Seth Chrisman: "Aetherdrift, Do You Copy"
Flaming Pines

Aetherdrift, Do You Copy, Flaming Pines' latest three-inch EP (100 copies), is the first Seth Chrisman has issued under his own name, though other material previously has appeared under the widesky alias. The four-track, twenty-one minute release is, in the producer's own words, an “assemblage of field and AM radio recordings with processed instrumentation,” with the field recordings primarily gathered during travels in Costa Rica. With respect to the AM radio component, Chrisman spent hours moving about remote locations after sunset armed with a tape recorder and radio in order to capture static and fragmented radio transmissions. Consequently, the EP material assumes a somewhat phantasmagoric character, boasting as it does a dreamlike, sometimes surreal and disorienting flow wherein human, industrial, and radio elements intermingle.

While differing dramatically in length, the first three pieces share a similar style. The brief field recordings vignette “Imaginary Landscapes” is dominated by water and other nature sounds, while “La Resolana” peppers its ambient-drone with faint real-world echoes of people talking, birds chirping, cars honking, and so on. The piece that makes the strongest impression, however, is the one that's most conventionally musical,“LR.” While field recording sounds are still present, the focal point centers on a placid flow of acoustic guitar picking, and Chrisman's material is all the better for it as it immediately gives the material a personalized character that's less explicitly declared elsewhere. Judging by the effectiveness of this one piece, an entire EP featuring a similarly deft integration of instrument and non-instrument sounds would be a more than welcome proposition.

March 2012