“Field Recording Meets Sound” in Merchants of Air

Sometimes, when I wander through the city and the parks of Antwerp, I see people carrying microphones and recording equipment. Once in awhile I see one of them calmly sitting by a pond, gazing onto the water while his equipment registers the surrounding sounds. I often wonder what those people do with these sounds.

Are they recording bird songs for an audio collection? Are they eavesdropping on people’s conversations? Are they making field recordings to create soothing ambient albums? Dominic Razlaff belongs to the latter category.

Razlaff lives in Braunschweig, Germany, which is where he gathers his field recordings. For his previous albums, he used field recordings to enhance and complement his music. This time however, he decided to turn things around and create music which supports the field recordings. For this music he used Novation’s Xic Synthesizer and a ukulele with granular synthesis. The result is a fifteen track ambient album that perfectly blends in with the aural environment, something only the best ambient works manage to do.

Besides a minimalistic array of drones and soundscapes you can hear far away conversations, playing children, birds singing and plenty of other everyday ambience. This way, even in the most remote corners of the world, this is an excellent album to battle feelings of solitude and loneliness. In fact, there is something cozy, something convivial about this album. It feels like a calm but joyful family reunion. It feels like a warm get together near a burning fire in the middle of winter.

As I said before, the album nudges towards the minimal ambient scene. It is perfectly suited for a day like today, a day with snow, wind and rain outside while you enjoy a hot coco in the comfort of your own living room. This certainly is a highly recommended album, one for fans of everything between Eno and Biosphere. I’m sure that these tracks will appear quite a lot on my day-to-day playlist from now on and I suggest you add them to yours too.


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