Arthur King – Changing Landscapes (Mina Las Pintadas) (AK Recordings)


Arthur King isn’t a person. I suppose if you change the order it’s King Arthur. It’s a project that deals with the folkloric resonances of locations, with the myths and legends that are associated with an environment, so I guess that’s the link. It’s the work of Peter Walker, a mixed media artist who assembles various artists for site specific recordings, inspired by and using materials from said location. They describe it as ‘observing and collecting sounds and ideas to be reprocessed through creative reinterpretations of those locales.’ The collaborations are not solely musical, he also involves film, installations, sculpture, photography, and even virtual reality. Previous collaborators have included Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle on the Isle of Eigg in Scotland, though he’s also been to a farm in Iowa.

This edition finds him in a copper mine in Chile, though to be honest without the back story it would be incredibly difficult to work out on your own. Aside from some brief crunchy field recordings and some voices, the response is very musical, with a motorik groove and heavily reverbed horns – which may possibly be processed flute. It’s pretty hypnotic, Percussion is minimal and relaxed, gentle clangs, a scrape or two, metal on metal then looped, all possibly gathered from the mine. It’s electronic, elements are treated in reverb and delay, there’s a warmth here, synthesizers gurgle, and everything just moves along gently, this repetitive warm throb. It’s incredibly evocative, almost cinematic in scope, yet still retains an experimental air.

This is a fascinating series, part travelogue, part inspiration mechanism. It’s a highly personal take on the location, and whilst the link is not explicit enough to be readily apparent to the casual listener, if that’s what it takes to make music this good, then its well and truly worth the travels.


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