It is appropriate that sound artist No One has landed with Shimmering Moods Records. This elegant 54-minute piece – his first for the Amsterdam-based label – shimmers, sparkles and a good deal more. Previous releases can be found on Midira Records and Consouling Sounds (the latter of which serves as an equally apt description of Fishing for Shadows).
The source material was recorded and composed during the winter and spring months of 2017-18. The work continued last summer, before the tapes were handed off to Raffaele Pezzella (a.k.a. Sonologyst) for mastering.
Pieces this size can sometimes be difficult for an artist to get their arms around. There are plenty of hour-long soundscapes that could be presented more compellingly in a 30-minute or less format. The same can’t be said of this one.
It never stops progressing. New ideas are draped over one another like cool summer linens. And there isn’t a single bad thought among them.
Electric piano, organ, strings, drones and field recordings all add to the mix. Not that any of them are recognizable. No One has transformed these sources into a gentle fog of sound.
I’ve written before about the importance of anchoring work like this with some form of contrasting abrasiveness. It adds dimension and prevents pieces like this from being confused with large, well-tuned appliances.
While Fishing for Shadows could never be described as course, there are enough gritty surprises along the way to keep an active listener engaged. Those who choose to leave it in the background will miss a lot of the fun, but won’t be the least bit disappointed by it.