Thursday, May 21, 2009
Sean Mccann | Boomerangutan & Sway Cdr's
Jane Pow, Tar, now Sean McCann. . . yeah, I know, I'm crazy.
McCann runs neck and neck with Prurient for most prolific man in the experimental underground. Much like the aforementioned noise guru, a surprising majority of McCann's work is excellent, and you will be hard pressed to find a release of his that isn't worthy of at least one listen.
McCan took off on his musical journey with Boomerangutan in early 2008, and hasn't slowed down, disseminating his spectral sounds on cassette and Cd-r (15 releases proper by my count) but so far nothing on vinyl. Hopefully that will change soon. While McCann gambles with being overly prolific with this many releases, he's also got the skills and the creative capital in the bank to back him up if the dice don't roll his way from time to time.
Boomerangutan consists of 16 untitled tracks ranging in length from 1:26 to 8:38 long, which is a refreshing change from the 20-30 minute long-players which are so prevalent these days. I'm not trying to decry the lengthy tunes, as many times the form is dictated by the nature of improv explorations. That is, it just takes that long for some pieces to culminate and become fully realized. McCann, however, has a knack for packing his shorter tracks to overflowing with interesting and dynamic sounds, each component carefully crafted and placed as to attain utmost efficiency. The economy of his sound, if you will, leaves nothing to waste.
Boomerangutan begins by introducing us to an abundance of disparate but well mixed sounds that congeal in a murky pool whose depth is somewhat concealed upon initial listens, but clears upon subsequent evaluations. A mashup of apparent found sounds, echoing chants, and tribal drumming, all warbling through tape hiss and a distant shoegazed guitar sheen (ala My Bloody Valentine) create an atmosphere of enchantment which never lulls or dulls.
Space-synth notes fluctuate in between the ever-mutating drones as an undergrowth of sound thickens and spawns colorful blooms of noise, mimicking the collaged cover-art of the release. A metallic hue, subtly evident during Boomerangutan's initial tracks, begins to take over the proceedings, pushing the releases essential rhythms and ubiquitous loops into outer-territories, flirting with pure noise and creating a paradox of musical emotion as the dilatory pace is antagonised by the harsher elements of the overall sound. Eventually this bipolarity drives the inmates insane, and a cacophony of inhuman voices overwhelms all but the endless electronic hum and some steady maraca-like percussion, leaving an unsettling feeling behind.
Throughout its remainder, Boomerangutan fluctuates between airy and reflective drones, desultory experiments with large arrays of obscure instruments, pure pedal and synth din, banjo strumming on ramshackle porches with steel guitar accompaniment, and soulful guitar meanderings, obviously lessening in intensity over time, but never losing its anxiety, an element which serves it well, keeping it alert and focused throughout its 72 minutes. The consistency here never becomes boring, and its creativity never goes over the top. Mccann manages to keep affairs intact and focused while wrangling a panoply of unique sounds out of a multitude of sources. Versatility and vision meet controlled chaos as seen through a kaleidoscope of sound.
I was lucky enough to get a hold of these two early on, and a quick search did not indicate they're available anywhere, so here they are now for your consumption.