Dudley Benson: Deforestation - review
Deforestation (Golden Retriever)
Get your head around this: Deforestation is a kind of remix of a remix. In 2010, the former Christchurch choirboy released Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne, which liberally reinterpreted the work of the great Maori historian/musicologist. Now, there’s Deforestation, on which various artists remix the tracks from that album, all for a good cause: profits go the Ulva Island Charitable Trust.
It makes for compelling, and frequently enchanting listening, combining native bird song with electronic insect chatter, infrequent Te Reo vocalisations, a reading by Dame Anne Salmond, dark ambience and even the lovely, sad vocals of English folkstress Vashti Bunyan.
Several heavyweights of the international electronic scene add their genes to the talent pool, including the acclaimed San Francisco group Matmos and Berlin’s Barbara Morgenstern.
Although results vary across the nine tracks, overall it’s a project that captures something of Aotearoa’s sonic topography that few others have even tried to tap into.