released February 7, 2018
This recording is based on a particular geographic area of Sydney: the industrial zone around Sydenham Train station. As with many inner city industrial areas in large cities all over the western world, this place is ripe for redevelopment. However, in this case, due to the zone being directly underneath the flight path to Sydney airport, as well as being flood prone due to environmental factors, unscrupulous property developers are not able to completely gut the place and erect hideous apartments. What is interesting to me, and what this recording aims to capture, is that these factors – the aeroplanes and the puddles – act as a form of resistance to the development. (MP Hopkins)
MP Hopkins is a hidden treasure from Australia, a sound artist known for his varied music projects and strange mix of lo-fi urban field recordings and intimate bedroom experiments. Sonic details of empty streets from close neighbourhood, subtle intervention and fragments of lonely voice comments are reminding distinctive forms of sound journalism or a diary for night adventurers. Aeroplanes & Puddles follows the previous Traipse – Marrickville (2015) album which is Hopkins’s starting point for his walks along the Sydney suburb.
Mappa presents the sonic evidence of this opposition; the non-human voices of resistance that the aeroplanes and water speak with in this acoustic environment. The work features field recordings of the area garnished with a text narrated by Hopkins which combines fragments of the 2017 Australian Federal Budget speech and parts of ‘The Powerhouse’ – a radio play by Richard Packer (Gargoyle Poets series, 1972).”Feel free floating in the holy sound voyeurism and thorough collection of evidence from the other world at the same time.
recorded, mixed and mastered by MP Hopkins
artwork and design by Jakub Juhás, Richard Čecho
photos by Nina Pacherová
released by mappa as MAP09 in 2018
The splashing of water and groan of distant planes is met with atonal buzzes and electronic interjections. The tape closes with a blissful quiet buzz and the hum of the outdoors. Hopkins is a total master of the well-crafted sonic diary, and considering its sparse sound and cold source material, Aeroplanes & Puddles is a surprisingly warm and emotional journey – a radio play starring tarmac, wind and jet engines… Tristan Bath (The Quietus)
Hopkins versteht es, der Umgebung Details zu entlocken und sich zurückzunehmen, selbst nur dann einzugreifen, wenn es überhaupt nötig ist. So rezitiert er an manchen Stellen völlig emotionslos und in abwesend unterdrückter Stimme einige Fragmente der letztjährigen australischen Budgetrede. »On the edge of change« – größer kann der Kontrast nicht dargestellt werden. Weder im Text noch in der spärlichen Untermalung ist viel Lebensbejahendes zu finden, und doch löst das kontemplative Zuhören – wenn man sich denn die Zeit nimmt – ein Gefühl von Freiheit aus, das sich gerade dadurch ausdrückt, dass es trotz seltsam außerweltlicher Resonanzen scheinbar nichts zu befürchten gibt… Christoph Benkeser (Skug)
There is water dripping, the rustling of leaves, stones, branches, rusty metal and it has that fine electro-acoustic radio play touch, with not much straight forward narration. I very much enjoyed the far away/nearby approach Hopkins does with his sound material, right next to each other and then separated for a while. Some thirty excellent minutes of sonic debris picked up on a likely dirty location and with a lovely package (as usual with Mappa)… Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)
Is it all a joke? In a way, but a joke of the highest seriousness. The collage is part survey, part critique, part elegy and part exorcism, a meditation on interior and exterior space and how one affects the other. The tone is personal, even intimate, but any hermeticism in the work is keenly aware of the external factors that condition it, whether the space itself or the circumstances of urban planning upon which it depends and by which it may soon disappear. Keeping this complex of motivations in play, Aeroplanes & Puddles simultaneously embraces and refutes the tenets of psychogeography… Ben Harper (Boring Like A Drill)
This one is documentary site-specific sound art with a vaguely critical purpose; he has made recordings of an industrial area in Sydney near the Sydenham railway station. Presumably this zone is pretty derelict and run-down, as Hopkins points out that the property developers would love to move in and build apartment blocks on it, but there are two problems – the area is prone to flooding, and it’s directly on the flight path from Sydney airport… Ed Pinset (The Sound Projector)