giovedì 28 luglio 2011

Maurizio Bianchi, Nobu Kasahara, Hitoshi Kojo – "The Epidemic Symphony No. 9"

We've long championed the work of Maurizio Bianchi, the grim electronic sculptor whose work in the early '80s paralleled the likes of Whitehouse, Ramleh, and Matthew Bower's early power electronics project Total. As much as we would like to ramble on about Bianchi's intriguing musical and existential history in reference to this record, it's almost a moot point as it's really hard to discern any sounds that bear the signature of Mr. Bianchi. Don't let that caveat scare you off from checking out this thoroughly amazing blur of noise, drone, acoustic tumult and electronics; but we have to be completely honest. No, it doesn't sound much like a Bianchi record; instead, the real author of the final mix of The Epidemic Symphony No. 9 is the little known Japanese sound artist Hitosji Kojo (who also records as Spiracle). If there's any justice, Hitoshi / Spiracle shouldn't be "little known" for very long. In fact, he should be heralded as the viable contender to replace David Jackman / Organum as the king of the droning acoustics. And no, none of the guttural drone expressionists who splatter cd-rs with quickly rendered cosmic exasperations come close to the power that Jackman was capable of in the '80s. But Hitoshi Kojo does. Like Jackman, Hitoshi's work is a dense compounding of layered acoustic textures, each of which are impeccably recorded and carefully positioned within the stereo field. In working with the source material presented by Bianchi and Nobu Kasahara (another obscure Japanese sound artist who has collaborated once before with The New Blockaders, giving some clue as the cacophony he's capable of), Hitoshi continues this strategy of precisely placed sounds which are then given plenty of opportunity to growl, rumble, vibrate, and bristle however they see fit. Where the first lengthy track steadily builds up to a crashing crescendo that abruptly cuts to silence, the second track exhibits some of what may be Bianchi's sounds -- a return to the Sacher Pelz techniques of varispeed tape and crushed turntable clatter which Hitoshi compounds into rippled acoustic shimmer. For the finale, Hitoshi blurs the source material into an industrial chorale marked by a surprisingly elegant two-note melody. Highly recommended!


mercoledì 27 luglio 2011

Black Sun Productions - "Astral Walk"

Musick for the Performancoid Installation Plastic Spider Thing Pt. 22

Originally release in July 2004 as 1.000 copies jewel case CD by FinalMuzik.

I. Entrata lentissima
II. Lento
III. Moderato
IV. Marziale
V. Forte
VI. Forte con brio
VII. Macabre (Meet Murder My Angel)
VIII. Spedito
IX. Coda lenta

Composed, performed and recorded by CCCPierce, except: track VII composed by Soft Cell (Almond / Ball) and here performed by Massimo & Pierce. Additional inspirations by Coil and Aleister Crowley. Originally created as a soundtrack for Plastic Spider Thing Part XXII (November 2003). Remastering 2004 by Sergio Pigozzi.


mercoledì 20 luglio 2011

Maurizio Abate - "Travis B."

Maurizio Abate plays acoustic raga guitar and drones in the higher-mind style of Jack Rose and Robbie Basho. Some great aggressive, overtone-thick work here, with Abate generating whole mouthfuls of barbed microtonal teeth that sink deep into the background drones and pin em to the sky.


giovedì 14 luglio 2011

Claudio Rocchetti - "Every Live Is Problem Solving"

A suggestive gallery of abstract images, confused fragments of life and real living experiences, sights of urban landscapes... Noisy and electronic interferences, mechanical machines movements, concrete noises, low frequences fluxes, hissing sounds, interferences, but also melodic acoustic guitar pieces, human voices and other field recordings... A brave, uncompromising and heterogeneous "decomposed" mosaic of avantgarde sound art beyond time, beyond any point of view and any geometric coordinates.


mercoledì 13 luglio 2011

Dion Workman / Mattin - "S3"

An eely one, to be sure. “S3” is a single piece, 41-minute collaboration that subtly plays with conventions of eai, presenting the listener with a steady-state approach that implies elements that never appear and offers unexpected ones in odd places in the structure. It begins with about 10 minutes of extremely quiet noise. Not only quiet but pitched at the sort of frequencies that are likely to be present in one’s listening room, that is if the computer, lights, heaters, etc. are active and functioning. Personally, my PC’s hum was often co-equal with much of this section, making for a very enjoyable little “dilemma” trying to figure out what, if anything, I was hearing from the disc. Oddly, at other times, I could pick out the joint low burbling and supersonic bat-squeaks with relative ease; maybe it depended which way my head was tilted. After this interval, the volume is upped a notch, “S3” emitting whispery rubbings and ethereal whistles, a somewhat more voluminous rumble beginning to emerge underneath. Just when you think you’ve gotten the arc of the piece down, expecting it to wax into a prolonged eruption, it up and slaps you with only a brief flare, descending back into a low, menacing throb. From this point, about the halfway mark, “S3” sputters and thrums in more erratic fashion, like a cast-aside firework with a dysfunctional fuse. It’s a little disquieting, a little tough (for me) to immediately grasp the structural logic but, at the same time, there’s a basic solidity that makes itself felt, providing just enough tug to tow the listener along. The volume only ever rises to medium levels; the onslaught I imagined coming never really arrives—another very nice non-event. About 30 minutes in, after a soft blast of unique static, the piece reverts to, more or less, the initial state, flickering on the edge of audible distinguishability. For myself, “S3” is the sort of work that, first time through, is very difficult to get my aural arms around but that, on successive listens, reveals more and more about its structure, allowing great appreciation for the placement of sound elements. (Among other things, it makes me want to hear a recording of the Workman/Julien Ottavi set from this last autumn’s ErstQuake fest, wondering if it would reveal more on re-listen). It still retains a kind of gaseous quality and that’s all to the good yet you can begin to detect glimmers of outlines, enough to provide a certain amount of…comfort. It’s a complex project and an excellent one.


martedì 12 luglio 2011

Luigi Archetti - "Null"

What can we hear now? A sound, as though grains of sand trickle down onto a fine membrane….
This sound, as though grains of finest sand trickle onto a membrane–the last thing that the narrator in Stanislaw Lem’s “Solaris” hears when he starts out on his journey to a world that is falling apart–is the most fitting way to describe the characteristics of Luigi Archetti’s music NULL.

Stylistically, the compositions can be placed within the field of planar tonal design, and with this, also an experimental treatment of static sounds and microtonality, out of which finally something like monolithic sound sculptures have emerged.

Oscillating in filigree nuances, the modulation of a drone that seems to last an eternity alone indicates that the sense of real time has been canceled–while, at the same time, another acoustic track surfaces like a distant memory, only to disappear again. One begins to think that a sonorous world has come to a standstill or has been silenced. Soon, however, a sonic texture gradually begins to spread, scraps of sound seem familiar for a moment and already disappear again before one can grasp them; in the meantime the lower-frequency oscillations of the sound crawl under one’s skin in the form of vibrations.
A feeling of strangeness and disconcertment becomes physical. With this the senses are automatically sharpened; all ears, one dives into a universe of sound, which is something different and more than what one can decipher acoustically.

A universe of sound particles spreads out, in which the sounds provide no references to a possible location. What the ear might consider to be the crunching sound of snow crusts, the deep droning of ice breaking, the scraping of migrating glaciers is often merely an acoustic hallucination, while actually the sounds have been composed using the finest of sound particles, which Archetti’s ear has taken from completely different sources, such as the hum of generators, or the white noise of a blank video tape being played, or drone sounds created with the E-bow, which he extracts from his electric guitar (often with scordatura tuning).
An intermediate realm is created in which acoustic sedimentations are layered into a sound tapestry so dense that it feels like there is almost no air left to breathe or to hear with anymore.
But it also draws one in like an invitation to journey further into unexplored regions, a journey through timeless and spare acoustic events with a rivetingly hypnotic effect.


lunedì 4 luglio 2011

Pascal Battus - "Massages Sonores #2"

L'idée du massage sonore est de créer une proximité particulière entre l'auditeur et le musicien-masseur. Ce dernier auscultera l'intérieur des objets, des matières, pour en dévoiler leur champ acoustique. Dans ce disque de Pascal battus (que l'on retrouve, entre autre, au sein de Phéromone), le massage se fait par contact, comme pour court-circuiter l'air, milieu où se propage l'onde sonore. Ecoute au casque conseillée. (Metamkine)

Il s’agit de produire avec précaution des sons directement dans les oreilles d’une personne.
Pas de concert, pas de salle de concert, pas de "public".
Dans une relation individualisée, le "praticien" produit des sons perceptibles par l'unique contact avec l’oreille. Ne pouvant entendre le résultat, il transmet un secret sonore qu’il ignore lui-même. (P. Battus)


venerdì 1 luglio 2011

Andrea Marutti / Fausto Balbo - "Detrimental Dialogue"

By now Andrea Marutti is a well-established name in the Italian world of experimental and electronic music. He runs the Afe Records label, and is best known for his ambient electronic music, although he dabbles also in many other styles. If that isn't enough, he also works together with many others, like Madame P, Aidan Baker, Hue, Sparkle in Grey, Dronaement and many others.

Here he teams up with Fausto Balbo, who started in 1988 Jesus Went To Jerusalem, later Der Tod, but went to experimental with electronic music later on. The album they crafted together shows a deep love for analogue and digital synthesizers, and was recorded in various sessions, but mixed together in a long session, using an analogue mixer.

The overall musical approach is best described as "cosmic" music. Four lengthy pieces of spacious electronics, with a nice rough edges. Not as gently floating about as say everything Tangerine Dream did after the mid seventies, but with that nice experimental touch. Ultimately it all sounds pretty retro, but that notwithstanding, it also sounds like a great trip.

[Frans de Waard]