What do art installations, sound system culture and Marcy Playground have in common? Not much, except maybe this record by Marina Rosenfeld. Her latest release for Australian label Room 40 heavily blurs the lines between the gallery and the club. Often Rosenfeld is on the other side of the divide, bringing her dub inspired audio experiments to museums and performance spaces. A core theme of her work, be it translating György Liget’s Lontano for a children’s choir, or ricocheting custom “bass cannons” off of armory walls, is an exploration of acoustics. Her pieces are deeply intertwined with their environments and her vinyl output is no different. Frequently sound art recordings serve as a document, relatively unaltered from their original form, but for this release Rosenfeld melded components from several pieces into a standalone work. P.A. / Hard Love also enlists a couple of her previous live collaborators, avant garde cellist Okkyung Lee and the one and only vocalist Warrior Queen. Every track is also peppered with city noises, rain hitting pavement, cars whirring past, close whispers and distant shouts.
Stream: Marina Rosenfeld – Hard Love (Room 40)
“New York / It’s All About” combines eerie textures, both synthetic and recorded, with Warrior Queen’s unmistakable toasting to evoke visions of a haunting backstreet. On “Seeking Solace / Why Why?” the MC’s emotive words are fractured and twisted between layers of gurgling modular noise. “I Launch an Attack….” pulsates under an array of aggressive filter sweeps. It’s one of the most percussive tracks on the record even though it’s stabbing kicks pull away almost as soon as they’ve appeared. Okkyung Lee’s spine tingling cello is most prominent in “New York / Empire of State.” It’s appearances feel almost like a film cue, a hint that something terrifying is around the corner. Out of the gates “Hard Love” is the most open nod to Jamaican sounds. Like a dancehall track stripped to it’s core and reconstituted by Louis and Bebe Barron. It’s during “Liverpool / …’round Downtown by Myself / Tick Tock” where the aforementioned Marcy Playground nod occurs. Hushed swatches of a lyric from “Sex and Candy” are washed away in a collage of elements the seem disparate but all resolve to a final point. While each track stands on it’s own, P.A. / HARD LOVE is best experienced in one go. As a whole, it’s brimming with after hours paranoia. Like a night bus through a tunnel that won’t end.
P.A. / Hard Love is available now on Room 40.