Smash and Teeny Gathering

Smash and Teeny are Nilan Perera and Sarah Peebles, a duo of Toronto-based sound artists who achieve their impressive and intriguing results through spontaneous performances, Perera on his prepared electric guitar, which he runs through various effects, and Peebles through her laptop and de-tuned sho, or Japanese mouth organ. Gathering is a mesmerising double-disc retrospective that encompasses various performances and studio recordings from throughout the past six years they’ve worked together. Like a lot of time-based sound art, Smash and Teeny place heavy emphasis on letting their spatial arrangements slowly and naturally unfold and intertwine, but there’s a throbbing inner tension within the pieces presented here that holds the listener’s interest. "Ox Tendon Enigma” is especially intense with its layers of tightly wound guitar loops and the opening pair of "Looking Glass” and "Stridulation Nation” recall the busily close-knit buzzing of the bees portrayed on this collection’s cover. The real standout here, though, is the 26-minute "Hummingbird Midnight,” which features the UK’s renowned experimental saxophonist John Butcher and pushes the performers tense interplay from well beyond the brink of comfort into strangely soothing corridors where double-locked doors unexpectedly open and lure the listener over foreboding thresholds. (Spool)