Fossil Aerosol Mining Project - The Day 1982 Contaminated 1971 LP
Label: Helen Scarsdale Agency
We've long cited the metaphor of sonic exhumation in describing the proponents of a ruined sound design. How often have we likened a marvelous hauntological recording to sound as if it were lifted from the bottom of a bog, still dripping with bunker fuel and vegetal rot as the author feeds this (fictionally) exhumed tape through the reel-to-reel in order to captured the woozy, decayed sounds transformed through time and chemical decomposition. In the art of the Fossil Aerosol Mining Project, we have exactly that process. Well, not the swamp-rot seepage per se, but the accumulation of time-ravaged material from abandoned drive-in movie theaters using the scratched, crumpled, and torn bits of the optical soundtrack from 16mm film. This semi-anonymous outfit has been scouring the forgotten sites of the American rust belt for such material over the past three decades, but only recently have they received any notoriety for their work.
After a couple of high-profile collaborations with the like-minded :zoviet*france:, Fossil Aerosol delivers this complete masterpiece in The Day 1982 Contaminated 1971 for their first solo piece of vinyl. Fossil Aerosol snatches bits of dialogue and overly maudlin orchestration from that source material, alongside the various dropouts, abraded noise, and tactile grit; and all of this gets tossed into an overlapping network of tape loops, complete with squiggled machinations, dub accumulation, and uncanny hypnosis. The process of building each track emerges through negation and erasure as much as it is in the accretion of layered sound upon sound. What remains are the ghosts from the process, not only sonically but also allegorically pointing very specifically back to the unearthed 16mm film. The presentation for all this disintegration, rupture, bleaching, shattering, debris and lagged delay follows the ley lines of the American psyche - entangled notions of grandeur, ignobility, spectacle, spirituality, and insecurity. Fossil Aerosol take on the part of detached archeologists for the American wasteland, with their aestheticized miasma and dislocation imparting nuanced readings into America's forgotten recent past. Demdike Stare and The Caretaker may have the entire history of the British empire to excavate for their sounds, but Fossil Aerosol's hauntings are so much more eerie given the proximity in time and space. Without a doubt, this is one of the best experimental / drone-on records of 2015.