Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I finally got around to listening to the recent Trunk Records release of Edward Williams's Life On Earth score. I like it very much, and it got me thinking about all the other great nature themed library records out there. As a rule, library records with the word "nature" in their titles tend to have a softer, dreamier sound than their harder-edged, usually electronic "science" cousins. UK labels have a good line in the former. Here's one of my favorites from Basil Kirchin and Jack Nathan. I think people tend to associate Kirchin with a certain hi-concept vision of the field recording, on records like Quantum or the Worlds Within Worlds LPs. I personally find those records unlistenable. But this 1979 Bruton LP is a very different beast. Imagine the classic off-kilter modal Kirchin sound except with ethnic percussion and the occasional synthesizer. There's a very stripped down canned quality to the music, which I kind of like. It's as if a khaki-clad Kirchin himself were in the field with the giraffes and zebras, and only had room in the jeep for some electronic drum pads and a synthesizer. And, er, a huge double bass. The sketch of the lion on the sleeve... too good.