Old News #6 is the second release in a “nearly regular” series of vinyl albums documenting analog synth and tape works “from the depths of Jim O’Rourke’s archive.” But where Old News #5 was retrospective in orientation, covering some 20 years of output across its four tracks, #6 zooms right in on the present. The album comprises a single piece entitled “All That’s Cold Is New Again.” It was commissioned in part by Christian Zanési, a French composer and former student of Pierre Schaeffer, and recorded in studio by O’Rourke between 2009 and 2011 in Tokyo, where he’s now, of course, a resident.
Idiomatically and in terms of sonic palette, the record’s in a pretty similar ballpark to “It’s Not His Room Anymore” off the last release, which was recorded in Japan in the same period with, seemingly, a comparable studio setup. But the most obvious point of difference with “All That’s Cold Is New Again” is that, unlike any of the recordings on Old News #5, it incorporates ‘found sound’ in and among all the electronics: the slow wash of water, tolling bells, the gentle rumbling of traffic, children playing, the briefest snippets of conversation, as if caught accidentally from a passer-by.
In general, this works really well...
And if you wanna know, read the rest of the review on TMT. Includes rampant speculation about sci-fi music and the sound of outerspace!
And do check out my review of Old News #5 too if you're interested.