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Snorkel Channels

Paul Hawkins moves through 'The Glass Darkly' and hears a lot

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by Paul Hawkins, for outsideleft.com
originally published: February, 2008
There are 11 impromptu sonic walls scratched with graffito from a stolen Afro spray Can on this album

This is snorkelImagine Lee Perry leading a frenzied pharma intensive lab investigation to find a match for the DNA found at a shebeen at Fela Kuti's place which had DJ'ing and dubmixes by Holger Czukay and Karlheinz Stockhausen on Neu`s sound system and a live sound/video conference mix of Sun Ra, Aphex Twin and Scanner discussing Chaos Theory... Glass Darkly is a good debut album from the Snorkel collective.

Recorded as live improvisations, acoustic and electronic percussionist Frank Byng recalled to me last year that "we went to a studio in Willesden, with Antonio - one of the most eccentric engineers I have ever worked with. We completly filled his studio with the aroma of weed and played non-stop for 3 days. It was fucking cold.... Out of this a fighting spirit came out, you know? We had to come out of there with an album. The band went through the tapes, editing and restoring some parts and added a few overdubs". The tripped out aromas of an avant-garde Dakar spice stall are spiked with acid, spliced with Cut Up improv-sounds and faxed out as hot knived shards of noise, throwing post-it notes of ghostly sound art jamms reeling into my head.

There are 11 impromptu sonic walls scratched with graffito from a stolen Afro spray Can on this album. I cant say anymore than quote sampler and multi instrumentalist Ben Cowen from an interview we did last year in London; "recording (Glass Darkly) is a little forced with headphones, but it did come out really well, when there were times we felt it was falling apart".

And therein lies the magic ingredient. Chaos. Glass Darkly : free falling electronic sound art for the new millenium.

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Paul Hawkins

Paul Hawkins has been interested in popular culture and music, protest and survival for as long as we can remember. He began writing about things, making music and other noise at an early age. Paul has interviewed musicians, writers, poets, protestors and artists.

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