Those Who Walk Away – The Infected Mass


CD – Constellation

The Canadian sound artist Matthew Patton, aka Those Who Walk Away, has not chosen such a moniker at random. Moreover, considering the majestic and gloomy seriousness of the harmonies developed in this it is clear that it has nothing to do with something light or ironic. What immediately strikes us is a dull breath – not sure if masterly designed or field recorded – similar to a flying aircraft with added multi-layered and multi-sound treatments, developed in a string quintetto in an elegiac church-like continuum which is also disquieting, unsolved and hopeless. It is a double tragedy (an air crash and a family grief) involving a whole community. To reinforce this complex storytelling a section of the aircraft is shown in the artwork, with precise information on the seats and the effect of the impact that caused several breaks in the cockpit. That’s not all: in the third track of the collection, “First Partially Recollected Conversation” the voice of the pilot taken from the original flight recording is modified and the sound treatments cast a chill with voices that reappear also in the fifth track. Patton admits – and we are not judging the rightness of such a poetic approach-that “there is something genuine and at the same time extremely wrong” in what he has collected, a work that for the same author is disturbing, an obsessed and ghastly music that overflows with its sounds, exceeding with anguish and capacity. inspiration in this artwork doesn’t seem to be linked to its belonging to a genre. For this reason, its minimalism or the belonging to a style is not to be highlighted. Instead, what forces an expression of such an obvious grief that it infects everything and has to be expressed in a raw overwhelming way is actually necessity. Patton reminds us of his dead brother and we have to hang our heads.


The Infected Mass – Those Who Walk Away