composed by dave phillips, illustrated by cornelia hesse-honegger.
originally released on lp by ini itu, brussels in 2010.
bonus 3rd track previously available on the free download compilation ‘christmas is not your friend volume three’ released by culture is not your friend, kfar saba in 2014.
tracks 1 and 2 mastered by james plotkin in philadelphia, track 3 mastered by dp in zürich.
the cover depicts a mutated and a normal looking head of drosophila subobscura.
all original source material used for the pieces on this record was recorded out in the field - in national parks, forests, caves, swamps, by rivers, on lakes et cetera, in thailand and vietnam between 1994 and 2007 - and then mutated.
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these pieces can be considered as articulations between the constructed works of dave phillips (such as ‘they live’) and his pure field recordings pieces (‘frogs rain’, ‘ghi am viet nam’). he is here indeed juxtaposing, layering, condensing, stretching, distorting - in one word mutating - these sounds into balanced progressions, punctuations and dense climaxes which generate an overwhelming and sometimes uneasy environment. “mutations” is an hallucinatory cinéma pour l’oreille, unsettling, brooding, ominous, but always restrained, controlled. the sprawling ebb and flow, the unsettling and recurring waves of animal activity, lead you progressively closer to the horror. “mutations” is a lysergic trip to the heart of darkness, and a warning about the devastation at work.
• cornelia hesse-honegger, scientific illustrator and science artist, was born in 1944 in zürich, switzerland. for 25 years she worked as a scientific illustrator for the scientific department of the natural history museum at the university of zürich. since 1969 she has collected and painted with painstaking detail leaf bugs, heteroptera. since the summer of 1987, following the chernobyl explosion, she has been studying the mutated morphology of insects found in the regions hit by the radioactive cloud, starting with the ticino region, in the southern part of switzerland. she later expanded her research to the areas adjacent to power plants, such as in gösgen (ch), leibstadt (ch), sellafield (uk), krümmel (g) and gundremmingen (g), as well as the three mile island in the u.s., and the nevada atom bomb testing area. in 1990 she travelled to chernobyl itself. these researches have resulted in articles and books which brought controversy in the scientific community.
• dave phillips has been a purveyor of radical sounds since the mid-80's, when he formed the very influential and short-lived band fear of god, often cited along napalm death for pioneering the grindcore genre. after the dissolution of fear of god, phillips intensified his performance with the ensemble schimpfluch-gruppe, dedicated to continuing the visceral aesthetics of the viennese actionists. he is also involved in a doom-metal project called dead peni and in the noisy electro-acoustic quartet ohne. since a few years, he has focused more and more intensely on field recordings of animal sounds, “pure” or reworked.