Review: Ayelet Lerman + Wade Matthews + Carmel Raz – Growing Carrots In A Concrete Floor

The trio begin by taking that agonising shriek of train brakes – a horrific tangle of high-pitched tones forced forth from clamped metal – and reels it out for eight minutes. Neither friction nor motion give way, and the instruments (violin, viola, synthesis/field recordings) become locked in a miserable state of pre-collapse; grunting and moaning through a laboured death prelude, postponing the moment of release to wallow in the screams of dissonant indecision. Much of Growing Carrots In A Concrete Floor concentrates on this conflict of forces, lingering painfully before the moment of concept to satisfy a perverse fascination with the agonising birth squeeze before it.

Track three pimples with stiff pizzicato, bow creaks and all kinds of wooden thumps and strange watery claps. It’s increasingly restless, and sometimes sounds like a small chick scraping and pounding its way out of an eggshell; intermittent and assertive plucks start to become replaced by a more frantic and impulsive writhing and screaming, like panic spreading virus-like through a state of calm and composed deliberation. Meanwhile, track six slurs and whistles through broken violin/viola voices and invasive human whispers, tailing off on a rustling locked vinyl groove that aptly captures the record’s inescapable abrasion. As the title suggests, the album explores persistence in the face of illogical process, driving ever further into the wrong under the sickening delusion of being absolutely right, thus vibrating in a limbo of ceaseless opposition.