Anthony Child

Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle, Vol. 2

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Following the late-2015 release of Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle, Vol. 1, a double LP of modular synthesizer improvisations recorded in Hawaii by electronic music veteran Anthony Child (better known for making relentless industrial-influenced techno as Surgeon), the artist returned with a Buchla Music Easel in tow and recorded a second volume. As with the first volume, Child sets up his equipment outdoors and produces warm, pulsating drones in real time, letting the incidental sounds of rain, birds, and insects color the recordings. Considering his instrument of choice, perhaps it's no surprise that the results often sound like the pioneering Buchla works by composers such as Laurie Spiegel and Suzanne Ciani. The main difference, of course, would have to be Child's decades of experience producing and spinning techno records. In some vague ways, it seems like techno influences the pacing and progression of these pieces, even if they don't have beats or typical track structures. This album feels a bit more structured and less sprawling, as none of the tracks here approach the ten-minute mark. The mood to this one is a little bit darker and more isolated than the previous volume, especially on tracks like the cold, suspenseful "Truth Is Healing," but much of it still sounds friendly and inviting. "Super Sacred Sunday" starts out with staccato note sequences like many of the other pieces, but as it progresses, the notes drift out further. They're still as busy as before, but they aren't as sharp and piercing. "Relational Constellations" also plays with contrasts, alternating slowly rippling bass tones with lighter, more rapid notes. "Farthest Known Object" ends the album on a more abstract note, with a sparkling loop that sounds like flutes and wind chimes giving way to a loudly buzzing drone, which slowly fades out to nature sounds. Not just more of the same, Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle, Vol. 2 suggests that Child has much more ground yet to cover with his exotic synth explorations.

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