by Angel S.
Fossil Aerosol Mining Project are an American experimental music legend. They’ve been making and releasing music and soundart since before I was even conceived, so to have my hands on their brand new release is quite the occasion—especially considering the fact that, at some point, the project was meant to be put to an end after over two decades of existence. According to the liner notes for The Unlistening Place, some of the music on it may have actually been a part of this goodbye material, which was recorded to celebrate the demise of the project.
And if you can name a better label than the Helen Scarsdale Agency for a style of music created from various sources of damaged media, decaying film and long-forgotten tape, and coming from a project anticipating its termination, well… I’ll help you: You can’t.
The Unlistening Place is an emotional and musical rollercoaster. The sound is warm, textural, and obscure. Fossil Aerosol Mining Project don’t appear to enjoy staying in the same space musically. Each and every song is like a separate realm, a separate artifact, and I guess this is due to the different source material which was (ab)used for the different tracks. The Unlistening Place can sometimes be dreamy (‘Traditional String Invocation’, ‘Silent Time’, ‘Traditional Referent’) or mechanic (‘Tar Prodigy 2’); however, it mostly gravitates toward building sparse soundscapes (‘The Unlistening Place 1’, as well as its second and third chapters) with their rumbling subs, analog decomposition, and waves of transparent drones.
The tape sometimes feels like a sonic cage for all of the sounds it was able to capture. It’s like a prison or a collection of dead and long-forgotten living beings whose voices you’re not really sure if you’re actually hearing or if they exist only in your head. Due to its obscurity, The Unlistening Place sometimes reminds me of a lighter and more friendlier version of People-eaters and their mixtapes on Aetheric Records. With The Unlistening Place, Fossil Aerosol Mining Project creates realms which exist to oppress and exhibit everything we’re often blind to or tend to just leave behind. Luckily, we have humans who are still keen on unearthing such artifacts, thus transforming them into other ones so we learn to chew for a bit longer before shoving another piece of what’s new and hot in our consumerist mouths.