Michael Prime

Cellular Radar

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One of Michael Prime's earliest solo efforts, Cellular Radar features four extended works following similar artistic guidelines. Ranging from 14 to 23 minutes, they feel like the movements of one big tape piece. The material is made of acousmatic sounds, analog sounds (drones, high-pitched tones), nature recordings (treated or not), and field recordings of urban locations. Voices, footsteps, crowded hallways, trains, planes, busy streets: All these sounds permeate the music like an indelible mark in Man's mind, a constant memory trace of urbanity as one tries to understand nature at a deeper level (Prime would with his stunning CD L-Fields a few years later). There is much to analyze here from an intellectual point of view, but trying to immerse oneself into the journey turns into a rough ride. Prime is not gentle on the listener: gears shift abruptly, some edits are crude. Whether this was an esthetic choice or not matters little, the result remains the same: Some twists and turns in "Finis Terra" and "Instar" fail to make sense. The strongest moment is found in "Nocturnal Resort," a piece much more focused. It sounds like a nightmarish night camping out: night noises are amplified, dramatized, the whole piece escalates in anguish and potential horror -- beautiful and the perfect thing to put in the CD player the next time the kids ask if they can spend the night in the backyard.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
4 13:54
blue highlight denotes track pick