ANDREA BELFI – Wege CD room40
ATOM – Winterreise CD raster-noton
BEN VIDA – esstends-esstends-esstends LP PAN
CENTROZOON – Boner CD Unsung
DAT POLITICS – Blitz Gazer CD Sub Rosa
ERIK FRIEDLANDER – Bonebridge CD Skipstone
ERIKM – Transfall CD room40
FRANCK VIGROUX – We (nous autres) CD D’autres Cordes
FRANCO FALSINI – Cold Nose LP Spectrum Spools
GARETH DICKSON – Quite a Way away CD 12K
HEAD BOGGLE – Headboggle LP Spectrum Spools
HUMAN TEENAGER – Animal Husbandry LP Spectrum Spools
JOKE LANZ – Münster Bern CD Cubus
KJETIL MØSTER – Blow Job CD +3dB
MERZBOW / MARHAUG – Mer Mar LP Editions Mego
NHK’KOYXEN – Dance Classics Vol.I LP PAN
PIERRE ALEXANDRE TREMLBLAY – Quelques reflets DVD-A empreintes DIGITALes
SENSATE FOCUS – Sensate Focus 10 12″ Sensate Focus
STEVE PETERS + STEVE RODEN – Not a Leaf Remains as It was CD 12K
SVEN KACIREK – Scarlet Pitch Dreams LP/CD Pingipung
TRAXMAN – Da Mind of Traxman 2LP/CD Planet Mu
V.A. – Robot Elephant vs. Tundra Dubs LP/CD Robot Elephant
V.A. – SID Chip Sounds – The Music of the Commodore 64 2LP/CD Robot Elephant
CD/DL room40 rm446
Wege translates as “paths” and it’s a fitting title for the latest rendering from master percussionist and experimental composer Andrea Belfi. The albums’ four pieces act as orientation points through some imaginary sonic landscape.
Wege is Belfi’s forth LP (the first with Room40), and stems entirely from compositions completed at two artist-in-residence projects in Austria (Hotel Pupik) and in Brussels (Q-O2 Werkplatz). The album is built around a cyclic electro-acoustic system, through which Belfi has developed a complex musical network of possibilities.
With this electro-acoustic system, influenced in part by Steve Reich’s “Pendulum Music”, Wege‘s four pieces revolve around spiraling interconnections of synthesizer, feedback and drums. Belfi explains further: “This device creates feedbacks on two drums on my drum kit, and I can modify it by stopping and stretching the drum skins with hands and various kinds of sticks, mallets and brushes, and/or by filtering the feedback with an a modular synthesizer.”
Edited in a quiet apartment in Greifswald (Germany) a small town on the Baltic Sea, the record bears marks of the stillness of the surroundings in which it was finalised. There is a sense of hushed awe and a subtle reference to the wind swept coldness of the landscape in these pieces.
Wege is mastered and mixed by Giuseppe Ielasi.
CD raster-noton R-N 140
Winterreise is the audio soundtrack to a series of photographies with the same name produced by Atom . The series was exhibited during 2011 in Tokyo and Frankfurt (excerpts will be included in the packaging of the Winterreise CD edition).
The Winterreise soundtrack may be considered a sequel to the Liedgut (r-n 99) album, in the sense that the resulting photo series was conceived as a consequence of the contextual framework which Liedgut both initiated and provided. Winterreise though, is a far more abstract piece of work, with its accent in soundscapes and textures. With a balance between the romantic and the scientific, this album evokes, not just accompanies the visual aspect of the Winterreise project in a perfect manner, by painting grainy sonic images that visualize the tradition and the future of the romantic subconscious.
LP/DL PAN 23
Five pieces for Computer Controlled Modular Synthesizer and Digital Signal Processing. Composed and recorded from February 2010 – April 2011 in Brooklyn, New York. ‘esstends-esstends-esstends’ is a collection of spatial compositions in which audio focal points shift between external and internal emanation sources. The intent with this work is to escape the stereo image and create an activated listening space of expanded spatialization. Using just intoned pitch combinations to produce difference tones and harmonic distortions, sound materials are created that emanate from both the playback speakers and inner ear of the listener. By engaging the listener’s sense of aural perception and sound localization in relationship to compositional structure, these pieces act to reframe the listening experience and encourage an engagement with, not only the form and aesthetic of the music, but the sonic space a recorded piece of music projects. Higher amplitude will help to reveal.
Ben Vida is a composer, improviser and sound artist who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Ben led the group Town and Country and experimented with world musique concrète under the name Bird Show. In collaboration with Keith Fullerton Whitman and Greg Davis he explores cross control voltage integrated improvisation and real time automatic group composition. Ben has worked with artists Hisham Bharoocha (duo as Soft Circle), Siebren Versteeg, Doug Aitken, Nadia Hironaka and Mathew Suib. He has played in ensembles led by Tony Conrad, Rhys Chattam, and Werner Dafeldecker. As an improviser he has performed with Milo Fine, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Chad Taylor, Kevin Drumm, Yamatsuka Eye and C. Spencer Yeh among many others. He has released over twenty records on such labels as Thrill Jockey, Drag City, PAN, Amish, Bottrop-Boy, Hapna and Kranky. In 2011 Ben was Composer in Residency at Diapason Space, NYC and at EMS Studios, Stockholm and was awarded a Swedish Arts Committee Travel Grant, ISSUE Project Room Emerging Artists Commission and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona “Composing with Process” Exclusive Works Commission. As both a solo artist and in collaboration Ben has presented his work in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea and Japan.
The Lp is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, in a limited edition of 500 copies, pressed on 140g vinyl and comes in a poly-lined inner sleeve. It is packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas.
CD Unsung Records 4260139120925
Release date: May 9
bernhard wöstheinrich – synths, programming, vocals
markus reuter – touch guitar, electronics
tobias reber – electronics, field recordings, programming, touch guitar (on “cervus”), synths, misheard lyrics
recorded in gütersloh, germany, november 5 and 6, 2009
composed, overdubbed and arranged in herzebrock, germany; innsbruck, austria and biel, switzerland, april – november 2010
mixed and sequenced by adrian benavides and marziano fontana
mastered by lee fletcher
album artwork and design by bernhard wöstheinrich
produced by centrozoon, adrian benavides and marziano fontana for unsung productions
May 9th, 2012 sees the release of centrozoon’s “boner” (Unsung Records), another dive into unexplored territory and impossible combinations of references, where dozens of hours of music are distilled into an endlessly deep texture of frightening as well as captivating moods.
Taking their “instant composition” approach a step further, the trio has radically re-composed the initial recording sessions using a rule-based procedure to distribute the material within predetermined structures. With additional overdubbing and arranging, the resulting music is exceptionally dense in all musical dimensions, but nonetheless rendered lucid and transparent in the mix.
This new approach of compression and consolidation has also already carried over into centrozoon’s live activity as showcased on the recent “We Will Tongue You Tour 2011/2012”. Night after night, the audiences in this run of 13 concerts throughout Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria saw the band improvise highly structured compositions.
As a precursor to the release of “boner”, the exposure of the tour also allowed the band to raise the album production costs through their (ongoing) “Bonestarter” fundraiser campaign hosted at centrozoon.de and on facebook.com/centrozoon.
Background History / Selected Discography
The music featured on the group’s previous album releases include the electronica soundscapes of “blast” (2000), the disturbing free-form mayhem of “the cult of: bibbiboo” (2002), “angel liquor” (2006) or the reduced chamber electronics of “lovefield” (2007).
“boner” is centrozoon’s first studio release with the second trio configuration in the band’s history of 20 years. Whereas the first trio release, 2004’s “Never Trust The Way You Are” with No-Man singer Tim Bowness, showcased the group’s abilities to apply their unique compositional approach to pop music, “boner” goes to another extreme and, having added Tobias Reber to the classic line up of Bernhard Wöstheinrich and Markus Reuter in 2008, delivers instrumental music of a radical kind that is bound to challenge even dedicated fans of experimental musics.
CD Sub Rosa SR342
Release date: April 10
Dat Politics is an electro pop band created in 1999. Their incredible energy on stage explains the cult like enthusiasm that surrounds the combo as they’ve been touring the world extensively over the years. Both founding members, Claude and Gaetan (also known for their side projects Tone Rec and Skipp) are also involved in photography and graphic design which leads them to create their own covers, websites, posters, t-shirts etc. DAT music is often classified under the electro-pop genre and described as catchy, melodic and eminently danceable. For 10 years, they’ve been influential for a lot of young electronic composers
worldwide. They played loads of festivals all over the world such as Warp Elektrowerk in England, CTM in Berlin Germany, Sonar Nights Baltimore in the US, Dour Festival in Belgium or Donau Festival in Austria. They appeared on many compilations, including “ItunesEssentials” alongside artists like Daft Punk and Justice, or on the fashionable underground “Girlmonster” with Peaches, Bjork etcŠ They remixed a bunch of international electronic producers and most recently Yacht for New York label DFA.
Dat Politics’ new album “Blitz Gazer” is an exhilarating reboot in the band’s career. Entirely recorded in Berlin in 2011 by the newly formed duo, this new piece will certainly give satisfaction to the electro-maniac fanbase who will find in this 12 tunes their share of synthetic 80’s hits, catchy loops and bouncy drum machines. Less expected, but pleasantly surprising is their ability to turn the voltage level down by chanting neon lite robo ballads.
Some dreamy melodic breaks rise in a rhythmic electric storm. We explore a brand new aspect of the band’s wide influences and possibilities. Blitz Gazer is a magnificent patchwork, a dynamic and fanciful mixture that only Dat Politics could have pulled off.
‘Really cool music’ (Electronic Beats. DE)
‘Dat Politics have always been one of the more interesting electro-pop groups… A surreal electronic pop wonderland’ (Boomkat. UK)
‘MadKit : fun, catchy synth pop pleasure ride’ (Shock Fever. US)
‘Ce redoutable MadKit est encore plus concentré que ses prédécesseurs… DAT politics font fort, fort, fort.’ (Trax. FR)
‘Completely Brilliant’ (Pitchfork. US)
‘Their sound marks the mood of the european post electronic age’ (Index. US)
‘A total revelationŠbristling with possibilities…’ (The Wire. UK)
CD Skipstone Records SR008
Dynamic cellist’s Bonebridge finds inspiration in 1971 visit to Virginia bluegrass festival.
In 1971 Erik and his family visited the Galax Fiddlers’ Festival in Galax, Virginia. The Friedlander family was camping out with hundreds of bluegrass fans and Erik would walk around the festival grounds listening to the numerous pick-up bands that had impromptu sessions. Trucks would roll up, doors would open, and groups would come together. “Do you
pick?” people would ask each other. If the answer was “yes” a band would have its start.
One staple of the bluegrass sound is the lap-steel guitar and Erik, then a 11-year old cello player, quickly became a fan. Men with their guitars turned face up and hitched at their waists, pressed down on the neck of the guitar with a silver slide – the bending tones left a
lasting impression: “The sound is so expressive and I think is in some ways similar to the cello being bowed – both instruments are legato and singing. It hit me like a flash when I was contemplating my next project – why not put the my cello together with slide?! After making this connection, everything fell into place and the music started writing itself.”
Friedlander’s Bonebridge is a collection of spirited pieces with intelligent twists and turns, and a distinctive American flavor. Pairing his cello with Memphis native Doug Wamble’s savvy slide-guitar makes for a buoyant and expressive front line: the two instruments are kindred spirits when played in this fresh context.
Guitarist Doug Wamble joins a honed unit. Friedlander, Mike Sarin (drums) and Trevor Dunn (bass) have played together in New York City for years (Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Marty Ehrlich), most recently in the Broken Arm Trio. “I wanted to find a musician with experience leading a band and driving a rhythm section.” Friedlander says of Wamble, “A player with
charisma, but also a player who can understand the music from a leader’s perspective. Womble has great ideas, and a deep sound. He understands how to shine, but also how to blend with the cello. He’s just the right guy for the job.”
Friedlander’s finger-picking cello style, his back porch pizzicato, is even more developed and fluid on Bonebridge. He created unusual finger-picking techniques first on Block Ice & Propane (2007/Skipstone), approaches that are rooted in his early years studying folk guitar. Rediscovering these dormant guitar abilities was a revelation: “For years I thought of the primary voice of the cello as the bowed sound. I would think, ‘bow first’ and then only a little pizzicato if I had run out of ideas. Now I’ve turned that whole way of thinking around. On Broken Arm I hardly used the bow at all and Bonebridge has a similar approach. It’s all
about what the music needs, and it’s great to have this whole other quality in my arsenal.”
Friedlander and the Bonebridge Band will be performing in Europe November 22 – December 9, 2012 (for more info contact Saudades Tourneen, tel. +43 5244 61151
CD/DL room40 rm449
eRikm’s Transfall is a document of profound gesture. A collection of works that resolve his recent explorations into music and sound for performance, dance and theatre.
For almost two decades, eRikm has been a major force in contemporary musique concréte. He is a compelling improviser and forthright composer whose work taps into the central linage of sound-object oriented composition emanating from France. Developing a highly personal performance and compositional language, eRikm’s reputation and position within the emergent generation of concréte composers had led to numerous collaborations with icons such as Luc Ferrari (Room40 issued Les Protorythmiques in 2007).
Transfall is an archive of six works linked through new developments in eRikm’s compositional philosophies. He notes: “The time spent on the composition of some of these pieces gave me the possibility to ‘break out’, that is to get out of my usual processes of ‘degeneration/generation’ of a body or of a multiplicity of ‘pre-existing sound objects’. Thus my gesture shifted, I have looked for and recorded my own sound materials.”
When heard collectively, these compositions take on a presence much more than the sum of their parts. They collect unconventional approaches from an artist whose compositional methodologies are already deeply rooted in experimental traditions. The resulting pieces, and the album as a whole, represent one of eRikm’s most personal and resolved works to date. A vision of future explorations mounted within a frame of the artists’ previous sonic understandings.
We (nous autres)
CD D’autres Cordes Records DAC 2021
Two years after his release Camera Police (D’autres Cordes) Vigroux’s new album “We” (nous autres) sways between electroacoustic composition and abrasive distorted electronic beats to gargantuan blasts of noise. The album sounds are pure analogue electronics, noise and near-industrial rhythms or processed voices.
Franck Vigroux works mainly in the field of electronic music, new media, and improvised music. Founder of D’autres cordes records he is very active in the French experimental electronic music scene.
Composer, guitarist, turntablist, electronic manipulator and producer, Franck Vigroux has developed his art in the electronic music, composition and improvisation. He leads many bands and project featuring musicians such as Elliott Sharp, Mika Vainio, Zeena Parkins, Marc Ducret, Bruno Chevillon, Push the triangle, Matthew Bourne, Joey Baron and many more, he has also wrote for Ars nova ensemble instrumental. He regularly works for Radio France and GRM (Groupe de recherche musicale)
Franck Vigroux is also the founder of D’Autres Cordes a record label dedicated to aventurous music, and curator of many events in the experimental music scene. He has played in hundreds of festivals and clubs in North America, Europe and Asia.
Prize Villa Medicis 2009 (artist in residence New York)
Nominee Radio France for Prize Italia 2011
Nominee best album and best track at Qwartz electronic music awards 2011
Transistor EP (with Ben Miller) 2012
Camera Police 2010
Venice dal vivo (with E. Sharp, J. Baron, B. Chevillon) Récolte 2009
Call Me Madam (with Matthew Bourne) 2009
Hums de terre (with Elliott Sharp) 2007
Data 451 as Supersonic Riverside Blues 2007
Pituitary Desert (with Kenji Siratori) 2007
“Repush” as Push the Triangle 2006
“Cos la machina” as Push the Triangle 2007
Lilas Triste (with Marc Ducret, Hélène Breschand, Bruno Chevillon, Michel Blanc) 2005
Les petites poussières, 30′ color, DVD “coeur ô coeur” 2007
The Nishiazabu Affair directed by Mariano Equizzi 2009
Affair S directed by Mariano Equizzi 2008
“Septembres” by Philippe Malone directed by Michel Simonot 2008
“Un sang d’encre” with Marc Ducret 2010
“Nous autres” with Rita Cioffi
LP Spectrum Spools SP014
Release date: March 20
Franco Falsini is an Italian musician and producer perhaps best known for his work with his space/prog rock group Sensations’ Fix, who released seminal albums in the 1970’s. His music
was primarily crafted with impressive guitar technique (proven to be way ahead of his time),
various synthesizers, and unorthodox recording methods to churn out beautiful experimental
“Cold Nose” was his debut solo outing, originally released on Polydor in 1975 as a soundtrack to a Þlm that has never been widely released and only seen by very few people. Falsini applied many experimental methods to his recording process, including a mechanism borrowed from the Bio-Electronic Meditation Society, which would monitor his brain activity in the studio. Only when his brain would produce Alpha/Theta waves would he begin to write and commit his music to tape. Composed in three suites of spiraling and kaleidoscopic proto-ambient, psychedelic rock, Falsini had created a masterpiece that today stands as one of the all-time treasures of the Italian Progressive music scene of the 1970’s. Throughout the recording we are treated to gentle washes of EMS and Minimoog synthesizers laced with þoating guitar line melodies that break out into sky-high guitar leads. “Cold Nose” is a rare and gorgeous organic creation, glowing with colorful pulses and morphing algorithms.
Spectrum Spools is pleased to present the Þrst pressing of the album in over 30 years,
remastered by Falsini to his speciÞcations from the original tapes and cut to vinyl at Dubplates and Mastering, Berlin. Original record jacket scans by Devon Conklin.
Quite a Way away
CD 12K 1070
To say that the last few years of Gareth Dickson’s life have been tumultuous would be an understatement. In 2007 he fell in love with a girl from South America, packed up a few essentials from his life in Scotland, and moved to the Argentinian countryside. It didn’t turn all fairy tale at that point, however. While there he was shot at, attacked by dogs, and was involved in a very close call when the passenger plane he took to a little town in the Andes was forced down after an engine caught fire. The bullet missed, the aircraft landed, and the dog bites healed; he survived intact, albeit a little more aware of his own mortality, and a good bit more anxious.
“The bullet in all honesty was never meant to hit” he states calmly, it was a robbery gone wrong and he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The incident in the aircraft was far more terrifying because there was the agonizing time to think and reflect during the plane’s unintended descent. “It’s interesting to find out how you would react in that situation.” Dickson says. “Faced with the possibility that it’s really time up, I felt an overwhelming sense of this having been destiny, that it was impossible that I had boarded this aircraft by chance.”
These adventures are the reason that in the last 4 years Gareth has not managed to record a new album; the last two releases (Collected Recordings, Drifting Falling, 2009, and The Dance, Sleeping Man, 2010) being old material recorded before the trip. They are also the reason that a feeling of heightened alertness and anxiety pervades this new work. If Collected Recordings was in some way a study in melancholy, Quite A Way Away is a decidedly more anxious affair. “Adrenaline,” the first track on the album, opens with the lines “Distant beat, advancing feet, each of us wound within.” and in “Get Together” there is something of confusion, if not paranoia, in the speaker wondering “Who was here before now, were there only you and I all night?”
Given the episodes that lead up to Quite A Way Away it’s only fitting that the album lands on 12k, whose road from stark, synthetic post-techno, 14 years ago, to the textured electro-acoustic ambience of today has been a gradual but well-documented voyage. The label’s flirtations with song structures being fused into its experimentations have defined the label as one to skirt the edges of boundaries and genre labels. But no release has quite stepped out of 12k’s bounds like Quite A Way Away. Yet despite the fact that Dickson’s music is classified as “singer/songwriter” and there isn’t an electronic gadget to be heard anywhere
on the album, it’s remarkable how well it seamlessly blends into 12k’s existing catalog. The minimal, fragile, and engrossing sounds of 12k’s well-established brand of experimental music is ever-present in Dickson’s quiet finger-picked guitar and breathy vocals that hang on the edge of disintegration. Quite A Way Away is somehow as much “12k” as it is a step in a totally new direction.
Dickson, who hails from Glasgow, often gets comparisons to Nick Drake but it’s important to mention the influence he takes from experimentalists like Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Bert Jansch, and Glenn Gould. His music is characterized by an intimacy gleaned from his dream-like approach to singing and playing guitar as well as the immediacy of being captured shortly after being written by whatever recording device is closest at hand, be it a cassette machine, handheld recorder, or 4-track. His use of analogue delays and reverb add to this soft, spacey vibe. The lo-fi nature of his sound harbors all of the cracks, flaws and rough edges of humanity, soul, and the deeply personal circumstances that surround the creation of art.
Up until this point Gareth had been traveling as one of the mainstay’s in Vashti Bunyan’s touring band which took him around the world playing some of the great venues along the way, such as the Carnegie Hall in New York and The Barbican in London. Vashti invited him to join her after she heard one of his tracks on the FatCat records website. He was also asked by Max Richter to record some guitar for a film soundtrack and has recorded and toured with Juana Molina.
LP Spectrum Spools SP012
Release date: March 20
We are beyond excited to present you with the highly anticipated vinyl debut of the Head Boggle project. The world has been waiting for this day to come, and Þnally a full-length long player has arrived.
Recorded at his apartment studio, “Headboggle” is the manifestation of Derek Gedalecia’s
acoustic/electronic research utilizing the “kitchen sink” in every sense of the idiom: Moogs, Harmonica, Banjo, Harpsichord, Irish Harp, EMS Synthi, Violin, Drums, Clavinet, Serge Modular, Þeld recordings and more! What makes “Headboggle” so special is the careful arrangement of sound, with painstaking attention to composition and sound direction. Disorienting magic is a key trait of the Head Boggle sound, one which captivates and commands repeated inspection. Like any great focused album effort, there is a narrative arc – from the introductory “Flourescent Star” with it’s dizzying, fractured crackle and bizarre piano þoat to the tension packed, information-overloaded squabble and squawks of the “Dream Diary” and “Europa Astrobiology Lander” tracks. “Head Boggle” is a dedicated and devotional effort – one with precision and prodigious vision.
Equal parts Francois Bayle and Tod Dockstader in the best possible way, it’s still hard to pin
such a multifaceted talent to any kind of descriptor. Derek has been honing his sound for years with loads of releases on almost every essential tape and CD-r label out there. Here we have his Þnest set of compositions yet in hi-Þdelity, tight and tediously packed, forming his most concise release to date. The Head Boggle debut has raised the bar for classical electronic composition with the greats, a feat of rare occurrence.
LP Spectrum Spools SP015
Release date: March 27
“Animal Husbandry” is the result of absolute, genuine obsession: a devotional masterwork with song craft, exquisite production and aesthetics regarding the ultra-damaged times we live in all in perfect harmony. Burrowed away in private studio sessions over the course of a year, Human Teenager have emerged with a profound and colorful masterpiece.
Like Chrome before them, the effects of a carbon copy community of lemming rock groups were avoided and ignored, and the vision of creating a pure, singular work was achieved. Rarely does an album with complex structure and abstract tendencies sound so organically catchy as this. The duo spawn a brand new sound that ranges somewhere between Ilitch’s “10 Suicides” to the work of the Cleaners from Venus. To be clear, however, it would be impossible to plaster genre descriptors onto an album with such enormous scope. Terms like “synth-pop”, “rock and roll”, “punk”, et cetera, can all be applied on a surface level, but at the end of the day it’s none of and all of these things at the same time, more or less. Few projects are able to create and exist in a personal universe that hits the nail right on the head the way “Animal Husbandry” does. From “Fourth Reich,” the albums opening cut, it’s very apparent that Human Teenager have created an album that will not be able to stop listening to with its wildly morphing vocals, strafing synthesizer arrangements, and prismatic guitar detail.
Police, The New World Order, YouTube, New York; it’s all a drag, and Human Teenager captures the horrors of everyday life in “the future” and holds them hostage. Spectrum Spools is very pleased to present you with an instant classic.
CD Cubus Records CR 368
Wenn Joke Lanz gerade nicht unter seinem Alter Ego Sudden Infant die Bühnen Europas mit dadaistischen Noise-Performances unsicher macht, gibt er sich dem Turntablism in seiner reinsten Form hin.
Cubus Records hat dieses besondere Konzert im Münster Bern vom 22. Oktober 2010 aufgezeichnet.
Entstanden sind 30 aufregende Minuten von selten gehörten Sounds-Collagen aus Geräuschen, Sprachfetzen, zerstückelten Beats und Instrumentals – vermischt, verzerrt und geloopt. Mit einer kindlichen Freude und Verspieltheit schafft es Lanz einen musikalischen Bogen zu spannen, der sich mit der Akustik des Berner Münsters als einzigartig erweist.
Ignaz Schick, Berlin: “Seit 2009 hatte ich immer wieder das Vergnügen mit Joke Lanz sowohl in kleinen Besetzungen wie im Duo oder mit dem Turntablequartett BETT4 aber auch in Rahmen von The International Turntable Orchestra (T.I.T.O.) zusammen zu arbeiten. Ich schätze vor allem seinen sehr physischen aber gleichzeitig feinfühligen Umgang mit dem Plattenspieler und diversen vorgefundenen und speziell ausgewählten Materialien. Sein Spezialgebiet ist die Collage: er rekombiniert die unterschiedlichsten und manchmal auch abstrusesten Klänge verschiedener Herkunft und Stilistik zu sehr eigenwilligen neuen Werken – zeitgenössische und abstrahierte Plunderphonics ohne offensichtlichen Zitateoverkill.”
CD +3dB Records 014
Blow Job is an album stripped of glamour, fancy artistry or advanced studio techniques. This is one man, one saxophone and the musical intentions of a modern musician.
Kjetil Møster’s musical career is one of many contradictions. After studying accordion as a kid, his stage debut was as a thrash/hardcore bass player on the scenes of Bergen, Norway in 1990. His saxophone playing made him discover John Coltrane a few years later, a revelation that brought him to jazz studies at the conservatory in Trondheim focusing on modal and free jazz, and later free improvised music.
After having redefined tenor playing on the Norwegian scene, mainly in bands like Ultralyd,
Zanussi Five and The Core, Møster was awarded the “Worlds Jazz Talent of the Year 2006” by international jazz organisations IAJE and IJFO. However, Møster was seen escaping the jazz scene in the following years, spending more and more time with electro rock band Datarock and the occational detour with small underground units like Hach! and the N Ensemble. Møster chose to focus on Datarock full time from 2007. Blow Job is his big step back into the world of improvised music.
Kjetil Møster has performed extensivly in Europe, Asia, the US and South America. He has been a key person in establishing the All Ears festival in Oslo as one of the most important events for improvised music. He has participated in a large number of ad hoc projects with such musicians as Jon Christensen, Paal Nilssen-Love, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Michael Duch, Maja Ratkje, Andrew D’Angelo, Jim Black and so on.
Blow Job is the second album in +3dB’s series Music for ONE, featuring different shades of solo improvised music.
MERZBOW / MARHAUG
LP Editions Mego DeMEGO 025
Release date: March 13
Recorded at Studio GOK Sound, Tokyo April 7 2010 by Hamamoto Yohei
Produced by Masami Akita and Lasse Marhaug
Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin
Cover design by Lasse Marhaug
Masami Akita and Lasse Marhaug have been working together since the mid 90ies. The Þrst release on Marhaug’s (now deleted) label Jazzassin Records in 1995 was the “First Rock” split single. In 2001 Merzbow and Jazzkammer (Marhaug’s project with John Hegre) released a live album. Later, Akita and Marhaug executed several live collaborations, but often with other artists such as Hair Stylistics and Jim O’Rourke. In 2010 they Þnally got together to record as duo. Recorded at GOK Sound Studios in Tokyo the results can now be heard as “Mer Mar”.
Made using a combination of scrap metal screeching; analogue synths; and enough effect pedals to give you overweight with most airline companies, ‘Mer Mar’ is a tour de force for both of these noise veterans, hinting to some classic 80s Merzbow jams such as Material Action.
Dance Classics Vol.I
LP/DL PAN 24
Prolific producer Kouhei Matsunaga’s ‘Dance Classics Vol.I’ LP documents his more dance oriented material, as seen from his sets with Sensational and also his other minimal techno project NHK. Not feeling tied down to one genre, Matsunaga nestles in the PAN roster, and however that isn’t to say that he is dance per se as witnessed from his recent collaborations with Conrad Schnitzler. The album focuses more on bass/base electronics, music for the dancefloor and/or altered state reflection. Having composed pieces for WDR based on Henry Chopin, Kouhei is equally at ease jamming with Sensational, whilst simultaneously executing a obsessively numerical sequence of dance pieces that borders on Hanne Darboven-like compulsivity.
Born in Osaka, Kouhei Matsunaga is a musician and an illustrator. He started drawing during childhood under the influence of his grandfather. He grew up listening to hardcore-techno and hip hop, studied architecture and has been mainly making music since 1992. Under many different aliases (NHK, NHKyx, Internet Magic, Koyxen) he has has released numerous albums on labels such as Skam Records, Wordsound, Raster Noton and his first ever album “Upside Down” on Mille Plateaux in 1998. He has also collaborated with artists like Merzbow, Jungle Brothers’ Sensational, Autechre’s Sean Booth, Mika Vainio, Conrad Schnitzler, Anti Pop Consorium’s High Priest, Rudolf Eb.er, Puppetmastaz crew, Asmus Tietchens, Ralf ‘RLW’ Wehowsky and so on. His own label Flying Swimming was founded in 2002 with main purpose to publish and curate events of experimental contemporary music and art.
The Lp is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, in a limited edition of 500 copies, pressed on 140g vinyl and comes in a poly-lined inner sleeve. It is packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas.
PIERRE ALEXANDRE TREMBLAY
DVD-Audio empreintes DIGITALes IMED 11109
Quelques reflets is Pierre Alexandre Tremblay’s third album on Empreintes DIGITALes, in which the composer has set up to explore poetic narratives and organic gestures within the 5.1 immersive sound environment. The majority of the works on the album were composed in a year of travels, where Tremblay was the guest of four prestigious studios: the GRM (Paris) Miso Music (Lisbon) TU Berlin and Musiques et Recherches (Brussels).
The four pieces cover a range of soundworlds, from the gritty politically-loaded “Reflets de notre société crépusculaire”, to the sensual Bjork-meets-acousmatic crossover “Ces énigmes lumineuses”, with some influences from Hörspiel in “Les trois petits c…” and from Berlin reductionists and America’s electro-minimalist in “For Ever Now Soon an End”.
Tremblay’s music has been commented as surreal, mesmerising, edgy, emotionally loaded, and atypical for the Montreal-based label, with strong influences of instrumental studio practices in pop and jazz, probably from his experiences within contemporary jazz ([iks], Splice) and noise (de type inconnu, LFO orchestra). As a composer, he insists that his work is one of integration of all these approaches, where they cross-pollinate.
This third album has already won the Opus Prize of the album of the year in January 2012. DISQUE DE L’ANNÉE – MUSIQUES ACTUELLE, ÉLECTROACOUSTIQUE
Sensate Focus 10
12″ Sensate Focus
Side A: X (10:09)
Side B: Y (10:01)
STEVE PETERS + STEVE RODEN
Not a Leaf Remains as It was
CD 12K 1069
In 1995 Steve Peters and Steve Roden toured as a trio with singer Anna Homler; sometimes they would vocalize behind her, and they liked the way their voices blended together. They then spent about 15 years saying that “someday” they should record a voice-based project together. Aside from the physical distance between them, the problem was always: What would we sing? Neither wanted to write or sing lyrics.
Inspiration came in the form of a book of Japanese jisei – poems allegedly written by monks on their death bed – printed in both English translation and Romanized Japanese. Phonetically pronouncing the Japanese reminded Peters of the technique Roden has used of systematically chopping up the syllables in English texts to transform them into sound poems. Since neither of them speaks Japanese, it seemed like a good place to begin.
The two of them applied for a residency at Jack Straw, a non-profit recording facility in Seattle that gives grants of studio time. They had no exact plans other than they intended to avoid electronic instruments, or directly referencing the poems’ literal meaning, or imitating any Japanese musical idioms or “Zen” stereotypes. Culling some of the poems that made references to sound and noting them on 3×5 cards, Peters and Roden sorted the cards into four groups according to the seasons of the year that the poems represented, divided the cards between them, and taped them to their music stands. They then sang random fragments from the various cards – a word here, a line there, maybe backwards, maybe the English translation. They made no effort to keep the poems intact or retain any of their meaning, instead treating the material simply as phonemes to put in their mouths.
All of the music was improvised in the studio, built up one track at a time. They worked intuitively, with no structural guidelines beyond using the texts. Three days later they emerged from the studio, not quite sure what they had done. After letting the material rest for several months Peters and Roden determined that Doug Haire, who recorded the sessions at Jack Straw, was the obvious choice to do the mixing. The album was completed in the fall of 2011.
12k is known to be a label of understatement and restraint, however, Not A Leaf Remains As It Was is arguably the most hushed and delicate record in the label’s catalog. Every sound on the album’s four tracks, be it the artists’ voices, a pump organ or melodica hangs by a thread, played ever so slightly, with utmost care. Noises, created from turtle shells, leaves, and bells shuffle and flutter, as if they are quietly alive, in the background providing a textural backdrop to the sublime tones and ghostly voices.
Scarlet Pitch Dreams
LP/CD Pingipung 32
Release date: April 23
Sven Kacirek, the much praised multi-instrumentalist from Hamburg, releases his third album with Pingipung. “Scarlet Pitch Dreams” presents intimate solo works, following his debut “The Palmin Sessions” (2007) and the international success “The Kenya Sessions” (2011), which was honored with German Record Critic’s Award for the second quarter 2011.
Whilst “The Kenya Sessions” revealed fruitful collaborations with Kenyan musicians, almost every single instrument on “Scarlet Pitch Dreams” has been played, recorded and produced by Sven Kacirek himself. Within these dreamy scéances of percussive virtuosity, Sven Kacirek has effortlessly found his original sound – from the first whirring of the prepared grand in the opener to the massively rolling drumset crescendo in the last track.
Jazzbrush patterns define Sven Kacirek’s sonic identity. They create beat structures on wood, glass, and paper which sound like digital sampler tweakings – but they are not. “For the previous records I had been led by the production process in the first place, cutting loops, use of FX and so on. But here, everything has been written down in notation first, and has then been properly recorded”, Sven Kacirek says. This handcraft – and the craftiness in Sven Kacirek’s handling of his recording and production technology – are two blessings to this record. The eleven tracks burst with sonic details and never dwell on aimless repetition, they are tied together with wide melodic archings, and at times they sound like a classical jazz recording, at times they show their influences from dub techno and clicks & cuts.
Featured guests on this record are a.o. Jana Plewa (Old Splendifolia, The Kat Cosm) on vocals, and Johannes Huth (Efim Jourist, Anthony Braxton) and John Eckhardt (Alvin Lucier, Evan Parker) on upright bass.
Three music videos accompany the album. They are directed and produced by Sönke Held, Chichirik und Agnieszka Krzeminska. Chichirik’s video can be found on Pingipung’s video channels and the label site in February, the other two will follow in March and April. www.vimeo.com/pingipung
Sven Kacirek has a background as virtuoso jazz drummer. He studied at the Drummer’s Collective in New York, played several solo shows at the World Drum Festival and has written two educational books on the experimental use of electronics on the drumset.
The artist is available for interviews.
Da Mind of Traxman
2LP/CD Planet Mu Records ZIQ318
Release date: April 9
CORNELIUS FERGUSON a.k.a. Traxman is from the west side of Chicago and one of the longest serving producers working in footwork with releases stretching back to the glory days of ghetto house on Dance Mania records in the nineties. He’s also one of the co-founders of Chicago’s two-decades-old Geto DJz clique and a member of DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn’s Ghetto Teknitianz and was one of the creators of the legendary mixtapes on coloured cassettes which were the prototype for footwork’s evolution. His unique brand of footwork is very strongly rooted in Chicago’s history of soul, funk, house and ghetto trax; he’s a veteran and renowned crate digger who has provided the sample sources for many of footwork’s classic tracks over the years. His deep knowledge of music (check the mixes he occasionally throws up on the net) makes him one of the city’s most versatile and skilled DJs and producers.
Traxman’s own productions are an incredibly well rounded suture between hip hop’s natural funk and resourceful sample flipping, the hyper-kinetic innovation of footwork’s stop-start, half-time to double-speed drum programming and a deep respect and understanding of Chicago’s house music past, that few producers can match; ‘Da Mind Of Traxman’ is a testament to this man’s skills.
‘Footworking On Air’ starts the album in a relaxed and almost improvised mood with Kalimba melody, 303 acid line and martial drums. Then ‘Itz Crack’ puts strangely edited samples against echoey vocals and off kilter kicks to give the track a really unusual slip and slide feeling. Later, ‘Let There Be Rockkkkk’ takes an unusual sample source to build a track with a totally raucous rock vibe, whilst ‘Rock You’ simultaneously references house music’s roots and a beautiful soul sample. ‘1988’ is a tough 303 acid track with footwork drum patterns; ‘Sound Filed’ again tampers with house music’s early rhythm tracks, bringing them up to date and speed with footwork’s syncopations; while ‘Work Me 2011’ manages to fuse the soulfulness of deep house with the breathtaking energy of ghetto house and rave. Meanwhile, ‘Lady Dro’ makes good with some Mizell Brothers samples and loose congas, wrapping and looping them into a hypnotic vortex, while ‘Setbacks’ works a vocal and piano sample into tinkling abstraction. Traxman’s skills are unmessable, you can tell from the minute the album starts that music is like breathing for him, and that the album also makes an incredible and skillful case for ‘footwork’ as Chicago’s very own sideways evolution through hip hop via house with a rich history of soul.
Robot Elephant vs. Tundra Dubs
LP/CD Robot Elephant Records
Robot Elephant Records from London and Tundra Dubs from Oakland, California are two labels from opposite ends of the world but tightly connected by strong DIY ethics, fierce independence and an unmatched zeal to champion new and unusual sounds. After last year’s similarly themed, critically acclaimed ‘ISVOLT’ compilation, Robot Elephant embarks on a joint venture alongside Tundra with label bosses Sebastian Robot Elephant and Ben Tundra each curating one side of five songs featuring promising talents on their respective labels roster.
On the RER side, Bologna’s Husband start up with another remarkable jam that seamlessly follows up their last year’s debut EP ‘Love Song/Slow Motion’. Ritualz’ ‘Heat’ a bastard child of Trance synths and Reggaeton rhythms or “Raveaton” as it’s called by its creator. Hailing from Bucharest, Romania HipDieBattery is premiering on this compilation with the dark, haunting dubbed out techno ballad ‘Bones’ – a taster from the album that is looming for late 2012. The Church of Synth brings us ‘Geh Ins Licht’; a track that unfortunately didn’t fit on the last years debut LP, it is carrying on the vibe and ideas of the album perfectly. Ourobonic Plague is a mad professor of dystopian Hip Hop beats and weirdo sounds, a debut album will be released later in 2012.
Aimon are a male/female duo from Southern California. They defy their sunny locale in exchange for beautiful, grim and sometimes harsh occult soundscapes; with compositions built on anxiety and paranoia that give way to heightened feverish sexuality and erotic ritualism. Funerals are a husband/wife duo from Columbus, Ohio presenting a dark and atmospheric selection. Mascara dropped many acclaimed tracks throughout last year; ‘Sonnambula’ is another demonstration of how an ingenious and innocent approach to producing haunting disco tracks bears amazing results. Grimm Soundsystem is Ben Tundra’s own creation, a playing field for his minimal dubstep/instrumental hip hop experiments. IÝÝ (the band name stands for a magical incantation, but if it must be pronounced, then it’s “eyedoublecross”) create dark, unrelenting, threatening post-industrial compositions of unmatched gloom and doom.
‘Robot Elephant vs. Tundra Dubs’ is an exciting and fascinating document of worldwide experimental music through like-minded trans-Atlantic curation and co-operation.
Robot Elephant Records’ Side:
1. Husband – Flowers
2. Ritualz – Heat
3. Hipdiebattery – Bones
4. The Church of Synth – Geh Ins Licht
5. Ourobonic Plague – The Outer Alphabet
Tundra Dubs’ Side:
6. Aimon – Low
7. Funerals – Water Over Night
8. Mascara – Sonnambula
9. Grimm Soundsystem – Korby Bryers
10. IÝÝ – Local Locusts
SID Chip Sounds – The Music of the Commodore 64
2LP/CD Robot Elephant Records RER013
Robot Elephant Records are a new record label based out of East London, run by German-born music enthusiast Sebastian Weikart and live music promoter Anthony Chalmers. With release ‘SID Chip Sounds – The Music Of The Commodore 64’, RER is bringing a compilation of music from classic Commodore 64 computer games. The 18 original pieces of music have been remastered for this release on gatefold double vinyl, CD and download.
When people talk about “Commodore 64 music”, it’s easy to forget they’re not talking about a musical style: they’re talking about a delivery mechanism. What that convenient phrase hides is the sheer amount of originality and creativity that went into creating the music for games on the Commodore 64.
The majority of games produced for the Commodore 64 made use of the machine’s revolutionary SID chip, devised by engineer Bob Yannes who later co-founded the Ensoniq digital synthesizer company, and named by PC World Magazine as one of computing’s most important inventions. Although it was advanced for the time composers had to overcome many challenges. For example, the hardware only allowed three voices at once so composers assigned one voice to play quick arpeggios so listeners believed they were hearing sustained chords. It’s well documented that humans are at their best when overcoming limitations or under deadline, and the classic C64 composers pared music to its essence. They had their own sounds and their own way of playing them.
Revolutionary composers such as MARTIN GALWAY, ROB HUBBARD, DAVID WHITTAKER and BEN DAGLISH rose to prominence during the 80s for their technology defying masterpieces whose sounds ranged from simple clicks and beeps to complex musical extravaganzas. Included on this compilation is some of their most celebrated work including music from games ‘Arkanoid’, ‘Comic Bakery’, Last Ninja’ and ‘Sanxion’.
Influence in modern music is widespread. The sub genres of 8-bit, chiptune, gabba; the lo-fi sounds of DJ Scotch Egg, the rapid arpeggios of Rustie, Crystal Castles’ warped glitches and even the beats of international pop hits such ‘TiK ToK’ by Kesha are all informed by developments made during the early years of home gaming.
As relevant as ever, ‘SID Chip Sounds – The Music Of The Commodore 64’ is a vital collection for fans of remarkable electronic music whether retrospective or modernist.
13.03.2012 DE Vienna, Porgy & Bess
30.03.2012 AT Salzburg, Arge
04.04.2012 DE Nürnberg, Desi
05.04.2012 DE Dresden, Beatpol
06.04.2012 DE Leipzig, UT Connewitz
07.04.2012 DE Jena, Kassablanca
08.04.2012 CZ Prague, 007
25.04.2012 DE Würzburg, Kellerperle
26.04.2012 DE Ilmenau, Jazztage
12.05.2012 AT Vienna, Pratersauna
18.05.2012 AT St. Poelten, Freiraum
19.05.2012 AT Dornbirn, Soundsnoise Festival
26.05.2012 IT Padova, tba
27.05.2012 IT Mondaino, Neon
28.05.2012 IT Rimini, Arboreto
29.05.2012 IT Faenza, Clandestino
07.09.2012 DE Stolzenhain, South Of Mainstream Festival
08 Mar Dresden, Thalia Kino
09 Mar Potsdam, Hans Otto Theater
10 Mar Leipzig, Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst
11 Mar Bamberg, Morph Club
13 Mar Hildesheim, Haus der Braut
14 Mar Berlin, Kater Holzig
15 Mar Köln, King Georg
16 Mar Esslingen, Komma
17 Mar Mannheim, Blau