Thursday, 28 December 2017

Aclds - Fuadain Liesmas

Under the radar, off the map...such terms hardly do justice to Chris Douglas' non-place in the what we might call 'the music world', even the 'underground electronic' version. No surprise then that Fuadain Liesmas  has not, to my knowledge, appeared in any end-of-the-year charts. As Dalglish, O.S.T. and Scald Rougish, Douglas has persisted in making music for any reason but the desire for publicity or, perhaps, praise. Not that I believe he wouldn't welcome recognition. Searching for reviews of this album I've found no mention other than on this blog and, of course, Boomkat (because their job is to try and sell music). 

Describing the carefully crafted sounds here would be a challenge for most would-be critics, yet that's no reason for it's apparent invisibility; many writers are better equipped than me to talk about 'abstract' sound and do so regularly. Nonetheless, here I am...on the edge of...reviewing what eludes easy categorisation. 

Negin Giv, being just 30secs long, might be a good place to start (and end?) since it is, in microcosm a snapshot of Douglas' methodology....his ability to...punch holes in ...the space-time continuum...? If I improvise, forgive me. Free-flowing word scrambles might suit talk of Jazz, but  Fuadain Liesmas being so meticulously composed I feel duty-bound to attempt the same in writing. And fail. 

OT-IntVxEs 1 is typical of what goes on here, which is not to suggest that it's all predictable from the outset (only in...approach to sound). Rather, I mean, in creating melancholic (?) tones which in other hands would signal mere ambient eternal drift somnambulism, Douglas scatters brittle components throughout. No sleeping here. No daydreaming 'bliss'. Only on Hrm Clng or Dtn#09_Ed do we find what feels like a place of rest, albeit one derived from an afterlife (?). After what? This is life, in all it's restless, skittish, uncertain gravity. 

Perhaps ambiguity renders such albums unpopular; not 'difficult listening' - that, surely, is in the ear of the beholder. Albums that gain attention often shout something, even if in a thoroughly minimalist, quiet fashion. Is the popularity of Ambient a result of what many perceive to be a  politically turbulent world? An escape from that madness? As if the world has ever been stable. Whatever, the thing to do is make music which speaks of either 'the street', or technological trickery in the service of an adrenaline boost. Songs, naturally, are always in favour. Fuadain Liesmas offers no such musical certainties. It's neither flash nor pleasingly serene. Ultimately, I can only say 'It is what it is'. You can get a taste from the stream below, but to fully savour what Chris Douglas has created, I suggest you buy the CD from here.

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