by Hal McGee
As part of our ongoing exchange of art items through the postal mail, Heather Chessman and Roger Smith sent to me a CD copy of their recent release on the Besperech`label (Russia), Deep as a depthless pond. JUICE MACHINE break out into new territory on this release, foregrounding field recordings of natural sounds, with their minimal electronics serving as a backdrop. I was a little surprised by this strategy, but it works well and the results are pleasing. There are no doubt hundreds of albums that utilize a similar approach, but this kept my attention throughout its three tracks totaling 64 minutes. I found this audio art to be as suitable for active, attentive listening as for letting it melt into the background as I did chores and straightened up my apartment. The electronics and natural sounds blend together so well that it is difficult to tell the difference. Some of this does get very intense, and I love all of the details that keep my mind busy. It sounds GREAT on headphones!
I really do not want to say much more, because my job as a reviewer is to point you toward recordings that I find interesting that you might find interesting too. You should listen to Deep as a depthless pond yourself and make it an experience of your own, and you can do so on the Besperech`page on Bandcamp, as well as purchase a download. You can also order a copy of the gorgeous four-panel digipak CD for €10. I love the look of my copy so much that I affixed it to my mail art wall along with all of the other awesome visual art that I have received in recent months.
Please also visit Heather and Roger's JUICE MACHINE page on Bandcamp where you will find 37 of their albums of no-input feedback and minimal electronics. They have a new release, charnel ground, which is available as a C-90 cassette and download. It's all about audio adventure and going places with the sounds.