Kate Carr
Fabulations


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
December 25th, 2014 | 33 replies


Release Date: 12/25/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: and get some sand in my shoes

I don’t travel much anymore. However, in my stint with the military I spent a fair amount of time in foreign places. As a means of compensating with my discomfort I would occasionally make up stories to accommodate my surroundings. For example, I spent a month or so in Wales, and the wilderness was teeming. It sounds hokey, but the landscape seemed to mirror my state of mind, and occasionally vice-versa, yielding emotions and realizations I didn’t know I was capable of. This interplay had me convinced in the power of travel as a means of self-discovery. With Fabulations, field recording artist Kate Carr does what I did, albeit much more elegantly. She constructs narratives based on her own emotions and realizations, indicative of her surroundings. The exchange between her headspace and her physical space is fluid and seamless, as though they work collectively, illustrating in tandem. Fabulations is a tapestry of both fragility and strength, as it explores the weaknesses of the human psyche alongside physical endurance. Trekking throughout Europe, be it in Italy or Ireland, France or Spain, Carr is the archetypal wanderer - in mind and body.

Field recordings are usually highly interpretive, and unravelling the snippets of sound can lead somewhere just as easily as nowhere. Carr titles her songs smartly, essentially throwing us a bone. The lovely “I remembered it all Somewhere Near Glasgow” displays the sentiment of discovering harsh realities in an unsympathetic backdrop - similar to hearing news of my grandmother’s death from my sergeant, an indifferent messenger, a thousand miles away from home where I might've felt some comfort due to familiarity. The way the intro’s melody repeats at the song’s midpoint shows the habit of reiterating things in your head, serving no purpose beyond obsessing futilely. “I felt Better About Everything In Dunquin” is a bit deceptive, as it implies a resolution, but still harbours feelings of uncertainty and discord. The moody drones clash beautifully with chimes, giving way to the sounds of harsh winds. It’s as though Carr’s rationale is crumbling and the environment is taking over. The most genuinely serene moment on Fabulations is “Tourists Boat in Les Calanques”. It feels like Carr is basking in the ambience, rather than using it as a vessel for negative thoughts. Granted, the distorted luau music feels half-hearted, but at least it’s progress. As she drifts down the river, the sounds of wildlife accompany the smooth drones perfectly, and she is able to look back with a smile on her face.

Fabulations is music crossing the line dividing passive enjoyment and full-fledged therapy. Carr’s compositions delicately balance emotionally powerful drones with vulnerable thought patterns, peppered with field recordings that add an irreproducible dimension to the sound. It is both contemplative and spontaneous, as a tale of someone looking for change but clinging to negative memories. Despite being recorded in several different countries, traces of unresolved problems give the album a unifying concept: on a journey of self-discovery, there’s no guaranteeing you’ll like who you find. But, you can be accepting. Bit by bit, step by step, you might even grow on yourself. If the closing track “Bleeding Love (Bus / Sicily)” serves as any indication, it’s as simple as letting the environment fill your ears, drowning out your self-doubts. As the Leona Lewis song plays in the background, it seems like the song bears significance to Carr, perhaps remnants of a negative relationship. I can only speculate. The field recording artist never utters a word, but as the hustle and bustle of the city bus grows more and more rowdy, it's as though Kate Carr is saying “Almost there. If only this bus were just a bit noisier, maybe I’d actually have some goddamn peace and quiet."



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2014


6203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://softrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fabulations



everyone wants field recordings for christmas



feedback appreciated

BMDrummer
December 25th 2014


13942 Comments


all looks well here from my quick skim. should jam

Mad.
December 25th 2014


4670 Comments


Love the stuff you review man, and the quality of your writing. Keep it up! Pos'd

Phlegm
December 25th 2014


7240 Comments


fuck yeah man Kate Carr rocks, she did a really interesting installation of sounds this year named Overheard in Doi Saket that i dug big time


gonna check this out for sure


great piece


peace
x

deathschool
December 25th 2014


21784 Comments


Review ass kicks hard. One typo I noticed: "a thousand miles away from home where I might've feel some comfort due to familiarity." in the second paragraph. This really is fantastic though.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2014


6203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx dudes, and cheers for catching that Ian

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2014


8409 Comments


number 1 choice for contributor come February

Digging: Zola Jesus - Okovi

cryptside
December 26th 2014


2397 Comments


Agreed with Arcade, and amazing review. Really liked this one man.

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 27th 2014


24596 Comments


"number 1 choice for contributor come February"

To be honest I always forget that you aren't already one.

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2014


6203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx dudes [2] glad you liked it, check the album yo

zaruyache
December 28th 2014


17518 Comments


ima check dis

Digging: Gabor Szabo - Dreams

RadicalEd
December 28th 2014


8500 Comments


while we're all at it...

pls do continue to review awesome music, your reviews are great, and you really should be contrib soon.

Digging: Susanne Sundfor - Music For People In Trouble

ComeToDaddy
December 28th 2014


1575 Comments


He's a contributor in all the ways that matter, just got to get that title ;) great review as always

ComeToDaddy
December 28th 2014


1575 Comments


Ed's dig reminding me to get on that Robert Rich

Phlegm
December 28th 2014


7240 Comments


Definitely her best project

Gyromania
December 29th 2014


22706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha jac

PappyMason
December 29th 2014


5702 Comments


Fantastic review, will listen to the album.

Lovely album art too.

treeqt.
December 30th 2014


16889 Comments


soulseek is such a failure

Havey
January 1st 2015


10150 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is lovely

Phlegm
January 1st 2015


7240 Comments


Johnny on the POP



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