Thursday, July 20, 2023

Bryan Day & Dereck Higgins-Woven Territories; Public Eyesore Records #153, 2023


As far as Disaster Amnesiac can tell, Woven Territories documents a reunion between peripatetic Public Eyesore main man Bryan Day and erudite Omaha lifer Dereck Higgins. The former's musical output sticks to the Experimental side, while the latter is involved in disparate approaches to sound making. Still, they share a common bond in Omaha and its scene as well as the propensity to get odd with those sounds of theirs. The four pieces that comprise Woven Territories unfold over durations that strike this listener as being almost courtly in their feels. No elements within them feel rushed or forced as the duo present their respective additions to the overall aural matrix. Ideas emerge, blend with whatever other sounds are happening, and then they all float and bob until they drift away. Higgins's field recordings are particularly noticeable in that they go well past simple environmental documents and capture what could be much more varied field sources. Day's invented instruments still sound somewhat familiar to me, and his phrasings on them are evolving as his familiarity with them increases. It's these two aspects of these sound artists' toolboxes, both physical and aesthetic, that give Woven Territories that air of sophistication. Day and Higgins are probably not going to just bash through any scenario, particularly one which involves sound blending and music making. This is not to say that the album is dull, for it certainly provides plenty of action; it's just that none of its four tracks ever jump immediately to the more frenetic spaces. Instead this duo set up moods, let them establish themselves in almost cybernetic ways, and then add spice as the broths thicken. It'll be interesting to see if these two can find more time to break away from their various other endeavors in order to produce more of these weaves.

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