Richard Francis
Together Alone, Together Apart

Available through the Helen Scarsdale Agency: $12.00

The building blocks of Together Alone, Together Apart by New Zealand's Richard Francis are "sound moments": sonic interludes of a dozen or so seconds of environmental sound, whose subtle arrangements and cross-contaminations are the springboard for the compositions found here. Given the quiet volumes, sounds at the threshold of audibility are presumably those which have captured his imagination. A soft hiss and variable low end frequency introduce the first untitled track, with small crackles, glitches and echoes sporadically breaking through. The second is considerably more dramatic, with a flapping rhythm emerging from a grounded hiss like a moth's wings beating against glass. The final track is almost undetectable, even with headphones, and strengthens the connections between Francis's work and the reductive strategies of Bernhard Gunter or John Hudak. Here, swells of deep frequencies rise and fall along a fog of unsettled static, concluding a refined and highly recommended album.