Chris Watson Weather Report

[Touch; 2003]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: field recordings, wildlife experiments
Others: None. Chris is doing his own thing.

I can’t count on both my hands and feet how many times my wife has asked me to go to the zoo with her. I mean, what’s so interesting about going to see a bunch of stinky animals that are already miserable as hell? They have people staring at them all day, and they’ve been taken away from their natural environment to live in makeshift replicas of where they really should be. Maybe it’s better for them to be secure and taken care of in a zoo-type environment. Am I just wrong? Well, Chris Watson would probably agree with my wife. His shtick on Weather Report is to record the sounds of wildlife; and when I say record wildlife, that’s no exaggeration. You can hear a fly’s breath with the hyper-sensitive microphone he uses. In that sense, and because there is very minimal instrumentation involved, Weather Report is a full-on field recording. I can’t say that it touches any musical emotion I have, but it gives a very in depth view into the sounds of the wild. You’d almost have to be from the jungle to know just exactly what each of the animals represented here are. On occasion, Watson utilizes the sounds of computers to enhance the sounds of air, wind, rain and fire. However, most of the time, it’s just the real deal. On the second track, “The Lapaich,” a huge waterfall gives way to a flowing streams and birds singing. By the third (and final) track, however, it becomes very demanding and laborious for anyone with the attention span of a child. There are only so many sounds that one can absorb in one listen, and Chris Watson has provided all of them here. Unfortunately, a little instrumentation might have made this decadent lesson of the outdoors a little more palatable. 

1. Ol-Olool-O
2. The Lapaich
3. Vatnajokull

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