DECAYCAST Reviews : GRST “Container+=object EP” (2021)
GRST ‘container+=object EP’’s pleasingly adjunct description states only that it relies upon ‘a variety of electro-acoustic techniques and physical modelling’, eschewing any form of wild conceptual structure in favour of a more detailed sonic study. Connoisseurs of physical modelling synthesis will no doubt recognise its presence – we’re not dealing with bold new territories here, but rather some extremely pensive, rhythmically free wanderings that travel from additive washes to organic plucks and rattles. The absence of any measurable pulse is perhaps ‘Maracaibo’s’ strongest feature – its textures are allowed to ebb and flow between various synthetic states without ever feeling pressured to reveal a defined compositional logic.
In contrast, the second track, ‘aruba’, invokes a distinctly modular tact, tying bursts of reverb to the gestating clangs and urgent bounces across glass and metal. We get some nieve stabs at melody, too, meandering repetitions that dance back and forth like the song of a sinister, cartoon music-box. Theres no development proper, nor does there need to be – ‘container+=object’ works precisely because it sets up a limited palette and then proceeds to meekly explore its affordance, the listener invited to observe as GRST tests the sonic properties of each corner in turn.
– Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully
Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully is a composer, video and performance artist from the UK. He produces work under the Distant Animals moniker (www.distantanimals.com), and runs both the production company 7000 Trees (www.7000trees.com) and the Difficult Art and Music label (difficultartandmusic.bandcamp.com). He holds an actual proper grown-up PhD in contemporary music, and currently lectures at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.