Simon Scott – Below Sea Level

Simon Scott

CD – 12K
Simon Scott, newly published by 12K, is a sound artist hailing from Cambridge, an English city also home to Keshhhhhh Recordings, another worthy label dedicated to ethereal digital music. In “Below Sea Level” delicate textures and acoustic treatments are crossed with field recordings, giving birth to an interesting union that is highly evocative of the place where the sounds were captured: The Fens in East Anglia – one of the richest agricultural zones in the U.K. – a flat but fascinating landscape that has inspired generations of artists and writers. The airy scores paint a good picture of the environment: a vast, often below-sea level land, only apparently desolate and molded by the work of men, making possible a precarious balance of earth and water. The layered analog and digital tones, the patterns and the union of natural and artificial sounds unravel (thanks to a self-built Max/MSP patch) in a fascinating and quietist way, giving the listener an impression of the “genius loci” of the area. The rhythms are very calm, but insecure at the same time, hesitating, as if the simultaneous presence of land and water makes exploration uncertain. Scott lived for two years near the wetland, recording sounds and atmospheres, adding drones and other instruments treated in different ways. The dreamlike sequences are powerful, even in the absolute suspension of landscapes and the aesthetic perceptions they transmit.