Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sounds of the Day #6/2015: Alva Noto (4) / Howlround (1/2)

Alva Noto - Uni C

Howlround - Secret Songs of Savamala (2013)

‘The ruins of the Spanish House stand on the banks of the river Sava at the heart of the Savamala district of Belgrade. Originally a decadent customs house in the heart of a bustling port, this decaying structure bears the imprint of many generations. Now an empty echo chamber, its walls reverberate with the rumble of the passing freight trains like the sea inside a shell; songs and shouts return distorted from a trip around the flooded basement and exposed structural supports become an unholy set of chimes. All the sounds you hear on this album were recorded on site and nothing has been added that is not of the building itself. This echoic palimpsest is architectural portraiture in sound’.

Leila Peacock

Howlround - The Ghost of the Bush (2012)

‘The Ghosts Of Bush’ was created entirely using the natural acoustic sounds of Bush House, the iconic home for the past seven decades of the BBC World Service which closed its doors for the last time on July 12th 2012. All of the sounds were captured in the small hours of the morning in empty offices, corridors, stairwells and other hidden corners by a Studio Manager working overnight. These recordings were then dubbed onto quarter-inch tape in the basement studio deep in the bowels of the South-East wing using two of the surviving reel-to-reel machines.

Adjusting the playback speed of the spools and ‘bouncing’ the recordings between the two tape machines lead to the discovery of a number of interesting phrases and sound textures which were then looped, layered and fashioned into rough compositions. Over time the tape would start to degrade and alter the nature of the sounds, while occasional echo was created by recording and playing various loops simultaneously, feeding the sound back into itself. The entire album was produced using these simple methods, and no other effects or studio trickery have been used. Thanks to the sonorous quality of Bush House’s Portland stone walls and high ceilings, the natural resonance of the space was all that was needed.

These are the sounds the building makes when it thinks no-one is listening, the sounds of many sleepless nights spent isolated in a labyrinthine basement surrounding by a crepuscular soundtrack of creaks and crackles. It’s an attempted homage to the work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop who crafted the most incredible of sound-worlds from the most basic of sources. But mostly it’s my way of saying goodbye to a building that I and so many people have loved.

When talking of historic structures, the old clichéd approach is to wonder what one might hear if the ‘walls could speak’. I like to think that with ‘The Ghosts Of Bush’ we come closer to hearing them sing: One last song about the passage of time and the impermanence of all things, with the ghosts of the machines joining in. The last hurrah of a bygone era, of obsolete equipment and of a studio that has since fallen silent forever.

Robin The Fog

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sounds of the Day #5/2015: Scott Tuma (1/2)

Scott Tuma
"Cracker Where am I?"

Scott Tuma
"Hard Again" (2001)
re-issued in 2014 as a double LP
on Scissor Tale

Awesome sensitive guitar-weirdness
coupled with ambient warmth and deepness
with an evocation of Americana Sounds from
Fahey to Basho and a lot more !

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cloud #50 / Naked Island (1) / Else Marie Pade (2)

"White waves rise on the green hills,
red dust rises at the bottom of the well".
Naked Island
"Deep, transcendet waves 
of golden light"
(from their debut 
on Peak Oil 2014)

Naked Island is the striking debut collaboration from Brian Pyle (Ensemble Economique) and Felicia Atkinson (Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier). Their respective unique visions fuse into one bold new deep space soundscape. Their S/T debut is two expansive tracks spread luxuriously across 35 minutes of mutant ambient techno.

Don't miss this forthcoming 2CD/3LP-set 
on Important Records
of one pioneer of electronic music
Else Marie Pade

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Video of the Day #64/2015: Alain Badiou (15) / Jim Haynes (3) / Bernard Stiegler (3) / Jacques Derrida (21)

Alain Badiou
Eternity in Time (2010)

Jim Haynes
from "Scarlet"
out on Helen Scarsdale
January 2015

Jagged bursts of strobe lights. Cackling radio signals bristling with interference. Sawtooth patterns of tactile noise. Torn flesh. Scabbed wounds. These are some of the building blocks to Jim Haynes' Scarlet. This crucible of unkempt rhythm and noise-pulse turbulence was decomposed and sutured together from the various sources of electromagnetic and psychic detritus into an unstable mutation of sequential error. The eight tracks of Scarlet stand as vastly radical and obsessive variations on the theme of repetition through trauma. Each of the tracks may have begun with the same system of building blocks, but quickly spiral into disparate orbits, time-lag accumulation, tunnel-vision mania, schizoid detours, amplified seances, and teleological endgames. This strategy of rupture and release was first noted on Haynes' 2012 album The Wires Cracked, but has become all the more unhinged here on Scarlet. The analog tone generation and shambolic futurism harken to an earlier era of industrial immolation, with Haynes' echolalia of Le Syndicat, Mika Vainio, and Martin Rev stridently tracing and electrically bleaching the forms of those antecedents without the benefit of drum machine, sequencer, and whatnot. Bruitisme, indeed. (Text, copyright Helen Scarsdale 2015)

Bernard Stiegler
"Économie contributive:
ni producteur, ni consummateur"
Interview April 2015

Jacques Derrida parle 
avec Jean Veinstein 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cloud #47/2012 / Sytryggur Berg Sigmarson (1) / Blue Humans (1)

"Die Sprache ist so die Sprache des Seins,
wie die Wolken die Wolken des Himmels sind."

Martin Heidegger

Sytryggur Berg Sigmarson 
"The Trip"
from "So long"
out on Helen Scarsdale
January 2015

A journey through time, perhaps, for a daydreamer floating in a small boat amidst the radiant hues of a midnight sun. That daydreamer in this instance is the Icelandic artist Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, best known for his electro-surrealism in Stilluppsteypa. He has long been an artist of extremes and absurdities -- mania fueled performances, wildly scribbled drawings, and Haflerian audio shock-therapy, on one side; and on the other, a profound meditation on austere shape, form, and mood cast through similar media. Sigmarsson will intermingle these sentiments in slippery juxtaposition and assemblage, with beguiling, haunting, and / or charming results.So Long aligns itself firmly within that latter aesthetic of crypto-minimalism which began to germinate some 20 years ago. At that time, Stilluppsteypa was a trio who had recently eschewed their art-punk trappings, drunkenly scheming to corner the market at Documenta with deconstructivist drone and 21th century circuitry.Sigmarsson would find himself in his own studio, crafting sympathetic works to Stilluppsteypa; but these were directed inward as wounded, naked, and vulnerable concoctions reflective of Sigmarsson getting lost in his own little world. So Long quietly simmered in his head over the years; and with the completion of this album, we now have a sublime gesture of polar impressionism flecked with hallucinatory ambience, Vaseline-smeared crackle, and hauntological displacement.This album had originally been planned for release through the impeccably curated Intransitive Recordings, but that publishing house shuddered its doors before this could see the light of day. Sigmarsson self-released a condensed version of the album on the artbook / cassette If You Have Any Questions, Let Me Ask. The Helen Scarsdale Agency is delighted, honored, and humbled to publish this dronescaping threnody in its full radiance and blur.
(text, copyright Helen Scarsdale 2015)

the fatastic 1990's 
Blue Humans
"To a higher time"
Live at CBGB 1990

rudolph grey - guitar (left channel)
alan licht - guitar (right channel)
tom surgal - drums

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sounds of the Day #17/2015: Valerio Tricoli (1) / Afrikan Sciences (3) / Boduf Songs (1/2)

Valerio Tricoli
The Qohelet
from "Miseri Lares"
(Double Lp on Pan 2014)
Afrikan Sciences
"The Image"


Plus the weirdo melancholic sounds
by Boduf Songs "Stench of Exist" (2014)


Monday, April 27, 2015

ICE and SNOW #47 / Afrikan Sciences (2) / worriedaboutsatan (1) / Honzo (1)

(What again was the purpose of reading/writing ?)

Afrikan Sciences
LP on Pan 2014

Peerless rhythmist and sonic explorer Afrikan Sciences makes his PAN debut with 'Circuitous,' the third full-length, freeform offering from the New York-based artist.

At the nexus of Afrofuturism, science fiction, transcendental free jazz, and future hip hop, this new work from Eric Porter Douglas casts itself and its creator in a liminal zone most recognizably charted by astral traveler Sun Ra. ‘Circuitous’ follows from nearly a decade of releases for Deepblak —the Oakland-rooted imprint of frequent collaborator Aybee— and shares common blood with both the elevated consciousness of late '80s club culture and contemporary West Coast beat scene

Built around Douglas’ signature polyrhythms and complex melodies, the unorthodox agility demonstrated throughout the album’s fourteen tracks reflect his long history of live, improvised sets combining multiple turntables, upright bass, and a command center of digital tablets and controllers. Each track maps the artist’s own movements, tracing paths of flight, highway trajectories through tunnels and over bridges, and rides through rough and gated neighborhoods. If familiar on the surface, deeper or repeated listenings to ‘Circuitous’ reveal the dynamic multiplicity embodied within.

'Circuitous' is a free and unbound body of work—one that defies easy classification yet translates fluidly across multiple environments—compiled over double LP in order to fully realize the scope of Afrikan Science's sonic palette.
(text, copyright pan records 2014)

the relaxed  

Plus the awesome
time-axis-deformed minimalism
of Honzo
"Das Unheimliche"

Sunday, April 26, 2015

AUTUMN SPACES #73 / Afrikan Sciences (1) / Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma (1)

(If I could only find the ink 
to write it on water !)

Plus this fantastic project
called "Afrikan Sciences"
Live in Berlin 2014

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe 
& Ariel Kalma 
"We know each other some how"
14.April 2014

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Video of the Day #63/2013: Stephen O'Malley (1/2) / Keiji Haino (13)

Stephen O'Malley
Live in Tokyo 2012

Stephen O'Malley
Live in London 2014

Stephen O'Malley and Keiji Haino
Live in Wroclaw 2014

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Video of the Day #62/2015: Alva Noto (2) / Bernard Stiegler (4/5) / Gnod (3)

ALVA NOTO * unidisplay *

Bernard Stiegler
Comment combattre la bêtise ?

table ronde
Bernard Stiegler

Plus new 
"Infinity Machines"
(released 20.April. 2015)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Video of the Day #61/2015: Ernesto Laclau (1)

"The Discursive Construction of Social Antagonisms" given by Ernesto Laclau at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, April 21, 2011. This lecture, responding to the topic of "The Political Turn," was given as part of "Humanities on the Edge," a cross-disciplinary speaker series organized by Marco Abel and Roland Végsö (both Professors of English at UNL).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ICE and SNOW #45 / Brötzmann - O'Rourke - Sakata (1) /

(Melting - like relevant thoughts !)

Brötzmann - O'Rourke - Sakata
Live at Koen-dori Classics, Shibuya, 
Tokyo (Japan) 13th Mar. 2014

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

AUTUMN SPACES #62 / Stephen Cornford (9) / Sunn O))) (4) / Joseph Nechvatal

(All-in-none !)

Stephen Cornford
"Music for ear buds"

Sunn O)))
Grim Robe Live

Plus a recommendation 
for all my readers in the area
Berlin, Germany. 

Please visit the
Joseph Nechvatal Exhibition
Opening 24 April 2015

bOdy pandemOnium
Immersion into Noise
works by Joseph Nechvatal

Opening: 24 April 2015, 8PM
Artist Talk & Noise Music Concert: 25 April, 2PM
Exhibition runs: 25 April – 21 June 2015
Opening hours: Fri-Sun, 2-6PM and by appointment

Art Laboratory Berlin
Prinzenallee 34
13359 Berlin

J. Nechvatal, frOnt windOw retinal autOmata, 2012,
Computer-Roboter gesteuertes Gemälde, 2x2m

Joseph Nechvatal (born in 1951 in Chicago) is a post-conceptual artist working in digital art. He is one of the most important pioneers of 'new media art,' but at the same time makes use of 'old media' (such as painting and drawing). What is phenomenal, and in our opinion relevant to the 21st century, is that his paintings are created through a use of custom artificial life software and computer robotics.

The exhibition, subtitled Immersion into Noise, is Nechvatal’s first solo show in Berlin and presents recent works to a Berlin audience alongside his eponymous book Immersion into Noise (2011). In that text, Nechvatal provides visual analogies to audio noise within the powerful effects of the act of immersion.

In the bOdy pandemOnium exhibition, and in Nechvatal's work in general, the term viractualism, meaning the interface between the biological and the technological, plays an essential role: "The basis of the viractual conception is that virtual producing computer technology has become a noteworthy means for making and understanding contemporary art. This brings art to a place where one finds the merging of the computed (the virtual) with the uncomputed corporeal (the actual)."

Parallel to his theoretical research, Nechvatal has created a series of paintings and projections that show a C++ custom virus program (created with the programmer Stephane Sikora) invading, destroying and transforming his painterly art images based on intimate parts of the human body. In the exhibition at Art Laboratory Berlin, two large computer-robotic assisted paintings will be on display: frOnt windOw retinal autOmata (2012) and rear windOw curiOsites (2012).

Also on view will be one of his famous viral computer software de-generative works: Viral Venture (2011). It is accompanied by a musical score for two hundred electric guitars by the com-poser Rhys Chatham.

An artist talk with noise music concert of his piece 3 pOstmOrtems will take place on the opening weekend, on Saturday, 25 April, 2pm.

Curators: Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz
Press: Olga Shmakova

Thursday, April 16, 2015

AUTUMN SPACES #60 / Stephen Cornford (8) / Sunn O))) (2/3)

(True Emptiness-at-Work !)

Stephen Cornford
"Surface Soliloquy"

Sunn O)))
Live 2014

Live 2013

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015

AUTUMN SPACES #54 / Patrick Shiroishi

(Disappear for one minute between the leaves !)

Patrick Shiroishi
"Black Sun Sutra" (2013)