Metal - Point Vacancies
ESP Institute - ESP088
Metal is a collaborative endeavor between Bristol and London artists Jamie Paton and Mike Bourne of Cage & Aviary and Teeth Of The Sea, respectively. A shared love for modular synthesis brought the two together in 2018 for a series of improvised live performances and the tracks featured on this EP were born from rehearsals for those sessions. What draws ESP to this music is its paradigmatic nature. The tracks are exercises in improvisation yet there is a level of control in which the performance slowly comes alive. Jam sessions allow for artistic gratification, a freedom of form often at the expense of the listener, but when artists set forth exacting parameters, there grows an opportunity for alternate forms of fulfillment on both sides of the experience. As is typical among stylistic prototypes, a reduction of tools frees the artist to narrow their focus and explore more singular modes of performance. Jamie and Mike chose texture as a concept, namely Metal, and following the aforementioned methods, minimized their instrumentation toward the aesthetic representation of that element. Operating in a void without the convenience and advantages of the infinite tools we’re now accustomed to, they exhausted a short list of granular details, honing their concept to a fine point. Throughout these three iterations on the theme, we hear timbres that depict metal literally, but moreover we gain a view into the duo’s visceral attachment to its materiality, abstractions of its surfaces, and an overall transgression from conventional constructs of beauty. The idea is simple, designed with discipline to romanticize both the crudeness and elegance in one of Earth’s most industrious and enigmatic elements. Metal.