Some review excerpts
"These pieces are full of space yet dense with a particularly modern dread. At times, to draw us closer, she plays a few reverberant guitar notes. Otherwise, it’s chirruping wildfowl, water, bass of indeterminate origin and always, the anxiety-inducing purr, buzz and whine of electricity. It is the soundtrack of psychosis for Chuck in Better Call Saul and a metaphor for the low-humming knowing that there’s no escape, not even in nature."
THE GUARDIAN on I Had Myself A Nuclear Spring
Kate Carr's one of the most artful field recordings-based artists I've come across, though even describing her in such a manner verges on misrepresentation. Yes, field recordings do play a central part in her creations, but they constitute only one part of the elements she works with. A typical Carr piece presents a delicately rendered balance between real-world and musical sounds, such that the former works hand-in-hand with the latter to produce a musical composition more than soundscape.
TEXTURA on It Was A Time Of Laboured Metaphors
This tape is a travelogue for sure, but one that uses what already exists to journey somewhere that hasn’t been mapped yet. Marc Masters of THE OUT DOOR on It Was A Time Of Laboured Metaphors
"If, as she suggests in her artist’s statement, Carr’s music centres on the question of how we come to know ourselves through sound and place, then with its quietness, dark colours, and frequent hesitations, “It Was A Time” seems like an album made for the lonelier, emptier moments of translocation. Those “What am I doing here?” moments are familiar enough to anyone who has travelled. With this music, Carr shows a continued willingness to be open and listen, even to such moments. The sounds inhabit a world more concrete grey and mundane than bright and exotic, but this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of them — perhaps music made for the place in which you are is preferable to a mirage of implausible escape? In any case, “It Was A Time” makes for a deep and absorbing night-time listen." FLUID RADIO on It Was A Time Of Laboured Metaphors
"Carr first casts unsettled, drifting meshes of memories on the air with stirring guitar strings, telephonic pulses and waning synth. But then follows by resting to listen in to a single place, such as Andalucia where a herd of goats gather, or simply the church bells spilling in through her bedroom window, their increasingly muted tones suggest a lulling to sleep." THE QUIETUS on It Was A Time Of Laboured Metaphors
"...it's best moments come when any hermeneutic issues disappear in the stream of its puzzling uneven beauty. Thus, on 'Confluence', slowly ebbing mineral drones and distant birdcalls are intersected by careful guitar lines, as if dredging up its own memory of the darkened sonic freedom of Eno's 'Durwich Beach, Autumn 1960'. 'Flicker, flow' turns from the grainy blasts of its opening into a mesh of synthetic winds and heavy breaths, as if fighting for air amid a dead nature."
THE WIRE MAGAZINE on I Had Myself a Nuclear Spring.
"Carr’s great success throughout is to use melody quietly and sparingly to draw the ear towards the uneasy dialogue between simmering electricity and the sounds of the marsh, the nuclear and the wildfowl." CAUGHT BY THE RIVER on I had Myself a Nuclear Spring
“Fabulations ripples with a liquid sadness. A Proustian ghostliness evanesces on tracks such as 'I remembered it all somewhere near Glasgow' , through a heartbreaking strum on her guitar, and traces of the landscape windswept through a softening blur of delay and decay. Beautifully done.” THE WIRE MAGAZINE.
A corpus of compiled micro noises, empirical field recordings taken from a wide range of ordinary places around Europe are recontextualized and personalized in a poetical manner in gorgeously serene ambient textures. Fabulations provides an inner voyage, a cinematic experience for the ears and dreamily intuitive sonic meditations where flowing droning chords subtly communicate with detached, touching guitar resonances and sound art narratives. Warmly recommended for passionate followers of short form craft-based ambient music which mixes expressively dreamy acoustic tones and electronic experiments. IGLOO MAG on Fabulations
Fabulations” is thus neither an anthology of out-and-out fantasies, nor a dossier of verifiable documents, nor merely a collection of personal experiences or reminiscences. Rather, the album’s double gesture that is simultaneously both documentary trace and sensory impression could perhaps best be thought of as re-presenting things and events in the same manner in which they present themselves to consciousness: as indistinct and withdrawn. For this reason, “Fabulations” is perhaps the most beguiling, challenging, and rewarding album Carr has released thus far. FLUID RADIO on Fabulations
It is probing and undefined; an instigation of question, a request to engage with the field recordings that surround me and scrutinise their potential inferences. I sit in a large open conference centre and listen intently to the moderate applause of the audience. I gaze into a crumbling winter wind. Delicately bowed strings, restless guitars and body-warm electronics twist naked across the surfaces of these real-world sounds, feeling them out, trying to communicate with them.
Everything is integrated with the grace and sensitivity of a conscious listener. This isn’t merely a process of pouring music carelessly over place – Carr attunes herself to the tonality and rhythm that exist at the core of all fields of sound before picking the most appropriate thread to weave in. I sense that she perceives all sound like sculpture, as if each angle and surface, even within nature, is an act of conscious deliberation; or at least, that they are gateways of significance that only attentive listeners can prise open.