Escape Hatch ~ Bell Recordings/AM Train

a closer listen

coverThe new German label Midnight Circles specializes in field recordings and drone.  Their first two releases, both from Escape Hatch, offer manipulated tape recordings: one from Scandinavian church bells, the other from a commuter train.  These CD-Rs invite listeners to experience familiar sounds in unfamiliar ways, and each succeeds via the virtue of otherness.

While listening to Bell Recordings, I couldn’t help but think of the dark ambient project Raison d’être, who often presents the sound of bells alongside those of choirs and chains.  Escape Hatch adds light drones and subtle reverberations, causing this project to seem dark as well.  The irony is that church bells are meant to signify both life and death, hope and despair; they are rung to mark calls to worship, the hours, and the passing of earthly souls.  Some say their sound is meant to ward off demons.  Bell Recordings is simultaneously soothing and unsettling…

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