Review

Ear to Ear

Live Recordings

Astral Industries • 2024

Field research can mean different things in the world of leftfield music. It could mean literally going out into the field and exploring overgrown paths, hidden streams or caves and recording the sounds you find on a portable field recorder. You could then take those sounds home and use them to create analytical tracks. It’s not clear whether this is what Samuel van Dijk (aka Multicast Dynamics) and Ukrainian artist Yevgen Chebotarenko in the guise of Ear to Ear had in mind when they created »Live Recordings«, a 60-minute album of ambient music. What is clear is that these tracks explore the possibilities of acousmatics, combining field recordings with synthetic sounds to create atmospheric soundscapes shaped by the sounds of nature, such as streams, winds and even the occasional bit of nature’s adversity. Whether this can be called analysis is open to debate. Although the four tracks on the album are structured like post-industrial, investigative sound collages, they are ultimately driven by a sense of sensuality. Which means, yes, this is music for the head, and yes, it encourages you to trace the sounds back to their sources. But it is also music that comes from the heart and is (almost) physically palpable.