Swimming salt 游泳的盐, resonates in the elemental qualities of sound. Recorded in 2014, it is constructed out of a limited palette of electronics, feedback, amplification and radio, during sessions between Yan Jun and Ben Owen in Brooklyn, NY. The music marks out long-arching shapes emerging out of white space, decidedly abstract yet immensely gripping. Far from any exceedingly poignant exercise in reductionism, the sound contained simply is, establishing an immediate contact with the space and the ear in marvellously detailed yet unadorned folds of grain and pitch. Levels of feedback and noise rise discreetly, in a manner that manifests itself as atmospheric pressure, and the crackly electronics often appear as seasoning within the flow. In a way the album’s gestures are kept at arms length from the more typical appearances in music, yet they succeed in presenting possibilities within sound that speak of both pleasure and innovation in equal measure.
Yan Jun is a musician and poet, based in Beijing. By using feedback, field recording, voice, body movement, environment, interval and background, he works on improvised music and experimental music. He is the founder of the Sub Jam label.
Ben Owen works with sound using various approaches, improvised, recording, listening and scored pieces. His instruments are simple electronics – played, mixed, re-patched in their own trajectory of small sound, broken and accidental. Over the past few years he’s found more interest in presenting works, performing and recording in outdoor spaces. His focus is in the sustained, immersive, minimal soundscape, which interacts within a space as well as as a part of an outside environment.