|SCARCELIGHT RECORDINGS > releases > SLR29|
MHFS. Ti Point Wharf. 3"CDR (out of print)
MHFS is Mark Sadgrove, an Auckland-based physicist currently working on a doctorate in experimental quantum dynamics. In his spare time he makes sound with open source software tools. 'Ti Point Wharf' is in keeping with his previous "location themed" recordings, "A Nelson City Hymnal" on abd, and "West Auckland Driving Songs" on Celebrate Psi Phenomenon.
please click here to download from archive.org
Ti Point Wharf is a surreal, lo-fi at a distance recording full of reticent songs and an atmosphere of decaying grace. It is entirely possible that the sounds on this record were pulled from a 1920's acetate recording found unprotected in an abandoned wharehouse overlooking the Ti Point Wharf, it's entirely possible that Sadgrove is inspired by the same spirit present in pre War Mississippi Delta folk artists, and it's entirely possible that mhfs is New Zealand's best kept secret.
7 untitled songs
|: cover by Zoe Hilton/Cataract Press
mhfs -"ti point wharf"(Scarcelight )
A lo-fi less conscious, more overseas dREKKa. And for those of you who
don't know dREKKa, it is static and guitar playing equal
melodic/harmonic roles. But where dREKKa create ballads that swoon and
swing the slow blade, here the loneliness feels so lonely it borders
on sounding contrived. But I am proud of a feller that journeys into
songwriting tandem to lo-fi static drone and the two sit comfortably
together. And in the end, I am won over, despite its simplicity. Due
to its 3inch format and the tone of the album, I do want to keep it
close to my person, stick it in a coat pocket, let it weather but not
get lost amongst all the jewel case bullies. It is a snapshot of an
old haunt and an ode to scarce hum of a place. 8/10|
Michael Kaufmann - Foxy Digitalis
This EP sees this New Zealand artist offering up seven generally succinct untitled tracks themed around a location, which is apparently something that a few of his prior releases have explored as well. What literal role the location plays in the material is uncertain, though some of the sounds do come across as field recordings. The first piece, for example, is just under three minutes of incredibly faint, distant sounds – shuffling, soft dead air hiss, indecipherable speaking, etc. Tracks two and three are a bit more active and ambient in nature, with lots of ethereal textures and a general sense of faint corrosion or decay, sort of like this calm, melodic ambience is fighting to be heard, but things are slightly muffled and broken up through shuffled movements and shifts in levels. The fourth track is even a raw recording of acoustic guitar and vocals with some resonant low-end hums breaking into the left channel, which is both totally unexpected and fucking awesome. The following two selections are short experiments in minimalism: A faint midrange buzz and then a faint wisp of piercing high-end. Neither piece sounds like any layering is involved, so they fade in, persist for a bit more than a minute, then fade away. The last track is over five minutes long, much longer than the others, but its almost inaudibly quiet low-end hums build so slowly and so quietly that it's actually among the more uneventful moments. The CD-R comes with a one-sided xerox cover that depicts a nice looking high contrast image of a wharf and contact information, and that's all she wrote in that department. Not bad at all. It's worth mentioning that the guy behind this project is a physicist who's currently working on a doctorate in experimental quantum dynamics. Does that apply to the music? Well, not really, but it can be nice to know that it's not just some random dude with a laptop sitting around making noises while he eats a bowl of cereal, you know? I mean, if that's the case here, at least it would be an intelligent dude with a laptop sitting around making noises while he eats a bowl of cereal, right? But regardless, whatever the means, whatever the source, this is a nice little release… and I'd like to hear more.
Accompanying info to Ti Point Wharf by MHFS (Auckland, New Zealand-based physicist Mark Sadgrove) notes that it is “entirely possible that the sounds on this record were pulled from a 1920's acetate recording found unprotected in an abandoned warehouse overlooking the Ti Point Wharf.” Certainly a sense of location is established by the phantom voices, grainy decay, and blurry rustlings of field noise that haunt the recording's seven untitled tracks. Sounds on this 20-minute disc depict a faintly glimpsed realm of ambient abstractions and hazy folk-blues.
Mark Sadgrove is the man behind MHFS, and he hails from Auckland,
where he is a physicist, working on a doctorate in experimental
quantum dynamics. In whatever spare time he has, he works with open
source software tools to make music, and he had two previous releases
on Celebrate Psi Phenomenon. 'Ti Point Wharf' is a rather lo-fi
recording of songs, covered rather than uncovered with hiss. Seven
rather short tracks of hiss, static crackle and some guitar playing
and singing in the fourth track, but that one is also being drowned
in this curious hissy backdrop of sound. It's a rather excentric
sound he puts on, seemingely not caring about the quality of the
sound, but rather adding more curious shaped distortion to the music.
Lo-fi drone music with occassional folk qualities. Strange
combination, but it works. (FdW)