Posted by Shane on October 30, '17
Forwind hits release number 20 with Scripts by London based sound artist Jeremy Keenan. While his Forwind debut sees him make a rare addition to his discography, his list of projects, performances and installations is lengthy and prolific (see bio). This wealth of experience is evident on the four tracks of warm speaker filling electro-acoustic ambience he delivers on Scripts.
While interest in sound art and more academic approaches to audio is arguably at an all time high there can still be a tension between what works in an installation or gallery setting and what works as a purely listening experience. There are no issues here though in this carefully developed EP that sees Jeremy's expertise in synthesis, spatialisation and feedback used to striking effect.
Title track and EP opener Scripts sees the journey begin in a subtle manner with a slice of glacial ambience that introduces the listener to some of the themes that will feature and develop over the four pieces. There's an inquisitive feel to the opener in its foreshadow of bigger reveals later on. Notes and tones are restrained as they rotate around a bed of gently dramatic stabs before taking us into more cavernous territory with some beautifully crafted bass pulses.
Next up is Intone an undoubted highlight on the release. Overused as the word may be, epic fits the bill here with a track that glistens, enchants and even unnerves as the icy atmosphere hints at colder waters ahead. It points to an unfolding story and elicits a sense of uncertainty as it explores the senses nature can bring alive when its vastness, beauty and danger are witnessed on a grand scale, or in smaller more focused renderings through the prism of technology. 'Zapffe' sees a more understated approach take hold as a more subtle sound palette cushions the gently booming subs that guide us through the passageway.
The mini-odyssey closes out with We Were Supposed to Drown. Beautifully pitched sine tones increase the tension as a swirling bed of atmospheric noise and foreboding bass evoke the overwhelming feelings invoked by fully grasping our tiny individual place within nature and the cosmos. Much like the rest of the EP it works on a couple of levels. One is local and in situ, personal and story-like, the other hinting at something bigger, wider, grander.
Scripts is complimented and completed with artwork by London based Irish artist Martina O'Shea. Taken from the spoils of an arts project she did in Iceland in 2017, the chemigram cover art perfectly visualises the intricate ultraviolet organics at work in the music.