost real, like being out in the
center of the world. Other moments search for the truly unusual, the
unique characteristics that give a geographic locale its true spirit.
Drones shimmer on by with the utmost of care, as Tarab lets the high
and low frequencies intermingle in a glorious tapestry of sound.
“Side A” offers the quieter experience. At first seemingly
running through frequencies, the sound eventually settles for a moment.
Gradually Tarab lets additional layers of sound into the mix giving it
a rich, bubbling cauldron sort of take. Eventually Tarab flirts with
elements of noise and outright chaos, for the song gains a playful
nature to it. For much of “Side A” though Tarab is content to live
within the mellowed hues of a sound. Towards the latter half of the
song this proves to be particularly true. With “Side B” Tarab takes
nearly an industrial approach to the soundscapes. Metallic clangs and
eerie threatening sounds dominate much of the side. By far the
highlight, Tarab shows the darker nature of the aural universe. In
fact, about a third of the way through it fully submerges into pure,
unkempt noise. The final moments of the track merely emphasize this,
ending in a glorious blurred cloud of static.
With “An Incomplete Yet Fixed Idea” Tarab sculpts a flawless, coherent
amplification of the world.
Tarab - An Incomplete Fixed Idea [Aposiopese 013 Promo]
Incoming from the experimental-focused Aposiopese-imprint is "An
Incomplete yet Fixed Idea", the latest album effort created by the
Australian composer Tarab, better known to his friends and parents as
Eamon Sprod. Released as a limited to 300 copies 180g vinyl edition in
mid-May, 2k17 the album is split in two parts of approx. 20 minutes
length, exploring a musical range from static Noize to re-arranged,
warped and processed birds tweeting, eerie dronings from what seem to
be modular sources, everyday Field Recordings to industrial grinding
and scraping, fluttering winds, rain, eerie low frequency bass
sequences indicating lurking danger, clanging metal, electrostatics and
much more, presenting an array of collected sonic events arranged in a
seemingly non-linear, yet fascinating matter for all lovers of highly
experimental music and, of course, Musique Concrete. If you think
you've heard it all mark June 16th, 2k17 in your calendar as this is
the date this album piece is about to be released. Check!