KIM CASCONE: The Knotted Constellation (Fourteen Rotted Coordinates) (Monotype Records)


Posted on Dec 2nd 2011 01:10 am

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Kim Cascone: The Knotted Constellation (Fourteen Rotted Coordinates)

The Knotted Constellation (Fourteen Rotted Coordinates)
Monotype Records 2011
01 Track. 32mins52secs

 Amazon UK: CD

Although presented as one continuous piece, The Knotted Constellation is in fact, as its subtitle suggests, a series of seemingly unrelated atmospheric soundscapes based on a combination of field recordings, acoustic and electro-acoustic instrumentation and electronics. Although the field recordings were collected in various places around the globe, there are no indication of location or setting in the finished piece. The only hints are purely textual (the church bells heard in the opening sequence, tap water running into a kitchen sink, a helicopter flying overhead, the announcement, in French, warning of the imminent departure of a train), yet they contribute heavily to define the outlines of a narrative which, whilst extremely hazy and abstract, somehow manages to bind the various segments of this work together.

From his work with David Lynch in the late eighties and as a sound designer with Thomas Dolby in the mid nineties to his solo and collaborative body of work, Cascone’s interest in sounds and textures has been always been key. Here, he assembles an intriguing soundtrack which constantly seems to indicate that it is retracing a particular story, via a myriad of atmospheric pointers, without actually ever revealing anything of it, leaving the listener to provide their own interpretation of the piece.

The meticulous sonic collage which makes up this record is often pretty sparse, with only a few sounds and noises appearing fully in focus at any one time, but the density of these soundscapes can vary greatly throughout, from a single stripped down texture to complex layered structured of processed field recordings and glitches, sometimes with very little in the way of transition. The various sections of the piece operate in near-total autonomy from each other, and are at times brutally juxtaposed, while at others, they are separated by substantial gaps. Even the reasoning behind this is not quite clear as there are no apparent distinctive features between methods. This almost sketch-like approach leaves the interpretation of the piece very open, as if Cascone was purposely maintaining a shroud of mystery over a decaying narrative.


Monotype Records
Amazon UK: CD

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  1. […] check out “KIM CASCONE: The Knotted Constellation (Fourteen Rotted Coordinates) (Monotype Records)” a recent review of Kim Cascone’s […]