Put simply, Eric Holm’s ‘Andøya’ is locative sound art at its finest…
The six tracks on the album were developed from recordings taken from a single contact mic placed on a remote telegraph pole on the northernmost island in the Vesterålen archipelago, Andøya, which is located three hundred kilometers from the Artic circle; near Norway. The telegraph pole in question carries high voltage lines that connect the island’s military listening stations; as such, the project poses strong questions about man, nature and isolation. As put by the artist himself: “The telegraph pole connected to a seemingly endless network of traversing lines harnesses the dense ambiance of the landscape, both absorbing and distilling the essence of Andøya’s harsh beatific character, and considers the position of microphone as witness within a vast cycle of physical transition and terrestrial flux.”
The material is dense, brawny and percussive industrial soundscaping (Boomkat have it classified as Dark Ambient/Drone/Metal), but the precise cold density of the cyclonic bottom end (and the high-end location concept) elevate the audio into the realm of advanced sonic art; a pulsing and pounding cardiac muscle. Holm, a London-based American electronic musician, has laced the stormy recordings with an intelligent array of off-kilter beats that forcefully drive the material, and the unfathomably complex work of recording in such terrain has reaped rich dividend. The striking cover photo says as much.
‘Andøya’ is released digitally and on vinyl through Subtext.