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Richard Garet's new work ‘Silver’ unfolds throughout four tracks over the hour period with an intriguing ripple of textures and electronic sounds carefully crafted, weighed, and measured. The explicit essence of Richard's records is confirmed by a skillfully interwoven palette of sounds such as field recordings, and material that emerges from studio processes, as well as, Garet's affinity for timber, pitch, and consequential tones. The foundation remains within the investigation of brittle material, malleability, and in drawing attention to focused listening, fluctuating connections, and sonic relationships. One may say that 'Silver' finds balance between spontaneous bursts from coil signals and accurate processing, between materiality and phenomena, arriving to a carefully composed and harmonious state...
Richard Garet is on quite a roll with his latest two albums! Earlier in 2012, he presented us with the eerily beautiful album Areal (which we made a Record Of The Week!), and now there's the discordant blurs of Silver. Garet's work centers on the errata from deconstructed and cracked consumer electronics. In dismantling radios and speakers, Garet unleashes a Pandora's box of noise, static, chaos, and dissonances that he then meticulously sifts, culls, and abstracts to arrive at atonal frequencies, electro-magnetic cracklings, or attenuated broadcasts from the other side of the world which happened to be caught in his network of wires, photocells, and electronics. Though this process, Garet renders those ill-tempered noises as hollowed-out drones and vacant ambiences populated with desolate scrabbling textures. His is a deep and haunted sound, akin to the work of John Duncan, Mika Vainio, and Joe Colley; but where those three use noise as a metaphoric tool of psychic and psychological aggression, Garet prefers to sublimate his noise as if they were ghosts communing through an electromagnetic seance.
Silver glides through 4 movements, the first of which was originally part of 23five's radio broadcast series for their annual Activating The Medium festival from 2011. Here, the smoldering grit of dead-space static hovers amidst cathode ray tube drones and well-timed razor edit compositional techniques that look back to John Duncan's masterpiece River Of Flames. Garet's other three pieces follows suit with passages of intense sinewave purity that slowly dissolve into nebulae of smeared buzz and hiss, thoroughly obliterated from whatever source material he may have been using. Fantastic work that parallels those aforementioned artists as well as the more abstract work from Tim Hecker and William Basinski.
In his creative process Richard Garet is always exploring new methods, new sources, new materialities and new media; this rigorous and explorative process has been delivering a progressively clearer vision of something Garet foresees and envision as an artist, and that he wants to make it sensibly experiential to the listeners of his work.
For me the work of Garet has always had some sort of ephiphanic character, like a warning of a change to come; this was quite visible on on his 2008 release ‘L’Avenir’, a work I feel is about the expectation and the anticipation of world-changing moments; ’Silver’ instead seems more about the aftermath of these events. This reflection might relate with the artist’s exploration of materials and objects with a history imprinted through the lapse of time. Is not the histories what at the end matter, but it’s time as printer, as matter in the creative process what is relevant.
In some way I feel like the work of Richard Garet is about the stillness of moments; about stillness and eternity, about a sense of time that transcends past, present and future. Quoting Roland Barthes:
‘In front of the photograph of my mother as a child, I tell myself: she is going to die: I shudder, like winnicott’s psychotic patient, over a catastrophe which has already occurred. Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe.’
The catastrophe Richard Gare did foresee and warned through ‘L’Avenir’ is some way occurred and then it came ‘Silver’; Here Garet looks to re-enact this catastrophe by the activation of the history imprinted in the objects that prevailed the catastrophe. The initial activation is the processing of these materials by the artist, and the subsequent images generated on this process. A second activation occurs when the listener imprints his own history, his own catastrophe, on the revealed images.
We can depict from Barthes quote that time is an immanent warning, the warning of the catastrophe as time is evidence of future death, but Richard Garet’s work transcends the merely organic, it’s about the essence of life, about the emotions and the images, objects and universes that this emotions build in our conscience. About the questions that time presents formally and conceptually, and about the artist who in order who address this questions, grabs fistfuls of sand that slips through his fingers to an empty hand. I say ‘Silver’ is about the trace, and more specifically about the revealing and anticipating nature of the trace.