Noise Not Music
"I first encountered sound artist Eamon Sprod’s solo project TARAB when I heard 2018’s HOUSEKEEPING, a CD that evolved from a multimedia installation in a unique manner: “rather than a documentation of an installation, this iteration has been arranged from the debris collected during the process of making one.” Sprod is an artist who often seems to adopt a scientific approach in creating his music, playing the role of a curious and active observer in the midst of his surroundings, though the emotional impact of his work never seems to suffer ... In the case of Material Studies #1, the identities of Sprod’s surroundings are not made nearly as clear; we are told that some of the elements are sourced from old cassettes from the project’s early days, but other than that the “materials” he utilizes are quite wide-ranging—metallic machinery that resembles recordings I myself once captured of children’s playground equipment, small vibrating objects on agitated surfaces, Velcro-like scrapes and scratches. The exhumed tape remnants add a crucial dimension to the music, unseating the clearly and closely recorded tactile events with a cloying layer of ghostly hiss and hum ... Material Studies #1 is essential listening for all those who love to turn their ears to immersive, textural sonic landscapes that refuse to abandon their gritty, earthly origins."
"Eamon Sprod is the man who works as Tarab, since 2001 and who seems to be getting a bit more active in recent years, mainly through the release of CDs. In much of his work field recordings play an important role and so it does here as well. Yet, somehow I would also think this is something a bit different from his usual routine. The sounds here are from "early TARAB cassette materials from the late 1990's", which would seem to be his earliest experiences in taping sounds. These materials include "re-manipulations", so it might very well be very new work. So, all in all, it's a bit unclear to me what it is, and judging by the two pieces here, I would think it is some sort of clean-up of shelves with bits and pieces not used before, cut together in a collage form. Some they overlap each other, but also more than a few ends in abrupt cuts, followed by a complete change of scenery. Lots of rain sounds upon various surfaces, but also quite a bit of electrical humming of wires around the house as well as hand manipulation of objects, just as stones, paper and plastic; changes in the equalization bringing out brittle tones. At one point I thought Tarab was using a bunch of sounds from toys, dinkey toys upon amplified surfaces. It is all in all quite an interesting ride; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but more the first than the second."