NO, AND you’d be forgiven for thinking it with the name they trade under, but the experimental ambient duo The Arteries of New York City isn’t some semi-psychogeographical project arising from dérives across that city from Queens or Yonkers or somewhere in the Five Boroughs; the project instead has its roots our side of the Atlantic, in Tottenham to be precise, and is incredibly beguiling.
It’s the project of musicians and photographers Jamie Cameron, who otherwise trades as The Last Dinosaur, tracks from whose perhaps slightly slept-on album from last year blew our minds and deserve pretty much universal lauding, in our humble; and pianist Alex Kozobolis, whose photographic work with Erland Cooper we’ve featured elsewhere herein.
They made and, to use their term, soft-released a cassette-only album for Bloxham Tapes last year, composed instinctively in Jamie’s North London studio space, put out with no press, videos nor further biographical depth; pleasingly it sold out on two editions and was picked up by Bandcamp in its Best of Experimental column and BBC 6 Music.
Jamie and Alex have decided, rightly, that The Arteries of New York project has legs outside the recherché annals of the cassette underground and have now given it a full digital release with vinyl, hopefully, in the pipeline come next year; and a listen to the latest single, “Capable”, will show you why. Take some of the whisper and quiet-(slightly) loud dynamic of early Bark Psychosis, some of the serenading post-chamber folk qualities of the much-missed Rachel’s, twist that autumnal delicacy together in violin and piano and found ambience; and what a fine thing you have. Witness for yourself – the video is just down there, at the end.
Jamie describes the aesthetic of the project as “beautiful, and turbulent at points, with sort of 50’s New York jazz heard emanating from a Greenwich village basement (whilst stood across on the street, the sound of the city greeting and overwhelming) with violent glitches from the present appearing; a radio signal fluctuating between stations across different points in time. Soundscapes and micro-narratives for a half-remembered, half-imagined bygone era.
“Pieces consist of improvised performances interpolated with field recordings, phone memos and approached with considered effort for quick, instinctive decisions; we both have tendency for over-procrastination with our own projects.”