Herbicides Over Small Fields

by Marc Atmost

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“Herbicides Over Small Fields” just hits you. There’s no easing intro and no space to colour a welcome. From the frenzied birdsong to the ominous klaxon that mordantly sweeps over with the ruthless regularity of radar, this is a track wracked with incomprehension and an inescapable foreboding.

“When I was a small kid, I used to take long walks with a friend through the streets of my hometown Svetlovodsk,” Marc explains. We were strolling like the voyagers of middle Ages exploring the world and discovering something new. Back in those days I was extending the boundaries of my personal map of the world. I think that’s pretty common thing for human psychology.”

So born from a seemingly innocent trip out of his hometown, and seeing the equally innocuous spraying of herbicides, he created a gloomy future smothered by the chemical hiss of static and anxiety of the unknown.

“My parents often went for work to nearby towns and always took me with them,” he continues. “You can imagine how significant for me those trips were. Svetlovodsk itself is a quite industrial town, at least was at that time, but surrounding territory is mainly agricultural area on hilly relief and going there was like expeditions to something inexperienced and completely unknown.

“One day I saw airplanes manoeuvering up in the air. I asked my grandfather about what were they doing. He said that they were treating fields with something, most probably spraying herbicides. I didn’t know that word at the time and never heard it before, so I remember how some sort of fear or anxiety absorbed me and mysterious feelings wrapped me tightly. Something strange was happening in a place I barely knew and which I’ve just started to explore.”

Spine-chilling and suffocating, the malevolent use of industrial power against the purity of wildlife is brilliantly unsettling. Threatening in its wave-like consistency, “Herbicides Over Small Fields” ramps up the fear and paranoia but just as it threatens to overwhelm, the birdsong breaks through to melt the tension and remind you what home feels like. Chilling stuff.

“We were returning home and I was thinking about things I saw. Passing by the town ‘welcome’ board and the plant of pure metals we were already in the town. I realized that and felt easier. I think on that day the drawing of boundaries of my home was over.”

More info: asip.me/MarcAtmost

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released June 3, 2012

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