Ellett, Gayle - Winds Of War

Year of Release: 2001
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:11:00

The existence of recorded audio media signifies one of the most pioneering and vital changes in the history of human expression, as not only does it allow music to be recorded and distributed throughout the entire world, but also facilitates sonic experiments that would have one day been deemed impossible. What at one point in time passed as nothing other than the rapidly vanishing noise and conversations of civilization can now be harnessed into a recorded statement; manipulated into a soundtrack of sorts that, while not being strictly music due to its lack of rhythm, melody, and harmony, is nevertheless an extremely powerful tool when used appropriately.

With Winds Of War, Djam Karet's Gayle Ellett is living proof of that power. Laying hands on a series of field recordings made during a visit to the Muslim world of North Africa, Ellett has devised an aural and purely visceral response to the war that the United States declared on terrorism, and, more specifically, Afghanistan, not long ago. It is a response that is completely devoid of instrumental enhancements or crass manipulation, and instead takes form as a gruesome pastiche of the paranoia, mysticism, fear, and immediacy that has characterized the conflict and the lifestyles partaking of it. Sand-ridden winds distort the sweaty landscape, a rattle fades in and out as a barefoot child runs briskly away with a toy in hand, an imposing and commanding voice echoes across the walls of a large Mosque, and helicopters swarm above the terrified populace.

The cruelly smothering atmosphere becomes irritatingly maddening after a while, and nerve-racking moments of near-silence render the space around the listener vacuous, stark, and ominous. The tension is the very face of coming death, and the belligerent speeches crowning the void the mask of insanity under which hatred and fear lurk unhindered. The joyous and pensive mysticism of "The Liberated City" sees itself distorted into a bitter grimace that remains unchanged, and the aural emotions end without hope for the future; a dark embrace of destruction and hateful despair.

It could hardly be considered a wonder that most people would rather shy away from Winds Of War, as the experience of manipulated field recordings edited into such a statement is far from being what even by some of the most adventurous listeners would be considered music. For anyone interested in the approach and its powerful reach, however, Gayle Ellett has created an absorbing masterwork of sounds and atmospheres that carries within it the dark side of war in an impossibly effective manner. The Apocalypse Now of field recordings? Very likely.

Similar Artists: Blind, Deep Into The Earth, Petros Drecojecai

Road To Kandahar (7:50) / The Liberated City (6:47) / Birds Of Prey (2:08) / Zardoz Speaks (3:45) / Winds Of War (8:57) / Airplane Ride To Hell (6:19) / "Round 'Em Up" (7:22)

Gayle Ellett - field recordings processed through analog synthesizer

Music For Televisions (1993)
Great Explorations V - The Pacific Rim (2000)
The Maskit Chamber - Heaven Machine (2001)
The Maskit Chamber - The 4th Wave (2001)
Winds Of War (2001)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: May 18th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.djamkaret.com
Hits: 1752
Language: english


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