A Storm of Drones is the concluding installment in this impressive series of elaetroacoustic music from New York’s Asphodel/Sombient label. Its precursors were the collections “The Throne of Drones” and “Swarm of Drones” (a single and double release, respectively). Those who were impressed by the sounds on those discs can prepare to be bowled over once again with this latest triple-disc assemblage.
Those who have delved into the diverse soundscapes of electroacoustics may likely recognize the names that appear on the first disc, “Audio.” Most of them are people who are (or have been) associated with the organization called the Canadian Electroacoustlc Community. Each of these works has been excerpted from releases on the Montréal-based emprientes DlGITALes label. It is an excellent introduction to works by the likes of Francis Dhomont, Robert Normandeau, Gilles Gobeil, Paul Dolden and many others. Specifically, the works of Dhomont, Normandeau and Gobeil reveal the very European approach to this genre of music with its leanings towards the “musique concrète” style.
The second disc, “Environmental,” begins with a clap of thunder on Michael Sterns Reky into Dark Territory. All of the composers in this set seem to have vastly diflerent approaches to their “environmental” soundworks.
Australian Alan Lamb has recorded the sounds of librating power lines creaking in the wind with the aid of contact microphones. Meanwhile, Ellen Fullman also employs the sounds of vibrating wires although the difference in her approach is immediately apparent. Maggi Payne’s Moiré could easily fool people into thinking that it was lifted from outtakes from Tangerine Dream’s “Rubycon” album while Darren Copeland utilizes some recognizable environmental sounds as the basis for his pieces.
The final disc — subtitled “Immersion”—begins and ends with a pair of works by Maryanne Amacher KARYON Sound Character is a lengthy work which ebbs and flows with sonic textures ranging from distant, quiet to ominously close andforeboding. Elliott Sharp’s Klystron falls somewhere within the boundaries of work by Gordon Monahan and Paul Dolden while Robert Rich’s piece Ephemera is a rather brief interlude featuring sampled voices which, despite their pleasing timbres, manage to invoke a sense of menace.
For those who have a serious interest in the diversity of electronic and electroacoustic sound sculpture, the over three hours of sounds in this collection will be a welcome evening of sonic treats.