Recorded at the height of the global pandemic, and at a time when remote communication was becoming increasingly prevalent, "Choreological Exchanges" is part of Hastings Of Malawi's continuing investigations into the medium of communication itself. Prior to telephony becoming digital, all phone calls were routed through mechanical telephone exchanges, and the majority of the sounds on side one are the sounds of these exchanges and some of the voices of the engineers who worked with them.
Hastings Of Malawi make strange records and this one is no exception although it has a more linear narrative structure in opposition to what critics have described as their Dadaist approach. Their records certainly resist genre classification and do not really fall into the category of music. Hastings Of Malawi have themselves described previous records as films without light, radio plays and as poems. This one is a dance - a dance that takes place within the chain, or pipe, that is brain - mouth - telephone - telephone exchange - telephone - ear - brain.
"It is a dance record but not in the way that these are usually understood. An invitation to dance appears twelve minutes in on the first side. It is a dance within the wires, movement around noise used as a sculptural material rather than unwanted signals and a joyful exploration of sonic materiality. The second side begins with the voice of a telephone engineer, who states that in the top floor switch room of the exchange is the only vestige of human control. Is this top floor switch room the human brain? The sounds on this side, float between the mechanical telephone exchange and the body where the messages are created and interpreted - it is an exploration of the relationship between thought and the material devices in which telephone sound is propagated and transformed. Side two ends with a long list of randomly generated words created by digital voice synthesis." - HOM