It’s astounding to think that Scanner’s “Comus,” as well as the other recordings on his new release of archival work from Room 40, Earthbound Transmissions, is over 30 years old. Since his debut as Scanner in 1992 on Ash International, Robin Rimbaud’s work has explored the ideas of public and private space, surveillance, and acoustic worlds outside of everyday life. To me, his work has often touched on sonic agency and how sound can create and transform worlds.
With “Comus,” desolate, crawling loops become a darkened playground for Rimbaud’s greyed-out drones and a disconcerting choir of captured voices, echoing into oblivion as the world fades into a haze in the distance. The repetition becomes hypnotic, disconcerting. It’s incredible how much this piece connects to Rimbaud’s more current works, the faintest traces were there from the beginning.
Earthbound Transmissions is a collection of pieces that were recorded on a Fostex 280 4-track in the late 80s. It releases on cassette and digital formats on August 27th via Room 40 (the release also includes a PDF with an interesting conversation between Rimbaud and Lawrence English) and can be pre-ordered below.
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