candlesnuffer aka david brown

... the 'real' sound of piano or guitar disappears ...

with Helium Clench
Sieve LP
Bocian Records, 2012

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Daniel Spicer, The Wire
In Rush's 2112, a futuristic sci-fi potboiler of an album, the protagonist finds an ancient acoustic guitar and, miraculously, is able to start playing pristine folk rock almost straight away. Collaborating as Helium Clench, Melbourne musicians David Brown and Tim Catlin offer a more realistic vision of post-apocalyptic Improv in which the unearthed guitar comes with four strings and a bag of rusty springs, and is subjected to tentative fumblings. Actually, it's sound that belies a great deal of patient skill, with Brown and Catlin manipulating an array of different guitars, small percussion and bowed objects to build a minutely detailed and convincingly integrated electroacoustic sound bed of elastic twangs, dry clanks and sarcophagal creaks.

Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
While I was searching for older reviews of music by Tim Catlin here, I came to the horrible discovery that I have been writing his name as Caitlin for many times, and not Catlin. Nobody ever pointed that one out, I think. Sorry sorry. Here Catlin has a record with David Brown as Helium Clench and this is what you could call a duet for guitars. Many variations are listed on the cover, including, I guess, objects which are used to play them: (David Brown:) bandoura, bass guitar, bowed acoustic guitar, bowed objects, semi-acoustic guitar, child's tenor guitar, chord organ, electric guitar, ukelin, guitar pedals, lawn bowls, mandolin, percussion, prepared acoustic guitar and rainstick (dog-trainer) (Tim Catlin:) acoustic guitar, bowed acoustic guitar, bowed electric guitar, bowed objects, electric guitar, fretless electric guitar, guitar pedals, percussion and prepared acoustic guitar. What can be noted is the extensive use of all things acoustic here. I imagine these guys sitting together, each with a guitar on their lap, all these objects and in the meantime playing some chords on the organ using their feet, or perhaps keys taped down. They are in search for microtonal qualities in their sound. Strangely coherent wandering through the field of improvised music, electro-acoustic sound collage and musique concrete composition. Not always as easily though, but a highly concentrated effort it is. Lots of scraping and less on the overtones, curious enough. A record that requires all your attention!