Artificial Memory Trace – Chitin
Field Recording, Drone, Music Concrete
Label – Taalem
I have heard memorable recordings of insects, composed into an album with an impact, or a breathtaking live performance, by Tribes of Neurot and, on a separate occasion of course, Dave Phillips. Both recordings are breathtaking and tell about a world that is as deep as it is wide. Unlike these artists, Ta’alem releases “Chitin” by ‘Artificial Memory Trace’, which reveals another world through field recordings of termites, ants, bees and other insects. This world is not memorable for being deep or wide, but for being sharp, piercing and alien.
Rising slowly from threatening silence, the obscure, minimal sounds gather and pile up until they reach their full form, almost halfway through the album, in the same way that individual insects gather into a hive. In its hive form, Artificial memory trace powerful and engaging the listener in mental conflict with an alien world that can sting with harsh, exotic sounds and collapse into an almost complete silence before any response can be produced. The good news is that as a listener you do not need to come up with any response to these insectoid guerrilla attacks. You can close your eyes and pass through to the world that is Chitin. It’s like leaving the pavement and stepping into the highway, but it’s worth it.