Akira Rabelais, "CXVI"

Akira Rabelais’ years-in-the-making new album CXVI features collaborations with Harold Budd, Ben Frost, Biosphere, Kassel Jaeger and Stephan Mathieu, among others. It unfurls a quietly breathtaking, dreamlike sequence of events where early music meets a prism of shoegaze, ASMR, classical and textural sound design - huge recommemdation if yr into Felicia Atkinson, the GRM, Morton Feldman, Stephan Mathieu, Deathprod, Harold Budd...

Set to be received as Rabelais' magnum opus, CXVI finds the Hollywood-based composer challenging his usual working methods, pushing himself to refresh binds with longterm collaborators such as Harold Budd and Stephan Mathieu and forge new relationships with like-minded craftsmen such as Geir Jenssen (Biosphere), while also finding a new vocal muse in Karen Vogt of Heligoland, and also coaxing the recorded debuts of his friend Mélanie Skribiane, and filmmaker/photographer Bogdan D. Smith. The result of their time-lapsed endeavours is a record of divine subtlety and poignant patience, rendered with a mirage-like appeal.

Opener "Which Alters When It Alteration Finds," beautifully segues from a prickly bouquet of keys and lovebite-distortion penned with Ben Frost to a reverberant, spine-freezing piano coda from Harold Budd, before "Which Alters When It Alteration Finds" smokily gives way to the sylvan shadowplay of the album's masterful centerpiece, "Star to Every Wandring Worth's Unknown," where Mélanie Skribiane reads from Max Ernst's "la femme 100 têtes" against an exquisite veil of strings and keys realized by Akira with the GRM’s Kassel Jaeger a.k.a. François Bonnet.

The 3rd part of the album only becomes more sparse and isolationist, as Karen Vogt's plainsong gives way to the tremulous, icy timbres of Akira's processed guitar strokes, originally written for Cedrick Corliolis' Tokyo Platform soundtrack, before the final side of "If Error and Upon Me Proved" finds Akira pushing Geir Jenssen’s (Biosphere) synths into the red, emphasizing a romantic soreness that turns into crushing noise, before Bogdan Smith's whispered vocal melts into an ancient, arcane air inscribed to 78rpm vinyl by Stephan Mathieu and then sweetened, re-incorporated by Akira as the album's stunning closing passage.

Riddled with bedevilling detail and utterly timeless in its scope, CXVI is a disorientating opus you’ll want to undergo over and again, for our money one of the great quiet albums of recent years.

More information can be found here.

3517 Hits

Nihiloxica, "Biiri"

Nihiloxica's highly anticipated new EP featuring 4 new tracks of Bugandan percussive experimentation. Comprised of four percussionists, one kit drummer combined with an analog synth player. Recorded live in single takes at Boutiq Studios in Kampala, Uganda between October- December 2018.

More information can be found here.

3682 Hits

Andrew Liles, "The Geometry of Social Deprivation"

This recording is released in 3 formats -

1.) 23-track download

2.) CDr + 23-track download

The CDr contains a 46 minute track ("The π Key") which will not be available for download. This item is released in an edition of 25.

3.) The π Key - Deluxe Edition

WOODEN KEY + ANTIQUE 6" RECORD HOUSED IN SIGNED AND NUMBERED BESPOKE COVER + CDR + 23 TRACK DOWNLOAD

Each individual CDR is unique to each order as it contains the 46 minute track ("The π Key") plus the two tracks from the 6" record included in your package. This item is released in an edition of 23.

The Geometry of Social Deprivation is constructed from samples and manipulated sounds garnered from twenty-three 6" shellac records from the 1920's.

Each track contains a blend of loops and sampled fragments constructed from one record using the sound found on both the A and B sides. Each track is created from a different record. No additional instrumentation has been added.

This sometimes soft and ambient but challenging and abstract 8-hour suite of crackling, dusty and forgotten sounds of yesteryear has been designed to be played as a functional piece of music, to while away the hours as you go about your daily routine... a faint drone in the background or a suffocating, all encompassing sonic assault. Equally it can be utilized as an aid to spend your evenings "researching" a field of your choosing.

More information can be found here.

3444 Hits

Letha Rodman Melchior, "Mare Australe"

LETHA RODMAN MELCHIOR -

"Another brilliant posthumous album by Letha Rodman Melchior. Letha's music, as her visual art, was a great collaged pile of extreme strangeness, with seemingly irreconcilable objects butting heads in ways that end up making great sense.

I met Letha a long time ago, when she was in Cell, but I had not much idea of her work beyond that until she had moved to North Carolina and I started hearing her health was bad. Siltbreeze put out an amazing album called Handbook for Mortals, and it was essential listening. Letha managed to create very very warped music without making it off-putting. Although her sonics were whacked as hell, they were created with such a warm and gooey center that even people who'd usually shy away from such things, would ask what was playing when we floated the album through the store's stereo system.

Siltbreeze followed up with the ungodly brilliant, Shimmering Ghost, after cancer claimed another genius, and we were stunned when Dan Melchior offered us the chance to do this LP.

Letha Rodman Melchior was a truly singular artist. And it is with great pride that Feeding Tube presents another chapter of her largely undocumented saga."

-Byron Coley, 2019

More information can be found here.

3504 Hits

Jos Smolders, "Spaces"

"Spaces is a series of compositions based on recordings in museums. Each work builds on a binaural recording of the environmental sounds a museum and each has been processed based on different concepts. The approach for processing and adding of electronic sounds was inspired by an artwork that was hanging in the museum space. So space and artwork form a unity.

As a composer and mastering engineer I am extremely sensitive to the sounds around me. But I’m also a keen visitor of museums and while there I always listen to what the museum sounds like. Museums are spaces where people encounter works of art and are given the opportunity to contemplate on this experience. Some do this silently while others keep chatting their route and only vaguely take in what is presented. There’s a lot going on and each museum has its own sonic character.

I have started collecting sounds in 2008. Snippets from these recordings have been part of many works in the years that followed. In 2015 however I decided to construct a complete sound work revolving around the sounds that I recorded. That has become A=F=L=O=A=T. This track was part of my annual musical gift to friends and colleagues and received positive feedback. Then, begin 2017, I decided to make a next move and see if other recordings could be evolved into real compositions. Gradually the concept formed, by composing, experimenting, returning to museums and study the artworks and actually the whole sonic environment of the museum.

Listening to a museum makes you aware of the spatiality of a museum. The, sometimes, huge halls where art is presented also seem to make space in my mind. And so I thought that space would be a good metaphor for the first dimension that I want to express. The second dimension is the work of art itself, which is a silent object. It just hangs there. But it represents a whole universe of thoughts and ideas that the observer can take in and tumble around and around in his mind. My own observations I have translated into the electronic layers on top of the binaural recordings.

The music on the CDs has been laid out as spacious as possible, leading to long almost silent intermissions between the tracks. In the hope of a listener with a wide-open mind-set."

-Jos Smolders

More information can be found here.

3131 Hits

FEAN (Machinefabriek/Sylvain Chauveau)

FEAN started as a musical artist-in-residence project in a little church in the Frysian village Katlyk. The group consists of Jan Kleefstra, Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek), who also form the quartet Piiptsjilling. For FEAN they are accompanied by Belgian guests Annelies Monseré, Sylvain Chauveau and Joachim Badenhorst.

The FEAN project gets its inspiration from the ecological decay of peatland in the Dutch province Friesland and in other parts of Europe. Agriculture and peat extraction are threatening the landscape severely and with long term consequences. This forms the underlying thought for the improvised recording sessions, which were overseen by Jan Switters.

Although the Piiptsjilling members are obviously used to performing and recording together, adding the three Belgian guests (who hadn't played together before) added an extra dimension to the group's dynamic, resulting in a concentrated yet playful series of improvisations, that were later mixed and edited for the FEAN album.

More information can be found here.

3107 Hits

MAAT, "The Next"

Pacific City Sound Visions greets wonder again, this fall, to bring you a third vinyl release from the late '80s/early '90s European experimental/industrial scene.  After Vox Populi!'s "Half Dead Ganja Music" and Frank Dommert's "Kiefermusic," we have a hand-picked compilation by the Hamburg artist MAAT.

MAAT is a solo project by Dörte Marth, who created two secretly powerful and underappreciated records in 1993. They were released on two labels (Dragnet, Dom Elchklang) run by Achim P. Li Khan, the co-founder of H.N.A.S.

MAAT'S musical palette is at once, strikingly, a more dark and brooding occult version of Anima and Limpe Fuchs. One can hear classical music references much like Coil's Unnatural History, but played further, blurring the shadowy lines between sampling and virtuoso playing.  MAAT'S dark and glisteningly illustrated use of electronic drums, Pan-Asian arrangements, and classical styles, invent a private world where she uncovers and projects forth, a new and ancient female energy.  It's almost as if she is orchestrating her palette and shooting it through star-clusters beneath the world.  Probably Typhonian Highlife and 4th World Magazine's greatest influence.

More information can be found here.

3210 Hits

Lionel Marchetti/Cat Hope/Decibel, "The Last Days of Reality"

"I first met Lionel Marchetti in Australia during the Liquid Architecture Festival in 2010. Decibel were touring our Alvin Lucier program, and Lionel was on the same bill performing a live performance set manipulating electro-acoustic materials with dancer Yoko Higashi. I was so taken with Lionel's performances and the resulting music, that I asked him if he would write a piece for Decibel.

I didn’t realize that he hadn’t done something like this before. The first work was "Première étude (les ombres)," communicated as a text score, and premiered in 2012. I was asked by Lionel to make some recordings of ocarinas, harmonicas, and folk instruments – and I sent these to him for the creation of a 'partition concrète d'accompagnement'– a fixed media part that is featured in the live performance. For this piece, the part comes from speakers beside each performer, and a bass amplifier beneath the piano. Like his own performances I had seen the year before, the work was naturally performative – with unique speaker and performer configurations, interesting and odd additional instruments. It was such a rich work, a remarkable combination of electronic, spatial, acoustic and textural music. The performers use the partition concrete as a score.

I visited Lionel in Lyon, France in 2014, recording flute improvisations in his studio. He used these as a basis for "Une série de reflets," again communicating via text instructions and each performer having their own dedicated speaker to interact with. "Pour un enfant qui dort," which again requested flute sounds that were this time part of the live performance as well as the partition concrète, was also written around that time. The next work saw a more 'compositional' collaboration - "The Earth defeats me" began as a graphically scored work written by me and recorded by Decibel in the studio. That recording was used to make the partition concrète which is now an embedded as part of the animated score file, thanks to the software we had developed to do so.

These works exist as live performances, but also as singular concrète works, when heard without the instruments. Working with Lionel has been remarkable: he has a singular way of thinking about sound and its relationship to works and images. Music concrete is a lifestyle for him, it is a way of thinking, communicating and being. These pieces enable the acoustic instruments to be part of that – extending the ideas in the partition concrete, using them structurally and texturally, as well as being part of them.

When I first met Lionel, I didn’t realize he was in Australia because it was originally planned he would be travelling with French composer Éliane Radigue, performing some of her electroacoustic works, as her preferred diffuser. I would commission a work for Decibel from Élaine ("Occam Hexa II") in 2014 and it was during that process I realized the link between them. Decibel performed Lionel and Eliane's music together – it is music that concerns itself with the incredible power of sound, but from the most delicate and dream like perspective."

-Cat Hope

More information can be found here.

3091 Hits

Geneva Skeen, "A Parallel Array of Horses"

"As I’ve tried to understand what is happening now without judgement––a collapse of systems, boundaries, and symbols that crumble faster with each forcible attempt to reinstate them––I am finding equal failure in streamlined, singular methodologies for both comprehension and composition. Outside, reason and rationale wane in heft and clarity. Representation in a world that refuses fact is uncertain and deceptive. Time is complicated by the failure of the linear. Inside, what we see is not what we hear, what we hear is not what we think, what we think is not what we feel, and so on.

The dread incited by this precarity is difficult to interpret without announcing failure: the anxiety of watching our own hourglass is palpable and demanding. I feel existence in this moment has required a move away from my own humanity in order to simply live in it, live through it, live with it while refusing to release the idea of environmental recovery. It is to request your humanity to unwillingly shift, to mutate toward something sharply resilient and relentless. The sounds on this record embody this sense of mutant consciousness. It is, for me, a representation of a vigorous sprint towards complexity, towards the interdependencies that serve as stop-gaps, towards freaky, slippery, compounded stacks of reality.

The title, A Parallel Array of Horses, is derived from a geologic phenomenon in which a block of a specific type of rock has been completely separated by mineral veins from its counterpart within another body of rock, and then stacked upon multiples of others like it. Sounds on this record are both recorded and produced: the album opens with recordings of a Mojave wind storm and closes with the world’s largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats departing their cave to roam the summer night air of Southeast Texas. Both scenes are landscapes of precarity, politically or meteorologically or otherwise. Interspersed are a variety of electronic instruments and processes, and compositional techniques that are variously clear-cut or intentionally buried by digital processing. Tracks three and four are composed entirely with my own voice––my own body as the original playback mechanism for experiencing the world, but manipulated, elaborated upon, and layered to express a more complex interpretation of that subjective reality.

Through listening, I find myself able to retrace my steps back to a sense of decentered, porous presence––the present is still here, with all of its shifts and confusion and valuable interdependencies. No matter is created or destroyed, only new forms arise."

>-Geneva Skeen

More information can be found here.

3065 Hits

Thighpaulsandra, "Practical Electronics"

Practical Electronics With... cover art

As audacious as the sleeve it comes housed in, the UK’s most eccentric audio malefactor returns with his eighth studio album, Practical Electronics.  Unique in the Thighpaulsandra oeuvre, this one eschews the usual group-based recordings, consisting of electronics and vocals only.

Hovering between haunted narratives and extended instrumental sequences, Practical Electronics is an eccentric excursion into playful pop and fearless electronic experimentation.  Simultaneously intimidating and accessible, the energy of this untamed mind unleashes an artefact where high art unfolds as an oblique electronic cabaret.

Having cut is teeth amongst such legendary outfits such as Coil and Spiritualized, Thighpaulsandra has constantly catapulted himself further and further into a musical landscape utterly of his own devising.  Practical Electronics is the latest exemplary installment of a voice that is uncompromising as it is outlandish.

More information can be found here.

3309 Hits

Richard Youngs, "Dissident"

Dissident by Richard Youngs

"Imagine Richard Youngs as the junior member of a cabal of prolific and puritanical English musician-mystics, including The Fall's Mark E Smith, Van der Graaf Generator's Peter Hammill, Martin Carthy and The Clangers composer Vernon Elliot, and still his nature will elude you."

-Stewart Lee, Sunday Times.

Dissident is a hallucination of a legendary lost Samizdat-style recording of the legendary lost Richard Youngs Band. It's not clear to me that it is against anything in particular, and as such it is not literally dissident. In fact, I'm a little lost how or why it is dissident, save for being informed by the imagined provisional recordings of pre-Glasnost protest. Perhaps the wordless scratch vocals are voicing dissent, but I remember having fun. So much so, I couldn’t stop myself from fleshing out the rough nylon guitar songs to a full band arrangement, recorded in multiple spaces.  Which is as far from the Samizdat spirit as you could care to go.

More information can be found here.

3195 Hits

Dome, "Dome 1" reissue

1 cover art

With the demise of the group Wire in 1980, founder members Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis joined forces to create Dome. With the assistance of engineer Eric Radcliffe and his Blackwing Studio, Dome took the ethic of "using the studio as a compositional tool" and recorded and released three Dome albums on their own label in the space of 12 months: Dome (July 1980), Dome 2 (October 1980) and Dome 3 (October 1981).  A final fourth album, Will You Speak This Word: Dome IV was released on the Norwegian Uniton label in May 1983.

These albums represent some of the most beautifuly stark and above all timeless exercises in studio experimentation from early 1980s alternative music scene.

Previously issued in the out-of-print Dome 1-4+5 boxed set in 2011.  Now available as standalone LP with download card.

More information can be found here.

3203 Hits

Martina Lussi, "Diffusion is a Force"

Diffusion Is A Force by Martina Lussi

Martina Lussi's second album fuses together disparate sound sources with a disorienting quality that reflects the modern climate of dispersion and distraction. The Lucerne, Switzerland-based sound artist released her debut album Selected Ambient on Hallow Ground in 2017, and now comes to Latency with a bold new set of themes and processes.

The range of tools at her disposal spans field recordings, processed instrumentation, synthesized elements and snatches of human expression.  The guitar is a recurring figure, subjected to a variety of treatments from heavy, sustained distortion to clean, pealing notes. Elsewhere the sound of sports crowds and choral singing merge, and patient beds of drones and noise melt into the sounds of industry and mechanics.  The track titles manifest as a compositional game of deception complete with innuendos, empty phrases and claims – flirtations with perfume names and ironic assertions.

From the volatile geopolitical climate to the changing nature of music consumption in the face of streaming and digital access, Diffusion is a Force is a reflection on fractured times where familiar modes and models change their meaning with the ever-quickening pace of communication.

More information can be found here.

3125 Hits

Jay Glass Dubs, "Epitaph"

Epitaph by Jay Glass Dubs

On Epitaph things are different - Jay's voice croons crystalline over goth futurism for the first time on record (if you haven't heard of Ku….) - he sings one of the oldest Greek songs ever written and has spent the last year doing impromptu vocal covers of Tricky tracks in Cambridge pubs. And did you notice the tracks don't have dub in the title any more?

This his first proper proper solo LP from Jay Glass Dubs - a widescreen vision of 4AD nightmares, ballads for River Styx crossings and echoes that never end. It's This Mortal Coil if they knew about dungeon synth and Metalheadz and still thought dub techno was boring as fuck.

Epitaph follows his 2LP retrospective of Dubs on Not Waving's Ecstatic Recordings; and his 12” mini-LP with Leslie Winer on Bokeh early in 2018.  It's his 5th and no way final release for Bokeh (do you remember BKV 002, the slowest dancehall mixtape ever made?).  Realized with help of Greek vocalist and performing artist Yorgia Karidi and a special saxophone guest spot from Ben Vince (Curl, Where To Now, Hessle Audio).  Bokeh graphic visionary Patrick Savile's sensually airbrushed and peeled lemon closes this funeral casket of all the things you thought you knew about Jay Glass Dubs.

More information can be found here.

3074 Hits

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, "In Summer" reissue

"Heart-rending shoegaze entries from the master of rose-tinted but thorny ambient pop hymns, landing smart on the heels of his nostalgic pangs collected in the recent Songs of Remembrance / Songs of Forgiveness LP reissues. The struggle is beautiful.

Accompanied by the languorous basslines of Drew Piraino on the record's broadest and most affective pieces, Jefre's chiming guitars and muffled drums form hymns to rare feels, with the distancing effect of distortion connoting the effect of age, as serene moments appear move ever farther out of reach.

That effect is felt most strongly in the transition of "Love’s Refrain" from something like a crumpled tape recording of shimmering yacht rock thru to its coruscating, noisy finale, and the dense weight of humid air and featherlight chirrups in "Little Dear Isle," while the other side pushes off from the sore synth chorale of "In Summer" and into the slackened drums of "Blue Nudes (I-IV)," again underlined by Drew Piraino’s murmuring bassline, with Jefre pushing the upper registers into the red, before collapsing into the tape noise and lone piano refrain of his "Prelude.""

-via Boomkat

More information can be found here.

3242 Hits

Fennesz, "Agora"

Agora is Christian Fennesz's first solo album since Mahler Remixed [Touch, 2014] and Bécs [Editions Mego, 2014].  Fennesz writes: "It's a simple story.  I had temporarily lost a proper studio workspace and had to move all my gear back to a small bedroom in my flat where I recorded this album. It was all done on headphones, which was rather a frustrating situation at first, but later on it felt like back in the day when I produced my first records in the 1990s.  In the end it was inspiring.  I used very minimal equipment; I didn't even have the courage to plug in all the gear and instruments which were at my disposal.  I just used what was to hand."

Agora will be released March 29, 2019 on Touch.

 

3706 Hits

Michael O'Shea LP reissue

Michael O'Shea (Vinyl, LP, Album) album cover

"Michael O’Shea’s sole, breathtaking album ranks among our favourite of all time - yet hardly anyone seems to have heard of it.  Produced by Wire's Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis at the Dome studio in 1982, it's an utterly singular work of magick, meshing myriad, worldly modes into music that rarely fails to reduce us to tears.  It's one of those albums that basically sounds like nothing else - the only record we can draw some parallels to is Dariush Dolat-Shahi's life-changing Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar, despite it coming from the other end of the world.

First brought to our attention by Blackest Ever Black at the start of this decade, we've gradually developed an obsessive fascination with its sublime, rapid dervishes and warbling rhythmelodies, so it’s a pleasure to see it finally made easily available to everyone who we’ve ranted about it over the years (2nd hand copies have been historically pricey and hard to come by!), and especially replete with its enlightening new sleeve notes by archivist and writer Failed Bohemian.

A busker among other trades, O'Shea was an itinerant soul who, after a childhood and formative years spent between Northern Ireland and Kerry in the south of the country, and extensive travel between Europe, Turkey and Bangladesh, created his own instrument - an electrified dulcimer known as Mó Cará (Irish for 'My Friend') - which he performed on at Ronnie Scott's, before later playing on bills with everyone from Ravi Shankar to Don Cherry, and also recording with The The's Matt and Tom Johnson.

Aside from his two contributions to the Stano album, "Content To Dine In I Dine Weathercraft" (also recently reissued by Dublin’s Allchival), O'Shea's first and only album is the main point of reference for this unique artist.  Like some eccentric expression of ancient Indo-European voices channeled thru a Celtic body, Michael O'Shea's improvised acousto-electric music intuitively distills a world of styles into singularly hypnotic works.  Using his self-built instrument; a hybrid of a zelochord and a sitar, made on a wooden door salvaged in Munich, and with the crucial addition of electric pick-ups and the "Black Hole Space Box," O'Shea would absorb sounds from his travels like a sponge, and relay them back thru the instrument with effortlessly freeform and achingly lush results as elaborate as a Celtic knot or elegant as Sanskrit text.

The mercurial flow of syncretised styles in 15 minute opener "No Journey’s End" catches your breath and doesn’t give it back, leaving us utterly light-headed and feeling something akin to religious experience, before his "Kerry" vignette most beautifully limns the epic coastline he hails from.  The plasmic swirl and phasing of "Guitar No. 1" is perhaps the one piece that time dates the LP to the post-punk era, even if it could have come from ancient Mesopotamia, while the album and artist's underlying metaphysics bleed thru most hauntingly in the timbral shadowplay of "Voices," and the rapidly tremulous, animist voodoo of "Anfa Dásachtach."

Noted in his lifetime, not least by himself as: "…joker, transvestite, inventor, psychonaut, actor, catalyst, community worker, musician, traveler, instrument maker," Michael O'Shea's life was, by all accounts, every bit as colourful as his music, which only makes his untimely death in 1991 all that more tragic, as we’d practically give an arm to hear what he could have made in the early techno era, as he was purportedly getting heavy into London's rave scene before he was taken.

Honestly no other record has cast such a strong spell over us in recent memory - to the extent of sending us on wild goose chases on the wrong peninsula in Kerry - so please pardon the gush 'cos we can’t help but share love for this life-affirming disc and Michael O'Shea's beautifully transcendent music."

-via Boomkat

Out now on Ireland's Allchival label.

3553 Hits

Machinefabriek, "With Voices"

With Voices is the newest recording by Dutch composer Rutger Zuydervelt under the moniker Machinefabriek.  True to its title, the album’s eight pieces exhibit Zuydervelt's use of cassette recorders, tone generators, radios, synths, and other hifi curios to construct bewildering aural architecture around vocal work from Peter Broderick, Marissa Nadler, Richard Youngs, Chantal Acda, Terence Hannum (of Locrian) and others.  These human voices are featured as musical instruments rather than mere vehicles of lyrical content, resulting in a sub-linguistic mosaic of primordially stirring moods.

The initial spark of With Voices was kindled while Zuydervelt was in Taipei creating music for a dance company.  In the final days of his trip, a dancer named Wei-Yun Chen caught Zuydervelt's ear with an instagram video featuring a voice that turned out to be Wei-Yun's own (she would end up on the album’s seventh movement, a piece that features dissected bits of Taiwanese poetry amid low-pitched murmurs and whispering fogbanks of static).  The encounter stirred Zuydervelt to create a single 35 minute soundscape upon which each vocalist on With Voices was encouraged to improvise, be it talking, reading, singing, or wordless, guttural intoning. Such vocal smatterings were then used to determine how the other tonal elements should be arranged, dictating where each musical passage would ultimately lead.  "The idea was for everyone to just do what came naturally" he recalls, "the element of unpredictability was important to me."

Indicative of this approach "III" (the tracks are simply titled with Roman numerals) slowly winds like ivy through staccato phrases spoken by Zuydervelt's peer Peter Broderick, whose micro-incantations skip along mechanically only to telescope into monastic grandeur at the track's midpoint; the vibrations of vocal cords are often stretched to a seismic hum to form the heavy implements in Zuydervelt's toolkit.  On "V," tape recordings of Berlin electronic artist Zero Years Kid (aka Joachim Badenhorst) sputter with their own apparent intelligence like a faulty AI attempting to interpret reels of human speech in some ruinous library of the distant future.  Finally, a Siren-like Marissa Nadler leads the suite to its lullabic endpoint with overlapping wisps of harmony devoid of accompaniment ending the album on an angelic note.

In these moments, like much of With Voices, warm-blooded arteries seem to have grown around bits of well-designed artifice to form something warmly alien, soberly futuristic, and inherently satisfying.  More than simply an album of collaborative features, With Voices is a mutating collage of modern minimalism that challenges as often as it comforts. There is an alchemical, metallurgical quality that arises from Zuydervelt's unique way of merging humanness with abstraction, harshness with beauty, and unintelligibility with familiarity on what may be the most affecting Machinefabriek release to date.

More information can be found here.

3311 Hits

Laurie Spiegel, "Unseen Worlds"

Laurie Spiegel's second full-length album, Unseen Worlds, arrived just over ten years after her debut album. Having realized the pieces found on The Expanding Universe (1980) on an instrument no longer available to her, the GROOVE System at Bell Laboratories, Spiegel moved on to composing and developing for the Alles Machine, alphaSyntauri, McLeyvier and various other instruments before creating an instrument entirely her own. Spiegel created "Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument" on a Macintosh 512k so that she could have an instrument that was not general purpose, but a small, specialized, and well-defined musical instrument for and by her that she did not have to compromise on or risk losing access to it. While it was a very personal instrument for Spiegel, demand among friends and colleagues nevertheless grew until "Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument" became a commercial product for the Macintosh, Amiga, and Atari personal computers with a devoted popular following that continues to this day, despite the obsoletion of those platforms.  At the time of her Unseen Worlds album's original release in 1991, the issuing record label turned out to be going out of business, dissolved and disappeared, sending the album immediately into obscurity.  Outside of a private CD edition issued by Spiegel on her own Aesthetic Engineering label in 1994, this new edition represents the first proper commercial release of Unseen Worlds.

"Unseen Worlds is not so much based on melody and rhythm as it is on textures, pulses, and sonic environments. Sometimes dark, sometimes light, its drama pulls in the adventurous listener who wants to take a musical journey.  Using computer software she wrote in order to implement a unique musical vision, Unseen Worlds blends the artistic and the technical, the cerebral and the sensual, and revives the virtually abandoned tradition of electronic music.  Unseen Worlds is the work of a sonic explorer whose music can both challenge and caress.  Those looking for other worlds of sound can put on headphones and find them here." - Craig Anderton

More information can be found here.

3041 Hits

Steven Stapleton/ David Tibet, "The Threats of Memories" 2LP & "The Threat of Memory" boxed set

The Threats Of Memories by Steven Stapleton / David Tibet

The Threats Of Memories 2LP reissue, on United Dirter, by Steven Stapleton and David Tibet features three side-long tracks, newly edited by Andrew Liles, from their albums The Sadness Of Things and Musical Pumpkin Cottage. The fourth side is a previously unreleased version, titled "DreamBreath," from the Musical Pumpkin Cottage recording sessions. It comes in a gatefold sleeve, reproducing Babs Santini's artwork from the original releases and a photograph of Steven and David by Ruth Bayer, as well as an insert containing all lyrics and credits, and with HandWriting by David Tibet. The 2LP was mastered by Andrew Liles, and the cover was designed by Ania Goszczyńska.  Photography by Andrew Thomas.

The Threat Of Memory 5CD boxed set, on United Dirter, by Steven Stapleton and David Tibet features all of Steven and David's previously-issued recordings, made under their "Steven Stapleton & David Tibet" faces, on the first four of the CDs, as well as a fifth CD with previously unissued out-takes from the Musical Pumpkin Cottage recording sessions. It does not include the unissued out-take on Side 4 on Side 4 of The Threats of Memories 2LP.

It comes in a hinged box, with new artwork by Babs Santini on the CDs' individual sleeves, as well as on the box's cover with a booklet containing all credits and lyrics, and with HandWriting by David Tibet.  The CDs were mastered by Andrew Liles and the cover was designed by Ania Goszczyńska.  Photography by Sarah Stapleton.

More information can be found here, as well as information on the related Dead Memory LP.

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