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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Sounding Society – Homecoming Medley or Society into Sound (Gotta Let it Out, 2023)

By Irena Stevanovska

Homecoming Medley or Society into Sound opens up with what seems as an 80’s sci-fi track; and that gives a partial idea of where you are headed. It slowly develops with different kinds of sounds staged in different areas of the soundscape, making it a great enjoyment for all the audiophilles out there. Although it contains distortion in various sections, the rest of it is mixed extremely cleanly. But as the cover photo suggests (which is AI generated), it is an out-in-space journey, so it’s normal to expect various and distorted sounds.

Many new instruments are introduced here that haven’t been used in combination in any other album before. As we know, Tomo Jacobson (WARMBLADDER, Sun Araw, Mat Maneri) is a great, creative bass player and his amazing abilities can be heard during the journey, he also uses a midi ribbon to give the spiraling effects heard thoughout the album. Then Rasmus Kjær Larsen (Tourist, Klimaforandringer, SVIN) plays a keyboard instrument called melotron which is actually a mechanical instrument that uses the same concept as a sampler, but instead of digital samples, it uses ones recorded on an audio tape, he combines that with a Nord Lead synthesizer. The rest of the instruments are drums, baritone horn, OP-Z synth and Shruti box played by Szymon Pimpon Gąsiorek (Pimpono Ensemble, E/I, Czajka, Puchacz), and Gong and other healing instruments played by Ylenia Fiorini.

Considering the combination and variety of instruments used, it’s pretty obvious that it’s going to be an experimental journey. However, even though it may seem that it’s going to sound rather chaotic, there is actually a great harmony throughout the album. It can be enjoyed by any kind of music listener, as it doesn’t have very loud or out-of-phase sounds that would be hard to listen to for people who are into more mellow music. It’s an enjoyment that can be appreciated by many different kinds of people, but it can only be deeply understood by those who appreciate experimental and avant-garde music.

The rhythm section instruments, namely bass and drums, take center stage in the midst of the sound surroundings. The other instruments serve as background sounds, carefully panned in different areas of the soundscape, creating a sense of space and a clearer picture of the environment that you exist in during the listening session.

The second part of the album contains space-ship sounds that seem to draw inspiration from the sound effects of the sci-fi cinema in the latter half of the 20th century. This gives the music a futuristic retro feeling. As the tracks progress, there are sounds seemingly influenced by early arcade games, evoking the idea of space exploration. Personally, it reminds me of the music from some Soviet cartoons from my childhood – robotic and mathematical, yet organic and earthly in its groove.

It is a great 40-minute journey that offers the perspective of how it would sound if someone could transfer the worldly, natural sounds into the transcendent realms of the universe, blending them with the otherworldly ones.