Historical Recordings 1 – Various (Gagarin Records)
A Pigmy hunting ritual, Norwegian whaling festival music, Goebbels being given a demonstration of a proto-synthesizer, a séance at Sibelius’s house, a Situationist teaching a child, acoustic energy created by plankton, pig music, machinery recordings, a track called ‘Futurist Foot Soldiers’...what more do you want? This is sonic archaeology at its most extreme by Felix Kubin, who presents sound artefacts gathered over five years from various institutions, private owners and archivists. The vinyl-only gatefold sleeve LP is a much a part of the experience as what’s on it, being beautifully designed (looking like an ECM record) with extensive notes on each track. So you get both slick, minimalist design and the scratchy crackle of history. Some suggest it might all be a hoax, but I can’t believe it considering the effort needed to create both the written and sonic fiction. If so, it’s quite brilliant and even more impressive.