U40 | Rihards Bražinskis & Raitis Upens | Aldaris
format : CD ltd to 200 hand numbered copies
all copies come with an additional art card on 300gr satin paper
release year : 2017
length : 36’25
status : OUT NOW !
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(Belgium) : 13 € (inc.postage)
(Europe) : 14 € (inc.postage)
(World) : 15 € (inc.postage)
: info :
Filled with ethno-grief and admiration at the same time, “Aldaris” is a mental time travel back to such a mighty and noble age in Riga when the factories rumbled, stone houses rose up one after another and the whole city rapidly turned from a fusty medieval fortress into the modern layout of the city we still live in. It’s an adoration of a great socially economical prosperity which existed not so long ago, but quite unbelievable from the current perspective.
The historical factory of the beer brewery Aldaris (The Brewmaster in Latvian) had its inception around the year 1865. It’ a living monument of brick architecture of the industrial era which preserves and silently retells the Latvian land’s legacy of the past 150 years. Nowadays this total glory stands contrastingly in a midst of a quite humble and remote outskirt named Sarkandaugava (Red river Daugava in Latvian).
The whole territory of the factory is organized in quarters of buildings – very characteristic style of that time. Although many of the original buildings has been rebuilt or even demolished, the common look remains largely intact. The specific building we made our recordings in was neglected since 1976 till the renovation started in 2014.
During the repairing period we had the luck to freely interact with the old beer kettles made in year 1938 which now are part of Aldaris beer museum located there. Also we recorded a beer brewing process in the same building and surrounding atmospheres in the whole area. Recordings were made in several stages with the last and most extensive session hold on March 1, 2015 and thus precisely matching the release date of this CD.
As far as we’re concerned this should be the first beer related work in the world of field recording based audio expressions. And it’s an honor it’s hosted in such an important country in beer culture as Belgium. Enjoy!
(Rihards Bražinskis, February 2017)
: reviews :
A review that starts with ‘I’m not sure if I heard of this/these person(s)’ happens a lot, much to some ridicule (‘he has no clue that he wrote about him three times before; it’s all a rush job’), but here I’m pretty sure, simply because these names are difficult to write if one wants to avoid spelling mistakes; Rihards Brazinskis and Raitis Upens are from Latvia and in a beer brewery called Aldaris they made their record-ings. Apparently the brewery still exists even when I had the impression we are dealing with a particular rusty place, but in other instances this factory seems very much alive. That might of course be the way they recorded their basic material. Of course you wouldn’t know if this was a beer brewery or an abandoned factory of any other kind, but I am sure that is also not really important as you can read about that on the cover of this release. The journey they undertook in this factory reveals some rusty (sorry) barrels, water running, a big hall, the rattling of fences and balustrades, overlooking that part of the factory where they keep the big kettles, the sound of air pressure and all of this with some highly vibrating sound going on.
The various recordings are cut and spliced together, maybe even looped from time to time, but not further processed I would say, although I am also not sure about that. I would like to believe that everything here is the result of extensive layering and collaging of sounds recorded in this brewery.
These two men do a great job in creating an excellent composition of field recordings of one location, forming a complete picture, well perhaps, of that place and everything lasts just long enough to be exciting, before moving on to the next part of our guided tour. This is an excellent release, one that fits very well in the catalogue of Unfathomless.
Frans de Waard