Albums titled ‘Surveillance’ are under the radar of our MUSIC & SURVEILLANCE series for obvious reasons. And If they offer a musically captivating vision of how does it feel to be permanently monitored and put in pieces in large databases, it is particularly urgent to know more about them.
Painted Caves is the new project of artist Evan Caminiti, based in San Francisco and relatively well known for his participation in the duo Barn Owl. ‘Surveillance’, his debut album under the Painted Caves moniker, offers seven tracks of dystopian landscapes, reminiscent of Basic Channel’s minimalism but with a tendency to get deeper, darker, and more focused on (American) urban life.
Using a modular synthesizer as his prime source, Caminiti creates indeed bleak textures nevertheless inhabited by a strange corporeality, as illustrated by ‘Flesh on tape’, ‘Stalker’ or ‘Never alone’. His music sounds like a slow motion film about a fast approaching cataclysm, and is thus a highly recommended soundtrack to think about the movements of any surveillant assemblage. The album has been published as a limited edition vinyl LP by French label Shelter Press. Text by Gloria González Fuster