Moveable Sites

Edward Ruchalski

(CD - Humbug #011)

Review by Fran├žois Couture

Edward Ruchalski's soundscapes are (mostly) sourced from outdoor locations and transported into your living room. They infiltrate your surroundings and take on a life of their own, intermingling with yours, bringing previously unknown friends and relatives inside your home. His selection of sources is varied, but he sticks to gentle, everyday sounds that are prone to trigger reminiscences of childhood and good times in general: a splash in the river, a train passing by, someone noodling on the piano, commuting, storytime, and the fragile melody of a music box. Ruchalski gives his field recordings a home, he treats them lightly (looping, sampling) and arranges them into snapshots of a composite experience. The natural flow of the music makes it timeless, and puts it outside the convenient notions of genre and style. The best moments are heard in "Off Main, Williamsville," where trains and children playing in the river are combined with light electronics, and in "Elegy for V," where a nameless piano snippet is shrouded in electronics in a way that evokes Fennesz. "Moss Lake" features Matt Broad on zither and percussion, accompanying Ruchalski's music boxes with sparse notes. The Humbug label usually puts out music that weights much more on the noisy side, but there is hardly a sound here you could qualify as noise. Arranged this way, these sounds are truly music to your ears.

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