(New Album Review) David Fyans – Trübhand
David Fyans is a sound artist from Scotland with a seriously underrated catalogue of experimental electronic music with a droney, textural slant. January’s Time in Bronze, a long-form generative piece made with a modular synth system ought to be among the must-listens of the year for ambient and experimental heads, but equally impressive and perhaps more worthy of attention in this moment is his first CD release for Amsterdam’s always reliable Moving Furniture Records, Trübhand.
“Trübhand”, a word that translates to mean “clouded/obscured hand” has, as the author notes, multiple connotations that relate to this collection in different ways. The saying “the one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing” comes to mind. One intuitive interpretation that arises from it is the obscured nature of the hands’ activity in the course of recording music and sound art such as this. Subtle modulations furrow an evolving soundscape out of a drone, and if the listener is not present for a live performance, it might not even occur to them that what they are listening to is not exactly an instrument being played per se. Two pieces comprise the album: “(Left Hand)”, “(Right Hand)”.
In any case, the album was inspired by a period of exile in Northern Germany; the depression of being away from home was worsened by the flatness and blandness of the landscape. Fyans would, at night, imagine mountains and valleys taking shape in it. These two pieces mirror Fyans’ nighttime flight of imagination– in both “(Left Hand)” and “(Right Hand)”, a steady drone is transformed through minute changes and sheer duration. “(Left Hand)” mines celestial calm, a slow flyby over rolling waves of grass, while “(Right Hand)” is a slow-burning dark ambient monster that scales jagged peaks.
Fantastic dronescaping from a master– can’t recommend it highly enough.