Nearly seven years after their eponymous release on 12k, Australian duo Solo Andata returns to the label with a sublime electroacoustic gem called In the Lens which was born from fragments and recordings “found in the interstices of decades-old hard drives, lost email threads from disused accounts, and forgotten samples recorded on cassette dictaphones”, apparently just the sort of raw material from which they like to work.
“Solo Andata’s Kane Ikin and Paul Fiocco have always pushed aside the digital studio in favor of a more haphazard and hands-on workshop vibe to their productions. They prefer near-broken acoustic instruments, cheap microphones and, as can be witnessed by their live performances, tend to turn anything they can get their hands on into a beautiful sound-making object.”12k
The album is a beguiling tangle of the analog and electronic, recondite in its complexity, yet utterly organic in character as piano, guitar, woodwinds, horns and percussion coalesce into near melodies and almost rhythms among glistening strands and loops of found and generated sounds. It marks a return to the low-fi folk and jazz inflected style of their debut Fyris Swan (2006, Hefty) and something of a departure from the opaque intensity of the more recently released Ritual (2014, Desire Path).
In the Lens strikes me as an anthology of short stories written in sound, understated but keenly observed, stories you want to read and re-read not just for the compelling narrative but to savor the pleasures and subtleties of the language in which they are told. The album is available on both CD and digital formats from 12k via their online shop and Bandcamp page.