Various Hiss

Taking the idea of "elevator music" to its furthest reaches, the tracks on this compilation were used for a sound installation in the elevator of the Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. The title, Hiss, cleverly refers both to unwanted background noise and to the Germanic meaning, although the recording would do very little to diminish one's elevator-inspired claustrophobia. Offering up a melange of benign drone that might soothe one's upward passage, this is shattered by discordant electro-acoustic/failing machinery sounds that puts one more in the mind of a downward plunge. More disturbing disruptions come in the form of between track vignettes, which range from field recordings of prisoners on death row to panicked radio transmissions communicating an impending train wreck. Listened to in the safety of your own headphones, however, everything fits together like well-maintained machinery. From avant-jazz saxophonist Evan Parker's battle with electronicists Disinformation to Hazard's tranquil sound sourcing of a Swedish forest's drone capabilities, I will not avoid the obvious pun and call the listening experience uplifting. (Ash.R.I.P.)