Spiral #06 – October 1989

Whether genuine or not, this Chernobyl field recording is quite an experience. In fact, the fascination induced is a testament to the evocative power of sound. Willem De Ridder’s notes on the tracklist above doesn’t mention the location of the recording, so it might as well have been recorded in The Netherlands, although I prefer to submit to the idea of a Chernobyl area location. The extravagant idea of recording the first rainstorm in Chernobyl after the 1986 disaster is a confounding endeavor, if only because of the massive doses of radioactivity the recordist have been exposed to (Caesium 137 and Iodine 131). Radioactive rains fell over various European countries in 1986, including Scottland. What sounds like an ordinary rainstorm in this 18mn track, appears to be nothing more than a radioactive shower when you think of it. No chirping birds, of course, but this might be normal during a rainstorm. At 11:56 and 12:18, the sound of a Polaroid camera is heard taking pictures. Can you imagine that? Being so close to the power plant so as to be able to take a Polaroid photograph, is an idea I can’t even contemplate. The Chernobyl plant was closed in 2000.

The anti-Communist propaganda record excerpt of track #3 is an hilarious reconstitution of a Communist meeting in a private house in San Francisco. The caricature is great fun, but I guess to experience McCarthyism during the 1950s must have been a serious burden.

Thanks to anonymous reader for the rip.

01 Mike Hanee –  Interview (26:28)
02 Chernobyl –  Location recording (18:19)
03 McCarthy-ist Propaganda –  Archive document (10:38)
04 Sergueï –  Interview (34:10)

Total time 90:00
Cassette released by Spiral Information Service, Amsterdam, 1989


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5 Responses to “Spiral #06 – October 1989”

  1. 1 Jan June 25, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Frightening… even if it isn’t an on-location recording. Those workmen on top of the roof, dropped from a helicopter right after the blast, trying to fill the hole: strong images, no sound needed. Their life started ending there…

  2. 2 continuo June 25, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Agree. The recording might be a concept, but the effect is powerful.

  3. 3 Jan June 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Gave track #3 a listen now. Still frightening, captivating too, it raises many thoughts and questions about the events in 1986, but also on the use of sounds and concepts as ‘power plants’. Waiting for a location recording from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. But before all: thanks again!!

  4. 4 Jan June 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    it’s track #2, sorry!

  5. 5 lupe October 28, 2010 at 3:31 am

    this is amazing

    can anybody could be more specific about tracks 1 and 4, also 3.

    really need help whit the specific information.

    i appreciate it


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