Review: Seth Cluett – Objects Of Memory

The sense of cohesion throughout this release is strong. Despite being comprised of three studio pieces, an installation documentation and a live performance (and utilizing a fresh set of sound sources in the construction of each), all of these works arrive at the same atmospheric landscape: an anxious mix of creeping activity, gently nudging tranquility and stillness ever so slightly out of joint.

The first three pieces are the shortest and arguably the most immediate. “A Radience Scored With Shadow” is a particularly provocative work – the sound of people stripping gigantic strips of wallpaper in a cavernous warehouse, punctuated by intermittent, bellowing bass drum thuds, and disrupted by an abrupt hiss of compressed air that rips cruelly through the gentle unfolding of sound. It’s the overall sense of emptiness that brings significance to the slightest of gestures, placing every timbral detail under the intense light of focus.

But the 20-minute installation documentation of “Doleros (Audio Tourism At Ringing Rocks)” is perhaps the most unsettled of these pieces – a tangle of low drones contorts slowly, as though awkwardly tilting the soundscape on its axis, with the hollow clang of scaffolding poles rattling precariously against eachother. It’s a giddying experience, settling the listener off balance like a crippling bout of vertigo.

“Untitled” completes the album with layers of overlapping feedback, eternally shifting in shape over the course of its 26 minutes. Objects Of Memory is like the initial unrest that indicates the imminence of something terrible – the slightest rustle of activity that breathes ominous life and caution into a stagnant silence. A beautifully made record.