ESTLIN USHER “Still” C72 (Clinquant Pudendum)


We talk about ambient a lot around here, as a style, a form of musical expression, but do we really take into consideration what it actually means? For me, getting a nice droning soundtrack, preferably via synthesizer, can perk up any situation in which I find myself alone in a room sitting quietly. But that’s more of a forced ambience, isn’t it? An imposition of mood upon an environment. What about the room, the objects, the air when that’s all there is? On Still, Estlin Usher is bound to find that out.
Still is an improvised electroacoustic encounter, whereby objects – dried grass, cymbal, flowers, foil – are subjected to moving air and recorded, subtly processed and delayed, their sounds creating the soundtrack of themselves, and only their own soundtracks. Contact microphones capture the audio, and the results are stretched and elongated over the course of two 36-minute sides. It rustles, scrapes, bangs, and fizzes, and – if you’re listening properly, with patience and through headphones – it envelops you within its microcosmic universe.
Who needs that far-out sci-fi ambient when you can get the real thing, right here? Tactile, rough, and full of life – that’s the Still bottom line.