Zaft 024   Goose   Bart
No track listing
The source recording for this album is the Bay Area Rapid Transit. I was riding it once on a trip to San Francisco and noticed that it made some unearthly sounds. I recorded a trip from Fremont to San Francisco and back, processed it, and this is the result. This is what a train ride sounds like in your dreams.
Here's what PTR at Re:mote Induction had to say:
The BART is the train system in San Francisco with the CD-R by Goose on Zaftig being based on source recordings from a journey on that train system. The result is one long track, which creates a contained environment atmosphere - like being inside an object, though the sound has more of a tunnel suggestion. At a reasonable volume this is a bristling environment, the passage of the train a whir, its sound interacting with the containment of the tunnel. This type of sound level is maintained through the journey, though with that we can experience the fluctuations - shifts in speed and changes in the gradient of the line. Around the edges of this we can sense a bass impression, palpable break up round the edges. At stages through the journey we can hear other passengers, idle chatter, the clumping of their passage. Reaching and leaving stations we get the bursts of official dialogue, loudspeaker voices, with their difference in density and timbre. For the most part the sound is a smooth progression, with the core already described being something, which is maintained. But at times some of the other elements can jar you from the potential trance state that is generated. Personally listening to this kind of recording is intriguing, the idea that sound can transform the feel of an environment so much, the fact that listening to a piece like this goes beyond just being a recording of trains. Listening to BART I would really like to hear this sort of recording taken to another level, taking it beyond my environment, sat here with my headphones on and transporting it to a bigger space, with more people and a big sound system. To round off the release the disc comes in a box with a corrugated inlay and the CD-R itself is faced with the timetable for the BART line (I assume).
Here's what Nicolas at Recycle Your Ears had to say:
Goose, the ambient side-project of Brett Lunceford, the man also behind Zaftig Research and Stolen Light, is back. Before beginning to review it, this release has nothing to do with Bart Simpson, the "bart" in question here being the "Bay Area Rapid Transit", a public transportation facility in the area of San Francisco. So, no TV samples here, but rather a challenge for Goose, who decided to create a long track (76 minutes) with only sounds recorded in this train (or maybe in the stations too).
So, how can a field recording from a train sound like a coherent track for more than an hour? Basically, the sounds are very cut off, and you sometimes get the feeling you are listening to this whole thing while being in an aquarium. But this strange effects even increase the low, encompassing feeling of the recordings, and melts the whole thing into one big assemblage, without the dynamics of the real recordings. The sounds come in slowly and fade away, without the surprise element of real life. Slow and mesmerizing, not really repetitive but very dreamlike, "Bart" sounds like the combination of various recordings, one being the noise of the train itself (a low, slightly noisy rumbling), and the other being chopped voices, echoed noises, distant announcements.
One could think this can get boring on the long run, but this track has the strange capacity of melting into the background, whatever you are doing, and coming back from times to times, surprising you. Then, once it is over, you will actually be aware of the silence left (a bit like you go out of a train or a plane). And, generally speaking, even though this is very drone-like, it doesn't get repetitive at all, and this is really a pleasant track. Of course, the problem of the disc is that it contains only one track, but I would say it is the best one I have heard from Goose so far. The sound it itself is clean and well recorded, and this deserves to be checked out. One last thing, this is limited to 40 copies, so you'd better act fast.
Here's how the Rectrix mailorder catalog describes Bart:
A long droney piece revolving around mass transit samples. Somewhat reminiscent of Erinys; organic and still mechanical waves of calm. A very relaxing disc.
Here's what Aversionline had to say:
Wow, this CD-R contains one track that clocks in at a whopping 76 minutes! Things start out very slowly, with deep ambient textures and what sounds like some sort of field recordings deep in the distance. Though very calm and quiet, the mood is effective, creating an engulfing, windy sort of feeling. Things get a little bit louder as the track progresses, with some sort of vocal samples coming into play, but the words are indecipherable. It sounds like someone speaking through an intercom system or something. Just prior to the halfway point the samples become a bit more constant, with some faint distorted noises reverberating in the background. A few deep, pitch-shifted vocal samples drive the song into a more menacing direction. For the most part things are very repetitive throughout the piece, but the presentation is so reserved that it's not what I would call boring or anything like that. I guess it would be "background music" or something of that nature, it's not the most engaging composition I've ever heard, but it is successful on several levels. I'm starting to hate CD-R's because I find them to be more and more unreliable. For instance right around the 60-minute mark I found that there were some small skips or glitches where the sound would drop out and the CD player would stutter a little bit, and I don't think that these "blank spots" were intentional, thus they did disrupt the continuity. (It could be my computer's CD player, but I've never had this problem before.) The packaging here could also use some work. The front cover is nothing but a blank piece of heavily textured black paper, which I actually like, but the back cover is a fairly uninteresting xerox. Despite a few shortcomings this is good work. I'm confused by the title, "Bart", but I suppose that just adds to the mystery… I would indeed give this a higher rating if the release as a whole (the layout, the quality of the CD-R burn, etc.) was handled with more professionalism, but I'm sure the CD-R errors are just a rare fluke.
Running time - 76:00, Tracks: 1
[Notable track: there's only one]