Artist: Duelling Ants
Release Date: 2015 March 29
Genre: Ambient Pop
License: CC BY-NC
Label: Mars Melons
This is one of those releases that I discovered last summer while working on the Netlabel Profiles shows I did for the Netlabel Day event. Duelling Ants: Fauna is one of the releases from that project that has stuck with me.
Duelling Ants: Fauna
Why has it stuck with me all summer? Because the approach to music making on this release is both very experimental, and well executed. Each of the tracks unfolds gradually, one layer at a time… Layer by layer is is built up until the whole becomes apparent. It’s kind of like watching a time-lapse film of a flower opening, but in reverse.
Each instrument is inserted into the piece in such a way that the song has to be re-balanced, the central focus shifts as the experience of the song changes. But this layer never turns the piece(s) upside down, or has any jarring effect.
More interesting is the manner in which both noise and field recordings are used, and balanced within this work. In many artists hands the use of either of these elements would just be an accent or something that is used to hit the listener over the head with. But not on this release. Noises and natural sounds are intricate, balanced elements of these pieces. They are so much a part of the pieces, you can’t imagine the song being possible without them.
And that’s what strikes me about this work: the ideas of experimentation have found a middle-ground with solid and careful compositional structure. Every piece on this release is as fascinating to listen to today as it was four or five months ago when I started working on the Netlabel Profile series.
Hans Marius T. Jacobsen, (aka Duelling Ants) states in the release notes for Fauna:
On this project I’ve been interested in the idea of melodies and grooves that force themselves out through thick layers of sound, reach the surface, and fade out.
Mission accomplished, and a lot more in my opinion.