You might know Tony Buck as the percussionist from legendary Australian trio the Necks. He’s also released a number of really fascinating solo albums that have headed in multiple different directions over the years. Environmental Studies is one long piece, just under two hours worth, and its a dense soup of sound. You can hear an excerpt of it above.
It’s almost claustrophobic – particularly initially, filled with multiple textures and timbres. In a sense it’s a durational work, where a roving spotlight reveals a specific ingredient, or relationship between ingredients gradually over time before moving onto the next. Buck calls it ‘an incredibly dense matrix of interwoven voices and layers,’ and the shifting focus over these layers creates fascinating interrelationships, revealing all manner of haunted melodies and textured rhythms.
This is what he has to say about it:
“The consequence of such a layering of independent autonomous sounds is the emergence of discrete utterances, asserting themselves and divulging their concealed properties and distinctive qualities in ever changing contexts. Over the course of the ensuing nearly two hours, each voice finds a place to shine in a myriad of seemingly endless, living/ breathing permutations, creating a slowly changing tapestry of mood and intensity contributing to make the experience a fresh encounter on each successive listen.”
Environmental Studies will be released in July via Room40. You can find it here.