Broken20 complete the li_series, a set of collaborations between sound artists and the written
word, released as a high-quality print with download code.
In neo-confuscianism, Li is the random but recognisable patterning found in many aspects of nature ¿ the grain in wood or the fibre in muscle. While it is easy to recognise, it is impossible to define. The Li Series seeks to emulate this 'thematic overlapping' by combining EP-length sonic works with related or influenced text.
The tenth and final entry in the series is Spatial Golding's "Capacities" accompanied by a text from Sally Golding.
Spatial Golding is a collaboration between Sally Golding (AU/UK) and Spatial (Matt Spendlove, UK), as they put it "drawing upon their respective practices using sonified lighting and emergent software in a sensory and hypnotic opto-sonic live set."
Capacities is the pair's first audio release, comprised of two pieces. "Onkalo" spans a host of moods and textures in its 17 minutes, building from brittle and intricate flutters to strident, full-blooded bass pulses while maintaining a degree of minimalism throughout. Much like Spatial's audiovisual feast 'Primitives'(Broken20 12", DVD, data CD, 2015), it's a masterclass in dynamic sound design.
While both tracks on "Capacities" may differ from the majority of Spatial's back catalogue on the likes of Infrasonics, Well Rounded and Ultramajic, "Organic Singularity" is closer to that sound. Identifiable rhythmic elements contribute to a lugubrious, hyperkenetic sense of funk, like Spendlove's earlier material crushed through a DSP sieve. Possessing enough low end pressure and skippy percussion to tap a toe to, it would likely still bemuse all but the most forgiving of dancefloors.
In a live context, Spatial Golding use camera flash units, a laboratory strobe and torch light to tease begrudging sounds from small handmade light sensitive audio devices, alongside home coded audio software and modular synthesis. The recordings in "Capacities" can only hint at their intended "enquiries into phenomenological optics and acoustics", but as a standalone body of work, these audio works show that even disembodied, they contain the power to overwhelm the senses and feed the imagination.
Golding's accompanying text can, in a sense, fill that gap, though it's perhaps fairer to say that it merely adds another layer to our understanding of the audio. Inspired by, but not wedded to, the sound, it provides a deeper understanding of the pair's motivations and inner dialogue for the Spatial Golding project.