By Amanda Nordqvist
An explosion of various MIDI instruments and live percussion, Wave Recital, the latest release by Correspondence (Ben Catt), is more than just an album – it’s a crazed deep dive into an experimental field of magnetic looping patterns and hypnotizing unpredictability. The UK based electronic musician resides in the musical world of Steve Reich and Arthur Russell, mixing minimalism with a constantly, innocently explorative soul. Utilizing several different processes and mixtures of sound, Wave Recital is as complex as it is fascinating, and requires one’s full attention.
Holding Cycle is a fluttery, playful dream sequence, intentionally asymmetrical and erratic, followed by the chaotic cacophony of Playing Field, which practically satirizes itself in that it’s so fully unorthodox, it’s mind blowing. The track seems to have a mind of its own, as it – without any seeming intention – throws the listener in every which way, on and on, completely unapologetically. It is followed by its antithesis, the feathery On Again, like a wild animal at the edge of the forest, watching curiously, edging closer but always on the verge of flight. The track is a welcome change of pace and completely endearing with its enticingly slow build into a playful chase.
Slow Tone certainly lives up to its name, an intriguing track with its unpredictable changes – the slight movement within each long tone urges you to listen more closely, enticing a sense of self awareness – am I imagining that particular sound, did it disappear, is it in my head? Harp Routine lends a deeper sound to the overall quite tense and sharp album – but this track, like all the rest, have the same experimental, spontaneous sense to it, and seems difficult to mimic.
The last track of the album is the one that stands out the most and appears quite like a teaser to a path Correspondence might take in the future – The North Sea is like that conversation you don’t want to have, slow and full of pain but unavoidable – it’s a stunning ode to all that’s left unsaid, with the backdrop of an ocean after sunset. Overall, Wave Recital is an album that hits you like a train at full speed, completely unabashed and unafraid, and with a lot of surprising twists and turns keeping you constantly on your toes. You can listen to Correspondence’s fascinating album at their Bandcamp.