Review: Jeremy Hegge – Six Days in Townsville (self-released, Aug 20)

Field recorder Jeremy Hegge’s albums are reverent auditory documents of places in nature. Acting as a passive observer, Hegge presents high-fidelity recordings of the harmonies of nature, from cacophonous clusters of animal calls to the soft sounds of moving wind or water. Six Days in Townsville is a collection of eight short pieces collected in and near the eponymous city of Townsville in Queensland, Australia, and explores a wide variety of sounds throughout these areas. As always, Hegge’s recording and mastering is of the highest quality, and the keeping of each element’s original orientation in the stereo range ensures absolute immersion and faithful reconstruction of the space. In addition to his usual interest in the noises made by birds and frogs and the like, Hegge also captures less familiar, more abstract textures, like the syrupy rumbles of “Parched earth, wet” and the low buzz of “Humming dusk, red clouds.” For me, these recordings uncannily portray that tense, electric feeling often present in the warm, dry twilight, like something big is about to happen. Ultimately though, just like physically being in nature, everyone’s relationship with these sounds will be different, and at the very least you can enjoy the vivid sonic environments on a purely superficial level; they’re pretty therapeutic.