Ross Manning: LED 10″ EP (self-released, 2016)

May 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ross Manning: LED 10" EP

Ross Manning: LED 10″ EP

I’m being lazy and just cut-and-pasting from the Discogs entry, because I’m not even going to attempt to paraphrase the amazing concept of this release: “This is a recording of a private performance by Ross Manning in October 2015. All sounds are the product of electrical current generated by solar cells exposed to readymade light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In a darkened space, four cells suspended on strings were set in oscillating motion. Beneath them the artist placed small artificial light sources of different colours – yellow, green, blue and red – one at a time. The resulting electrical signals, amplified and sent to one of four speakers assembled in quadrophonic array, varied with each cell’s changing exposure to the LEDs, creating dramatic modulations in volume, panning effects and polyrhythms. By adding and repositioning LEDs closer to and further away from the freely swinging cells, Manning played his optical-audio instrument live, building a changing sound mass from the individual cells. No other sound sources or effects were employed in the single-take recording split over sides A and B of this LP. Mark Gomes, 2016.”

Basically: 20 minutes of multi-layered crazy scrambling generated electrical tones. Sounds very random and chaotic, but somehow there’s a strange anti-rhythm to it. The second side is slightly more sparse, it seems to flicker out near the end. But then it gets really interesting there, it has these cool Autechre-y shredding tones.

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