“Filtered Water” by Geoff Mullen
Gorgeous waves of serene ambience from New England innovator Geoff Mullen.
It has been three years since Rhode Island sound artist Geoff Mullen released the exemplary Bongo Closet, but he’s hardly been taking it easy in the interim. After a few small-run cassette releases and a string of dates in Europe (both solo and in the Oxtirn trio with PAN’s Eli Keszler & Ashley Paul) he found some time to get stranded in the woods and craft this beguiling long-form record.
A mono recording of a multi-channel installation piece, Filtered Water is probably the most unusual addition to Mullen’s catalog, and definitely the most hypnotic. Recorded in the Hudson Valley, Filtered Water blends field recordings, feedback, and tape collage to create a deeply immersive sound environment. This is a record that reveals itself slowly, and uses the most spare of materials. Everyday sounds like a passing train or a far off party are subsumed by the music, and the raw sounds of nature are tempered by electronic processes. Luckily, Mullen’s signature musical sensitivity prevents this extended experimental piece from ever becoming trying or indulgent. It is honest, textured sound and far more beautiful than a description can attest.
Geoff Mullen is one of New England’s most impressive sonic innovators, and Filtered Water offers a fascinating glimpse into his unique sound world.