William Fowler Collins: Field Music Vinyl LP
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SIGE Records 2018.
Edition of 300 copies.
100 copies on clear vinyl. 200 copies on black vinyl.
Housed in Stumptown LP jackets with photography by Claudia X
Valdes and design by Faith Coloccia.
A fluid dream logic runs deep in William Fowler Collins’ Field
Music. The New Mexican composer of dark minimalism has long
centered his practices upon the slow burn of the drone through
guitar, electronics, etc. That remains the case for Field Music,
with Collins extending his strategies through compositional
exercises into rhythm and a diverse array of conceptual signposts
that push his work along unfixed, sometime
oppositional directions. The idea of ‘field music’ can relate to
the archaic use of military drum corps in battle, whose
patter Collins has intermingled with the polyrhythms associated
with Voodoo ritual. Collins also proposes that the ‘field’ be
defined as the physical self as gleaned from his secular readings
of the Bhagavad Gita. The ‘field’ as the fabric of time and space
also becomes a possibility when Collins literally wraps this album
in the history of the atomic bomb, as the cover photo portrays the
humble ranch where the first nuclear weapon was assembled.
Field Music grounds itself upon sustained tones that churn through
controlled oscillations as the fundamentals to activate a
trance-state in the listener. Out of this, Collins introduces
hypnotic machine-looped convulsions and almost EVP-like
disembodied voices on “Contact Is A Mother” as well as those those
aforementioned polyrhythms that ripple across the title track. He
pushes a motorik thump to the foreground of “They Wept Together”
to the glowing dilation of foreboding ambience, running parallel
to the restrictive strategies of Wolfgang Voigt.
The subtle complexities of Field Music address the primal nature
of rhythm in connection with the body and the building blocks of
energy, matter, and consciousness. Fans of Eliane Radigue,
Christophe Heemann, and Demdike Stare would be well served to
investigate Field Music.