Imagine 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.