Five Augmented Locations (2014)

Musique Concrete / Field recording.

A collection of five pieces which were not originally planned as an album - and so this is more of a retrospective hoard. All are based on field recordings, sometimes using binaural or contact microphones, occasionally direct to an iPad and processed on the spot, as well as captured by more traditional means.

The extent of the augmentation varies. On some pieces the location work has been contorted beyond recognition with source material cut up and callously fed through a sampler. Other pieces have been affected in a more subtle manner and the sense of place remains to the fore.

With each production my intention was to work quickly. Overdubs were played live and given only one chance otherwise rejected and nothing was sequenced. Some enhancements were made directly to the recording on location.

Having said that though, each track on this collection has been especially remastered. They have all been floating around on Soundcloud this year, and a couple were included on recent Classwar Karaoke compliations - however you will find differences, especially the alternative take of Improvisation VII.

Track (3) produced by Tamea/McNaughton 2014.


In a very well designed and printed digipack we find here a limited to 25 copies release of local man Mark Tamea (not local born, but hailing from London all the way to sunny Nijmegen). A man for your finer computer treatments of instruments and field recordings, albeit the latter to a minor extent. As always I am very much interested in his next work. These five new pieces were originally not intended for an album, but the fact they are all based on field recordings give them a connection.

In his previous work he used quite a bit of 'real' instruments both sampled and processed, but this only seems to be the case here with 'Improvisation VII'; the others use field recordings to a larger or smaller extent. Sometimes these recordings are heavily processed and sometimes hardly at all. Tamea says that all five pieces were done rather quickly with overdubs played on the spot, accepted or rejected when needed. These five pieces mark, it seems, a bit of break with his previous work, but it also appears to be of a similar high quality.

I think they are great pieces, evocative, soundtrack like, very much in the spirit of musique concrete, with all of these bigger and smaller processes going on. Seagulls come along with beeps and bops, a church bell is stretched out mildly and then there is a cave which has a great hollow sound, streaming water and some of that melted into a lovely drone, such as in 'Tower Ch-I & Friends'. That sounds delightful and down to earth, while perhaps at the same time also a bit heavenly. Much of this seems relatively easily made, but the beauty lies in simplicity I guess. It even has piece from a local church and last week I realized I might have never been inside this church, which is dead centre in Nijmegen. Odd indeed. Now, encountering the silence of that church with some metallic sounds I realize I should be going inside. Great release, once again. Different than his previous releases, but beautiful.

- Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

Eerdere releases van Mark Tamea stonden vaak vol vaak pure musique concrète, maar op ‘Five Augmented Locations’ spelen field recordings de hoofdrol. De verbeteringen waar de titel naar verwijst gebeurde vaak ook op locatie, waarbij Tamea ter plaatse overdubs maakte, afspeelde en zichzelf één kans gaf om ze goed te keuren, of meteen weer weg te gooien. Het is niet duidelijk hoeveel hij daarna in de studio nog toevoegde, maar kwaliteit van de muziek is hoog voor zo’n ad hoc werkwijze. Het zou leuk zijn om Tamea een keer live aan het werk te zien, bijvoorbeeld ergens midden in de duinen, zijn opnamen terugspelend naar de omgeving. De mate van bewerking verschilt sterk per nummer.

Op de tweede track lijkt er bijvoorbeeld nauwelijks meer van over te zijn gebleven van de opnamen, en heeft Tamea ook samples van instrumenten toegevoegd. Maar op de openingstrack vliegen meeuwen het beeld in en uit, terwijl voetstappen mengen met elektronische bits en blorps, en het begin van een ritme. Elders schuift het geluid heen en weer tussen een drone en geloopte samples van stromend water. Soms zijn er relatief lange passages die uit puur omgevingsgeluid bestaan, zoals de kerkbezoekers op ‘Sint Stevenskerk’, maar altijd komt er wel weer een element tevoorschijn dat een ritme of motief uit de geluiden weet te maken. De manipulaties zijn soms minimaal, maar net genoeg. Het idee dat ik soms bij “pure” field recordings krijg dat ik ook gewoon ergens in de stad of een weiland kan gaan zitten, heb ik hier nergens. Een aanrader voor liefhebbers van het genre.

- Maarten Schermer, Gonzo Circus Magazine