MYSTERY SEA 11 | Coelacanth | [Mud Wall]


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- "I had seen it once before, many years ago, rising suddenly before us from that inlay floor. Set high in its surface of glistening lines, shadowy pits and canals was a convexity--an amber bubble--behind which a light not of our afternoon, our world even, swam with shapes.
I can describe it in no other way than this : in that moment, I was certain there were ancient forces listening... in a silence like fossils."

- Helen Scarsdale
from her Memoirs of the Royal
Meteorological Society


Coelacanth is the name of a mysterious fish, a 400 million old "living fossil" which mostly congregates in submarine caves.
A rather appropriate term for the exploratory, soundart collaboration between Loren Chasse & Jim Haynes.
Concerned with the terrain of transient, ever morphing drones,
Coelacanth reflects a deep, natural organic beauty through textural audio-processes acting as metaphors for various abrasion phenomena.
On "Mud Wall" we can hear and perceive an ancient streaming
grooving a cluster of thin chalk lines on a weathered cliff,
traces of an improbable lost language
the voice of a giant eroded stone
eclipsed murmurs in amber cells
manifold mineral alchemies mirrored in all the tiny fragments...

This is the hum of a sea within
A primordial flux spreading through all our veins
A resonating matrix of intimate and revealing proportion...

"Mud Wall" absorbs you into its own breath...


01. Mud wall > listen !




VITAL WEEKLY 407|Frans De Waard
You may have never heard of Coelacanth, but it's the collaborative effort of Loren Chasse (whom you may know from the works in his own name) and Jim Haynes (who writes for The Wire and for Aquarius Records site). While this is released by Mystery Sea
there is obviously some reference to the sea made. The band name is from a fish, a 400 million years old "living fossil" which mostly congregates in submarine caves. Loren and Jim collected a whole bunch of organic material in the studio, like wood and metal and started scraping them. The sounds are fed through a whole bunch of delay and reverb units, until a thick, waving pattern of sound started vibrating the studio walls. A careful rumbling of objects takes place over the course over forty minutes and off and on they seem to be using field recordings of water. Maybe not as peaceful as some of the other Mystery Sea releases: it seems that there is a darker edge about this release, a more unearthy machine-like deep end hum. Soundwise this gets quite close to the old Small Cruel Party sound, and since he's long gone, it's good to have something like that again.
vital weekly

Rated : 3 out of 5
Coelacanth (Loren Chasse & Jim Haynes) process through a drone of fire and a vortex of fear on their recording "Mud Wall". Taking the name of a prehistoric fossilized fish, this is 40-minutes that absorbs an air of dense, viscous, soft grains. By treating a live performance from 2002, the duo has essentially reinterpreted the improvisation, opting for highlights that mutate gently with industrial vibration. Scraping the ocean floor, pouring static and other random metallic percussion play draw attention to the inner organics of this long player. Mud Wall is like a series of shaded memoirs, those moments in between... sitting on a plane awaiting your turn to hit the skies, waking in the middle of the night sandwiched between dreams, anesthesia... By using objects to create rolling, scuffing and otherwise fidgety smaller actions they have amplified part of their inner workings. More concrete than ambient, this is a leap for Mystery Sea, whose works often induce slumber - Mud Wall is complex listening that keeps you at the edge, through its raw core, and diffuse obscurity. A means to an invented world without end.


Coelacanth is the duo of Jim Haynes and Loren Chasse and this is the CDR release on Mystery Sea of an album that is currently on re-release through Helen Scarsdale (although at the time of writing Mystery Sea still have a couple of copies left of this original release).
Mud Wall is a virtually impenetrable 41 minutes of the most aptly titled music I have come across in years. There is a depth here that takes repeated listens to fully appreciate. The sounds are so thick and cloying that you can almost feel yourself being sucked in. The production is heavy and oppressive, probably deliberately so, and the pace is slow and relentless. Recommended for those with a taste for the extreme ends of the ambient spectrum.
wonderful wooden reasons

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