Cahn Ingold Prelog – Tolerance (Recordiau Prin)
Review by Ioan.
Cahn Ingold Prelog is an experimental / avant garde music project by artist and musician Simon Proffitt. ‘Tolerance’ is his latest release and it is an absolutely gorgeous exercise in field recordings, fluid and untamed experimentation, and a celebration of the joy of ‘found music’ in everyday situations.
Opener ‘1.1 Pure as Snows Thrice Boiled in the Northern Blast’ starts with haunting ambient percussion and field recordings mixed with a sinister drone. The noise is slowly ramped up with additional effects and sounds. Follow up ‘1.2 Three Unsuccessful Attempts to Discredit Odlyzko’s Response to Montgomery’s Pair Correlation Conjecture’ has gorgeous twinkly percussive sounds made by wind chimes and this eerie effect eventually morphs into a sinister synth throb. Textured noise is layered on top and the resulting effect is the first thing that remotely resembles a beat.
The gloriously titled ‘1.3 Unexpected item in Bagging Area’ has a wonky analog synth reminiscent of the recent wonderful work by Truus De Groot which broods menacingly until it softens into the haunting echo chamber of the belly of this ominous electronic beast.
‘1.5 Gentoo Penguins, Elephant Beach’ is an absolutely inspired piece of field recording of Gentoo Penguins in their natural habitat. The eerie sound of the ocean breeze mingles with the naturally strange and unsettling noises that penguins make. You could try and replicate these strange sounds in a studio, but where would the fun be in that? Just brilliant stuff.
As the album progresses you get slow burning builds from moody gong manipulation (‘1.6 Make Vaalbara Great Again’) into crescendos of noise with again the tiniest hint of a beat thumped out.
More field recordings of what sound like crackling fire (??) (‘1.8 Ysbrydnos’), interweave with gong sound manipulation. The results, like a lot of the tracks on this LP, are almost meditative in their disconcerting way.
One of the standout tracks of the LP has to be ‘2.2 Car Wash’. In the liner notes, the matter of fact details of “Silver Wash at Sainsbury's, Wrexham, from inside a Toyota Aygo” is what makes the process of assembling these sounds, so inspiring and fresh. The mechanical and mundane process of a car wash manages to produce a beautiful piece of music that makes the ordinary, extraordinary.
Including pieces that were recorded as part of art installations and commissioned performances as part of National Science Week, ‘Tolerance’ is a sublime and joyous piece of work that challenges the possibilities of what constitutes ‘music’ and art. Throughout this album there is triumphant sonic manipulation, and dense atmospheric field recordings that find beauty in the most unassuming places. ‘Tolerance’ has echoes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and flashes of genius. Crammed full of ‘found’ noises that are turned into both ‘music’, and pieces of sound art, ‘Tolerance’ is also a beautifully contemplative lesson in meditative collages. I can’t wait to hear what Cahn Ingold Prelog has in store next.