Vancouver Field Recording MP3s

To this day, the name of the field-recording netlabel still suggests an extra “g” — it still reads like “wandering gear,” which is no less applicable a term. The label collects high-grade recordings of raw sound caught out in the world, and occasionally remixes thereof. That is to say, it collects the sound work of individuals who carry microphones like the rest of us carry megapixel digital cameras. The label’s latest collection is of eight tracks caught off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia. The sound-spotter is Lance Olsen, who says of the set, “With minimum editing and interference I have tried to present an aural experience of the harbour both then and now. The work is designed for careful listening through headphones and is deliberately low key.” His depiction is fully accurate, for even by field-recording standards, these are blissfully mundane documents, from mild creaks against a diminishing background whir (MP3) to slow lapping that dissolves into a mix of birdsong and ambiguous electronic buzzing before a final, almost humorous plunge (MP3). Olsen has edited to maximize the minimal, to emphasize the understated. The set is titled Edges: An Audio Portrait, and the word “edges” might refer as much to the periphery of perceived hearing as to the coastline. Get the full release at More on Lance Olsen at

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