Loris is Patrick Farmer playing natural objects/E bow snare/tapes/wood, Sarah Hughes on chorded zither/piano/E bow and Daniel Jones supplying turntable/E bow/piezo discs and electronics. Their music is constructed of minimal gestures that seem at times borrowed directly from nature — witness the fuzzy crackling and odd insectile sounds at the start of the first track, "A Heron and a Terrapin", which has a very natural sounding sway, from quiet activity to near silence and back. The electric hums seem to enter at just the right moment, nothing is out of place, and should I try hard I could probably identify the sound sources, but I'd rather just listen.
A single repeated piano note begins "Sophie", encased in room reverb and shape-shifting slightly, with more crackling and circular dragging sounds that slowly takes on a metallic edge. A building hum and some feedback, rustling and the piano note repeats. It sounds like someone is cleaning up next to an elevator or air-shaft until the feedback changes pitch and subtle ratcheting joins in. The piano is still there, but becomes blurrier, losing focus. The whole builds to a quiet roar which sounds like many more than three people, reminding a bit of AMM at times, and at others like a room full of old tin toys.
"Newts Under Concrete" is quietest yet, until the electric storm starts spinning around two minutes in. A worn-out gramophone needle on the lead-out of a worn-out record, scraping the label. It gradually becomes apparent that there are a group of sounds here, as the components separate and develop individually in a unique reverse dove-tail. More feedback and some steam congeal together as one section seems like an odd distorted mirroring of the previous track.
The thing most enjoyable about The Cat From Cat Hill is the way this music fills up the room. Even at relatively low volume levels I can stand up and actually walk around in it. Whether this is due to the nature of the sounds themselves or the beautiful recording is unclear. At just under 45 minutes playing time though, it seems all too short.
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