With his wonderful debut album still glowing brightly, Motion Graphics commits these two new gems of Peter Zummo or Steve Reich-esque minimalist studies for Future Times, the label run by his Lifted collaborator, Max D.
There’s no mistaking his reference points, but it’s the way in which he transposes their techniques onto the glassy idents of scrolling digital menu sounds that sets the pieces apart from their precedents.
With Brass Mechanics he summons a spiralling, vertical vortex of pizzicato wind instrumentation and pointillist clicks sounding like one of the lush, swooning phrases from his album or the Lifted project has been expanded and flipped upwards to the sun.
Tarahumara licks zippy woodwind in deliquescent loops and swallow diving figures on the flipside, folding the phrases into a bittersweet frenzy of rapid fluctuations and harmonic clusters that leave us light headed.
Equiknoxx, Tarquin, Dre Skull, Ludwig Goransson and DJ dad spin Dirty Projectors and Dawn Richards’ Cool Your Heart towards the ‘floor in diverse fashion.
It’s a tropical weather system of styles, running from a loved-up, sitar and steel drum-inflected Equiknoxx remix to a giddy, almost proggy reanimation from Tarquin, also taking in a mellow dub dip from Mixpak’s Dre Skull and Childish Gambino producer Ludwig Goransson’s ruggedly stripped down swerve between trap and footwork.
Bare-bones, proto-technoid primitivism from Shane English, following his previous LP, Conscious Walk for Unknown Precept, and a split LP with Beau Wanzer as Corporate Park. RIYL Thought Broadcast, Conrad Schnitzler, Nocturnal Emissions
“American experimental musican Shane English continues in a long tradition of outsider electronics as he's been humbly prolific in his output though the years involving himself in numerous recording projects. Collaborating with Jonah Lange in their group Corporate Park as well as an ongoing collab with Beau Wanzer (seeing a release last year under the CP/BW name), English now commits his second full length solo offering to vinyl in the form of the General Dimensions lp.
Sparse machine driven electronics dominate the recording providing a back drop for the occasional pulsating rhythm, metallic clank or floating obscured vocal. While it is a dark and sparse affair there is a quiet downtrodden beauty throughout giving the recording a sense of uncertain serenity in an almost shoegazey way. Highly recommended for those into early electronics.”
Four Tet switches to midnight mode on a pair of bittersweet house and garage turn
Taking the long, winding scenic route from deep house to windswept electronics via cascading post rock breakdowns in SW9 9SL, then swivelling on the spot with the fusion of posh garage-techno and traditional African string tones in Pianist.
Instinctive, primordial regressions to pre-history Japan
“Japanese saxophone transgressor Akira Sakata meets with his long-time collaborator and Fender Rhodes virtuoso Giovanni Di Domenico, Portuguese guitarist Manuel Mota, and drummer Mathieu Calleja for a session recorded at Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels.
Named after the Jomon period of the Japanese prehistory - when Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture rich in tools, clay pottery, and jewelry made from bone and stone - the record features three tracks: Jomon (縄文), Kaen (火焔), and Dogu (土偶). The Dogu (literally: "clay figures") were small humanoid and animal figurines made during the Jomon period for religious purpose: it may have been believed that illnesses could be transferred into the Dogu, then destroyed, clearing the illness, or any other misfortune.
The record itself is a musical healing ritual invoking and unleashing a powerful demon with Sakata's throat singing, then slowly hypnotizing it in the second half of the album, putting it back into its vault before it's too late. Beautiful artwork made with Sakata's hand-painted Kanji characters.”
Innovations in ‘free’ middle eastern experimental music
“Featuring some of the most innovative players from Beirut, Cairo and Istanbul, Karkhana met for the first time in Beirut in 2014, bringing together influences from the three major experimental music scenes of the region and beyond. Through their live shows, the band's seven multi-instrumentalists build a transcendental atmosphere developing what could possibly be called free Middle Eastern music. Shades and traces of shaabi, tarab, sufi and much more are heard in the distinct blend of free jazz and psychedelic krautrock they've created.
Recorded and mixed by Matt Bordin at Outside Inside Studio - in only two days - and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering Studio in Chicago, For Seun Matta is the first studio album by the band, following Nafas (Omlott, 2016) and Live At Metro Al-Madina (Sagittarius A-Star, 2015). Featuring Sharif Sehnaoui on electric guitar, Sam Shalabi (The Dwarfs of East Agouza) on oud and electric guitar, Maurice Louca (The Dwarfs of East Agouza) on organ and synth, Umut Çağlar (Konstrukt) on zurna, gralla, bamboo flutes, and percussion, Mazen Kerbaj on trumpet, Tony Elieh on electric bass, and with the recent addition of Michael Zerang on drums.
"I wish I could track down more of this tantalising outfit's music to share...This Middle Eastern supergroup first got together to celebrate the music of Egyptian surf guitarist Omar Khorshid – who was also a key figure in Oum Kalthoum's orchestra – but their remit has expanded somewhat and now they're fully committed to outer-perimeter explorations in Krautrock-leaning, cosmic free jazz" (John Doran, The Guardian)”
Stunning 30 minute session of brain-searing noise techno deconstructions from the virulent Pete Swanson.
'Pro Style' continues the former Yellow Swan's work on 'Man With Potential' and that mighty 7" for BEB's Confessions series, rerouting disparate strains of modular synth squall and bludgeoned rhythms into a decaying techno multiverse on the brink of collapse. The title track rams grotty, toiling bass hits under a face-mauling blast of dissonant, sticky noise calamity, like a dose of sonic bath salts straight to the ear.
A VIP mix follows, placing more emphasis on hulking, viscous dub lurch and really allowing the noise to shred through the pain threshold into a zone of cathartic, psychedelic pleasure. He saves his best effort for the flip, as 'Do You Like Students?' occupies a breathtaking interzone of transcendent Goan bliss and industrially-reinforced, 6am-eternal rhythms, a collective dark fantasy brought to life by a man who's probably spent very little time on the dancefloor, yet knows exactly what he needs it to sound like.
After attending college and getting deeper into computer music, Sam Obey began releasing music as Obey City. The project quickly took off with EPs for LuckyMe, forming the Astro Nautico label with his best friends, multiple tours and collaborating with Kelela and Flatbush Zombies. Now, as Sam O.B., he returns to what his oldest confidants know he’s always had up his sleeve: his voice and his bass guitar.
"‘Positive Noise’, the debut album by Sam O.B., is not a ‘journey of a record’ but it’s also not Party Time USA. It’s nuance; cloud patterns; like good progressive jazz. Like the refinement of refinement, the elegance of elegance. Sound propelled by its own smoothness. A coolness that isn’t cold. The earnestness of an old friend. Expanse. Experimentation. Actual warmth.
Sam O.B. is (and has always been) a man of classics. When you hear the sax on ‘Salt Water’ you’ll understand this ambition with precision. Arpeggiated horn delay and female ‘oohs’ fall like geodesic rain. The blasting synth leads on ‘Midnight Blue’ and ‘Nearness’ waver and find their way. The sing-and-play harmonies of ‘Sirens’ refer to the stunning bliss of smooth jazz, which has been in Sam’s arsenal of interests for longer than anyone can remember.
‘Positive Noise’ also has a strong anchoring in the thick pulsing rhythmic stylings of 70s and 80s disco and funk grooves. Sam is a dedicated vinyl collector, having curated DJ residencies around NYC (Hot Sounds Island, Astro Nautico, The Lot) that practically worshipped smooth jams."
Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre's Jazkamer troupe are among the most respected and prolific members of the infamous Norwegian noise/metal scene.
They love making a f**king good racket. During 2010 they undertook an ambitious project to release an album of new material every month for 12 months via a subscription service. 'Chestnut Thornback Tar' was originally the May edition but the fiends at Type just had to own it on vinyl, hence this wax-only pressing including a bonus mix CD reducing the series to 75 minutes of absolutely deadly and mind-bending visceral noise collisions.
The album is dominated by the 20-minute molten suffusion of 'Sentimental Journey', a wading-through-mollasses sprawl of sustained tones and howling-into-the-wind white noise bearing no small debt to Dylan Carlson's Earth (it's a bit of a giveaway that Lasse wears an 'Earth 2' t-shirt on the rear sleeve image!) and conducted with an almost Zen-like attention to detail.
However, the rest of the LP takes a very different shape, joined by collaborators Nils Are Drønen and Jean-Phillipe Gross to crush out another side of overdriven avant-metal dementia with splattercore drums seething under banks of petrifying noise worthy of Whitehouse at their most fearsome. Yet, the most impressive thing here is probably the CD, forcing 12 months of multi-disciplinary noises to co-exist in dissonant harmony - making for one of the most visceral and exciting mixtapes you'll hear this year.
Marc Richter is a bit of a musical chameleon, operating at the cusp of experimental music for many years at the helm of the Dekorder label and via his excellent Black To Comm project.
His last album for the Type label, 2009’s excellent 'Alphabet 1968’ perhaps didn't quite get the attention it undoubtedly deserved, but it still stands out as one of the most oddly memorable drone-ambient albums we’ve heard this last decade, vaguely tapping into the Hauntological zeitgeist of the day but extending the remit to create something far more unsettling and ambitious. That it was subsequently sampled on Evian Christ's standout EP ‘Kings and Them’ perhaps best illustrates the gap between Richter’s creative scope and his relative anonymity.
News that there was a new double album recorded for Type filled us with curiosity, and the result is another sprawling, ambitious re-modelling of ideas that perhaps started life in the ambient realm but soon became infected by a signature surrealism that genuinely sounds unlike much you’ll have heard before. The album extends from the pulsing, chattering opener ‘Human Gidrah’ to the delirious fractured pop of ‘Hands’, while the 20 minute long ‘Is Nowhere’, builds slowly via rumbling organ sounds and buzzing filters to a noisy, sparkling climax.
There are real songs hidden in there somewhere, but Richter’s restless production style never quite lets them fully surface, throwing numerous stylistic distractions that take in everything from skittering jazz-atmospheres to bombastic spoken word narratives and quasi-operatic chanting - gliding from one track to the next without anything like a coherent progression in mind. That the sum total of these tracks isn’t a sprawling mess is an achievement in itself, but that repeated listens (and it doesn't take many) reveal a kind of addictive, earworm quality is genuinely surprising for an album whose sole remit seems to be to wrong-foot and frustrate. So yeah, 'Black To Comm' is undoubtedly a more challenging record than its predecessor, but one which repays the patient listener in dividends.
Type follow up Mike Shiflet's 'Sufferers' side with a further exposition of his individual and far-reaching sound palette.
A member of C Spencer Yeh's revolving Burning Star Core unit, and a prolific collaborator with the likes of Daniel Menche, Chris Corsano, Pete Swanson and many more, Shiflet has honed an intensely visceral feel for tone and texture which makes his records so intriguing to lovers of experimental composition and music making. With some production/audio mastering assists from fellow Columbus, Ohio-based musician Joe Panzner, on 'Merciless' Shiflet engages with corrosive textures from the off, enticing us in with fractured small sounds on 'Feeble Breaths' before weaving a lattice of quick-drying fibreglass strands over your cochlea which become infested with scuttling, insipid rhythms and abstract noise abrasions designed by Panzner on the lloopp software for max/msp.
This induction, by contrast, makes the second half piece of evolving horror drones in 'Exodus And Exile' that much more affective, while the 2nd side plays through as one longer, queasy composition veering from cacophonous noise to wheezing drone and chilly isolation with added cassette manipulation by Jason Zeh, Cello by Marina Peterson and Violin from C. Spencer Yeh.
Well, somebody had to do it, and we could think of few better than Italy's Alga Marghen label. Punning on the title of Simon & Garfunkel's classic LP (even reproducing the front cover), Patrice Caillet, Adam David and Matthew Salladin have collected those infamous "silent" tracks from releases by Ciccone Youth, Crass, Andy Warhol, Whitehouse, Sly & The Family Stone, John Denver, John Lennon, Robert Wyatt, Orbital, and many more.
It's equal parts a provocative statement, as many of the pieces were intended, and also an aesthetic exercise if we take their instruction to "play loud" literally. All silences are presented as they were originally recorded, from the four minutes of Orbital's 4 minutes of silence for the death of rave, 'Are We Here? (Criminal Justice Bill?)' to John and Yoko's 'Two Minutes Of Silence' , right thru to the void of Yves Klein and Charels Wilp's interpretations of silence on 'Prince Of Space', with each keeping intact the infidelities of their recorded medium - Orbital's digital recording near silent apart from this disc's inherent crackle, to the rich patina of surface disturbance in Yves Klein and Charles Wilp's. The in-depth track descriptions and liner notes are a good read, but really, ultimately it's just all a bit of a p*sstake right?
Tresor back up Detroit boss DJ Stingray’s Kern Vol.4 selection with a powerful collection of electro-techno missiles, as deployed in his mix. Exclusive, new gear barges shoulders with not-so-recent and vintage weaponry ranging from his own NRSB-11 duo with Gerald Donald to AFX, Professor X, Herva, Gesloten Cirkel and more.
The oldest cut is probably the classic, Kraftwerk-sampling Professor X (Saga) - a big 313 tune since 1989 - by erstwhile N.W.A. affiliate Mik Lezan aka Professor X, The Arabian Prince, whilst rarest cut is probably Syncom Data’s squeaky Musik Politik, which previously appeared on an obscure Cunker Records tape in 1998, making its first vinyl appearance here, as does his slamming Detroit girder Nationalised.
Of course they all sound strong, but when you hear them in the mix at Stingray’s hand, they truly come alive. Now’s your turn…
AR is the collaborative project of Richard Skelton and Autumn Richardson
Originally published in a limited CD edition of just 200 copies, 'Wolf Notes' is the debut album from *AR, the collaborative project of Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton. While both are already accomplished solo musicians, 'Wolf Notes' marks a stunning new chapter in their canon, and like all great collaborations takes the finest elements of each, moulding it into a pitch-perfect whole.
Those of you familiar with Skelton's previous works, most notably 'Landings', might be surprised to hear that the central instrument on 'Wolf Notes' is the human voice. Autumn Richardson's glassy, lilting echoes haunt the record like distant spirits, with her melodies kneaded and obscured by Skelton's patented treatments and signature strings. The central theme is established with relative ease, but is allowed to shift like the tides, pushing and pulling throughout the record's duration. 'Wolf Notes' might be split into five distinct parts, but they are all simply sections of a clearly defined whole, and are not intended to be heard in isolation from one another. Quite possibly the most sublime project from Skelton yet - adding to an already precious catalogue of releases.
Pat Maher has left an indelible mark on our listening habits over the last few years - from the ketamine techno fractals of his Diamond Catalog alias to the cough syrup-laced chopped and screwed productions as DJ Yo Yo Dieting, the guy just seems to have furrowed his own unique path situating him somewhere between the films of David Lynch, the aesthetic of the Tri Angle label and the mindset of the most experimental end of the U.S. underground movement.
But by far the deepest impression Maher has made has been left by the unforgettable degenerations of his Indignant Senility project. 18 months have passed since the release of 'Plays Wagner' (his debut proper), in which time he's become scarily familiar with his technique of decaying and manipulating found sound and sampled detritus. Like some arcane alchemist perfecting his magick, or a Victor Frankenstein of thrift shop wax, on 'Consecration Of The Whipstain' he's resuscitated acousmatic fragments of f*ck-knows-what into a supernatural collage of symphonic ambient space and cold, metal-on-shellac texture.
But most importantly it's the channels between the gauzy layers, in the cracks of the dulled ceramic glaze, where the ghoulish drafts circulate more freely and chill to the bone with an intravenous sense of movement which wasn't quite there previously, despite always being hinted at. Like the best of his work, there's an unpredictability to the (de)composition of his occult sonics which, like the most memorable horror films (or their soundtracks), sustains the suspension of disbelief without you ever noticing, always holding back more than it gives away.
And to further the celluloid analogy, it's handled with a masterful attention to the lighting of each scene, allowing certain looming objects and apparitions just enough light to elicit deeply instinctive responses from the listener/viewer. There's a list ranging from Xennakis to The Caretaker, Bellows to Lustmord and Kevin Drumm who could be more or less compared to this sound, but ultimately there's something genuinely, quietly demented about it which should be approached with caution by anyone of a nervous disposition. It's just hugely recommended to everyone else.
An amazing selection of works by American composer Robert Ashley, Alga Marghen's release The Wolfman compiles tape music from 1957 to 1964.
The earliest composition is 'The Fox' a stuttering, half-broken recording of a story being read out with a creepy delivery by Ashley. The broken tape sequences are somehow tinted by darkness - a fragmented, discordant flow of sound that can barely prepare the listener for 1964's 'The Wolfman', a scouringly ferocious noise piece that rivals anything you'd hear in modern times from Wolf Eyes, Prurient or even Merzbow.
It's just incredible, and almost impossible to place within the wider context of music being made in sixties America - you really have to hear it. As an accompaniment, 'The Wolfman Tape' takes away the vocal elements of the recording, resulting in a more subdued collage excursion. Finally comes the three-quarter-hour piece 'The Bottleman', conceived as a soundtrack to a George Manupelli film. This hollowed out drone work is a deeply subtle exploration of tonality, quietly plotting out a tundra-like sonic plain with an eerie sense of harmonic fluctuation.
It's a breathtakingly good conclusion to an album that reveals a visionary figure in electronic music - one you may never have encountered previously, but whose output should be regarded as being of immense historical value. Very highly recommended.
Mysterious 1982 cassette masterpiece by Amos and Crew from the It's War Boys catalogue available now on LP. Remastered from the original tapes by Amos himself! Recorded in Tokyo, Japan on Mr Shiota’s old four track cassette in Mr Kitamura’s kitchen in sporadic three day binge.
"Existing exactly mid-way between the dropping of the atomic bomb and the time a moment ago when you opened this insensibly incendiary package, the throwaway aesthetic of True Tears now glows like a malevolent object in an ever-expanding universe. It's an emetic emissary from the senseless empire of the incredible shrinking man, an attack of a fifty-foot pylon into which The Three Stooges recklessly bang nails in the hope of a hereafter. It's above all an invocation of a truly plastic world. Nails are forced into each other's heads.
Heels clatter on new vinyl steps, the apartment rents out at only slightly more than average, and this is a good neighborhood. We watch the traffic as if alert to the nuances of a symphony, the choreography at midnight might as well be some modernist masterpiece, and the descent of the planes in the darkness, tubes of incandescent cells, strikes terror into all the denizens of the deep. So when I say plastic, Douglas, I mean consider the landmarks that emerge from the fog in the landscape of the last two centuries. Ruin. Cot. Window. Corpse. Airplane. Aerial Photograph. Fossil. Groove. Pine grove. Hoover. Hoe. And so on. And then consider too the tools that allow for the forensic examination of all that matters in the last 100 years or so, the age of relativity that has thrown up parallel universes, murder mysteries, musique concrète, detail, childhood, The Other, and a dismissal even by savants of consensus reality."
Immersive, transporting and deeply arresting music from the revered autodidact and audio oddity. If you've never encountered Ghedalia before, this is an excellent place to start, welcoming you to a whole other world of exotic, electro and acoustic sounds, composed between 1979 and 1987 according to a genuinely far reaching and individual agenda.
"More than 5 years after the CD edition of Eclipse totale de soleil and Transportes, Alga Marghen finally decided to also reissue the first and forth LP by Ghedalia Tazartes including both on one CD. Ghedalia Tazartes is a nomad.
He wanders through music from chant to rhythm, from one voice to another. He paves the way for the electric and the vocal paths, between the muezzin psalmody and the screaming of a rocker. He traces vague landscapes where the mitre of the white clown the plumes of the sorcerer, the helmet of a cop and Parisian anhydride collide into polyphonic ceremonies… The greatest trips were made in the deep end of the throat: the extra-European music open the ear to Ghedalia's intra-European exotism. Where was music before music halls? Where was the voice before it learned how to speak? Ghedalia is the orchestra and a pop group all in one person: the self is multitude and others.
The author and his doubles work without a net, freely connecting the sounds, the rhythms, his voice, his voices. The permanent metamorphosis is a principle of composition, it escapes control, refuses classification. To hell with the technocrates of noise and the purists of synthetic culture. All art like all true mythology use a double clavier, playing nature and culture, feeling and the distance of the flesh, death. Off limits!"
Polymath James Leyland Kirby must surely have one of the most confounding CV’s in the business...
He spent years taking the piss out of the music industry with anthems rallying against the (VV)MCPS, he notoriously fell out with various well known record labels for reasons you’ll just have to google, goaded Aphex Twin with a series of ‘tributes’ and channelled his love of everything from Falco (Rock Me Amadeus), Chris De Burgh, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Stockport karaoke nights into a stream of increasingly bizzare 7”s back in the early noughties. But at the same time he was responsible for releasing some of the very earliest material from Boards of Canada (Hell Interface: 1997), made a ruck of frankly groundbreaking industrial electronic records, brought New Beat to the world’s attention and, in 1999, made his first album as The Caretaker, a project that would go on to release some of the most loved Ambient/ Lynchian albums of recent times.
Since then he’s also produced an incredible suite of releases under his own name, scored various film projects and released three EP’s under the ‘Intrigue & Stuff’ banner which are, for our money, so ahead of their time they might just start sinking in properly by the end of the decade. All of which brings us to ‘Watching Dead Empires in Decay’, a new album recorded under another of Kirby’s pseudonyms ‘The Stranger’ and released on Modern Love, a label that has been close to Kirby through these last eventful 15 years. It’s a dream album for the label: perhaps the most ambitious of Kirby’s career so far. It’s complex, singular, enigmatic, percussive, dark, and you just can’t work out how it was constructed.
Gone are the sampled 78’s of The Caretaker, but it also doesnt exactly sound electronic - you just can’t quite fathom how any of it was put together: Field Recordings? Found Sounds? Sheets of metal scraped and hammered? Drum machines re-wired? It’s stark and unsettling, haunted, even troubling - but often just beautiful. It starts with the sharp clang of opener ‘We Are Enemies But Not Here’ before the woozy percussive crawl ‘So Pale It Shone In The Night’ sucks you into a bare landscape: somewhere between Eraserhead and Fumio Hayasaka’s music for Akira Kurosawa.
And then there are moments that break through the tension with clarity and familiarity, nostalgia even: ‘Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?’ could have been made by Boards of Canada if they had taken a turn into more noxious terrain back in 1998, while ‘Spiral Of Decline’ offsets the drum programming you’d most likely associate with a Powell record with an oblique sense of timing and space. It all ends with ‘About To Enter A Strange New Period’, an unusual, vaporous coda that offers no resolution - it just shuts proceedings down with nothing settled.
Bewildering and brilliant freeform rock, jazz, and cut-up tape music from 1979 by a would-be collaborator with NWW - included on their legendary list! RIYL Ghedalia Tazartes!
"Released in 1979 in a limited edition on his own d'Avantage label, Catalogue, with its overt theatricality is every bit as wild as the previous Paralleles. Not really jazz, not rock, having nothing to do with contemporary music either, Catalogue is a kind of sonic postcard which features not the group of the same name but instead numerous Berrocal associates including Potage (co-founder of the d'Avantage label in 1976), Parle, Ferlet, Pauvros and recording engineer Daniel Deshays, plus many musicians from the French underground collective scene of the 1970s.
Not content with manhandling a toy piano on 'Tango' (which features mind-blowing accordion from Parle), abusing an arsenal of instruments including saw blades, pistols, shower attachment and even gingerbread, Berrocal pushes his own voice way over the edge on 'Incontrolablslaooo' and 'Faits Divers,' moving from a 60-a-day smoker's cough to a terrifying sequence of gargles and vomits. The grungy free rock of 'No More Dirty Bla Blaps,' the Portsmouth Sinfonia-like spoof Dixieland of 'Rideau,' the distressing punk of 'Signe Particulier' and all manner of fields recordings and cut-ups in Berrocal's Artaudian theatre style, combining the excesses of glam and punk cold-wave to post-1968 Situationist perspective. With the same creative attitude documented through the mythic d'Avantage label (1976-1979)
Berrocal later accumulated an extensive archive of unreleased recordings, some of which finally surface now on this new edition. Catalogue represents the most experimental and complex of Berrocal's records, as historical as contemporary modern, classic and at the same time as fresh and strange as if it had been recorded last week. During the same year Steven Stapleton frequently travelled to Paris to meet Jaques Berrocal and discuss a possible collaboration. In 1980, Berrocal travelled to London with his pocket trumpet and Tibetan oboe and recorded with Stapleton, Heman Patak and John Fothergill on NWW's second album, but that's another story."
Éphémère I & II' (for tape, or to be played with various instruments) are two previously unpublished masterpieces which represent a very specific moment in the creative life and catalogue of Luc Ferrari.
"Luc Ferrari was tempted in the mid-1970s by the idea of leaving the final realization of these pieces open to the performer's intervention (a perspective he decided not to develop in future researches). 'Exercises d'Improvisation', a score conceived in 1977 and unreleased for almost 35 years (first recorded this year by the GOL collective with Brunhild Meyer-Ferrari for an LP to be issued on PLANAM), directly comes from the two works presented here. Éphémère I' (or 'L'ordinateur ça sert à quoin?' i.e. 'What's the use of computers') is a 27 minute piece for tape only, created in 1974, conceived as a kind of electronic drone superimposed by fragments of multi-language whispered voices that creates the thrilling effect of a 'sea-like' continuum.
Éphémère II' (or 'Lyon 75' after the only recorded realization) is a 51 minute tape piece with guitar improvisation. The electronic repetitive structure reminds some of the most radical works of American composer Terry Riley, while the guitar sounds, first resulting as live manipulated pointillistic impulses, develop into a blues sonority superimposing the tape drone and creating a heavy psychedelic atmosphere of the most sublime kind.
The end of this long suite lead us back into more abstract and live-electronic sonorities. This very intense work can be placed in a context between scored music and totally improvised music. First press limited to 500 copies in tri-folded digipack sleeve. Please note: these 2 previously unpublished pieces revealing a hidden part of Luc Ferrari poetics are not included in the INA 10CD boxset. Only available on this CD edition."
Manhattan's Ezekiel Honig makes a welcome appearance on Type with the beautifully melancholy 'Folding In On Itself'.
The frayed, spectral layers of ambient sound and dusty pulses within recall the works of jan Jelinek, The Remote Viewer or even elements of the first MvO Trio LP, but his serene, almost sorrowful palette of tones comes from somewhere more private and personal. While those artists are all defined by a sense of intimacy in wide open space, Ezekiel's location in one of the most densely populated areas on the planet perhaps gives it a more introverted insularity, as though he's cosily enveloped by his memories while the world scurries about on the outside.
Those memories and their corruption or decay are at the core of this record, like the overlaid family photos on the sleeve, capturing a sense of entropy in his quickly disintegrating city. Locally made field recordings are placed as rhythmic and textural clues to the shape of his environment, and when they happen to fall in sync with his instrumentation the effect is lush, creating and effortless illusion of everyday aleatory syncopation. This beautifully measured sense of drifting, stigmergic arrangement with programmed elements makes for a captivating narrative as varied as a walk through the city itself, but subtly enhanced like some sort of moody augmented reality app or wandering blindfolded through some vivid sound art installation.
Captivating avant-garde pieces layering a recording of a solo piano recital with field recording of a storm
"Utopia Andata e Ritorno is the title of the new composition by Walter Marchetti, recorded in Milano in 2005. It has two parts, each one CD long. The first part, 'L'Andata,' puts together two former recordings of Marchetti. The recording of a real storm and a recital for solo piano. This is not the first time that Marchetti mixes a piano solo recital with the recording of a natural live event, thus creating a 'piano concert'.
The second CD, 'Il Ritorno', reverses the direction of the first record and literally destroys itself. In the first part of this work, Marchetti puts music successfully in the place it has to have today: on the road to renewal in contact with reality, a reality that is a synonym for vacuity, that is the interdependence of phenomena, music, reality, technology. There is nothing mimetic or anecdotal in this work. The storm is a real storm and the solo piano recital is a modern work of pure music, without the excesses that the society expects of a piano recital from composer and virtuoso player. Pure music, in the best sense of the word. 'L'Andata' is one of the great works of music of our time, or, as José Luis Castillejo remarked, 'it may be the best modern piano concert since Brahms.' In the second part, 'Il Ritorno,' sound waves are deformed when one tries a reverse hearing and the turn around trip becomes an aural nightmare.
Of course, avant-gardism has made us accustomed to noises and silences and to the arbitrary idea that anything is music. 'Il Ritorno' announces the end of musical avant-gardism and its technocratic aspirations. It points to the end of music avant-gardism because it exposes the technological manipulation not only of technology beyond its powers, but also the manipulation of both music and sound. 'Il Ritorno' is such a problematic work also because its subject is failure and impossibility."
Sublime ambient works for gongs and bowed cymbals from Jon Mueller and Eleh collaborator Duane Pitre.
Inverted Torch' is an incredible, immersive session of treated gongs and bowed cymbals from Jon Mueller (Volcano Choir) and dedicated minimalist Duane Pitre for Type. It's the 3rd Type release for percussionist Mueller, and the first for former pro skateboarder Pitre, who's been quietly amassing a catalog of sublime LPs for Important Records and others since 2007, including a superlative split with Eleh. In collaboration, they find a deeply immersive equilibrium where their tempered, haptic gestures give rise to a play of shimmering tones in negative space recalling the soundtrack to some black light theatre piece or Far Eastern classical.
It breaks down as two extended 20+ minute pieces, 'No Longer Our Time' and 'A Fading Light Within Its Place' both taking influence from Edith Matilda Thomas' poem, 'The Inverted Torch' by using its text as a key touchstone and rich imagery for the album's sense of push and pull between the "real" tones - the light -and their effortless, near-imperceptible transformation of synthesised negative space into a part of the composition itself. The results feel more "free" than any of Pitre's Important Records releases, and as coolly disciplined as any of Mueller's previous for Table Of The Elements, Taiga, or indeed Type. It's a record that defies comparison and encourages patient, deep listening.