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NORTHAM, MICHAEL - Suhina

Format: 10"
Label & Cat.Number: Substantia Innominata SUB-10
Release Year: 2009
Note: lim. 500 white vinyl / "Suhina" is the notion for the wind going through trees, a wonderful new entry for our 10" series
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €12.00


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Brilliant new recordings by the prolific cosmopolitan (currently residing in Berlin) MICHAEL NORTHAM. "Suhina" is a notion for the sound of the wind moving through the trees. Instead of doing field recordings of wind MICHAEL NORTHAM tried to capture this feeling & the essence of this process through instrumental recordings from Indonesian flute & keyboard. Nature phenomena seen as the true manifestation of the Unknown. Stunning full colour artwork by Indian artist ROHINI DEVASHER. White vinyl, edition of 500 copies, incl. inlay with text by M. NORTHAM.


"Das Thema der Platte hätte auch von der K Foundation stammen können. Michael Northam vertont hier den Wind zwischen den Bäumen, auf finnisch suhina genannt. Was sich als schöngeistiges Ambientexperiment versteigen möchte, ist in der Endsumme erstaunlich unesotherisch geworden. Northam zieht alle Register seines musikalischen Könnens und scheint zu den wenigen zu gehören , die eine Komposition über den Zeitraum mehrerer Jahre gedeihen lassen können ohne der Verlegenheit zu verfallen, nach wenigen Wochen den Abschluss herbeizuzerren.
Beide Vinylseiten wirken dabei sehr transluzent und klar abgegrenzt. Bisweilen hat man das Gefühl, die leisen Zwischentöne der Feedbacks und trudelnden Dronecluster reichern sich mit dem Knistern des Vinyls an, so fragil erscheinen die Zwischenbrücken der jeweiligen Komposition. Wie GAS ohne Beats, wohl aber um das 10fache am Pitchregler hochgeschraubt und mit einer majestätischen Würde, die man sonst nur in den leiseren Backgroundklangarien der frühen Tortoise und ihren »Millions Now…« wieder findet. Orgelähnliche Töne wechseln in malströmartigen Verschiebungen ihren Standort und verwischen auf diese Art und Weise Gefühl für Zeit und Raum, bilden auf diese Art und Weise den Soundtrack für den einsamen Spaziergänger im Wald ohne ein Klischee zu bedienen.
Das Northam sein Stück im Sommer für das Vinyl editierte kommt auch tiefenpsychologisch dem Material zugute. Selten hat eine so ausufernde Komposition eine so hohe Ereignisdichte aufgewiesen, ohne dabei zum Sturm zu mutieren. Auf diese Weise hört man den Wind weniger im Gebälk, dafür mehr im Gemüt." [Thorsten Soltau / AEMAG]


"Every once in a while you bump into a masterpiece, Suhina is one of those times.
The cover has amazing artwork by the Indian artist: Rohini Devasher. Bizarre beautiful flower lifeforms in full color on the front, and in black and white on the back. The vinyl itself is white and nice sturdy and thick.
The 10” is a Drone Records release and is part of the substantia-innominata series.
A concept that deals with concepts like” unknown / unthinkable / unidentifiable / unspeakable etc.
The story behind this record is very interesting. Michael Northam was camping in Finland in 2005 and a friend told him that the sound of the wind moving through the trees was called “suhina” in their language. From that moment Michael wanted to capture that feeling in sound.
Starting with field recordings what was difficult to do, and then moving to blowing on Indian flutes and the use of keyboards. While working on these two tracks Michael has been traveling through Belgium, Slovenia, India and France through 2006 and 2007. The final result was constructed in Berlin in the summer of 2008.

The record has two tracks, called “Through” and “Within”. Both are beautiful very carefully constructed pieces that run over ten minutes of playing time. Side A“Through” is distorted and blissful, full of harmony and truly uplifting and carrying you away with the wind, through forests and plains. It feels like there is lots of wind, gray skies and rain, but also lots of sun rays and rainbows. And total melancholic euphoria. The B side “Within” is a nice continuation. All i can say is that this release is a beautiful, carefully constructed emotional masterpiece." [Nil Pavlov / Hourglass Drops]

"These two tracks of hypnotizing dronemusik from the wandering sound artist Michael Northam originated from a night camping in the Finnish hinterlands, where he became fascinated with the sound of wind whipping through the trees. Field recordings have long been central to
Northam's work dating back to his tactile compositions of corroded ambience and titanic drone arcing; and even the aspects of wind had
featured heavily in work through the Aeolian harps he built in a bunker on a desolate Finnish island. Where those recordings were
attempting to harness to power of wind as something of an intersection between technology and the landscape, these two beautiful recordings of brightly shimmering ambience are more of a poetic response to the dynamics of wind. So those whispings and scatterings of summertime arctic winds introduce the first side of this 10" and quickly subside amidst Northam's billowing drones from his Indonesian flute and an overblown Casio keyboard. The resulting waving tones flicker with the
lingering glow of the sun arching toward the horizon at twilight, with golds, oranges, and reds radiating through each timbre. So striking are the colors that Northam gets through these tones, it can almost distract from his conceptual anchor. No matter, as he's creating one of his finest pieces in a long time. Nice!" [Aquarius Rec.]