Field: Atom(s) Entropy
Something short and sweet from Italian label Farmacia901, courtesy of label owner Fabio Perletta. Consisting of a single twenty-minute track, “Field: Atom(s) Entropy” charts a path through an expansive yet subtly-contoured sonic space, fizzing and rumbling at the edges of the audible frequency spectrum. Hovering at the threshold of perception, the piece’s imprint is light, yet it buzzes with an electrical charge built up through shifting oscillations and razor-thin dissonances. Works of ambient synthesis such as this clearly demonstrate how music produces its own time and space, stretching out over vast distances and extending its own duration far beyond the minutes measured by the clock.
In a way, then, works such as “Field: Atom(s) Entropy” can be thought of as ways of ‘tuning’ our senses, sharpening our awareness of the sensual affectiveness of things. Close, quiet listening brings its own kind of pleasure that is not unrelated to its effectiveness as a critical strategy. Some would perhaps be quick to dismiss the music made by Perletta and other contributors to Farmacia901, such as Yann Novak and Richard Chartier, as mirages of superficial sensory percepts, their supposedly ‘pure’ sounds dissociated from any political or social context. Yet it is precisely in the careful probing and testing of percepts that we come to understand the relations between things that they enable — relations between ears and pressure waves, speakers and labour conditions, downloads and global corporations. Looking beyond deceptive spectacle does not require us to stop looking, but rather to look more attentively — a skill that artists such as Perletta translate into sound by homing in on the subtleties and limits of hearing. Listen and learn.