AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews – Andrew Pekler, Khao Sok Extension (Zappak)

Andrew Pekler totes a deep portfolio stuffed with experimental electronica stretching across genre. Back in 2016, he visited Khao Sok National Park in Thailand, a bustlingly biodiverse reserve, and recorded audio, some of which appeared on his album Tristes Tropiques from the same year. 

Khao Sok Extension revisits these tapes as a field recording without musical intervention, for indeed the sounds of the wildlife are music enough. For the casual listener, these field recordings appear more aesthetic than forensic, an artistic layering of sounds rather than a documentary report – an attempt to make a real place hyperreal. Myriad cries and roars and crepitations are layered over one another; some soar to the forefront, others recede into soft, staccato drone or an insidious purr. An up-and-down avian trill acts as a kind of leitmotif.

Included in the package is a DVD featuring video shot in the park by Pekler. While surprisingly rendered in monochrome, it is similarly textured and suggestive. With fifty-five minutes of teeming ambient audio and a solid hour of video, Khao Sok Extension is a generous package. It’s gorgeous, it’s sumptuous, and it feels humid.

Stephen Fruitman