For over twenty years, Mkl Anderson has curated a vast archive of recorded material for his cinematic ambient industrial soundscapes. Working for as many years under the name Drekka, he has sculpted these soundscapes using self-made field recordings of everything from insects in the mountains outside Kathmandu to a washing machine in Reykjavik, from countless sketches and abandoned projects donated by friends, from hundreds of hours of multi-track live recordings of Drekka captured all around the world.
In this way, he works with memory not only as a subject but also as a process, continually delving into this personal world of sound; examining, resisting, and repurposing recordings and forgotten snippets of the voices of out-of-touch friends into new moments and experiences.
‘Examinations’ is a collection of collaborations spanning two years, newly mixed and mastered. And although each track was initially created for a different situation, each for a different compilation, taken as a whole, a cohesive narrative presents itself.
‘Examinations’ is a series of short stories, each unique while exploring recurring themes of mental health in a world of constant anxiety. Taken togethers, the pieces seek common threads, however fleeting or tangental: hoping to remain tethered to the world, to friends and family, to past and present. These are examinations of the darkness which informs the tenuous province of memory and dreams; the real ghosts of time and sound.
‘Examinations’ opens with ‘Spring Rain, Indian Summer’, a somber yet hopeful piece which explores fears of dissociation and the uncertainty of sustained mental stability.
Long time collaborator, Mark Trecka (of Pillars and Tongues/Dark Dark Dark) appears on three tracks, including ‘Sense of Sense’ which features an unused sketch for piano and strings by Trecka accompanying a voice and tone mediation by Anderson and Max Kuiper (of Les Horribles Travailleurs)
Other collaborators include Giuseppe Capriglione (of Skrei), Michael Carlson (of remst8), Evan Hydzik (or Pillars and Tongues), and Francesco Vara (of Altaj).
Appearing in a special stereo mix is ‘Call to Prayer’, initially released as a mono 8″ lathe cut single on Auris Apothecary. This track finds a voice and optigan composition initially recorded for the Golden Braid tape loop project melding with a rooftop field recording of the call to prayer recorded in Istanbul by Anderson. It exemplifies Drekka’s approach of examining and re-examining the intersections that form life’s narrative.
Another track appearing in stereo for the first time is the album closer, ‘Myrkramakt’. This collaboration features Thorír Georg (of ROHT) on guitar and was formed from a particularly surreal performance at Iceland’s Airwaves Festival. Shedding the dismay and oppression of a crushingly bleak mono mix, it becomes a reflective musing on the true face of nostalghia and the heart rending sweetness/sadness of things past and passed… and finally, slowly ‘Examinations’ comes full circle to the sense of hope that began it; the calming and cleansing rain of introspection.