TALUGUNG: Anura (Amorfon)


Posted on Feb 10th 2011 01:41 am

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Talugung: Anura

Amorfon 2010
11 Tracks. 39mins37secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD iTunes: DLD

Rather than relying entirely on the work of others, Canadian musician Ryan Waldron actually spends part of his time making his own acoustic musical instruments. While he also uses instruments and sounds he has collected over the years, these home made devices are at the basis of his work as Talugung, a project he has cultivated since 2006. He has released a few very limited CDR collections in the past, but Anura, published on Japanese imprint Amorfon, is his debut album.

The sound world Waldron creates here is particularly striking and relies on very few familiar components. At times sounding like wind chimes, broken toys or out of tune thumb pianos, at others evoking the choking noise of disused steam engines, Waldron doesn’t so much compose musical pieces as build self-contained magical miniature universe totally disconnected from reality. This album was apparently inspired by the sound of frogs, but, beyond the croaky collage of Creekside Corroded Iron Band, which opens the proceedings here, there is no clear sign of this having in any way shape or form filtered through any of the remaining compositions. Instead, there are bell-like constructions (Manifest Futures, Currents), distorted steel drums (Rain On Giant Lenses), bubbling percussions (Low Temperatures), dreamy chimes (Painted Bowls), miniature toms (Zinc Drop Multiplication), exquisite scintillating thumb pianos (Falling Sawdust) or breathless barrel organs (Undersea Shadow Enemy, Nervous System), each concentrated on just one piece and applied in such a particular way as to appear totally unique.

Waldron’s constructions are often extremely intricate and detailed, even if they actually appear repetitive and minimal, and it is not rare for a sub-structure to come into focus unexpectedly. Indeed, while his compositions can often feel totally random and anarchic, with no definite starting or ending point, very little sense of rhythmic order or precise tuning, closer inspection reveal riches which would otherwise remain completely hidden; miniature melodies formed from chaotic (dis)harmonies on Undersea Shadow Enemy or subtle layering on Painted Bowls or Falling Sawdust, oddly hypnotic rhythms which take shape on Low Temperatures or Zinc Drop Multiplication, or the sound of a pebble delicately resonating inside a metallic container on Manifest Futures. There is much more in any of these tracks than meet the ear, and careful repeat listens are always rewarded.

Anura is a wonderful collection of acoustic sounds, some vaguely familiar or reminiscent of existing instrumentation, others totally alien. While he doesn’t compose music in the traditional meaning of the word, Ryan Waldron uses sounds in a very musical way, resulting in his constructions being totally fascinating from beginning to end.


Talugung (MySpace) | Amorfon
Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD iTunes: DLD

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