Preparations by Del Lumanta

Del Lumanta | Preparations
A Guide To Saints/Room40 (CS/DL)

Sydney’s so-called ‘bubble artist’ (an indigenous paradigm) is DJ and teacher Del Lumanta who has just put a strangely striking new recording out on tape via Room40’s sister label A Guide To Saints. These thirty six minutes are comprised of four parts: Preparations I-III and the seventeen minute plus piece Last Days of Rain. These experiments in modular synthesis gave me a sudden double-take and I cranked up ye olde speakers to hear every single detail – and there are many.

There are many parts to these Preparations and the sounds run the gamut from blurts that emulate throat singing to arcade buzz, from abstract funky jabber to cages rattling to quietude with the occasional floor creak. Many of Lumanta’s works are community-based interactions, and installation/performance pieces though her sound is fun, and quite serious leaving an open field of dichotomy to contemplate. To create this work Lumanta was asked to: “…respond to the gallery space. I spent my visits thinking about institutions. How I approach them, and how I work within them. What are their conditions for labour, how do they condition what I do? I often feel guarded when entering these realms.”

These experiments fuse drifting electronics with what come forth as aural riddles to unravel. Soft drones act as the base for these explorations. Hers is a sound that circulates, expands and penetrates. The loopy drones that rise and recede on Preparations III, with its earthly gurgling babble is the highlight to my ears, especially at its most minimal last minutes.

Side two is quite complementary to the rest of this program in that it launches with a hopeful bright synth, like a modern day allegory. The soft hues remind me of the low end of some Jamaican dub though this is not that. The piece simply twinkles. After a while she adds some parallel low-end chords that give the luminance some grounding. A reverb takes hold, and the highs/lows embrace in a tangle. Birdlike chatter is emitted into this sonic world that still has a keen sense of reserve.

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