All Things Metal
All things Metal is a collection of recordings taken over a five year period of various environments and sound events captured closeup to and through an array of functioning and discarded metal infrastructure and objects. My intention for this album is to highlight the unique ability that metal possesses in abstracting, transforming and reconfiguring a given landscape — propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments.
Released 2014 3lEAVES records 3L031
VITAL WEEKLY #958
The 3Leaves label specializes in music that deals with field recordings and usually the releases have a nice package: this one too. A pro-printed booklet with information. I never heard of Martin Kay, but in the last five years he has been recording environments that deal with metal. 'My intention for this album is to highlight the unique ability that metal possesses un abstracting, transforming and reconfiguring a given landscape - propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments', he writes in the booklet. In the first piece he uses two omni-directional microphones in an old Soviet oil tank picking up the vibrations from beyond, traffic, wind, construction site and debris. All of that together brings us a piece of music that is dark, atmospheric, drone like and intense. This perfectly tells us what Kay does: record sound through the use of metal, acting as a resonator or filter to other sounds. Put a microphone beneath a metal sheet and record the rain pouring on the metal plate, such in 'Rain On Iron Gutter'. It's probably one of those listening experiences you once (or more of course) had but simply couldn't record properly. Or when you did and it didn't sound like this. Martin Kay may have the right equipment, but also the right amount of patience to capture his sounds. The twelve pieces here are all great: excellent listening experiences. It's not an album of heavy metal, or an album of some rhythmic banging on metal sheets, but sometimes a very quiet and introspective sounding of the world, and sometimes droning heavily away in a pitch black sea. Kay offers an excellent variety in these pieces and makes up, in its entirety, a great album. (FdW)
As this releases title suggest it features purely field recordings made in & around metal objects. Over a five year period this Australian sound artists, field recordist, & designer visited various different places & environments around the world to capture the twelve tracks on offer here.
I’d heard one other release by Mr Kay in the past, and that was 2013 Black Mountain debut Closing In, which saw him mixing environmental field recordings, found sounds/other field recordings, with drone to electro morphed abstracted instrumentation. But this is the first purely field recordings I’ve heard from Mr Kay, and I must say I was most impressed with the range, type, and replayability of the sounds he captured here - but also the atmospheric depth is most telling with many of the recordings too. All in all another very worthy release from 3leaves.
- ROGER BATTY -
According to Martin's own words, the intention of the artist on "All Things Metal" is the highlighting of "the unique ability that metal possesses in abstracting, transforming and reconfiguring a given landscape" as well as "propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments". The metallic diaphragm which often becomes a sort of proper filtering by re-rendering the perception of surrounding ordinary aural inputs come from a series of installations of different kinds of microphones (contact, omni-directional air and cardioid air ones) on metallic objects or places that Martin carefully describes in the cover booklet: for instance, two contact microphones that Martin placed on a street light in Sapporo Downtown can turn footsteps, advertisements from different speakers and the buzzing noise of internal electronis of the streetlight itself into a sort of alien transmission on "Street Light in Male Entertainment Distr." or the ones he placed on the protective railing of a stairwell ("Tokyo Crows") or beneath an iron gutter ("Rain On Iron Gutter") in Futako Tamagawa or the omni-directional microphones hanging inside an abandoned Soviet oil tank in Yerevan could convey unpredictable aural experiences which can skim over psychedelia. The above-mentioned ability of metals is so abstractly extrinsic and mind-blowing in many moments of the release coming from excellent Hungarian label 3Leaves that it could be considered a proper manifestation of a false-positively hidden hyperreality.
Australia-based sound artist Martin Kay's self-expressed intention for All Things Metal (200 copies) is to “highlight the unique ability that metal possesses in abstracting, transforming, and reconfiguring a given landscape—propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments.” The listener certainly comes away from the recording newly sensitized to how pervasive metal's presence is within our urban environments (the fact that the settings were recorded in different locales, among them Tokyo and Australia, implies a global pervasiveness, too). But more importantly, the fifty-minute recording, whose twelve pieces Kay produced over a five-year span, prompts us to reconsider how metal's sound properties can translate into listening experiences that allow us to experience physical phenomena with fresh ears; that he generally leaves the recorded audio-montages in an un-mixed and un-edited form only serves to heighten that impression. Kay, to cite one example, shows that source material as mundane as a metal wheel rolling along a concrete floor (“Dumbbell Rolling”) can turn into an engrossing vignette of spindly micro-noise.
Matin Kay は1981年生まれのオーストラリアのフィールド・レコーディスト / 作曲家。近年、角田俊也（2012年）やフランスの Eric La Casa（2013年）と共同でリサーチしたりもしている。アルメニアのエレバン、日本のニセコ、札幌、二子玉川、オーストラリアのメルボルン、アゼルバイジャンのバクーで採集したフィールド録音を使い、一切加工を施すことなく仕上げた1～7分の作品を全部で12トラック収録。「金属」がテーマになっていて、オイル・タンク、ヒーター、手すり、道路標識など、よく目にする金属製の物体に複数のコンタクト・マイクを取り付け、その振動音を録音。ありきたりの物体でありながら普通にはほとんど聞こえてこない、または聴こうとしない物体に当たる風や雨の音をクローズアップするばかりでなく、その物体の周囲の車の走行音や鳥の鳴き声や工事音なども背後から聞こえてくる。日常的な聞こえかたとは逆転した音の配置が、不思議な感覚をもたらす。各トラックについての若干の説明を英語で載せた12頁の小冊子付き。