It seems the SamdhiSound label can do no wrong – after a stunning sequence of releases from Akira Rabelais, David Sylvian, Nine Horses, Harold Budd and Derek Bailey they now continue this high bar of quality with the eighth full-length from legendary sound artist David Toop. Toop is one of the most important names in minimal, academic music both as a journalist and a composer, and his journey started way back in 1975 on the release of ‘New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments’ on Brian Eno’s Obscure label. After this prestigious beginning, he went on to work with some of the most important names in experimental music, yet for me ‘Sound Body’ is his most precise and focused work to date. Working with a carefully selected group of performers playing everything from Harp to stones (!), Toop creates an atmosphere rather than what one might describe as music. This is possibly as visual as sound can get, and with every minute detail you feel like you are in the room with him experiencing it all as it happens. Apparently Toop was interested in the sound of empty rooms when he recorded the album, and was vying towards making the record almost silent, however as he began to work more on it the different elements became steadily more evident. ‘Sound Body’ is quiet, but this is silence in the same way that listening to an empty room is silence, the more you listen the more reveals itself; a creak or sliding footprint, a whisper in the distance. The album gives me the same feeling I get when I watch the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, that same bleak, poetic ambience laced with unsurpassable beauty. This is certainly not music for the masses, but in its quiet grandeur there are untouched worlds to discover. Absolutely beautiful work and hugely recommended!
Click here for the Samadhisound reviews archive.