AI-29: The Wetland Remixes
Son of Chi & Clara Brea @ Astral Industries
Son of Chi returns to Astral Industries, alongside Spanish artist Clara Brea, for the collaborative release of AI-29. A product of fate, chance experiments, but most of all, sensitive artistry – ’The Wetland Remixes’ exists as a confluence of two kindred musical spirits, a wayfaring epic that draws together a rich archive of ecological field recordings, live instrumentation and higher inspirations.
Ahead of Hanyo’s concert at ‘Avalovara listening club’ (Madrid) at the end of 2019, the curators (Diskoan & Josephine’ Soundscapes) organised a special dinner and arranged the meeting of Clara and Hanyo. As Hanyo recalls, “It was like stereochemistry. There was an instant match and understanding, and basically we decided in a split second to exchange recordings and to collaborate on future live and studio experiments.”
The auspicious meeting of the two ignited a remote exchange of materials and ideas, as the world descended into a series of pandemic-related lockdowns. The first of said recordings included the stems of Clara’s ‘Wetland Project’ – a site-specific audiovisual project originally produced for Eufonic Festival (Spain), using field recordings from the Ebro Delta nature reserve (one of the most threatened regions of climate change on the Iberian peninsula).
From this initial impetus, Hanyo began working on the first sketches of the album back in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Just like their meeting in Madrid, the project developed naturally and spontaneously with extraordinary ease. Later, Hanyo started adding field recordings from the Magic Cave and Wetlands of the ‘Kallikatsou’ (Patmos, Greece) as well as organic and acoustic overdubs, featuring bass, drums, percussion, guitars, oud, piano, hammond organ, wurlitzer, flutes, bells, and mouth harp.
In the distance, the sound of birds peak through the effervescent wash of the wetland soundscapes. The pass of running water flows deeper into a land full of secrets never told. On the strike of dusk, the silhouettes of shapely trunks and foliage melt slowly into the impenetrable darkness. As darkness passes, light emerges, with exquisite moments of tranquility that seemingly emerge from nothingness.
Beneath the shimmering veneer of textures, wildlife and melodies, one may hear the deeper references of ’The Wetland Remixes’. With credit to Clara’s input, for Hanyo the album process became a kind of refuge, and ultimately inspired the return to the core of Abstract Sound – what the Sufis call “Saut-i Sarmad.” Such references allude to the spiritual quality embedded in the music – the autonomous process of self-expression, the great mystery. Hanyo: “An ambience like this cannot be created by routine. There is no blueprint. The music has to find you. It’s like a blessing if it happens. You should not interfere, just observe and be impressed…”
Deep, luscious mind trips as per the classic Chi sound, ‘The Wetland Remixes’ beautifully correlates the interconnecting dots of geography, ecology, and mythology’s forgotten lore.