Review of Volume Objects [12k1045]

Array (IE)

12k state: “In the desire to make recorded sound as tactile as possible Autistici has sculpted found objects, broken acoustic instruments, synthesizers and environmental recordings into Volume Objects.”

Autistici – David Newman, founder of Sheffield’s excellent Audiobulb Records – crafts detailed audio landscapes comprising filigree melodies, fragmentary field recordings and sparse, tentative rhythms. Volume Objects, his first full release on 12k, evokes portraits of places crafted from a carefully curated palette of sound objects.

Across nine delicately constructed audio canvasses, Newman aligns invented and real sounds. Careful, painterly in approach, Newman creates sonic narratives of hesitant, yet undeniable beauty.

“Heated Dust On A Sunlit Window” opens with a bristling burst of static before melting into a serene melody underpinned by field recorded percussion, crafted into an ever-shifting ground. “Wire Cage For Tiny Birds” captivates for nine organic minutes, its melodies hovering, flickering, momentarily harnessed before evaporating into a growing soundscape only to re-emerge again.

Newman has a rarely equalled ability to draw together contrasting sounds, corralling them to coax new meanings through their juxtaposition and Volume Objects is a clear indication that his abilities extend far further than his role as curator of Audiobulb Records.

Packaged with an eight page booklet of understated black and white photography by Taylor Deupree, a visual counterpoint to Newman’s audio, Volume Objects is itself a beautifully realised object, proof that physically packaged releases are still loaded with life.

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