Typically, when you put a CD in the player and press play you hear some sort of music…or crap doubling as music. When I pressed play and started listening to the first track, “No Trespassing” by Geoff Dugan, my first reaction was “What the hell is this?!” For the first five minutes, the only sound is of someone walking. No beat. No instruments. Just walking!
And then I realized that Rural Psychogeography is not a band, but an indie nature album. This is an album for pompous geography students, professors and surveyors for whom the latest “Trickling Water” album is too mainstream.
This sixteen track compilation was recorded all over the world, from Ukraine to upstate New York to Korea. Nexsound, the distributor of this bizarre but interestingly packaged work, made this as a way to show how “rural psychogeography” can be a total “sensory” experience.
Here is why this does not work: “Babai” by Andrey Kiritchenko is two and a half minutes of electronic rain. Not actual rain, but blips randomly scattered with the intent of killing music as we now know it. And it comes close. “Beijing Crossroad” by Tomas Korber and Gunter Muller is over three minutes of static. My question: What is so geographic about static?! I can get static on my radio dial. I don’t have to go clear to friggin’ Japan to record it, nor do I need to hear it on a CD!
The craziest track is “DMZspace” by Kim Cascone, which, according to the back cover, is “taken from Korean spam instillation.” I know spam was good for a lot of things, but I have a hard time taking this one seriously. Not to mention the track sounds like R2D2 defragmenting his hard drive.
If you want to deafen yourself, you could listen to “Lost River” by Kotra or “(Under the) Waalbrug, Nijmegen” by Kouhel & Freiband. Both tracks sound like someone took a microphone, placed it right in front of a speaker, turned the volume all the way up and walked away.
Rural Psychogeography is something that must be heard to be believed. This is not music, and I really hope they were not trying to make it so. This half nature walk/half torturous gibberish and ear-piercing squeals is something that should never have seen the light of day. But now that it has, we can just put it away and fire the person who came up with this garbage.