Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: ONDAROCK (IT)

VISIT Se è vero come è vero che l'abito non fa il monaco, le premesse con cui questo “Perpetual” arriva alle orecchie degli appassionati di musica atmosferica sono già sufficienti a renderlo uno degli eventi dell'anno. Due veterani imprescindibili – l'uno purosangue dell'elettronica sperimentale, l'altro meticcio pellegrino alla perenne ricerca dell'inedito – che incontrano due fuoriclasse della generazione contamporanea: qualcosa che suona suggestivo al solo sentir pronunciare i loro nomi. Vi si aggiunga la solita cura che contraddistingue puntualmente tutte le uscite 12k e si otterranno i presupposti per un disco potenzialmente già nell'olimpo prima ancora di essere stato ascoltato, su cui tutti riponevano aspettative forse sbagliate più che eccessive.

“Perpetual” è, molto semplicemente, un magistrale saggio di sound art ambientale. Di quelli che vanno assaporati a fondo, che difficilmente si rivelano al primo ascolto. Non è un lavoro seminale e innovativo, come per taluni era lecito aspettarsi dall'unione di simili forze creative. Più una conferma, indubbiamente non necessaria, della classe sopraffina e dello status di punte di diamante dei suoi quattro firmatari. Una raccolta di tre movimenti in cui è racchiuso il meglio dell'estetica (micro)sonora di un Deupree oggi conquistato del tutto dai suoni organici, pronta a fondersi con maestria alla purezza inimitabile dei soundscape firmati Fuller-Date e al tocco organico e cinematografico di Sakamoto. Il tutto filtrato attraverso una sensibilità percettiva semplicemente impareggiabile.

Tre suite da venti minuti scarsi ciascuno compongono un lavoro dedito all'autocontemplazione per scelta autentica. Perso di vista ogni soggetto già a partire dal titolo, i quattro ricamano astraendo sensazioni e percezioni personali e traducendo la process-generation in un fenomeno squisitamente umano. Il passaggio diviene palese nel terzo movimento, dove il pianoforte di Sakamoto, delicato e limpido, fa da pennello sul fondale screziato costruito dagli Illuha e sui flussi aurei firmati dal Deupree versione “Faint”, mantenendo l'acquarello ma andando a caccia dell'impressione. Il tutto senza rinunciare a una componente terrena, in forma di field recordings naturali, che abbandona lo scopo paesaggista per divenire mero elemento sonoro.

Ad accogliere in questo universo parallelo, dove la forma tende a contare forse più della sostanza (e per una volta questo non è un male), è un drone solitario e senza tempo, un soffio vitale che lentamente genera una gamma di colori primari in forma di singole armonie. Queste ultime si mischiano poi fino a confondersi in una miriade di sfumature, cui gli arpeggi della chitarra di Corey Fuller forniscono ciclicamente un accento ulteriore. Il primo movimento si lega in circolo al secondo, nel complesso il meno riuscito dei tre, dove protagonista è la rarefazione dei microsound di Deupree, in quello che risulta comunque un affascinante ritorno al passato.

Pochi oggi, in un mondo che continua a riempirsi di ottime e talentuose nuove leve, sarebbero in grado di realizzare un lavoro pregno di fascino come questo, in cui l'indiscutibile perfezione formale non fa rima con mancanza di sostanza sonora. Nulla di rivoluzionario o scioccante (e per certi versi questo è più che un bene). “Solo” due maestri che dialogano con i loro allievi più talentuosi, tracciando una linea che abbraccia l'arte del suono atmosferica in tutte le sue sfumature perpetue.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: AMBIENTBLOG (.NET)

VISIT It is hard to find the right words for the music of Kenneth Kirschner, because it seems to defy all familiar concepts we have about music. If you’re not familiar to his name, you may want to check out the Imperfect Forms project, which offers a lot of music and a book filled with insightful articles about his work.
Or, you may head straight to his own website, offering an abundance of adventurous music free to download.
But be prepared to let go of all your preconceptions about musical composition and the notion of time!

With all that music available, most of it for free (or almost free), releasing a ‘traditional’ CD seems a bit risky from a commercial perspective. But this is not ‘traditional’, and any ‘commercial perspective’ may be completely irrelevant in this case. So with releasing Compressions & Rarefactions – the fourth Kenneth Kirschner solo release for this label – 12K continues to show their indefatigable respect for this composer and his work. And this offers us, the listeners, a chance to show gratitude for all the music that was previously given us for free – simply by buying this album!

With the average length of the compositions, a CD is not really a fitting physical format. This is why Compressions & Rarefactions comes in a unique combination: the CD features two tracks (the Compression part), 29:20 and 24:40, respectively, but it comes with an additional download of three pieces (the Rarefactions) bringing the total playing time to six hours and 42 minutes! (Yes, read that again: two of the additional three pieces are over two hours in length, the third is 96 minutes!!) The sheer length of the compositions requires a different mindset when listening to this music: it’s (virtually) impossible to listen concentrated throughout the entire piece.

It was Brian Eno who once described ambient music as ‘music that is as ignorable as it is interesting’ – and it may very well be Kenneth Kirschner taking this concept to the extreme (although I wouldn’t call this ambient music – post-classical chamber music would be a better description for some of the pieces).

Listen, for example, to the second track, April 16, 2013: a Steve Reich-like composition based on repetition of a dense hi-speed pattern of tuned percussion (bells, glockenspiel, xlophones) that may get you nervous at the start but gradually seem to fall into place to a calming effect without losing their pace. is it the listener that finds his spot in the composition and so ‘falls into place’ himself?

“The title, Compressions & Rarefactions, refers most directly to the physics of sound: the pressure waves in air that are the physical component underlying what we perceive as sound. this is music that alternates between extreme density and extreme sparsity, using those contrasts as a major expressive element as they alternate like waves of pressure and absence in air.” July 17, 2010 is created entirely with sounds derived from everyday kitchen drinking glasses (with the effect of summer night crickets and windchime-like sounds). Other pieces sound like they’re performed by small ensembles of classical acoustic instruments. Sometimes these are ‘electronically realized – thus allowing both subtle and radical alterations that aren’t possible with traditional instrumentation”. On the final track, October 13, 2012, Tawny Popoff’s viola performance is heavily layered and processed “to create sort of ‘polyphonic viola'”

The CD is packed in a foldout cover with artwork (undisgraced by any lettering, not even on the back spine) by Kysa Johnson, whose ‘subatomic decay patterns’ are a perfect visualisation of the music.

“I think Kenneth and I think a lot about the same things. Time, space, repetition, pattern, the very very big and the very very small. There’s an effort to be a part of the continuum and to recognize it, to try to remove the self if possible in a recognition of the bigger things. Also, neither of us is afraid of the dark.”
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: ATTN MAGAZINE (UK)

VISIT The first piece on Compressions And Rarefactions dangles above my head, suspended from the ceiling by a solitary hair. Crystal baby mobiles swerve and bump into eachother in a cascade of glacial clinks. Pseudo-violins produce fine strands of drone, like light winking upon glossy surfaces. Surely the hair must snap soon, although the longer I listen, the less likely it seems. I become increasingly aware of the phantom forces that keep the album in a state of precarious balance. Something unseen is pushing back against the fate of death. The music seems to respire slowly and thinly, the strings surging in and receding like air circulating lungs of glass. For 29 minutes it just hangs there, ready to drop. I never stop believing that it will.

In the grand scheme of Kirschner’s work, 29 minutes is brief. “July 17, 2010” is over two hours long. Again, he gravitates toward brittle texture (in the instance of this track, exclusively working with an assortment of everyday kitchen drinking glasses), with tension residing in the fact that the material is one that shatters rather than erodes. One heavy-handed impact – one misplaced action, no second chances – could be enough to kill the music. Because of this fragility, I never feel comfortable pushing Compressions And Rarefactions to the back of my consciousness. I can’t leave it unattended. The glasses rattle and sigh like a rainforest of transparent cicadas and delicate rustling trees. Kirschner deliberately picks frequencies that communicate with eachother on strange harmonic angles, slanting the soundscape and increasing the risk that one of the instruments might roll off the edge and smash. Even when strung out into drones, the sounds feel restless and unable to sit still, refusing to dissolve into the pool of my subconscious, quivering the forefront of my mind in jagged, vividly sharp focus.

As such, the sensations I encounter during the first minute of listening still linger and twitch at the fourth and fifth hour. Yet with such extreme durations comes a strange, time-based immersion: the horizon spanning in front of me and behind me, stranding my ears within Kirschner’s universe. I start to feel distant from other music. I accept that all sound is fragile and see-through. All breaths are slender and forced. Miniature drones toy with their own mortality, toeing the tightrope of good fortune for longer than they probably should. On the final piece, which centres on a set of layered, polyphonic viola performances by Tawnya Popoff, the music swells into being and retreats into darkness. For two whole hours, each breath of crooked harmony could be the album’s last. The album wheezes through high strings, falling silent for what feels like an eternity, before the chest of Kirschner’s music rises once more. Always once more.
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

Illuha

Interstices

12k2028

REVIEW: LIABILITY (FR)

VISIT Nous sommes en retard. Une fois de plus. Alors qu'on avait pu apprécier l'orfèvrerie imprimé par Shizuku, on s'était laissé allé à écouter la multitude de sorties dont l'industrie du disque abreuve le monde. C'était oublier un peu vite qu'Illuha n'était pas un projet éphémère et qu'il était appelé à se réunir à nouveau. C'est ce qu'il a fait et ce à plusieurs reprises. Interstices est donc le successeur de Shizuku et le duo (Corey Fuller + Tomoyoshi Date) sortira encore deux autres albums : Akari en 2014 et Perpetual en 2015 en collaboration avec Ryuichi Sakamoto et Taylor Deupree qui n'est décidément jamais très loin quand il s'agit des productions de son label 12k. Pour autant, Interstices apparaît comme un intermède entre Shizuku et Akari. En effet, paru dans la The 12k Limited Series, section du label qui est dédiée aux lives et rééditions, Interstices est le recueil de trois longues pièces enregistrées en public. Mais, dans le fonds, cela ne change pas grand chose. Interstices est bien l'incarnation ou une suite logique de Shizuku, mettant en évidence une musique contemplative où le field recording est un élément autant moteur que réparateur. Field Recordings, électronique, guitares et instruments divers s'entrechoquent délicatement pour donner une musique qui se situe hors du temps et où des spectres sonores à la froide vibrance vont et viennent à une vitesse fantomatique. Il n'y a sans doute rien de bien neuf sous le pâle soleil de Illuha mais, une fois de plus, la précision du duo fait merveille et on pénètre dans leurs eaux froides sans aucune appréhension. La beauté, qu'elle soit abstraite ou non, reste la beauté et Illuha l'incarne à sa manière, faisant fi du temps mais pas de l'espace. Ce dernier point est d'ailleurs très important pour Illuha qui se déplace d'endroit en endroit, explorant différents environnement, passant de l'un à l'autre comme si on changeait de pièce mais sans imprimer de rupture pour autant. C'est tout l'art d'Illuha et celui-ci s'apprécie avec délectation.
Illuha
Interstices

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: MUSIQUE MACHINE (.COM)

VISIT For the duo's 3rd album on art ambient / deep listening label 12k, titled "Akari", Iluha brings intimate, domestic soundscapes sourced primarily from piano and guitar, characteristic of the label. This is my first experience with Iluha, so I can't compare it to their previous albums.
The album certainly sets a relaxed, contemplative and meditative tone, filled with respect and reverence for one's surroundings, and for stillness and quietude. Each sound is imbued with consonant tonality and heartwarming glow. The delicate sensitivity the album comes from a mindset where all one's defenses are lowered. It resembles the thought processes created by spending long hours reading in a quiet room, or sitting in a garden watching the wind move the leaves.

Structurally, it's a loose collage of melodic fragments, each vaguely related chord or pocket of notes trailing into soft silence. This style dates back to Brian Eno's "Music for Airports". More recent examples of similar tone and use of texture can be found in the work of Ryuichi Sakamoto, particularly his collaborations with Fennesz. If you feel comforted by the round, buzzing sustain of a piano chord held with the echo pedal pressed, you will likely enjoy this album.

Because of the nebulous structure, the mind tends to 'connect the dots' differently each listen, and find new shapes. Thus, it's a deep form of music that can be listened to many times; However, this means it isn't possible to hold any piece of it in the mind. When the album ends, my recollection is mostly of an emotion.

Unlike a lot of 12k music, this release contains few electronic or artificial sounds. Nearly everything in the mix can either be traced to an acoustic instrument, or sounds like a field recording, as with the faint rustling and rattling contact sounds that begin the 2nd piece, "Vertical Staves of Line Drawings and Pointillism". Iluha are focused primarily on capturing the rich natural resonances of the piano, and filtering them into mesmerizing loops of gooey, muffled ambience. Being that this is one of the most familiar instruments to most listeners, including myself, there is a limit to how much wonderment I can still feel at these textures, though they've been precisely and expertly captured with close micing techniques.

This album is certainly beautiful, and works well for making mundane computer work pass more easily, sleeping, or just winding down after periods of too much activity. I find that for its sweetness, it is a little bland, though, and I don't feel I have much reason to return to "Akari" in the future when so many lovely Fennesz, Eno and Sakamoto albums are already in my collection. Though executed with skill and sophisication, this aesthetic is both comfortable and predictable for 12k by now. Some attempt at more solidified melodies, or the kind of slow-motion classical music structures found in the work of Stars of the Lid or Kyle Bobby Dunn, could have made this album more memorable. The amount of depth one finds here will depend a lot on attention span. I would recommend "Akari" mostly to fans of 12k and this 'freeform instrumental improv' niche of ambient music that are looking for more.
Illuha
Akari

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: HAWAI (CL)

VISIT Líneas de estruendo que resplandecen en mitad de un territorio abierto, melodías que brillan como espigas de cristal en medio de un campo extendido, perlas de sonido digitalizado que parecen ser recolectadas entre la naturaleza silvestre. Formas acústicas y estructuras artificiales que se entrelazan para generar una música que transcurre de manera espontánea, sensaciones de tonos desgastados que colorean sueños de días cálidos, imágenes de otoños floridos. Piezas orgánicas ensambladas a través de circuitos eléctricos que recrean panoramas de la vida en las afueras de la ciudad, al interior de los bosques, a lo largo de los prados. Desde puntos en un gráfico iluminado por una pantalla comienzan a emerger datos, pequeñas luces que emiten señales codificadas las que se transforman en imágenes que luego serán armonías minúsculas, acordes esquematizados en vectores que conforman hermosas composiciones de ruido digital. Archivos encriptados que dan cuenta de paisajes verdes y amarillo, hojas vivas y flores muertas que cubren el suelo todavía húmedo por el baño de la mañana, una vegetación que envuelve la superficie irregular, con delgadas hebras de fibra óptica como rayos de sol penetrando su soberanía infranqueable, su inhóspito reinado de pequeños insectos. “Shuttle358 es el apodo del artista nativo de California Dan Abrams, quien claramente uno de los artistas más admirados y misteriosos de 12k. Algunos señalan que su trabajo fue responsable de humanizar el movimiento del microsonido de comienzos del 2000, y ciertamente lo hizo. El tomó el computador como un instrumento y lo hizo hermoso y personal, esculpiendo un lugar único para el mismo, entre otros artistas. Después de diez años este otoño veremos el lanzamiento de un nuevo álbum de Shuttle358. Los fans de su música inmediatamente reconocerán el sonido, pero no es solo más de lo mismo. El álbum, ahora solo conocido como CYPIWB está resultando una evolución de su marca de minimalismo sintético en un viaje análogo más místico, más profundo…”. Dan Abrams, a pesar de tener un álbum bajo su nombre propio –“Stream” (Mille Plateaux, 2001)–, y otro con el alias de Fenton –“Pup” (Plop, 2006)–, es con Shuttle358 con quien es ampliamente reconocido. Primero fue una pista para el recopilatorio “.aiff” (12k, 1999), seguido inmediatamente, también en número de catálogo, por “Optimal.lp” (12k, 1999). Más tarde vendrían otros trabajos como el impresionante “Frame” (12k, 2000), “Understanding Wildlife” (Mille Plateaux, 2002) y “Chessa” (12k, 2004). Después de eso, un largo silencio solo interrumpido por reediciones digitales por parte de 12k de su obra y, el año pasado, “CYPIWB/12”Lmtd” (12k, 2014), todos adelantando el retorno en gloria de este proyecto de electrónica de interiores.

Habiendo pasado más de una década de su último trabajo con este nombre, Dan regresa con una obra que nos devuelve la fe en una producción creada mayormente con recursos artificiales, a la vez que incorpora otras fuentes a su matriz de sonido. Estos nuevos registros del músico norteamericano suponen una brisa fresca que sopla desde nuestro hemisferio opuesto, una colección de grabaciones generadas en el interior de una máquina, dentro de circuitos y conductos por donde la energía transita de manera misteriosa, un cableado eléctrico y neuronal que confluye en unas pistas de aspecto herbario, de un brillo solar. Una oportunidad más dejarse arrastrar por la brisa que desciende de las montañas hasta derribar el cuerpo sobre el terreno esponjoso, dejarse acariciar por melodías de azúcar que cubren de calorías las suaves mareas ambientales. La espera ha sido enorme, una distancia gigante considerando la manera cómo opera el mundo hoy, con millones de descargas por segundo que muchas veces no logran llenar ningún espacio, más bien ahondan el vacío. Permitiendo que el sonido se desarrolle de manera tranquila Abrams ha ido confeccionando estas canciones hasta que todas tengan una forma similar, distanciadas en las terminaciones. “Can You Prove I Was Born” son hermosas piezas de electrónica sutil, imágenes resplandecientes que se multiplican en un espejo que distorsiona de forma mágica sus contornos. “Creado y masterizado para vinilo con un artwork presentando a la fotógrafa polaca Ada Augustyniak, cuyos paisajes forestales hacen eco de los motivos cósmicos del álbum. La cubierta está impresa hermosamente en papel grueso con incrustación en papel aluminio, y la impresión es en vinilo virgen de 180g.”. Una presentación impecable, un diseño perfecto de este uno de los pocos vinilos publicados por 12k, cuidado en cada detalle desarrollado de manera sobria, desde la cubierta, el material, la fuente (casi siempre fiel a DIN, como este caso) hasta la funda negra, una edición limitada de 500 copias para estos surcos oscuros. En el interior, trazos ambientales dibujados en el aire que se difuminan lentamente, como aerosol que se pierde en la atmósfera dejando tras suyo un rastro de partículas químicas. Un sonido nítido en su origen que se tergiversa en una curva impredecible, estructuras que se erosionan con el clima y que permiten crecer flores en sus grietas. Tomando como referencia sus trabajos anteriores, pero modificando su apariencia, Abrams arma una obra donde destacan por sobre todo las melodías, motivos delicados que sirven de sistema para los demás mantos auditivos, todos plegados en unidades indivisibles. Líneas melódicas que se ven rodeadas por un recubrimiento de pintura desgastada que, en cierta manera, realza su belleza, dándole una mayor significado quizá. No obstante, esos otros elementos también poseen su encanto propio, ahí donde su figura parece deteriorada, donde su acabado no es perfecto. Grabaciones accidentales que cubren una musicalidad esplendorosa, loops que viajan en una elipsis a través del tiempo, acordes que se desplazan por la tierra recién inundada por la lluvia, absorbiendo la humedad y sus manchas orgánicas. “Con los días del minimalismo sintético desvaneciéndose en el horizonte en nuestro retrovisor, nos remontamos a donde ‘Chess’ lo dejó. En su más audaz y experimental trabajo hasta ahora, Shuttle358 (el músico de California Dan Abrams) te lleva a una altamente inmersiva combinación de loops cinemáticos que se encuentran con cálidas presentaciones análogas, fragmentos de carretes de hace mucho tiempo de cintas de mellotron, cuerdas de piano arrancadas, brumosas guitarras procesadas con reminiscencia al proyecto de Abrams Fenton, y grabaciones de campo bajo las estrellas. El primero de muchos diferentes trabajos futuros de uno de los más venerados y respetados artistas de 12k, el largamente esperado nuevo álbum de Shuttle358 ‘Can You Prove I Was Born’ es un melancólico cuento para antes de dormir; un aura familiar. Una cinta de Möbius”. Shuttle358 arma un trabajo que destella aún en el lugar más sombrío, una luz y un reflejo dorado sobre los campos y para ello utiliza una serie de recursos sonoros, herramientas manuales que luego atraviesan una red extensa de circuitos, para generar rastros de electrónica orgánica, inteligencia artificial que le da un nuevo sentido a los componentes artesanales. “Can You Prove I Was Born” se compone de diez piezas, cada una con una identidad propia y un lazo común, un hilo que une sus figuras geométricas, un aspecto semejante que une una esquina con la otra, ángulos adyacentes separados por la línea que divide los bucólicos panoramas. Millones de colores comienzan a formar un arco iris que se va tornando lentamente más y más anaranjada, notas que parecen en realidad una única nota que va tomando la forma de una órbita, iluminación sobre un paraje frondoso de hojas y hierba, un viaje a gran velocidad contenido en minutos, comprimiendo el tiempo, ralentizando las horas en segundos. “Can You Prove I Was Born” posee todas las características de este trabajo, las melodías de oro que se derriten por un calor inmenso, la bruma ambiental de partículas de polvo que envuelve la estructura de la canción, esas figuras que se pierden por la ola estival, la suavidad de las praderas recién emergiendo del suelo, la humedad exterior. Sin embargo, lo que parecía un momento inmejorable es solo un episodio más. Apenas se acaba esa pieza surge otra igualmente esplendorosa. “Imaginary Other” nace de fragmentos infinitos de metal cristalizado golpeando una superficie de plástico, una explosión infinita que se disuelve en las cuerdas de una guitarra procesada. Las ínfimas moléculas de sonido se filtran por las fisuras de “Meteor Heart”, junto a su rítmica indecisa, olas que marean los sentidos, como una marea real, casi idéntico a “Paper Wings”, la belleza de un bucle inagotable moviéndose entre cuerdas extenuadas. Estos cuatro registros cierran la cara A del álbum, algo más extensas que en su opuesto. El ruido de “Burrowed Vows” proviene de la madera quemada, un incendio que irradia una energía envolvente. Las armonías mágicas de “Bent, And Swallowed, And Opened Again”, el ritmo oculto en los arbustos de “Dirty Sunkiss” y los acordes que se amplifican, se multiplican, “Prisms” y su reflejo nítido como una pared de vidrio transparente, la quietud de “A Ground Without A Figure”, un mantra estático que se vuelve extático, las voces anónimas en “Years Later”, field recordings en mitad de las ondas aturdidas. Un sonido derrotado por el resplandor astral, un ruido análogo destrozado, desplomado en el césped verde, cubierto por rayos solares.

“Shuttle358 pulls you into a highly immersive blend of cinematic loops met with warm analogue performances… A melancholic bedtime story; a familiar aura. A mobius strip”. Shuttle358 invita a un viaje donde las armonías se forman por puntos estelares, estructuras en el firmamento que reflectan en los prados, flores resplandecientes, campos que brillan por la luz horizontal. Dan Abrams crea con esta obra paisajes luminosos de una hermosa arquitectura análoga, filtrados por tramas eléctricas. “Can You Prove I Was Born”, ruido dorado y polvo de estrellas que colisionan formando una hermosa ilusión de electrónica acústica.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: DAS FILTER (DE)

VISIT Thaddeus: Im Jahr 2000 erschien eine Platte, die vieles veränderte, zumindest bei mir. Damals veröffentlichte Dan Abrams sein Album „Frame“ und die CD landete auf meinem Redaktionstisch. 2000: Das war ein Zeitpunkt, in der die Elektronika langsam aber sicher als musikalische Alternative zum Bassdrum-getriebenen Dancefloor zerbrach, vom Cutup-HipHop aufgefressen wurde und an der eigenen Plinkerplonker-Ästhetik zu ersticken drohte. Dan Abrams – Shuttle358 – bewies mit seinem Album damals, wie sanft Hightech sein kann. Wochenlang lief der Eröffnungs- und Titeltrack bei mir auf Repeat. Im ROM-Teil der CD (erinnert sich jemand?) war das entsprechende Video gespeichert, das – die CD habe ich schon lange verlegt – immer noch in einem Ordner auf meiner Festplatte schlummert. Solide 360p-Auflösung, aber das passt nur zu gut eigentlich. Abrams machte dann noch zwei Alben, bevor er sein Projekt auf Eis legte. Nun gibt es eine neue Platte. Während ich das hier aufschreibe, habe ich mich zum dritten Track vorgewagt und sollte sich das Album weiter so entwickeln, dann ist es eine oberflächlich schöne, aber doch extrem komplexe Platte. Das fehlt Ambient ja oft, bzw. wird durch viel zu dunkle Drones erzeugt. Bei Abrams geht es eher um das Schweben. Das Gleiten. Und das Digitale. In aller Sanftheit. Willkommen zurück, Shuttle358.

(GOOGLE TRANSLATION TO ENGLISH)
Thaddeus: In 2000, a record that changed much, at least for me appeared. At that time, Dan Abrams published his album "frame" and the CD landed on my table editors. 2000: This was a time in which the Elektronika slowly but surely broke a musical alternative to the bass drum driven dance floor, was devoured by Cutup-HipHop and threatened to choke on their own Plinkerplonker aesthetic. Dan Abrams - Shuttle358 - proved with his album at the time, may be as high tech gently. For weeks the opening and title track went with me to repeat. In ROM portion of the disc (does anybody remember?) Was the appropriate video stored, the - the CD I have long laid - still lies dormant in a folder on my hard drive. Solid 360p resolution, but that fits all too well actually. Abrams then made two more albums before he put his project on ice. Now there is a new record. While I write here, I ventured me to the third track and should continue so the album develop, then it is a superficially beautiful, but extremely complex plate. The missing Ambient yes often, or is produced by too dark drones. For Abrams, it's more about the float. Gliding. And the digital. In aller Sanftheit. Welcome back, Shuttle358.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: QIKMIUZ (ES)

VISIT Una hipotética segunda parte de Blade Runner en la que la trama no se centrara en coches voladores y replicantes, sino en los pedestres y sus prisas por encontrar un refugio. Caminando caminando transita la ciencia ficción computacional yanqui y la vertiente poética soviética, también todas las demás variantes, devolviéndonos la importancia apocalíptica de la fábrica –cuando el transbordador se convierte en pulmones negros de obrero y los juguetes rotos son rápidamente reemplazados–, hasta alcanzar un sonido que parecería de cuna en tanto el espacio sigue otras lógicas, el tiempo se presenta ausente, flotando en forma de partículas que cualquier bebé esquivará con tener algo de pericia. En retrospectiva el álbum parece darnos la clave de la ciencia ficción, al menos de la forma en la que se puede percibir en una época post-sci-fi. Poco importa que no se hayan logrado esos inventos prometidos porque ya nos hemos cansado de ellos y, en ese sentido, son tan materiales como cualquier otro producto del mercado. Así, el álbum rescata precisamente aquello de valor que esconde la ciencia ficción, esos sentimientos que, como en una cápsula del tiempo abollada, se mantienen intactos, distorsionados. Forzándonos a observar lo que ha quedado invisibilizado en la mentalidad occidental, desmereciendo su capacidad de fascinación, de terror.

(GOOGLE TRANSLATION TO ENGLISH)
A hypothetical second part of Blade Runner in which the frame is not focused on flying cars and replicants, but in the pedestrian and his haste to find a shelter. Walking walking journeys Yankee computational science fiction and poetic Soviet side, also all other variants, returning apocalyptic significance of the factory, when the shuttle becomes black lungs of workers and broken toys are quickly reemplazados-, reaching a It would seem lullabies sound while still other logical space, time away presents, floating particulate dodge any baby to have some expertise. In retrospect the album seems to give us the key to science fiction, at least the way in which can be seen in a sci-fi post-season. Never mind that they have not achieved these promised inventions because we have tired of them and, in that sense, are as material as any other product on the market. Thus, the album precisely that value rescues hidden science fiction, those feelings, as in a time capsule dented remain intact, distorted. Forcing us to look at what has been invisible in the Western mind, belittling their ability to fascination, terror.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: LOUDER THAN WAR (.COM)

VISIT Shuttle 358 returns with only his fifth LP in 16 years. It’s an analogue electronica / drone record with just about enough mysteriousness, and unashamed repetition and intrigue. The sort of creepy repetition in fact that makes sense by not making sense, thinks Philip Neeson, who has no hesitation in recommending it.

Dan Abrams’ Shuttle 358 project is a rare thing in these days of social media where secrets are hard to keep– with an increasing number of musicians not interested in holding anything back–, in that we don’t know a great deal about it. Abrams seemingly likes to keep a low profile, like Boards of Canada but without the hordes of cultish followers scratching around outside for clues and information.

Shuttle 358 (which is how I’ll refer to the maker of this record here on in) creates space for himself to work any which way he feels, whenever he fancies. With a handful of albums going by– admirably under the radar– since the end of the nineties, Shuttle 358 now finds himself ‘big-upped’ by the people who run the Boards of Canada fan social media accounts, who only this week described the new album ‘Can you prove I was born’ as “a bit boccy!”.I kind of see where this sentiment is coming from…‘Meteor Heart’, with it’s math in color, blurred whimsy twisty-turns, comes over like a BoC filled-out album filler, as does ‘A Ground Without a Figure’, which is pure ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ during that record’s more trippily meditative moments. Meanwhile the multi-layered, fuzzy notion of ‘Prisms’, and the slowcore, woodwind-addled ‘Imaginary Other’, recall similarities to Oneohtrix and Yellow6 in that order. Elsewhere, ‘Burrowed Vows’ goes against the grain a touch, in that it uses rough-around-the-edges humming to get its effect, albeit a strange, near-distant urban mash-up of industry-led sounds– both present and alive as well as stagnated and broke–, and final track ‘Years Later’ is where it gets quite creepy; fatigued, windy analogue synth occasionally giving way to shivery-producing indiscernible child chants, startled bird calls, and a decaying phone dial.

‘CYPIWB’ is about as textured, dreamscape, but in turns creepy, as any of Shuttle 358’s music up to now. Don’t expect much by way of beats or tempo changes here, just about everything is repetitive and static, lofi and analogue, out-there and mysterious. It all kind of makes sense by keeping you guessing. But it’s the real deal, no question.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: VITAL WEEKLY (NL)

Despite the apparent success of vinyl and, lesser, cassette, more downloads are sold than physical sound carriers. But some people, us included, like physical sound carriers, and I for one, love the CD. A while ago I read that the CD might come-back as the next hip-thing, must be a hipster thing. It's not easy to sell a CD: it doesn't have the appeal of a record (which you can carry under your arm while sipping your macchiato-with-more-odd-names), and is considered to be a cheap thing. A while ago I reviewed a very limited CDR by Vertonen, in a box with booklets, cards, lathe cut record and here Kenneth Kirschner has a CD of some fifty-five minutes of music, which is by far the smallest portion. Included is a download card with some five hours of more music by him. The CD comes with a booklet with texts/essays by Marc Weidenbaum, Mike Lazarev, Simon Cummings and Kysia Johnson. When I get up in the morning, and did all the necessary things (make coffee, get newspaper) I usually want to play something totally unrelated to Vital Weekly. This morning it was the John Cage/Jan Steele album on Obscure Records (in a digital form, I rather read my newspaper uninterrupted), which was followed by 'September 13 2012' by Kenneth Kirschner. That was an excellent choice - although not surprising. I like to get up and play something quiet, but in years to come I may easily revert to this Kirschner album for early morning music. Especially 'September 13, 2012' is one to start the day with. It sounds like a small chamber orchestra with some finely woven, flowing sounds. Yet it's not a chamber orchestra as everything Kirschner does is to be found some way or another in the computer. At the source there might be a viola, such as in 'October 13 2012', but Kirschner stretches these out and creates vast patterns of sound. Sometimes it is hard to recognize these sources, such as the kitchen drinking glasses in 'July 17, 2010', a two-hour piece of very minimal changing patterns of granular synthesis (although, come to think of it, I am not sure if Kirschner uses computer technology at all, contrary to what I just said). But over the course of the piece things change, quite a lot actually; it's just that his cross-fades may take a while before you are aware that a new sound is present. And even at that not all of this very carefully played: the shortest piece is 'April 16, 2013' uses bells, glockenspiels and xylophones, and has a ringing, Steve Reich-like feel to it. It's up-tempo and quite up-front, unlike some of the other pieces here. 'January 10 2012' also has percussion but, clocking at one hour and thirty-six minutes, is sparser than the piece on the CD. Like some of the Kirschner pieces I heard so far (from this as well as previous releases), there is a certain freedom in his music. Sometimes one has the idea that these sounds are placed at random in the mix, and this piece is a fine example of that. The percussion with which this starts seems to have vanished by the end and we only seem to have stretched out sounds. 'October 13 2012' is the longest piece, although just two minutes shorter than 'July 17, 2010', but seems also the quietest piece of the lot. The viola is layered together, pitched up and down a bit; slightly time stretched and comes to the listener in various blocks, with silence in between. As the piece evolves the chamber orchestra quality of the piece deepens and it has that great Arvo Part like quality. Almost like a piece of religious music. In some way this release reminded of the work of Frank Rothkamm, especially that recent 24 hour set of his, but Kirschner's music seems less static and bit more vibrant; within these lengthy pieces there seems to be happening more than in an hour piece by Rothkamm (which is not to say anything negative or positive about either of them, it's just something I noted). Kirschner created five excellent pieces of music that one can find in that area between electronic music and modern classical music. (FdW)
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

Steinbruchel

Parallel Landscapes

12k2034

REVIEW: MUSIQUE MACHINE (.COM)

VISIT Parallel Landscapes is a soothing, delicate, yet often texturally detailed electro ambient album. It’s five tracks mix together harmonic vibe/slowed gong like electronics, drifting & mellowed siren pitches, and fragile/ subtle electro noise detail- all to create a album that is both relaxing yet stimulating, and rewarding in it’s subtle detail.
This Zurich based electronic and installation artist has been active since 2006, and in the past I have checked out two of his other works – 2006’s Stage ( on Line) & 2008’s Mit Ohne (also on 12k). Those past releases had an often a fairly dark/ introspective feel, but Parallel Landscapes is much more of a mellow/sweet affair- though that said there is nothing twee or sentimental about it. Each of the five tracks run around the six to seven minute a piece, and each revolves around their own electro vibe/ or siren pitch patterned bases, which are subtle moved with fragile textural detail.

It’s an album you can either let drift or lap over you like slowly passing landscapes. Or you can concentrate more & focus in on it’s subtle yet rewarding micro detail shifts & ebbs. Either way it’s a satisfying & pleasing ride from start to finish…and I’ve often found myself at the end of the album pressing repeat again.

It’s also worth giving the releases packaging a mention too, as it’s rather special & nicely adds another edge to the whole thing. The set takes in a cd in a double case slip case and a rather plush looking & arty sixty page booklet- the colour printed booklet features laser stencilled wrap-around cover conceptualized and designed by Steinbrüchel featuring photographs from Taylor Deupree and an essay by Lawrence English. The booklet and cd wallet are housed in a slipcase printed inside and out in black and white on contrasting paper stocks

All in all this is another highly worthy release from 12k- it nicely follows the label’s sonic house style of mellow yet textural rewarding electronic/ ambient music, yet it also has it’s own take on that genre too.
Steinbruchel
Parallel Landscapes

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: Q-IK MIUZ (ES)

Una hipotética segunda parte de Blade Runner en la que la trama no se centrara en coches voladores y replicantes, sino en los pedestres y sus prisas por encontrar un refugio. Caminando caminando transita la ciencia ficción computacional yanqui y la vertiente poética soviética, también todas las demás variantes, devolviéndonos la importancia apocalíptica de la fábrica –cuando el transbordador se convierte en pulmones negros de obrero y los juguetes rotos son rápidamente reemplazados–, hasta alcanzar un sonido que parecería de cuna en tanto el espacio sigue otras lógicas, el tiempo se presenta ausente, flotando en forma de partículas que cualquier bebé esquivará con tener algo de pericia. En retrospectiva el álbum parece darnos la clave de la ciencia ficción, al menos de la forma en la que se puede percibir en una época post-sci-fi. Poco importa que no se hayan logrado esos inventos prometidos porque ya nos hemos cansado de ellos y, en ese sentido, son tan materiales como cualquier otro producto del mercado. Así, el álbum rescata precisamente aquello de valor que esconde la ciencia ficción, esos sentimientos que, como en una cápsula del tiempo abollada, se mantienen intactos, distorsionados. Forzándonos a observar lo que ha quedado invisibilizado en la mentalidad occidental, desmereciendo su capacidad de fascinación, de terror.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: ROCKERILLA (IT)

Sono passati più di dieci anni dal meraviglioso Chessa (12k, 2004), l'album con cui Dan Abrams si ritagliava uno spazio da protagonista nell'affollata scena ambient dell'evo digitale, che proprio in quegli anni stava riscoprendo le magie delle sonorità analogiche. Dan Abrams si risveglia dal letargo ritrovandosi perfettamente in sintonia con la grammatica della controrivoluzione portata a termine da Taylor Deupree e la sua 12k in tutti questi anni. Le dieci tracce di Can You Prove I Was Born mettono in scena un racconto onirico, tra echi di suoni indefiniti e lenti rivolgimenti spaziotemporali. Il suono della memoria che si riavvolge su se stesso.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Steinbruchel

Parallel Landscapes

12k2034

REVIEW: MUSIQUE MACHINE (.COM)

VISIT Parallel Landscapes is a soothing, delicate, yet often texturally detailed electro ambient album. It’s five tracks mix together harmonic vibe/slowed gong like electronics, drifting & mellowed siren pitches, and fragile/ subtle electro noise detail- all to create a album that is both relaxing yet stimulating, and rewarding in it’s subtle detail.
This Zurich based electronic and installation artist has been active since 2006, and in the past I have checked out two of his other works – 2006’s Stage( on Line) & 2008’s Mit Ohne (also on 12k). Those past releases had an often a fairly dark/ introspective feel, but Parallel Landscapes is much more of a mellow/sweet affair- though that said there is nothing twee or sentimental about it. Each of the five tracks run around the six to seven minute a piece, and each revolves around their own electro vibe/ or siren pitch patterned bases, which are subtle moved with fragile textural detail.

It’s an album you can either let drift or lap over you like slowly passing landscapes. Or you can concentrate more & focus in on it’s subtle yet rewarding micro detail shifts & ebbs. Either way it’s a satisfying & pleasing ride from start to finish…and I’ve often found myself at the end of the album pressing repeat again.

It’s also worth giving the releases packaging a mention too, as it’s rather special & nicely adds another edge to the whole thing. The set takes in a cd in a double case slip case and a rather plush looking & arty sixty page booklet- the colour printed booklet features laser stencilled wrap-around cover conceptualized and designed by Steinbrüchel featuring photographs from Taylor Deupree and an essay by Lawrence English. The booklet and cd wallet are housed in a slipcase printed inside and out in black and white on contrasting paper stocks

All in all this is another highly worthy release from 12k- it nicely follows the label’s sonic house style of mellow yet textural rewarding electronic/ ambient music, yet it also has it’s own take on that genre too.
Steinbruchel
Parallel Landscapes

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: LOOP (CL)

VISIT

Ryuichi Sakamoto, icon of contemporary music was joined by Taylor Deupree, featured sound artist from Brooklyn who co-runs the 12k label (formerly headed Instinct Records in the 90's) alongwith Richard Chartier and artists Corey Fuller and Tomoyoshi Date who work under the moniker of Illuha in a live performance to mark the 10th anniversary of the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media. This concert was also accompanied by the installation of Sakamoto, 'Forest Symphony'.

This is the second time that Ryuichi Sakamoto and Taylor Deupree work together after his album 'Disappearance' (12k, 2013).

All of them had never worked together, however, we can appreciate that in this performance of improvised music playing piano, guitar, harmonium, synthesizers and found objects, they show a painstaking and creative work.
'Perpetual' consists of three movements that spread in ambient with beautiful melodies through keyboards lines, recordings voices and the work with found objects that give an eerie halo. Remarkable work!
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: MUSIC WON'T SAVE YOU (IT)

VISIT Tre lunghi movimenti catturati dal vivo nel corso di un’esibizione della scorsa estate espandono a nuovi partner creativi l’esperienza collaborativa già posta in atto da Taylor Deupree e Ryuichi Sakamoto in occasione del loro “Disappearance” (2013). Accanto ai due navigati artisti, un altro duo ormai di casa per l’etichetta 12k, gli Illuha di Corey Fuller e Tomoyoshi Date che da progetto a distanza si sono trasformati in continuativo progetto in compresenza in occasione dell’intrigante “Akari” (2014).
L’incontro contemporaneo è stato per i quattro musicisti un’esperienza inedita, la cui valenza è amplificata proprio dalla registrazione in presa diretta delle improvvisazioni da loro condotte e catturate nei cinquanta minuti di “Perpetual”.

Nelle tre pièce gli universi sonori dei quattro musicisti sono condensati in una materia sonora viva e cangiante, nella quale i contributi singoli si disperdono in una sintesi nella quale synth e chitarre processate delineano la base sulla quale gravitano field recordings in sospensione e minute irregolarità elettro-acustiche. Ciò non implica che non siano riconoscibili, ad esempio, le armonie pianistiche di Sakamoto o l’abituale approccio organico al suono da parte di Deupree e le sculture in movimento degli Illuha; soltanto tutti questi elementi sono sottoposti a un incessante processo di ricombinazione lungo il corso dei tre movimenti del lavoro.

Benché il primo sia maggiormente popolato da screziature sonore prodotte da oggetti e field recordings e il secondo sublimi esili drone in particelle di vapori cosmici, in entrambi non mancano di affiorare suadenti modulazioni e frammenti acustici che li ammantano di una grazia incantata, del resto coerente con il contesto del centro artistico Yamaguchi, nel quale l’esibizione che ha dato luogo a “Perpetual” si è svolta. Una sensazione ancora più spiccata di fragile delicatezza promana dal movimento finale, ricamato dalle note del pianoforte incorniciate da texture nebbiose, in perfetto equilibrio tra naturalismo ambientale ed elettro-acustica microtonale.

Proprio la bilanciata naturalezza delle improvvisazioni di “Perpetual” costituisce il risultato più lusinghiero dell’operazione, che rende emblematico come l’interrelazione tra diverse eccellenze espressive non possa che produrre mondi sonori preziosi e affascinanti.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Illuha

Interstices

12k2028

REVIEW: LIABILITY (FR)

VISIT Nous sommes en retard. Une fois de plus. Alors qu'on avait pu apprécier l'orfèvrerie imprimé par Shizuku, on s'était laissé allé à écouter la multitude de sorties dont l'industrie du disque abreuve le monde. C'était oublier un peu vite qu'Illuha n'était pas un projet éphémère et qu'il était appelé à se réunir à nouveau. C'est ce qu'il a fait et ce à plusieurs reprises. Interstices est donc le successeur de Shizuku et le duo (Corey Fuller + Tomoyoshi Date) sortira encore deux autres albums : Akari en 2014 et Perpetual en 2015 en collaboration avec Ryuichi Sakamoto et Taylor Deupree qui n'est décidément jamais très loin quand il s'agit des productions de son label 12k. Pour autant, Interstices apparaît comme un intermède entre Shizuku et Akari. En effet, paru dans la The 12k Limited Series, section du label qui est dédiée aux lives et rééditions, Interstices est le recueil de trois longues pièces enregistrées en public. Mais, dans le fonds, cela ne change pas grand chose. Interstices est bien l'incarnation ou une suite logique de Shizuku, mettant en évidence une musique contemplative où le field recording est un élément autant moteur que réparateur. Field Recordings, électronique, guitares et instruments divers s'entrechoquent délicatement pour donner une musique qui se situe hors du temps et où des spectres sonores à la froide vibrance vont et viennent à une vitesse fantomatique. Il n'y a sans doute rien de bien neuf sous le pâle soleil de Illuha mais, une fois de plus, la précision du duo fait merveille et on pénètre dans leurs eaux froides sans aucune appréhension. La beauté, qu'elle soit abstraite ou non, reste la beauté et Illuha l'incarne à sa manière, faisant fi du temps mais pas de l'espace. Ce dernier point est d'ailleurs très important pour Illuha qui se déplace d'endroit en endroit, explorant différents environnement, passant de l'un à l'autre comme si on changeait de pièce mais sans imprimer de rupture pour autant. C'est tout l'art d'Illuha et celui-ci s'apprécie avec délectation.
Illuha
Interstices

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: MUSIC PAPER (GR)

Θαυμαστή συνεργασία του πολύ γνωστού Ryuichi Sakamoto με τον Taylor Deupree και το ντούο Illuha, των Fuller και Tomoyoshi Date, σ’ ένα έργο με τρία μέρη ηχογραφημένο ζωντανά και με τίτλο Perpetual. Αυτό το μουσικό συνεχές εκφράζουν τα μεγάλης διάρκειας και διαρκούς υπνωτικής ροής κομμάτια, δομημένα από στρώματα ηλεκτρονικών ήχων, επεξεργασμένης κιθάρας και «προκατασκευασμένου» πιάνου- από σιωπηλά περάσματα, συνοδευόμενα από τυχαία ηχητικά αντικείμενα και field recordings. - See more at: http://www.musicpaper.gr/playlist#sthash.4feGquFp.dpuf
Πηγή: www.musicpaper.gr
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: BLACK AUDIO (BLOG)

VISIT Sakamoto, Illuha and Deupree join forces on this collaboration; and this latest release is the performance they gave together one wet summer in Japan, including a joint installation marking their 10-year anniversary as artists and performers.

Separated into three ‘Movements’, ‘Perpetual’ captures the individual strains and textures that each of this trio bring to the table. Never before have these three artists worked together; and the ease at which everything folds into place, shows they were tailor made for each other.

Pump organs, piano, guitar and synth; flow as a blissful wave of ambient dreamscapes and textured air. Clouds of analogue and digital frequencies drift together and diffuse the silence, which is a prominent factor in giving each instrument it’s own platform to shine.

As a whole, ‘Perpetual’ demands attention and a vast degree of patience. Given the time however, there is much to become enveloped and engrossed in, as glitch-ridden droplets of sound cling to the skin of your ears and drench the listener’s soul from within.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: BLACK AUDIO (BLOG)

VISIT Sakamoto, Illuha and Dupree join forces on this collaboration; and this latest release is the performance they gave together one wet summer in Japan, including a joint installation marking their 10-year anniversary as artists and performers. Separated into three ‘Movements’, ‘Perpetual’ captures the individual strains and textures that each of this trio bring to the table. Never before have these three artists worked together; and the ease at which everything folds into place, shows they were tailor made for each other. Pump organs, piano, guitar and synth; flow as a blissful wave of ambient dreamscapes and textured air. Clouds of analogue and digital frequencies drift together and diffuse the silence, which is a prominent factor in giving each instrument it’s own platform to shine.

As a whole, ‘Perpetual’ demands attention and a vast degree of patience. Given the time however, there is much to become enveloped and engrossed in, as glitch-ridden droplets of sound cling to the skin of your ears and drench the listener’s soul from within.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Seaworthy + Taylor Deupree

Wood, Winter, Hollow

12k1075

REVIEW: TOKAFI (.COM)

VISIT Contrary to popular belief, humans are not primarily a visual species. Instead, it is our sense of hearing which provides us with the truly vital information required to orientate ourselves in a space - in his book The Great Animal Orchestra, field recording legend Bernie Krause convincingly demonstrates how listening to a site can reveal a lot more about its health and biodiversity than the eye could possibly take in. As Wood, Winter, Hollow now proves, the same goes for the relationship between music and other forms of art.

The outcome of three days spent on the trail in a vast natural reserve close to Taylor Deupree's studio, this is folk in the original meaning of the term, music dealing with the relationship between man and his immediate surroundings, with the mystery and beauty of nature as well as the search for a sense of belonging. Seaworthy's Cameron Webb is gently picking his guitar and banjo, Deupree is filling up the spaces between the notes with luminous drones and glockenspiel and the resulting compositions are placed right in the middle of field recordings of distant wind and quiet creeks, as though the artists were performing a concert for a frozen forest. There is a palpable sense of stillness, wonder and being overwhelmed, notes dancing weightlessly in mid-air like snowflakes, the arrangements akin to ice sculptures glistening in the winter sun.

There is no sharply delineated border between natural sounds and man-made art here, the music emerging from the environment and receding back into it as though it were part of the geophony. And yet, every single note has been placed with utmost precision. The opening and closing tracks, built on tender cyclical chord progressions, are clearly organised compositions laying down an affective foundation; two pure field recording tracks provide for a sense of location; and at the heart of the journey, a sixteen minute long, loosely structured ambient meditation marks the moment when the mind starts to wander and become one with the woods.

The condensing of days into minutes, of a multitude of impressions into a single shape is the domain of the arts in general. But even the stunning photography on the cover and inside the booklet couldn't come close to conveying a similarly intense and precise impression as these sounds. After all, this is not just a documentation, but an emotional journey. And these are the places only music can take you to.
Seaworthy + Taylor Deupree
Wood, Winter, Hollow

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: PRESENT CONTINU (FR)

VISIT Ce disque est la captation d’un concert donné, en grande partie improvisé par le légendaire pianiste et compositeur Ryuichi Sakamoto (a participé au groupe Yellow Magic Orchestra, a composé des musiques de film, collaboré avec Alva Noto, Iggy Pop, Robert Wyatt, Bill Laswell, Nam June Païk…), le duo Illuha et l’artiste électronique Taylor Deupree. Cet enregistrement en 3 parties peut évoquer une symphonie ambient, mélant des textures électroniques, field recording et sonorités de cordes. L’ambiance générale est très introspective et vibrante, créant une sensation de volupté et de beauté naturelle du son, hors du temps.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: SKUG (AT)

VISIT Apropos perfekt: Dass der japanische Großmeister der elegant-kitschigen Loungemusic, Ryuichi Sakamoto, in der Ambient-Ecke landen musste, war nur eine Frage der Zeit. Mittlerweile klingt das bei ihm aber so, als hätte er nie etwas anderes gemacht. »Perpetual«, eingespielt mit Taylor Deupree und Corey Fuller & Tomoyoshi Date aka Illuha, ist näher an der Elektroakustik als am Pop (reichlich Live-Elektronik, Synthesizer und ein präpariertes Piano kommen zum Einsatz), aber in seinem Klangerlebnis ganz im flauscheweichen Herzen von Ambient Zuhause. Dennoch steckt in »Perpetual« viel mehr Liebe zum Detail als bei den bisher erwähnten Tonträgern, was umso beachtlicher ist, da das dreiteilige Stück auf einer Live-Performance beruht. Doch auch hier stirbt die knisternde, wabernde, zittrige Ambientgrandezza irgendwann ab Minute 27 mit einem langanhaltenden Gähnen.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: ATTN MAGAZINE (UK)

VISIT One second unrolls into a long, levitating minute as I hear a solitary piano note fading into the air around, with all other sounds frozen into quiet as though mesmerised by the graceful decay. Elsewhere, time is overlain at different speeds and in frictional chronology, with a stream of soft electric drones running like a bathroom tap between harp notes that scuttle like a spider evading the flow of water; timelessness intertwined with a mortally frantic moment. The whole thing hovers, cloud-like – cradled by an implied, psychologically fulfilled tonality, tense as though modestly charged with electricity, billowing outward and inward with the frosty scrapes of a field-recorded elsewhere and the hums of my own bodily stasis.

In spite of the space-time confusion, I feel calm. Careless, almost. I pick up fragmentary details and drop them: swapping the confirmation beeps of hospital equipment for a slither of winter birdsong, slurping up reverse bells and then flitting across to see a hard-drive needle stuttering with age, or watching as a piano chord drops like wooden boat debris on a lake. I am rendered curious and blissfully distracted, sucked into the intricate workings of a particular electric glitch while vaguely aware of the flicked guitar strings in my peripheral consciousness. The bustle of sound is constant and intense but it does not demand my attention; I may dissect it by the seams if I wish, or lie upon it and feel its tidal undulations pushing gently against my back. It is a thousand tiny sounds in ecological conversation, and it is a single living entity breathing in and out.
Illuha
Akari

Steinbruchel

Parallel Landscapes

12k2034

REVIEW: FLUID RADIO (UK)

VISIT Up next on 12k, Swiss musician Steinbrüchel invites us into his “Parallel Landscapes”. The album wants to design music, to let it linger naturally. Layers of soft notes rise up and fold over each other, like overlapping autumnal leaves. Sometimes they collide, but when they do it’s more of a gentle nudge than anything else. It has that special kind of stillness that’s only going to be found when the music just lays there, uninterrupted. Bells carry off into the distance, chiming sweetly. They twinkle like a handful of stars, bright-eyed children from the Andromeda Galaxy.

Music is a landscape – its topography (pitch) gently climbs until it reaches a hilltop, and the sparse music takes us by the hand to an open place washed hazily by emerald trees and sponge-soft branches. The uneven, and completely natural, lie of the land has been shaped and fashioned over time, and the end result is a unique kind of geography. It dips and inflates, and it appears to have stayed that way for centuries.

The cute and innocent notes twirl slowly, hovering over a soft, sleepy crib. They don’t want to cause any trouble — they’re ambient peacemakers, and they uphold the ambient world with cushioned batons and chiming harmonies in place of sirens. Only a light dusting of static comes through on the radio. When they reach their journey’s end, they gently curve up to their tonal resolution and stay there, content with a hot cup of tea and cuddle-soft sheets. A thin, snowy covering of static grazes the music, filling the space in the close-to-silent void. This is a de-stresser, a detox for your January and the winter blues that, surely enough, makes itself known as it enters through the gap in the door. Parallel Landscapes is close to heavenly: non-intrusive, distilled and pure.
Steinbruchel
Parallel Landscapes

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: FLUID RADIO (UK)

Ryuichi Sakamoto, Illuha (Corey Fuller & Tomoyoshi Date) and Taylor Deupree all joined forces in the midst of a fiery Japanese summer. Their live performance, which took place at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media as part of its ten-year anniversary, was fortunately recorded, and “Perpetual”, named after the eternal, ageless magic of music, is the result.

This proved to be a deep experience for everyone involved, and you can hear why. These ambient experiments are full of little details, but they’re also a loose fit; lucid, tonally rich and lovely to behold. You don’t really listen to music such as this — it’s more of a full-body immersion, a baptism into the depths.

Subtle, gentle drones and dappled ambient tones paint a steady, tranquil portrait. Experimental this may be, but there’s still a steady, sure momentum at the heart of “Perpetual”. We’re never sure where it’s leading, and that’s a great thing. Rippling electronics sit quietly at the water’s side, cooling off after a day drenched in the wet heat of the summer. Piano, guitar, pump organ and synths all combine, but they never disassemble the music. The three movements are mysterious, shrouded in a cloak of wet, light fog. Indistinct drums occasionally pound from far away. The deeper, exotic synths that enter later are native to the jungles and the rainforests: lush, dense, possibly even eternal.

The electronic elements become the prevailing force, and while the birdsong tries to counter the synthesised blips, the oh-so-sweet sound can’t win the battle. The music unfolds slowly. The frequencies quiver and wobble. Sounds rattle and crash. Lost, grainy voices and silky tones wrap their arms, or branches, around the thicker texture of the foliage. A piano plays sporadically, and a bass jumps around the major intervals. What does it all mean? “Perpetual” is a reminder of the permanence of quality.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: MUSIK AN SICH (DE)

VISIT Die an diesem Album beteiligten vier Künstler (Illuha ist ein Duo) trafen sich auf dem zehnjährigen Jubiläum des Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, wo Sakamoto mit einer Installation und die anderen Künstler ebenfalls vertreten waren.
Man kam dann ins Gespräch und beschloss spontan zusammen auf die Bühne zu gehen. Das Ergebnis liegt hier nun in drei Movements auf dem Album Perpetual vor.

Sakamoto, Illuha und Deupree haben vorher noch nie zusammen gespielt, umso erstaunlicher ist, dass was sie hier vor einem schweigendem Publikum hervorgebracht haben. Neben Elektronik wurden Synthesizer, Harmonium, Gitarre und Piano eingesetzt.

Das “Movement 1“ startet mit schwebenden Synthiesounds und elektronischen Geräuschen, die den Hörer umspielen. Das mit viel Hall dargebotene Stück bietet eine greifbare Räumlichkeit. Die eingesetzten Stimmsamples kommen aus der tiefe des Raumes, die aufkommenden klackernden Elektronikparts ebenso. Am Schluss spiet sich das Harmonium nach vorne und zaubert aus der sowieso schon entspannt psychedelischen Atmosphäre einen wirklichen psychedelischen Traum. Die knapp 18 Minuten werden - obwohl oberflächlich betrachtet - nie langweilig und bieten viel Raum zum Entdecken.

“Movement 2“ arbeitet sich mit harschen Klängen ähnlich einem Bass (erzeugt aber wohl mit den Pianosaiten) aus dem ersten Stück heraus. Zunächst erzeugen die Musiker nur zerfasert wirkende Perkussionsklänge auf verschiedenste Weise. Aus diesen Klängen entwickelt sich dann langsam eine Soundfläche, die dem ersten Movement in der Stimmung gleicht, doch durch die weiter im Vordergrund stehenden Geräusche der Elektronik zerfaserter und experimenteller wirkt. Über die fast 20 Minuten gelingt es den Künstlern das Stück immer weiter zu einer Klanglandschaft auszuarbeiten, in die der Hörer versinken kann. Denn auch hier erzeugen sie eine unglaublich räumliche Musik.

Auch in das “Movement 3“ geht es übergangslos. Die Geräusche kommen wieder in den Vordergrund, die Synthie- und Pianoklinge hallen nach bzw. laufen wie in einer langen Schleife vor sich hin. Neben Vogelzwitschern bauen die Musiker nun auch wieder diese unwirklich klingende Perkussion erzeugt auf Pianoseiten und Elektronik ein. So schwebt das "Movement 3" mit immer mehr aufkommendem Hall langsam dem Ende der Aufnahme entgegen.

Pepetual ist ein an Ideen und zu erkundenden Sounds reiches Ambientalbum geworden, das zum entspannten Träumen ebenso einlädt wie zur Entdeckungsreise. Da es zusätzlich recht eingängig geworden ist, macht es zu einer absolut empfehlenswerten Scheibe.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg

Between You And The Shapes You Take

12k1078

REVIEW: LIABILITY (FR)

VISIT Deuxième collaboration entre Stephen Vitiello et Molly Berg après The Gorilla Variations, toujours chez 12k, paru en 2009. D'ailleurs, chez ce premier, les collaborations ce n'est franchement pas ce qui manque (Tetsu Inoue, Andrew Deutsch, Machinefabriek, Steve Roden...). Une de plus, une de moins... En fait, c'est probablement ce qu'il y a de plus intéressant chez un artiste. Pouvoir associer son art à celui d'un autre est toujours enrichissant. Le fait que la collaboration est renouvelée est un signe de bonne entente et que la première expérience était soit concluante soit méritait d'être poussée plus avant. Ainsi, on reprend les choses là où on les avait laissées, Molly Berg reprenant son rôle à la clarinette et aux vocaux, Stephen Vitiello à la guitare aux traitements électroniques. A noter la présence du violoniste Hahn Rowe du groupe Hugo Largo sur deux morceaux. Ce qui se joue sur Between You and The Shapes You Takes est une musique diaphane et rêveuse qui se déplace avec soin dans les brumes. Le duo avance doucement, prenant le temps de regarder autour de soi et faire comme ce que le titre suggère c'est à dire prendre l'ombre qui se situe dans l'entre deux. L'aspect abstrait et fantomatique fait que le duo est en dehors des frontières du réel, évoluant sereinement dans un environnement fantasmé aux couleurs sépia. Stephen Vitiello et Molly Berg s'adonnent à ce type de musique vagabonde qui effleure nos sensibilités, nous brusque jamais et s'éloigne de toute tension perturbatrice. En un sens, même si c'est moins linéaire et rempli de nuances, Between You and the Shapes You Take peut aisément se ranger dans les expériences ambiants qui n'ont eu de cesse de muter pendant les quarante dernières années. Parce que oui, l'ambiant ne saurait être qu'une longue litanie de drones ou de nappes électroniques uniformes. D'ailleurs, il suffit de relire David Toop pour savoir que cela n'a jamais été cela et que l'ambiant a su prendre différentes formes du fait de sa multiculturalité. Ce disque en est alors la parfaite illustration et dont la beauté profonde paraît indiscutable.
Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg
Between You And The Shapes You Take

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: MUSIC WONT' SAVE YOU (IT)

VISIT Tre lunghi movimenti catturati dal vivo nel corso di un’esibizione della scorsa estate espandono a nuovi partner creativi l’esperienza collaborativa già posta in atto da Taylor Deupree e Ryuichi Sakamoto in occasione del loro “Disappearance” (2013). Accanto ai due navigati artisti, un altro duo ormai di casa per l’etichetta 12k, gli Illuha di Corey Fuller e Tomoyoshi Date che da progetto a distanza si sono trasformati in continuativo progetto in compresenza in occasione dell’intrigante “Akari” (2014).
L’incontro contemporaneo è stato per i quattro musicisti un’esperienza inedita, la cui valenza è amplificata proprio dalla registrazione in presa diretta delle improvvisazioni da loro condotte e catturate nei cinquanta minuti di “Perpetual”.

Nelle tre pièce gli universi sonori dei quattro musicisti sono condensati in una materia sonora viva e cangiante, nella quale i contributi singoli si disperdono in una sintesi nella quale synth e chitarre processate delineano la base sulla quale gravitano field recordings in sospensione e minute irregolarità elettro-acustiche. Ciò non implica che non siano riconoscibili, ad esempio, le armonie pianistiche di Sakamoto o l’abituale approccio organico al suono da parte di Deupree e le sculture in movimento degli Illuha; soltanto tutti questi elementi sono sottoposti a un incessante processo di ricombinazione lungo il corso dei tre movimenti del lavoro.

Benché il primo sia maggiormente popolato da screziature sonore prodotte da oggetti e field recordings e il secondo sublimi esili drone in particelle di vapori cosmici, in entrambi non mancano di affiorare suadenti modulazioni e frammenti acustici che li ammantano di una grazia incantata, del resto coerente con il contesto del centro artistico Yamaguchi, nel quale l’esibizione che ha dato luogo a “Perpetual” si è svolta. Una sensazione ancora più spiccata di fragile delicatezza promana dal movimento finale, ricamato dalle note del pianoforte incorniciate da texture nebbiose, in perfetto equilibrio tra naturalismo ambientale ed elettro-acustica microtonale.

Proprio la bilanciata naturalezza delle improvvisazioni di “Perpetual” costituisce il risultato più lusinghiero dell’operazione, che rende emblematico come l’interrelazione tra diverse eccellenze espressive non possa che produrre mondi sonori preziosi e affascinanti.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: VITAL WEEKLY (NL)

On the first of these two discs we find a quartet of players, who never played together as such before. It is a recording at the Yamaguchi Center For Arts & Media - which is a great place in a very nice part of Japan, believe me - which existed ten years and hosted an installation by Sakamoto (erstwhile of Yellow Magic Orchestra, but that seems light years ago) and without much preparation, other than a lot of talk in the preceding days, they took the stage. Sakamoto on the piano, treated piano and percussion, Deupree on modular synth and Illuha being a duo of Corey Fuller on guitar, pianet, electronics and Tomoyoshi Date on pump organ, electronics and noises. If you followed the careers of Sakamoto and Deupree over the last ten to twenty years you may know where this sort of collaborations go, music wise; lengthy drones, carefully processed sounds, spacious and atmospheric clustered tones. In that respect one could say 'Perpetual' is more of the same. But there are also small differences, I think. In 'Movement, 2' there is also a bit of percussion, sparse as it is, it's perhaps also not the most common feature, but it works quite well Also the third (and last) movement has these faint traces of percussion, which act more like footsteps in the snow rather than any sort of consecutive rhythm. Sakamoto is as sparse as always on the piano, playing very slow music. There is a fine ambiance in this recording, a sort of natural reverb (maybe this recording is a combination of microphone and line recordings), which adds a subtle layer to the music. Despite these little differences this perhaps exactly the kind of you would expect and these expectations are met: this won't disappoint any fan of this kind of music. It's a great album.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Steinbruchel

Parallel Landscapes

12k2034

REVIEW: VITAL WEEKLY (NL)

Apparently Steinbrüchel never had a solo, full length CD on 12K before, despite being present on compilations, an EP and a collaboration with Frank Bretschneider. His 'Parallel Landscapes' is not another CD release but incorporates music and art. The latter via a sixty pages (CD-sized) booklet of photographs by Taylor Deupree, design by Steinbrüchel and an essay by Lawrence English and raises such issues as music and landscapes, music as horizontal layers, drawing curves of sound files and such like. Steinbrüchel uses what he always seems to be using, which is sine waves and long sustaining sounds, but somehow he managed to make this all much softer; fragile and delicate even as opposed to the somewhat harsher music from earlier on in his career. I assume that he also uses something more than just (sampled) sine waves. I suspect samples of instruments to be playing part of this too. It's sounds of a bell being sampled and played across the keyboard. In all eight pieces this is a feature, and perhaps as such one could say there is not an awful lot of variation in this. That is, I think a pity, here: it sounds pretty similar, but it suggests, also through indexing these as more than one piece, as more pieces. Also the music itself seems to me walking common paths of the kind that 12K walked before, especially label boss Deupree did some excellent work in this direction. Steinbrüchel delivers a finely produced CD, but it's not one that is really innovative. If you like the microsound/warm glitch/ambient approach then you'll love this. In that respect this is among the best, warm and staying in a similar place.
Steinbruchel
Parallel Landscapes

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: SOUNDWALL (IT)

VISIT And that air delicate orient more remote that almost touch it breaks, is fluidity and dedication, harmony slow and distant. Ryuichi Sakamoto, Japanese pianist and composer shares the stage of the "Center For Arts And Media" Yamaguchi with the duo of experimental music Illuha and producer Taylor Deupree during the ten years of the cultural center, in the summer of 2013.

According to the press release of the album the four musicians, for the first time together on stage, created at that moment something eternal and timeless, the son of a great professional understanding born at the time, which led artists to use a variety of tools and play with different facets-time music without a precise script, between arches distorted, tangles of soft synths and piano melodies accented ethereal. The end effect left the audience breathless and it was like a relief of the soul, a cool breeze in the hot and humid late July.

This strong performance was recorded becoming "Perpetual" album in three parts, which will be released in CD and digital live under the label of Taylor Deupree 12k January 27. Meanwhile, SoundCloud, you can listen to streaming the third act of a Live Set.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: ETHEREAL (FR)

VISIT Comme annoncé il y a deux ans, au moment de la recension de Tele, Pjusk revient sur 12k pour son nouvel album, et en profite pour revenir à une ambient plus traditionnelle après un intermède plutôt expérimental. Néanmoins, afin de livrer autre chose qu’une simple superposition de couches sonores et de sortir du tout-venant de l’ambient composite, les Norvégiens ont fait le choix de partir de sonorités produites par la trompette de Kåre Nymark Jr., présent tout au long de l’album mais en filigrane. De fait, il peut s’agir soit de solliciter le musicien pour intervenir en quasi-solo sur les nappes réalisées par les deux membres de Pjusk, soit de se servir d’une note tenue ou du souffle généré par l’instrument, traité ensuite par Taylor Deupree, pour rejoindre les autres matériaux.

Dans ce contexte, la seconde veine se situe globalement dans la droite lignée de ce que Pjusk a pu offrir jusqu’à présent (tout du moins sur ses albums sur 12k puisqu’on retrouve même des titres de pure ambient anxiogène, travaillant sur l’aspect inquiétant du souffle de la trompette (Streif, Diffus, Demring ou bien le caudal et convaincant Skimt dont les neuf minutes cinquante permettent de déployer des velléités plus aventureuses). En alternance, la première voie diffère quelque peu et conduit les deux Norvégiens à explorer un chemin proche d’une forme de jazz expérimental alangui, avec glitchs ralentis, triturations et micro-larsens (Gløtt, Blaff, Sløret, Glød). Apportant de la chaleur et une profondeur supplémentaire aux compositions de Rune Sagevik et Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik, la trompette favorise donc le renouvellement d’un propos peut-être trop monocorde par ailleurs.

Cette volonté de travailler dans un double registre (compacité sombre des textures et ampleur de la trompette) se manifestait déjà dès le titre de l’album, mot-valise norvégien, puisque Sol signifie « soleil » et Støv, « poussière ». Au-delà de ce clin d’œil et du classique travail sur le contraste qu’il induit, il est certain que ce nouvel apport (en sus de celui, habituel, d’Anders Voldsund à la guitare) s’avère particulièrement bénéfique, nous amenant à considérer plus favorablement que dans notre souvenir la carrière de Pjusk.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: ETHEREAL (FR)

VISIT Comme annoncé lors de la recension d’Interstices, l’album live paru en juin 2013, un nouveau long-format d’Illuha arrive bien début 2014. Ayant expérimenté plusieurs endroits de réalisation de leur musique (une église pour la confection de Shizuku, des salles de concerts dont Interstices constituait un témoignage), les deux musiciens membres du duo ont choisi d’enregistrer et mixer Akari en studio, à Tokyo même, là où ils vivent tous les deux. Musicalement, l’ampleur autour de leurs éléments se fait peut-être un peu moins grande mais leur capacité à entremêler composantes électroniques et instruments réels s’avère intacte.

Il en va de même pour leur aptitude à évoluer sur la durée (deux morceaux autour des douze minutes, un autre dépassant les dix-sept), propre à permettre la participation successive de divers instruments, intervenant toujours de manière particulièrement délicate, si fragile qu’on pourrait presque penser qu’ils sont sur le point de se casser, particules musicales de verre ou de porcelaine (Diagrams Of The Physical Interpretation Of Resonance, The Relationship Of Gravity To The Persistence Of Sound). Sur ces mêmes titres, l’adjonction de quelques nappes et textures en flux et reflux apporter une indéniable profondeur, sur laquelle peuvent progresser sans peine les composants décrits précédemment.

Parfois, Tomoyoshi Date et Corey Fuller optent pour une approche plus expérimentale, privilégiant les frottements, craquèlements et sonorités aigues (Vertical Staves Of Line Drawings And Pointillism). Rompant avec les autres pistes du disque, ce morceau peut être rapproché du caudal Relative Hyperbolas Of Amplified And Decaying Waveform qui, après deux premiers tiers dans lesquels un piano opère en quasi-solo, des traits et percées synthétiques, saturées et grondantes viennent le rejoindre.
Illuha
Akari

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: CARNAGE NEWS (IT)

VISIT Sintetizzatori, filed recordings sussurrato, qualcosa di percussivo, piccole escavazioni, lente ascensioni, lunghe immersioni, costruzioni geometriche che riverberano una ritualità di fondo che dona il pneuma all’opera. Akari è la luce che filtra da più superfici con spettri diversi, prismatica.

12k1080_frontIl duo Illuha, costituito da Corey Fuller e Tomoyoshi Date sono meticolosi, i Cirillo e Metodio della situazione. Se infatti col previo disco Interstices, gli Illuha si dedicavano alla dimensione prettamente live, il disco Akari è una lunga sosta nello studio di registrazione st-robo di Tokyo. Akari, che non ha nulla a che vedere con gli esseri microscopici che si dedicano a seppellire sotto la polvere la mobilia delle nostre case, è il termine giapponese per indicare “luce” – un elemento che si manifesta intimamente per tutto il disco. Cinque tracce si propagano per vari ambienti, vari strumenti vecchio stile (non necessariamente musicali) da cui trasuda il tempo passato, gettato nel presente. Illuha procedono come scienziati: con vari tools indagano la dimensione fisica del suono, della luce, la loro dinamica e il loro afflato.

Musica liquida, aerea, concreta: ogni aspetto della vita di un suono si mostra in molteplici forme. Ciò non significa che questo disco sia proteiforme, quanto piuttosto pura materia (una materia tutta particolare che deriva da differenti sorgenti: prova a sottrarre la sorgente e ciò che ne rimane è la sorgente mediata, il risultato di ciò che è appena zampillato da quella sorgente. Una messa tra parentesi di quella che è data essere come l’origine: l’origine è nello scorrere stesso dei suoni, nella loro propagazione. Il duo non si dedica propriamente alla nascita del suono, bensì a ciò che ne risulta dall’uscita. I lunghi titoli eziologici non fanno altro che definire il tipo di studio su un determinato processo di manifestazione: Diagrams Of The Physical Interpretation Of Resonance, Vertical Staves Of Line Drawings And Pointillism, The Relationship Of Gravity To The Persistence Of Sound, Structures Based On The Plasticity Of Sphere Surface Tension, Requiem For Relative Hyperbolas Of Amplified And Decaying Waveforms.

Sintetizzatori, filed recordings sussurrato, qualcosa di percussivo, piccole escavazioni, lente ascensioni, lunghe immersioni, costruzioni geometriche che riverberano una ritualità di fondo che dona il pneuma all’opera. Akari è la luce che filtra da più superfici con spettri diversi, prismatica. Tanto l’occhio, quanto l’orecchio, quanto il cervello, sono assorbiti dall’ascolto di questo disco. Lo spirito è dato per scontato: è già nel disco.
Illuha
Akari

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: POLYPHONIA (PL)

VISIT Zastygające dźwięki, niespieszne ruchy, ospały ambient i…

Właśnie ukazała się nowa pozycja w katalogu amerykańskiej oficyny 12k. Album „Perpetual” kolektywu Ryuichi Sakamoto/Illuha/Taylor Deupree to zapis improwizowanej sesji, jaka odbyła się w Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media z okazji dziesiątych urodzin tejże artystycznej placówki. Dobrze pamiętamy krążek duetu Sakamoto i Deupree – „Disappearance” (nasza recenzja), bo już na „Perpetual” skład się powiększył do kwartetu (projekt Illuha tworzą: Tomoyoshi Date i Corey Fuller), tym samym jest to pierwsze wspólne przedsięwzięcie tych czterech muzyków.

Płytę „Perpetual” podzielono na trzy długie kompozycje zatytułowane „Movement, 1,2,3”, którym z całą pewnością nie brakuje spójności, przejrzystej koncepcji i znakomitej jakości dźwięku. Pierwsze nagranie „Movement, 1” to w zasadzie delikatny ambient, jaki znajdziemy na większości wydawnictw z 12k, okraszony field recordingiem, lekkim szumem, od czasu do czasu zabarwiony odgłosami różnych przedmiotów, syntezatorów analogowych i preparowanej gitary. Zaś drugi fragment „Movement, 2” wyrywa nas z tej nieco przewidywalnej aury, gdzie w ciekawy sposób Ryuichi Sakamoto przetworzył brzmienie fortepianu, jak też w kolejnym utworze „Movement, 3” – wydaje się, że partie Sakamoto stanowią najmocniejszy składnik tego longplaya i wynoszą materiał na nieco wyższy poziom.

(…i) Nie zmienia to faktu, że rozczarowałem się płytą „Perpetual” – spodziewałem się jednak czegoś więcej po tych artystach, czyli mniej oczywistych i zachowawczych rozwiązań, a więcej odważnych posunięć z ich strony. Choć jedynie wielki plus mogę dopisać do tego, co zaprezentował Sakamoto. Pozostali muzycy nie pokazali niczego wielkiego. Medytacyjny charakter nagrań z „Perpetual” potrafi wciągnąć i zatrzymać czas – jednych to zadowoli, ale nie zaspokoi tych, którzy szukają mocniejszych wrażeń.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: UNI (CZ)

Ne nadarmo před dvěma roky zlákal Alessandro Tedeschi norskou dvojici Pjusk, aby přispěa albem na tematický, jasně zaměřený ambentní Label Giacial Movements. Témata ledu, polárního zářní a mrazivé tiŝny jsou Josteinu Dahlovi Gjelsvikoyi a Runeovi Andremu Sagevkovi z přistavu Bergen docela blízké, přesto nová kolekce se obrací ke slunci (norsky Sol) a prachu (norsky Støv). Tiché, minimalistické nálady ovŝem pánové vykreslují i na této desce, navic s výrazriým přspénísm dalŝího muzikanta. Tim je trumpetista Kåre Nymark Jr. známý spíŝe z jazzových kruhů. Na novince se položil do více meditativní, roviny a ihned posluchaĉi naskakují asociace s dalŝími krajany — Arve Henriksenem a Nilsem Petterem Molvaerem. Na rozdíl od obou hvězd severského jazzu ale Pjusk s Nymarkem zůstávají věrni ambientu. Ony totiž velmi minimalistické základy všech kompozic, jež bud' zůjstávají u čistého hlukového ambientu nebo putzují pomalým strojoyym tempem, ani veLký prostor pro sólová extempore nenabízejí. Nebo jinak, pokud by se muzikant snažil volná prostranstvi skladeb zapinit, šel by protj duchu tvorby dvojice. Proto se Kåreho trubka na mnoha místech odmlčí a zpovzdáli se náhle přibíží neustle tiše bublající a praskající podloží, které je samo o sobě zajímavou pastvou audiofilova ucha, Ve "Falmet" navíc přispěhá na pomoc ještě pravidelný spolupracovník dua, kytarista Anders Voldsund a z ničeho nic se zjeví i Nicolas Grenier, který do tichého podkladu odrecituje ve francouzštině svou báseň. Termín solstøv (sluneční prach) znamená nejen chuchvalce částeček, které jemně zakrývají sluneční svit, ale také skvrny vzdálených galaxií, které maií nenápadný vilv na nás samotné. Celá tvorba norských melancholiků je postavena na manipulaci se zvukem, na rozložení půvyodních linek a jejich opětovné siožení v různých, povětšinou silně meditativních formách. Pjusk jsou ambientní rekultivátoři naplňující svým vlastním způsobem Darwinovu teorri o koloběhu života — z prachu jsme se zrodili a v prach se znovu vrátíme. Do té doby ale žijeme dobradružství ve velkém mezidobí. A tento proces Pjusk i na novém albu krásně ilustrují. Payel Zelinka
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: SONIC SEDUCER (DE)

Solstøv ist die dritte Veröffentlichung des Duos auf 12K und sein viertes Album insgesamt. Der eisige Ambient der beiden basiert heuer beinah volständig auf dem Trompetenspiel von Kåre Nymark jr. Während im Vordergrund sowohl die naturbelassenen als auch stark editieren Klänge des Blasinstruments zu hören sind, sammeln sich im Hintergrund weitere Töne am Rand der Hörgrenze an. Nymarks Spiel steht wie ein zementgewordener Toncluster im Nichts und wird mal dezent, mal vordergründig umspielt. Hierbei entwickelt sich eine eigene Art von Rhythmik, die zu Beginn des Albums nicht absehbar war. Ein soannendes Wechselspiel um Statik und Bewegung und tiefgreifende Klangveränderungen. Tipp! Sascha Betrocin.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: OBSKURE (FR)

Duo norvégien, Pjusk propose une ambient assez organique, limpide et atmosphérique. Compatriote de Biosphere, il suit les traces du maître Geir Jenssen dans la production de textures glaciales et somptueuses. La trompette, instrument central sur Solstøv, propage une atmosphère à la fois chaleureuse, mélancolique et spectrale à l'ensemble. L'album oscille entre profondeur monocorde, tissée par des drones et renforcée par des pulsations de basse ('Blaff' et 'Skimt') et une légèreté stratosphérique ('Streif','Gltt' et 'Trolsk'). Sans se complaire dans une humeur en particulier, les Norvégiens alternent et font varier leurs sonorités. Si l'on perçoit des éléments menaçants, presque indus par moments ('Demring') ou lorgnant allègrement du côté du dark ambient ('Blaff'), ils parviennent toujours rasséréner i'audlteur par une pirouette astucieuse, une nappe scintillante ou des notes dc trompette moelleuses. Le son de l'instrument peut être à la fois naturel et traité. Il prend souvent l'auditeur au dépourvu, surgissant des limbes et dominant l'architecture texturale par des notes puissantes, parfois funèbres ('Demring'). Ainsi, l'écoute peut se faire à plusieurs niveaux, entre une couche ambient apaisante, la trompette s'imposant comme référent musical, et ces Sons mystérieux renforçant la quiétude générale ou au contraire la malmenant. Une perle froide.
Olivier Bernard 90%
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: GONZO (BE)

Aan Pjusk hangt de typische romantiek van de Noorse moderne elektronica: Rune Sagevik en Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik wonen aan de ruige westkust van Noorwegen, in dorpjes middenin de uitgestrekte en wilde natuur. Een hutje in de bergen is dan de plek waar ze hun liefde voor de schoonheid van het landschap samen in muziek omzetten. Middelpuntvliedende kracht is daarbij dit keer het geluid van de trompet van Kåre Nymark jr, in zowel natuurlijke als bewerkte vorm. Met die kosmische en tegelijk zo menselijke — ademgestuurde - tonen is er natuurlijk helemaal geen houden meer aan en herleeft de Noorse natuur in al haar mystieke, ruimtelijke en zinnelijke expressie als nooit tevoren. Alleen verhuizen naar Møre og Romsdal of een enkeltje Mars is een optie na het beluisteren van deze plaat, dus wees gewaarschuwd. Afijn, woorden schieten eigenlijk tekort dus, maar het moet gezegd:
Pjusk heeft met Solstøv een meesterwerkje afgeleverd op het vlak van ambient, soundscapes en fieldrecording. (ays)
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: BAD ALCHEMY (DE)

Die beiden Norweger Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik & Rune Sagevik sind schon bei Sart (2007), ihrem Debut, Dröhnminimalisten und Reisende gewesen. Nachdem sie bei Sval (2010) die Sinne ins Dunkle und Schummrige mitgenommen haben und bei Tele (2012) durch Gneis und Granit bis ins Polare, lassen sie einen nun Sternenstaub schnupfen. Anfangs werden sie noch von Sleep Orchestra begleitet, das ist Christopher Pegg, mit dem sie gemeinsam sich auch schon in den Fluten des Himmels ersauft haben. Aber wichtiger ist hier die Trompete von Kåre Nymark Jr., deren Klang die Wolke bildet, auf der man dahin driftet ins Dämmrige, Diffuse, Verschleierte. Bei "Falmet" hört man auch die Gitarre von Anders Volsund und Gedichtzeilen von Nicolas Grenier, die in den immensen Abgrund hinter den Wolken locken. Damit hat man ein Ziel vor Augen, ringsum aber erklingen Windspiel und Kuhglocken, ein elektronisches Funkeln und Rauschen, das auf synästhetische und zauberhafte Weise Dinge hörbar macht, die man sonst nur ahnen kann. Die Trompete spielt das Molvær- und Hendriksen-Spiel und singt wie sie das Lied von der Sehnsucht, das Lied, von dem der Wind erzählt. "Blaff" ist mit einem Puls unterlegt, der aber überrauscht wird von Partikelstürmen, bis doch wieder die Trompete blank liegt. Von ihr geht etwas Betörendes aus, elne sanfte Glut, aber bei "Glød" und seinem wieder von Gitarre mitgetönten Pulsieren dann auch ein wildes Strahlen, die den Blick weg von den eigenen Füßen und vom Handydisplay zu ganz anderen Horizonten lenken. Wer ein wirklicher Reisender sich nennen will, den führt der Weg vers la eaux claires du jour, durch Nacht und Morgen, ins Unermessliche. Für "Skimt" findet Pjusk noch einen Weggefährten in Yui Onodera, der sich mit der Porösität der Dinge auskennt und den Blüten, die die Nacht treibt.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: JAZZ N MORE (DE)

Das Label 12K steht für Ästhetik, sowohl des Inhalts seiner Veröffentlichungen wie auch deren Präsentation. Abstrakte Grafiken (vielleicht Fotografien?), einförmige Flächen, wenig Farbe – schon das Äussere jeder CD verspricht eine radikale Reduktion auf das Wesentliche, und mit der Formation Illuha hat das Label einen neuen Repräsentanten dieses Konzepts an Bord holen können. So konkret die fünf verschiedenen Abschnitte auch bezeichnet sind – "Diagrams Of The Physical Interpretation Of Resonance", oder "Structures Based On The Plasticity Of Sphere Surface Tension" sind nur zwei Beispiele –, so abstrakt und vordergründig bar jeder
Form breiten sich die langen, meditativen Stücke aus. Über weite Strecken fehlt jeglicher Puls, und schon zwei ähnlich klingende Ereignisse verbinden sich zu einer sachten Verheissung einer verborgenen Struktur. Akari sei der japanische Begriff für Licht; trotz des umfangreichen Arsenals vielfältiger technischer Klangerzeuger lässt Illuha die Welt im Glanz eines organischen Flackerns erscheinen, das eine tiefe, melancholische Wärme ausstrahlt.
Illuha
Akari

Marsen Jules

The Endless Change Of Colour

12k1074

REVIEW: MUSIC PAPER (GR)

VISIT Γνωστός μας από το προηγούμενο Beauty fear, o Γερμανός Marsen Jules (Martin Juhls), κυκλοφορεί το Marsen Jules At GRM όπου GRM είναι το θρυλικό παρισινό στούντιο Radio France ιδρυμένο από το συνθέτη Pierre Schaeffer βασικό πρωταγωνιστή της Musique Concrete, της Συγκεκριμένης Μουσικής, βασισμένης σε προηχογραφημένους και αναδιαταγμένους ήχους. Δυο μεγάλες συνθέσεις με συστοιχίες εγχόρδων σε κρεσέντο παράλληλα με τοίχους από βόμβους και αντηχήσεις δημιουργούν ένα μετά- μίνιμαλ ιδιαίτερο ηχητικό σύμπαν.
Marsen Jules
The Endless Change Of Colour

Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg

Between You And The Shapes You Take

12k1078

REVIEW: LIABILITY (FR)

VISIT Deuxième collaboration entre Stephen Vitiello et Molly Berg après The Gorilla Variations, toujours chez 12k, paru en 2009. D'ailleurs, chez ce premier, les collaborations ce n'est franchement pas ce qui manque (Tetsu Inoue, Andrew Deutsch, Machinefabriek, Steve Roden...). Une de plus, une de moins... En fait, c'est probablement ce qu'il y a de plus intéressant chez un artiste. Pouvoir associer son art à celui d'un autre est toujours enrichissant. Le fait que la collaboration est renouvelée est un signe de bonne entente et que la première expérience était soit concluante soit méritait d'être poussée plus avant. Ainsi, on reprend les choses là où on les avait laissées, Molly Berg reprenant son rôle à la clarinette et aux vocaux, Stephen Vitiello à la guitare aux traitements électroniques. A noter la présence du violoniste Hahn Rowe du groupe Hugo Largo sur deux morceaux. Ce qui se joue sur Between You and The Shapes You Takes est une musique diaphane et rêveuse qui se déplace avec soin dans les brumes. Le duo avance doucement, prenant le temps de regarder autour de soi et faire comme ce que le titre suggère c'est à dire prendre l'ombre qui se situe dans l'entre deux. L'aspect abstrait et fantomatique fait que le duo est en dehors des frontières du réel, évoluant sereinement dans un environnement fantasmé aux couleurs sépia. Stephen Vitiello et Molly Berg s'adonnent à ce type de musique vagabonde qui effleure nos sensibilités, nous brusque jamais et s'éloigne de toute tension perturbatrice. En un sens, même si c'est moins linéaire et rempli de nuances, Between You and the Shapes You Take peut aisément se ranger dans les expériences ambiants qui n'ont eu de cesse de muter pendant les quarante dernières années. Parce que oui, l'ambiant ne saurait être qu'une longue litanie de drones ou de nappes électroniques uniformes. D'ailleurs, il suffit de relire David Toop pour savoir que cela n'a jamais été cela et que l'ambiant a su prendre différentes formes du fait de sa multiculturalité. Ce disque en est alors la parfaite illustration et dont la beauté profonde paraît indiscutable.
Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg
Between You And The Shapes You Take

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: SOUND OF MUSIC (SE)

VISIT Kåre Nymark Jr:s trumpet står i sökljuset på den norska duon Pjusks fjärde album. Solstøv är en vacker historia som kretsar kring trumpetens sound. Både som akustiskt instrument och som ljudalstrare. Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik och Rune Andre Sagevik har samarbetat sedan 2005 och har utvecklat ett eget sound som är glaciärlikt. De arbetar med stora och svala musikstycken som förflyttar sig i långsamma rörelser. Det finns också ett mått av ödslighet och eftertänksamhet i dessa ambienta ljudskisser.

På Solstøv har de tagit hjälp av flera musiker, bland annat skivbolaget 12k:s Taylor Deupree som manipulerar trumpetljud genom ljuddesignverktyget Kyma. Det som slår mig när jag lyssnar på de tio kompositionerna är hur eleganta de är. Deras strama och minimalistiska kropp rör sig i till synes ändlösa svängrörelser. Norrmännens signaturharmonier för också tankarna till fjordar och bergmassiva.

Ibland sprakar det till i texturerna, men för de mesta hålls den musikaliska standardarkitektur upprätt genom stilla rörelser. Taylor Deuprees ljusexperiment assimileras fint in i helhet. Anders Voldsund bidrar med gitarr på Glød och ger på så sätt musiken en extra dimension. Hade gärna hört mer av honom på skivan. I sällskap av fjordtrumpeten går just den kompositionen mot mer jazzlika strukturer. Pjusk knyter ihop säcken med Yui Onodera-samarbetet Skimt. Ett lite annorlunda stycke sett till resten av skivan, där puls och techno tränger in. Men utan att ta fokus från helhetsbilden. Solstøv är ännu ett i raden av album som visar prov på Pjusks hantverksskicklighet.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Moskitoo

Mitosis

12k1077

REVIEW: SOUND PROJECTOR (.COM)

VISIT The world that Moskitoo inhabits – she grew up in Sapporo, Japan – is one that followers of certain Japanese genres would recognise. The inspiration for the album, she says, “came from cells, molecules, atoms and particles that are the smallest part of animals; tiny dots that turn into something visible.” But ‘Mitosis’ also means the process of cell division, one cell becoming two separate ones. Through this division the entity grows. Using the aesthetics of glitch to supply the molecules, the sound multiplies and changes slowly over time. This evolution reflects, she says, the subtle changes that occur around us all of the time, but remain unnoticed.

The guitars and Casio keyboards that she started her career with are now joined by metallophones and organ, toys, the tools of electronica and her vocals, all of which provide the rhythmic fragments that underpin this work. She explores and investigates the understated, finely detailed, sounds. There is a beauty about her work. One that provides a human face to the digital world.

The first track, ‘Wonder Particle’, starts with an electronic heartbeat, as if to say that even within the smallest fragments there is still life. The ephemera of glitch and ambient piano soon augment the pulse. The vocals are fully formed but as the song progresses they start to fragment, supplying texture and rhythm, a hallmark of the work under review. The view of a soul, a humanity within the machine coalesces as the pulse carries on, but now in the form of treated breathing.

‘Trajectory’ starts with interference; vocals, music and disparate sounds continually battle in order to be heard. The vocals flip from one sonic treatment to another, aiding the fragmentary nature upon which the album is built, providing a ghostlike, dreamy ambience. This is held together by a repeating motif, changing, coming back, changing again, reminding us of Moskitoo’s regard for subtle alterations that can go by without us registering them.

The further we stray from the start of the album we can sense a move away from what we might call ‘songs’. Moskitoo introduces oriental tunings, dissonances, and events travel at differing speeds causing friction and interest. She views her vocals as just one instrument among many; on ‘Mint Mitosis’, they are balanced equally within the mix. The conventions of song are probably not top of the agenda for Moskitoo, but rather the sonic experience as the tune disintegrates.

‘Fungi’ starts off with a series of backward sounds that pass-by; to say “glide” would give them a movement that they do not possess. Recorded on one of Tom Waits’ trips to the junkyard, with the juxtapositions that Franco Battiato used to throw in during his more experimental moments, there is a beauty, a calmness, and when a Satiesque-type piano motif (albeit with a touch of venom) enters, it does not surprise.

The final track ‘Astra’ once more explores this idea of not changing but changing. It asks us to contemplate something we might not otherwise reflect upon, something that ordinarily would not register with us. By setting it in front of us, Moskitoo makes us ponder the everyday relationship that we have with the world around us. Starting with restrained electric guitar, producing sounds more through investigations of the sounding board than by strumming or plucking, the basis of the piece evolves. Other instrumentation joins, itself circulating, each element oblivious to the events surrounding it.

This, Moskitoo’s first release since 2007’s Drape, might act as a gentle entree into glitch/electronica, or furnish a perspective of how crafted pop can still have a place in the world. We adjust our view of the pop of the past by gazing at it through the glasses of today. There is a mutuality between the concept of the work and the process of the title. Glitch is the ideal abstraction to convey the notion in audio form, allowing for the smallest units in any deconstruction of music. It supplies the method to break down sound, which can then be renewed through the work of the artist. Finely crafted, hinting at experimental, this music has been manicured and slaved over. There is a warmth, an affection in this world, where the crackles, stutters and pops that come with electronica are as natural as any sounds produced by guitars and pianos. Moskitoo avails herself of both as equally valid tools to form her music, filling the space with fragments and melodic textures.

The pop ethos that initially drew us in is sacrificed to the constructs of sound as the album progresses. Some, like Joanna Demers, subscribe to the view that sound as an object cannot possess any aesthetic value of its own; it lacks meaning. In the case of Moskitoo, I do not think this argument holds water. Every nuance is there for a purpose, every sound builds a sonic picture. Time and space are dilated, pulled and tugged at as much as the various elements within, allowing for something more than an aesthetic to develop. It is strange that even though electronic music is now commonplace, it is still regarded as a second-class citizen in some quarters. Maybe albums like Moskitoo’s will allow it all to be accepted just as music.
Moskitoo
Mitosis

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: NORDISCHE MUSIK (DE)

VISIT Nach den vorhergehenden Düsternis-Trips werden Pjusk nun fast fröhlich. Sogar Cover und Albumtitel (»Sonnenstaub«) wirken nach den bisherigen Varianten von Kälte und Distanz geradezu optimistisch. Was ist passiert? Zum einen haben die beiden Westnorweger ihr Projekt für neue Einflüsse durch andere Musiker geöffnet: Je ein Stück entstand gemeinsam mit Sleep Orchestra (hinter dem sich der Brite Christopher Pegg verbirgt), Saffronkeira (Eugenio Caria aus Sardinien) und Yui Onodera aus Tokyo. Außerdem soll das Album vorrangig aus Klangmaterial der Trompete Kåre Nymarks produziert worden sein, von Taylor Deupree z.T. stark verfremdet.

Trotz alledem sind Pjusk grundsätzlich ihrem relativ unterkühlten Ambient-Stil treu geblieben, haben nun mit Hilfe der erweiterten Band ihr Klangspektrum erweitert und in Form filigraner Kompositionen aus verschiedenen mehr oder weniger organischen Schichten ausformuliert. Durch das immer wieder auftauchende und verschwindende Element der (sich stets schillernd wandelnden) Trompete erinnert »SOLSTØV« einigen der besten Momente an Werke von Brian Eno mit (oder auch ohne) Jon Hassell sowie an dessen Schüler im Geiste, etwa Arve Henriksens reduziertere Stücke. Streckenweise ist das gewohnt faszinierend, in Teilen jedoch leider an der Grenze zum oft etwas ungut so bezeichneten NewAge-Kram. Das hätte man von Pjusk dann doch nicht erwartet. (ijb)
Pjusk
Solstøv

Solo Andata

Solo Andata

12k1056

REVIEW: HAWAI (CL)

VISIT El aliento distante de una masa de aire frío. El soplo de un corazón congelado. El clima afuera es inhóspito y la piel reacciona ante la crudeza erizando los bellos, hilos delgados que parecen mirar hacia arriba como buscando refugio en un sol que solo ilumina, un sol cuyo calor solo crea la ilusión de abrigo. Las imágenes de un paisaje helado rodean ciertos sonidos, las notas parecen provenir de un glaciar de acordes que se cristalizan en el instante posterior a emitir sus ondas expansivas. Sucede con muchos de los sonidos cuyo origen es el hielo. La estética del frío pareciera estar adherida a cada rincón del arte que se extiende desde su superficie alejada, en los polos opuestos al Ecuador. Sucede en los rastros provenientes desde Escandinavia, esa zona apartada de la realidad que el clima ha relegado. Sucede con Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik y Rune Andre Sagevik, dos habitantes de la costa oeste de Noruega que hace varios años materializaron sus inquietudes en Pjusk, dúo de electrónica aislada que evoca con sus piezas ese paisaje de blanco infinito, el ruido del hielo resquebrajado. Primero fue “Blueprints” (12k, 2006), recopilación de la etiqueta dirigida por Taylor Deupree quien introdujo, entre otros nombres igualmente interesantes, a la pareja nórdica dentro del catálogo de ese sello. Al año siguiente lo que fueron simplemente dos piezas dentro de varias pistas extrañas se extendió a un trabajo integro. “Sart” (12k, 2007) es ese otro comienzo que mostraría los rasgos esenciales de la música de Pjusk, luego desarrollada en “Sval” (12k, 2010) y “Tele” (Glacial Movement, 2012). El leve letargo se vio suspendido este año de manera extrañamente prolífica. No solo un trabajo sino dos publicados en fechas relativamente próximas. Desde Moscú aparece primero una colaboración con Sleep Orchestra, y desde Pound Ridge esta nueva edición por 12k. “Drowning In The Sky” (Dronarivm, 2014) [321] todavía permanece en las cavidades auditivas. “Existen melodías que tienden a desaparecer entre el fuerte viento, ritmos estancados en un lago de susurros detenidos, patrones de una música que parecía olvidada, rescatada desde un pasado y convertida en una sombra alargada. Pareciera que estas piezas hubiesen sido interpretadas mucho antes de este presente, quedando el eco esparcido entre las corrientes de aire y la temperatura cercana a cero, las reminiscencias que podemos escuchar luego de atravesados muchas estaciones… La partitura carece de anotaciones, las líneas quedan sugeridas por sonidos que se desvanecen en la extensa panorámica recreada. Rastros sobre el terreno, la estela de un acorde inmaterial, la sensación del frío traspasando la piel, una sensación de libertad y despojo”.

“Con su distante y congelada música ambiental en tonalidades gris y azul pálido, el dúo noruego Pjusk evoca soledad, tiempo y paisaje con su sonido que se extiende lenta, cuidadosa y pacientemente a través del aire”. Cualquier intento de descripción textual de estos sonidos lleva inevitablemente hacia la geografía y el espacio que rodea el momento en que estos se generan, aún cuando su presencia sea solo mental y no real. “Solstøv” habita el suelo sobre el paralelo sesenta, tanto física como emocionalmente. Mientras ciertas formas remiten a una arquitectura urbana lo que yace detrás es una separación climatológica, la sensación de una fría corriente de aire que sopla desde el norte atravesando las partituras estancadas. La superficie electrónica sigue estando presente pero de una forma diferente a como fue antes. Ahora las texturas sintéticas envuelven una acústica de raíz orgánica, cubriendo con un manto nebuloso las notas pulsadas manualmente. Aunque, sin embargo, puede que el trayecto sea justo el opuesto, notas reales envolviendo el brillo eléctrico. En cualquier caso, las piezas quedan atrapadas en un lugar intermedio, un punto donde las formas se confunden. Esta obra reúne diez piezas en casi cincuenta minutos de un ruido interior delicado entre la crudeza exterior. Además en este trabajo confluyen varios intervinientes desde distintos planos, de manera tanto esporádica como estable, inclusiones que aparecen y se desvían, desapariciones puntuales y una presencia permanente, incorporando ese matiz acústico que imprime otra coloración a la paleta de blancos desvanecidos. “‘Solstøv’ es un álbum hecho casi enteramente a partir del sonido de la trompeta, interpretada por Kåre Nymark Jr., tanto natural como procesada. Pjusk la exploró no solo como el delicado instrumento acústico que es sino también como un generador de tonos y fuente de material matizada”. La naturaleza propia de ese instrumento de manera impulsiva provoca determinadas evocaciones, en particular a una música creada en Europa en torno a brisas contemporáneas alrededor de la improvisación y el jazz, mayormente en su acepción más minimalista de marcas como ECM y, más recientemente, Jazzland o Rune Grammofon. Las estructuras libres que se producen en torno a estas editoriales se inclinan hacia un esbozo de estruendo, un murmullo fantasmal de melodías elegantemente distantes. Las sinfonías mínimas de patrones imprevisibles quedan sometidos a un tratamiento que reduce aún más su efecto, quedando abreviado solamente a una estela fría de ese eco primario. El calor hace que los cuerpos se expandan. Supongo que la temperatura opuesta tendrá un efecto opuesto. El espacio se comprime y el metal impulsado por los pulmones llenos de aire seco genera un sonido melancólico con dirección hacia dentro, una emoción de tristeza contemplativa ensimismada. Quizás ese efecto sea causado no solo por la interpretación de Kåre Nymark Jr., tan bucólica, sino también por su procesamiento posterior. “Taylor Deupree fue invitado para proveer manipulaciones sónicas de la trompeta con el sistema de diseño sonoro Kyma, transformándola en pasajes y tonos extrañamente delicados”. Apenas y comienzan a sonar esos primeros tonos e inmediatamente se oye la trompeta de Nymark, desde el segundo cero, como un soplo lejano, una melodía metálica apartada que evoca más sensaciones indeterminadas que estructuras ciertas. Es solo el reflejo de algo que fue y ya dejo de ser, un recuerdo débil transitando entre las ruinas roídas por el tiempo y por la lluvia, entre las partículas y los tonos de electrónica indefinida. Es “Streif”, producido junto a Sleep Orchestra, sus recientes compañeros de ruta, un viento entre ramas artificiales. La música convertida en tan solo un rastro vuelve a surgir de manera vaga, ahora con la compañía de SaffronKeira (Eugenio Cari). “Gløtt”, jazz en medio de glitches que se infiltran en las manchas de melodía. “Diffus” parece retratar el ritmo de la ciudad, como también lo hace “Falmet”, el atardecer temprano con el sol tibio en el horizonte, con la voz de Nicolas Grenie recitando palabras que también son sonido. El temporal de “Demring” antecede a la topografía extrema de “Blaff”, y esta a la inclemencia salvaje y quieta de “Sløret”. Los pequeños tiznes de ruido se inmiscuyen en la panorámica estática. “Trolsk” es un retorno a los parajes de cielos grises y suelo blanqueado, un terreno donde la escarcha cubre las armonías que se mueven lentamente, una agradable sensación de un hielo que cubre la piel mientras la naturaleza emite notas entre las rocas húmedas. Igualmente en “Glød”, intensificado en “Skimt”, ahora junto a Yui Onodera, la idea de un paisaje frío y en decoloración traducido en una pieza de elegancia cristalizada, piezas de atmósfera agreste y de enorme belleza congelada. Lejanía y calor tibio inundando la memoria frágil de un acorde desvanecido.

El sonido de texturas electrónicas del dúo noruego adquiere un tono diferente al sumarse a su paleta desteñida las formas orgánicas de una instrumentación opuesta en principio a sus maneras de generar sonido, expuesta de un modo fantasmagórico, “all accented and wrapped in harmonic movements of the trumpet and its ghosts”. Esa es precisamente la naturaleza de la trompeta de Kåre Nymark Jr. desfigurada por Taylor Deupree, convertida en un fantasma atrapado como fotografías por Pjusk. Un soplido espectral de melancolía entre la geografía silvestre y las horas de luz glaciar. “Solstøv”. Sol/støv. Sol/polvo. Destellos de luz desde el cielo iluminando las melodías de ruido polar.
Solo Andata
Solo Andata

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: CHAIN DLK (.COM)

VISIT Despite the fact they keep on orbiting around the glacial sonorities that they usually explore, the third album by Norwegian duo Pjusk on 12k and their fourth one in their discography reaches highest stylistical peaks as this masterpiece just derives from the (both natural and processed with the help of label boss Taylor Deupree) sound of Kare Nymark Jr's trumpet. Rune Sagevik and Jolstein Dahl Gjelsvik come back their icy homecountry after their previous excursions over the snowy Russian landscapes and immediately introduces a foretaste of their forthcoming collaborative release with Sleep Orchestra by the ethereal track "Streif", the only one of the album which can be properly considered a droning piece as most of the following tracks are astonishing alternation of natural and wisely processed trumpet, which becomes a sort of medium between the glacial places they manage to evoke and netherworld. The unpredictable eruptions of trumpet, which breaks Pjusk's effusions of placid frequencies on tracks like "Falmet" or "Blaff" are real emotional plunging and got often camouflaged together with other instrumental entities and field recordings in a sort of mimetic game as it happens on the astonishing "Demring" or even more dramatically on "Glod", the track which precedes the entrancing final track "Skimt", whose pulsating mantra got enhanced by Japanese sound artist Yui Onodera. Definitively one of the best electroacoustic "environ-mental" ambient album that titilated my eardrums this year.
Pjusk
Solstøv

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: PITCHFORK (US)

VISIT There’s a lot of concept behind UK-based sound artist Janek Schaefer’s latest album. It began life as a sculptural installation at a London gallery, playing from a car radio, and some of its sounds come from Schaefer’s field recordings of the M3 motorway. Yet Lay-By Lullaby doesn’t sound conceptual, or even very literal. At times you can hear the sound of cars passing, but they blend cozily into static, ambience, and meditative tones. Often field recording-based music intends to transport you to a tangible place, but to me Lay-by Lullaby feels less like a trip down the road than a retreat into the subconscious, a beguiling mesh of dream sounds and memory echoes from an artist who knows that the most affecting music can also be the most abstract.
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: DARKROOM (IT)

VISIT efinire i perimetri sonori in cui lavora il duo norvegese Pjusk (al secolo Rune Andre Sagevik e Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik) è impresa difficile. Di certo il progetto è nato dallo sviluppo di sonorità isolazioniste alla Thomas Köner, ma si è evoluto nel tempo, grazie all'utilizzo di drones sempre più definiti e meno impalpabili rispetto agli esordi (da ricordare anche un loro passaggio discografico presso la romana Glacial Movements). Di recente, i due hanno sviluppato la tendenza ad utilizzare strumenti non convenzionali per il genere elettronico. È il caso della loro ultima fatica, ovvero "Solstøv", in cui le sonorità glaciali vengono contaminate dalla timbrica opportunamente manipolata della tromba. Il connubio fra tromba e sonorità ambient non è nuovo: basti pensare a Jon Hassell, ma tuttavia i Pjusk usano questo strumento per costruire delle basi sonore da cui partire per sviluppare un discorso più ampio a livello di musica ambientale. Non a caso, oltre alle manipolazioni del suono della tromba, a tratti così pesanti da renderla quasi irriconoscibile, i Pjusk utilizzano anche molte field recordings opportunamente inserite nel contesto. Il brano "Trolsk", ad esempio, è forse il paradigma di quanto detto fino ad ora, con la sua soffice tessitura sonora frammentata da tenui field recordings, mentre in "Glød" la tromba, campionata su note stridule, spezza l'equilibrio del lavoro per assumere un andamento quasi free-jazz. I due brani fanno da punti di confine per capire l'ambito in cui si sono mossi i due manipolatori norvegesi, anche se a rimanere in mente è la monumentale sinfonia finale di "Skimt". Forse ai più tutto questo potrebbe sembrare un mero esercizio di stile, o peggio ancora un vezzo intellettuale; in realtà i Pjusk aggiungono, con questo lavoro, un altro tassello alla loro personale ricerca di una musica che abbatta le barriere fra elettronica ed acustica e che fonda insieme le risorse sonore naturali con quelle antropiche. Resta il dilemma se "Solstøv" sia un disco da consigliare o meno. La risposta sta nel grado di affinità con questo genere musicale: chi è un assiduo fruitore di musica ambient, potrà trovare in questo lavoro validi spunti di riflessione e interesse. Chi si avvicina a questo genere solo saltuariamente, è meglio che si rivolga ad ascolti meno impegnativi.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: ROCKERILLA (IT)

Il nuovo lavoro dei norvegesi Pjusk e costruito intorno ai suoni della tromba del connazionale Kare Nymark jf. Tappeti di suono lasciati alla deriva dento strutture liquid e rarefatte. Ogni tanto appare il fantasma di Jon Hassell tra le nebbie degli spazi incontaminati in cui si muovono Rune Ragevik e Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik. Che per l'occasione hanno messo su una piccola orchestra ambient capace di dipingere sceari carichi di romanticismo e mistero: c'e il sardo Saffronkeira su Gløtt; gli inglesi Sleep Orchestra su Streif; il giapponese Yui Onodera su Skimt; e il mentore Taylor Deupree che oltre a produrre il disco si e occupato di processare i suoni con il Kyma.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: THE NEW NOISE (IT)

VISIT l progetto Pjusk torna su 12k dopo la buona parentesi su Glacial Movements e cambia ancora. Questa volta la sorgente di tutto il lavoro è la tromba del musicista norvegese Kåre Nymark jr, il cui suono viene esteso e trasformato in chiave ambient. Rimangono i momenti più soavi del disco precedente, né viene meno il ricorso a forme di pulsazione, come accade sin dagli esordi (uno dei due Pjusk arriva dalla techno). La presenza di Sleep Orchestra e di Saffronkeira (ospiti in una traccia a testa) dà subito al disco un tono jazz-noir, ma in qualche modo – lo suggerisce il titolo – la tromba è anche un momento di calore, un riaffacciarsi timido del sole in inverno. Non mancano nemmeno questa volta, dunque, brevi squarci di poesia in un lavoro costruito da due persone espertissime, ma anche molto aperte e coraggiose, visto il nuovo tentativo di diversificare la propria discografia. Di per sé – ed è proprio la presenza di Eugenio/Saffronkeira a farlo ricordare – non si tratta di un’esplorazione di territori vergini, tanto che le critiche sono le stesse che si possono muovere a tutti gli altri elettronici che vanno in cerca del jazz, nello specifico le eccessive patinatura e compostezza, quindi l’assenza poco salubre di visceralità. Non i numeri uno, insomma, ma potrebbero comunque essere il gradevole accompagnamento di un meriggiare pallidi e assorti.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: SURU (IT)

VISIT Pjusk ir Circular – du norvegiški projektai, kuriuos vienyja tas pats asmuo – Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik. Abu pastaruoju metu yra pelnę po albumą – Pjusk Solstøv pas 12K ir Circular Moon Pool pas Ultimae Records. Žinau, kad nėra sąžininga taip lyginti, tačiau man klausant šiuos naujus du albumus mintys vis sukosi apie sulyginimus, bendraautoriaus darbą skirtinguose projektuose ir panašumus/skirtumus.

Man visuomet atrodo, kad kai prodiuseriai išleidinėja albumą, jie galvoja tik apie tą vienintelį, vienos valandos, pavadinkim, kūrinį, kuriame atsispindėtų visos tuometinės gyvenimo emocijos. Josteinas akivaizdžiai parodo, kad klystu.

Tiems, kas pazista 12K studiją ar Taylor Deupree, tas nuspėja kokio tipažo yra Pjusk albumas. Drowninantis, ledinio šaltumo ambientas su pritemptais trimito, perkusijos vojažais bei kliksų klystkeliais. Nors tie smulkus akcentai pagyvina apeiginę Solstøv atmosferą, vistiek muzika yra pernelyg plati ir stagnatiška kaip Norvegiški fjordai ūkanotame ryte. Viskas itin sureikšminta, klausyti įmanoma tik sutelkus visišką dėmesį. Albumas įdomus, tačiau toli gražu ne išskirtinis. Seniau jie varė kiek geriau:

Asmeniškai įdomesnis Norvegų projetkas yra Pjusk, kuriame daug daugiau šizofrenijos, keistumo, sunkumo. Tačiau tai yra žymiai įdomiau nei saugi, pilka vidutinybė.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: ETHEREAL (FR)

VISIT Comme annoncé il y a deux ans, au moment de la recension de Tele, Pjusk revient sur 12k pour son nouvel album, et en profite pour revenir à une ambient plus traditionnelle après un intermède plutôt expérimental. Néanmoins, afin de livrer autre chose qu’une simple superposition de couches sonores et de sortir du tout-venant de l’ambient composite, les Norvégiens ont fait le choix de partir de sonorités produites par la trompette de Kåre Nymark Jr., présent tout au long de l’album mais en filigrane. De fait, il peut s’agir soit de solliciter le musicien pour intervenir en quasi-solo sur les nappes réalisées par les deux membres de Pjusk, soit de se servir d’une note tenue ou du souffle généré par l’instrument, traité ensuite par Taylor Deupree, pour rejoindre les autres matériaux.

Dans ce contexte, la seconde veine se situe globalement dans la droite lignée de ce que Pjusk a pu offrir jusqu’à présent (tout du moins sur ses albums sur 12k puisqu’on retrouve même des titres de pure ambient anxiogène, travaillant sur l’aspect inquiétant du souffle de la trompette (Streif, Diffus, Demring ou bien le caudal et convaincant Skimt dont les neuf minutes cinquante permettent de déployer des velléités plus aventureuses). En alternance, la première voie diffère quelque peu et conduit les deux Norvégiens à explorer un chemin proche d’une forme de jazz expérimental alangui, avec glitchs ralentis, triturations et micro-larsens (Gløtt, Blaff, Sløret, Glød). Apportant de la chaleur et une profondeur supplémentaire aux compositions de Rune Sagevik et Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik, la trompette favorise donc le renouvellement d’un propos peut-être trop monocorde par ailleurs.

Cette volonté de travailler dans un double registre (compacité sombre des textures et ampleur de la trompette) se manifestait déjà dès le titre de l’album, mot-valise norvégien, puisque Sol signifie « soleil » et Støv, « poussière ». Au-delà de ce clin d’œil et du classique travail sur le contraste qu’il induit, il est certain que ce nouvel apport (en sus de celui, habituel, d’Anders Voldsund à la guitare) s’avère particulièrement bénéfique, nous amenant à considérer plus favorablement que dans notre souvenir la carrière de Pjusk.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: THE NEW NOISE (IT)

VISIT Il progetto Pjusk torna su 12k dopo la buona parentesi su Glacial Movements e cambia ancora. Questa volta la sorgente di tutto il lavoro è la tromba del musicista norvegese Kåre Nymark jr, il cui suono viene esteso e trasformato in chiave ambient. Rimangono i momenti più soavi del disco precedente, né viene meno il ricorso a forme di pulsazione, come accade sin dagli esordi (uno dei due Pjusk arriva dalla techno). La presenza di Sleep Orchestra e di Saffronkeira (ospiti in una traccia a testa) dà subito al disco un tono jazz-noir, ma in qualche modo – lo suggerisce il titolo – la tromba è anche un momento di calore, un riaffacciarsi timido del sole in inverno. Non mancano nemmeno questa volta, dunque, brevi squarci di poesia in un lavoro costruito da due persone espertissime, ma anche molto aperte e coraggiose, visto il nuovo tentativo di diversificare la propria discografia. Di per sé – ed è proprio la presenza di Eugenio/Saffronkeira a farlo ricordare – non si tratta di un’esplorazione di territori vergini, tanto che le critiche sono le stesse che si possono muovere a tutti gli altri elettronici che vanno in cerca del jazz, nello specifico le eccessive patinatura e compostezza, quindi l’assenza poco salubre di visceralità. Non i numeri uno, insomma, ma potrebbero comunque essere il gradevole accompagnamento di un meriggiare pallidi e assorti. - See more at: http://www.thenewnoise.it/pjusk-solstov/#sthash.GQw99i77.dpuf
Pjusk
Solstøv

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: LE SON DU GRISLI (FR)

VISIT Légende de l’ambient et des field recordings, Janek Schaefer déboule – enfin – sur la maison-mère du genre, l’infatigable maison new-yorkaise 12k.
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: AFRICAN PAPER (DE)

VISIT Instrumentale Musik kann (oftmals lediglich) durch Titelgebung und Artwork die Rezeption in eine gewisse Richtung lenken, dabei sind im Bereich des (Dark) Ambients auch immer wieder die Regionen des ewigen Eises ein beliebter Topos gewesen, man denke etwa an Thomas Köners Frühwerk oder daran, dass es inzwischen sogar ein Label namens Glacial Movement Records gibt, auf dem passenderweise das norwegische Duo Pjusk ein Album veröffentlicht hat.

„Solstøv“, das inzwischen vierte Album, ist dagegen ästhetisch und musikalisch etwas anders ausgerichtet, basieren die einzelnen Stücke schließlich fast nur auf einer einzigen Klangquelle: einer von dem norwegischen Jazztrompeter Kåre Nymark jr gespielten Trompete, die von Taylor Deupree bearbeitet wurde. Eine Reduktion auf ein Instrument, eine Klangquelle kann der Fokussierung dienen, kann aber natürlich zu Monotonie führen; Rune Sagevik und Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik zeigen, dass Ideenlosigkeit nicht das Ihrige ist. Das mit Sleep Orchestra eingespielte Eröffnungsstück „Streif“ ist eine melodische, verrauscht-melancholische Klangfläche, die das Ausgangsmaterial erahnen lässt und dem Hörer das Gefühl gibt, in Watte gepackt zu sein. „Gløtt“ dagegen lässt inmitten der noch reduzierteren verrauschten Flächen eine einsame Trompete spielen, ganz so, als solle ein Weg durch den Nebel gewiesen werden oder als befände man sich in einem Jazzclub mit dem Namen Somnambul oder „Silencio“. Auf „Diffus“ scheinen Wassertropfen zu fallen, man meint Glocken läuten zu hören, um dann in weiter Ferne eine Trompete zu vernehmen, die an das Bremsen eines Zuges denken lässt. „Falmet“ lässt mit seinem Spiel aus Trompete und etwas, das nach Piano und Gitarre klingt, noch am ehesten an ein Stück im konventionellen Sinn denken, dann rezitieren entfernte Stimmen: „Par la nuit, le matin,/Par l’éclair qui dresse le péril,/Dans la lumière que hâte le pas,/Il aspire à L’immensité.“. Bei „Demring“ glaubt man, man sitze in einer Fabrikhalle und lausche dem fallenden Regen, es scheinen Glocken zu läuten, verzerrte Stimmen tauchen auf. Stimmungsmäßig (wenn auch nicht unbedingt musikalisch) ist das teilweise gar nicht so weit von The Caretaker entfernt. Letztlich könnte man sich das gesamte Album auch gut als Soundtrack vorstellen (die Bassklänge auf dem letzten Track „Skimt“ erinnern gar an den frühen John Carpenter). Ganz große Platte, die Kategorisierungen und Genres mit Leichtigkeit transzendiert. (M.G.)
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: ONDAROCK (IT)

VISIT Siamo di nuovo a parlare di 12k, costretti manco a dirlo a lodarne l'operato per l'ennesima volta, non fossero bastate una schiera di uscite che sconfina abbondantemente i limiti dell'anno in corso e quello che è forse uno dei dischi più belli del panorama ambientale elettroacustico degli ultimi anni. Stavolta tocca ai Pjusk, riguardo ai quali da queste parti sono già state tracciate sufficienti presentazioni, non ultima in occasione del gioiellino condiviso con Sleep Orchestra per il catalogo dell'altrettanto valente e lodevole Dronarivm. I Pjusk che sono fra le grandi scoperte dell'etichetta di Taylor Deupree, che li aveva lanciati dal nulla nell'ormai non troppo vicino 2007 seguendo passo passo la loro evoluzione dal mondo della sound art digitale ai suoni organici - evoluzione che ha in realtà riguardato praticamente tutti i più visionari fra i reduci del glitch.

Con “Solstøv”, dunque, Rune Sagevik e Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik tornano a casa dopo l'esperienza fra le nevi russe e la firma, ancor precedente, apposta sul catalogo ibernato della Glacial Movements di Alessandro Tedeschi. Lo fanno con il disco della definitiva maturità, della presa di coscienza di essere una delle realtà più valide ed importanti del panorama ambientale contemporaneo. Il tutto passa attraverso una riconsiderazione dei suoni che avevano celebrato il precedente “Tele" e la conferma del freddo nordico come elemento predominante nell'ispirazione, oltre all'apertura del proprio mondo ai contributi di alcuni ospiti di livello. Il risultato sono dieci tessere dai più volti, ciascuna parte imprescindibile di un puzzle, costituito da una base di elettronica sempre meno invadente su cui gli strumenti acustici vengono lasciati liberi di ricamare.

Che la collaborazione con Christopher Pegg abbia lasciato il segno nell'approccio dei due è dato innegabile, tanto quanto la voglia di voler mantenere una continuità tra quel lavoro e questo “Solstøv”. Per trovare una dimostrazione di ciò è sufficiente un ascolto alla malinconica e bellissima apertura di “Streif”, unico episodio autenticamente drone, che porta la griffe ospite della stessa (fittizia) Sleep Orchestra. Più suggestiva ancora è però “Gløtt”, ambientata idealmente all'interno di una grotta fra i rintocchi alle stalattiti, i sospiri magnetici di SaffronKeira e la tromba isolata del connazionale Kåre Nymark Jr. L'oscurità è una delle protagoniste principali lungo l'intera scaletta, e torna ad imporsi senza via di fuga nei lamenti subacquei di “Sløret”, nel magma vulcanico della chitarra di “Blaff” e nel concerto per field recordings di “Demring”.

Aleggia ben visibile l'ombra di Biosphere in queste gallerie scavate nelle nevi, per quanto i Pjusk trattino i suoi dub come materia da evolvere anziché da riproporre nella sua struttura originaria: emblematica in tal senso è “Glød”, sulla cui pulsazione accennata e notturna si impongono progressivamente una fioca luce armonica e il libero sfogo della tromba. Al gelo di “Diffus” spetta invece il compito di collegare il presente al passato post-glitch, e di formare con il torpore limpido della successiva “Falmet” (Loscil docet) uno dei contrasti più suggestivi dell'intero lavoro. E se su “Troslk” le lamine di ghiaccio si fanno affilate e taglienti, il mantra a sei mani di “Skimt” condiviso con Yui Onodera conclude mettendo in evidenza una volta di più il lento ma costante battito cardiaco, simbolo della vita propria di questa piccola meraviglia. Da conservare con estrema cura.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: TEXTURA (CA)

VISIT Pjusk duo Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Andre Sagevik receive significant contributions from Sleep Orchestra, Saffronkeira, Yui Onodera, and Taylor Deupree on their fourth full-length, but the one who plays the biggest part on the recording is Kåre Nymark Jr. And that's not only because his trumpet playing is the lead instrument in a number of the album's ten pieces, but more critically for the reason that Solstøv's content is derived almost entirely from his trumpet, be it in natural or processed form.

Whereas Sleep Orchestra, Saffronkeira, and Yui Onodera contribute to the project as co-authors with Pjusk of individual tracks, Deupree adopts the role of sound manipulator in applying the sound design system Kyma to the trumpet to transform it into something resembling an alien life-force. Such manipulations open up the album's sound world considerably in allowing it to expand dramatically beyond the acoustic realm. In the closing piece “Skimt,” for example, the trumpet becomes a veritable force-field of non-corporeal presences, beings liberated from their physical containers and free to merge with their brethren.

That being said, one of the most appealing things about the material is its oft-natural character. In keeping with a cover image that shows dandelion-like plant forms floating against a comparatively ambiguous speckled colour field, the music benefits from having Nymark Jr.'s trumpet playing appear against abstract backdrops. Never is that combination more dramatically evidenced than during “Glød” where his wail pierces the opaque haze generated by Pjusk.

The horn's declamatory tone is the first sound one hears on the album—albeit in a form that suggests its muted blur has been multiplied by processing treatments. “Streif,” Pjusk's collaboration with Sleep Orchestra, thus establishes the album's distinctive sound world, which the pieces that follow readily reinforce. In “Gløtt,” the Saffronkeira collaboration that follows, Nymark Jr.'s trumpet is heard for the first time in its natural form, and the effect achieved in “Gløtt” is as stirring as that of “Streif,” despite the fundamental difference in the presentation of the trumpet. There are times during the hour-long set when one might be reminded of the playing of Jon Hassell and Nils Petter Molvær, especially when the trumpet appears embedded within glacial contexts such as those of “Diffus,” “Demring,” and “Sløret.” On those occasions where the trumpet's natural quality recedes entirely from view, Pjusk's soundscapes exhibit an abstract, even ghostly character that sees the duo suggesting commonalities with artists such as Biosphere and Netherworld. The contributions of guitarist Tor Anders Voldsund to a piece like “Falmet,” on the other hand, humanize Pjusk's otherwise shadowy material through the audible touch of the human hand. Pulsation and rhythm, incidentally, aren't foreign to the album—the plodding bass pulse within “Skimt,” for example, testifies to that—though they're not central to it, either. The typical Pjusk setting derives its momentum from the sum-total of its sound design rather than elements conventionally associated with rhythm.

Regardless of whether a given track features the trumpet in its natural or altered form, Pjusk's sound world is an inordinately luscious one that teems with a kind of verdant life, even if one electronically grown. The Norwegian duo also strengthens the recording's immersive quality by eschewing pauses between the tracks, and consequently Solstøv deepens its ethereal sound design with the dream-like quality that resuts from an uninterrupted presentation.
Pjusk
Solstøv

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: POLYPHONIA (PL)

VISIT Materiał Janka Schaefera to najgorsza rzecz do zrecenzowania jaka wpadła mi ostatnio w ucho. Co o tym materiale napisać? Rasowy ambient? Coś dla koneserów przestrzennych klimatów? Banał!

A jednak……chciałbym ten materiał polecić. To materiał całkowicie wpadający w konkretne szuflady, co więcej to materiał stworzony w oparciu o ustalone sprawdzone schematy, ale czy to źle? To nie jest złe jeżeli masz nastrój. Książkę albo recenzję płyty Janka Schaefera do napisania:) a ponieważ nie znoszę pisać o utworach, a uwielbiam o całości podsumuję Lay-by Lullaby jako zbiór utartych szlaków dobrze opisanych i podanych. Przewodnik po ‚rasowym ambiencie’. Z dbałością o każdy szum Janek Schaefer oddaje coś osobistego, nie z zamiarem szokowania lecz z potrzebą wywołania ducha domowej medytacji, ducha nocnej produkcji dźwięków, bliskiej każdemu kto tworzy. W Lay-by Lullaby zanurzą się się wszyscy Ci których ambient nastraja. Ci którzy uważają, że w ten sposób odwiedzą niedostępny las, skaliste wybrzeże i odległe góry. Myślę że to płyta dla mieszkańców starych kamienic , wystawiających twarz do słońca w majowe słoneczne niedziele, marzących o odnowie tej planety jak balkonowe słoneczniki:). I jeszcze jedno: Janek Schaefer nie nudzi. Tam gdzie odpływa, warto na chwilę się zasłuchać i wyciągnąć własne wnioski, napisać własną recenzję, namalować własny landszaft z jeleniem na leśnej polanie.
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: POLYPHONIA (PL)

VISIT Czy macie w swojej kolekcji takie płyty, do których wracacie i za każdym razem odkrywacie w nich coś nowego? To jedna z takich płyt…


Illuha to duet dwóch muzyków, aktualnie mieszkańców Tokio, którymi są Tomoyoshi Date oraz Corey Fuller. Date to rodowity Japończyk, natomiast Fuller pochodzi ze Stanów Zjednoczonych. Obaj muzycy poznali się dzięki wspólnemu znajomemu Chihei Hatakeyama, kiedy to Fuller został zaproszony na koncert w Tokyo. Pierwszy wspólny album pt: “Shizuku” wydali w październiku 2011 roku nakładem wydawnictwa Taylora Dupree, 12k.com. Kolejne wydawnictwo, “Interstices” zostało wydane dwa lata później. “Akari” to najnowszy album obu muzyków, wydany 18 marca 2014 roku, ponownie w tym samym labelu.



“Akari” to podróż w nieznane. I to praktycznie za każdym razem gdy włączamy play w naszym odtwarzaczu. Date i Fuller postanowili tym razem zbudować własny studyjny setup, opierając swoje nagrania na historycznych mikrofonach, ogromnej ilości instrumentów i obiektów, zarówno akustycznych jak i elektrocznicznych. Kompozycje powstawały mozolnie, a kolejne dźwięki były dogywane na niezliczonych ścieżkach. Czasami pojednyczne dźwięki, dające się wychwycić dopiero przy koljnych przesłuchaniu pozwalają zrozumieć z jak wielu elementów utkana jest ta patchwokowa dźwiękowa tkanina. Większość kompozycji to utwory dość długie. Najkrótszy czas to ponad siedem i pół minuty, a najdłusza kompozycja ma ponad siedemnaście minut. To celowy zabieg, który wymaga od słuchacza skupienia i cierpliwości. Na płycie nie znajdą dla siebie nic osoby szukające krótkich popowych, elektronicznych uniesień. To muzyka skupienia, czasem przeplatana ciszą – muzyka organiczna, poszukująca. Niektóre utwory zaczynają się dość mrocznymi dźwiękami, lecz cierpliwy słuchacz przechodzi przez muzyczne katharsis, dotykając piękna i czystości dźwięku w ich finałowej części. Najlepszym przykładem jest dla mnie utwór wg mnie najpiękniejszy, od którego warto zacząć słuchanie tego albumu, czyli „The Relationship of Gravity to the Persistence of Sound”.

Najnowsze dzieło Illuha to płyta niełatwa, lecz dająca poczucie odnalezienia innego świata – świata uspokojenia, odprężenia i czystości. Niezwykła podróż w nieznane organiczne zakątki muzyki ambient. W mojej ocenie jest to najlepsze wydawnictwo jakiego dane było mi słuchać w tym roku. Serdecznie polecam.
Illuha
Akari

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: SWQW (FR)

VISIT « Sur la sente fragile comme suspendue dans les airs, Entre le nuage et l’abîme, Le voyageur poursuit sa quête Vers les eaux claires du jour. Par la nuit, le matin, Par l'éclair qui dresse le péril, Dans la lumière qui hâte le pas, Il aspire à l'Immensité. » (Nicolas Grenier)

À peine le temps d’éroder de nos écoutes le magnifique Drowning In The Sky que nous avaient offert Pjusk et Sleep Orchestra, que le duo norvégien (Rune Sagevik et Jostein Gjelsvik) nous propose un nouvel et quatrième essai solo : Solstøv. Une productivité qui d'ailleurs ne semble pas se tarir cette année pour Jostein Gjelsvik, puisque cette parution précède de peu celle d'un nouvel album de Circular chez Ultimae, un projet qu'il mène en duo avec Barte Andreassen depuis 1995. Solstøv lui, est sorti le même jour que Captiva de Stephen Vitiello et Taylor Deupree, chez un 12k qui ne cesse de nous combler cette année.

Sensiblement différent de leur collaboration, cet album se rapprocherait plus, dans une certaine mesure, de leurs précédents opus. Dans une certaine mesure en effet, car la trompette de Kåre Nymark Jr, que l'on entendait déjà sur la piste Skdiv de Drowning In The Sky, se trouve ici au cœur de Solstøv, ou — plus exactement — en trace les contours. Une trompette, naturelle ou manipulée de façon électronique par Taylor Deupree, qui semble jaillir du microcosme musical de Pjusk, telles les fleurs de la peinture de Marianne Morild (l’illustration), pour mieux repousser les cavités caverneuses qui logeaient leurs premières expérimentations. Des contours en pleine expansion donc, vers les cieux.

Et pour esquisser une transition avec Drowning In The Sky, la piste d'ouverture Streif voit Sleep Orchestra se joindre aux norvégiens dans un échange entre la trompette et des textures mouvantes. Afin de maintenir quelques minutes de plus ce brouillard qui enveloppait si gracieusement leur collaboration, peut-être, prolongeant ainsi leur symbiose à merveille, avant que des vents glacés ne viennent le disperser. Les glitchs auxquels ils nous avaient habitués sortent de la brume, appuyés par SaffronKeira — autre habitué des collaborations avec un trompettiste —, et se font moins discrets, plus électrisants, contrastant avec la chaleur de l’instrument-roi (Gløtt).

S’il devait être couronné justement, ce serait inévitablement au cours du magistral Diffus, où sa plainte retentit, brusquement, comme s’il voulait percer la couche de gel qui le retenait prisonnier. Un cri qui retentit à l’infini et déchire la voûte céleste dans son élan. Pjusk touche alors au divin. L’écho, côtoyant les étoiles affolées, ne s'éteindra que difficilement.

On peut également citer l'enchaînement parfait Blaff / Sløret / Trolsk, où la trompette s'apparente au tonnerre, plus intimidante, mais sait aussi se faire plus discrète (ou plus traitée) au milieu des échos cristallins, des field recordings et du soundscaping fabuleux que déploie une nouvelle fois Pjusk. Et dans une dernière prière face au ciel, l'instrument réveille la vie qui sommeillait sous la carapace de glace et amorce une dynamique désarmante (le sublime Glød).

Outre le dialogue céleste (Sol : soleil) / terrestre (støv : poussière) qui traverse l'album, ce sont d'autres voix qui habitent Solstøv, celles des artistes qui ont été invités et qui contribuent à sa richesse. Aux musiciens déjà mentionnés (Kåre Nymark Jr, Taylor Deupree, Christopher Pegg, Eugenio Caria) s'ajoutent donc Yui Onodera (pour le titre final), Anders Voldsund (guitariste que l'on retrouve sur les autres albums solo de Pjusk) ainsi que le poète français Nicolas Grenier dont le haïku résonne sur Falmet (le très beau poème cité en introduction).

Un poème écrit spécialement pour le duo norvégien et qui retranscrit pleinement l'impression qui subsiste après immersion dans cet album. Solstøv est un périple vers des hauteurs insoupçonnées, un album vertigineux vers lequel on revient inlassablement pour cotôyer les cieux. Après Drowning In The Sky avec Sleep Orchestra, cette année, vous n’aurez pas meilleurs compagnons ambient que Pjusk.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: A CLOSER LISTEN.COM)

VISIT On its fourth album, Norwegian duo Pjusk essentially becomes a quartet. Rune Sagevik and Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik focus their attention on the timbres of Kåre Nymark Jr.’s trumpet, while 12k’s Taylor Deupree contributes gentle electronic manipulations.

Solstøv is a slice of mood cut from fog. One imagines a deep mist, with shadowy figures moving inside. Yet whenever the trumpet emerges from the morass, these shadows dissipate. The brass declarations of “Gløtt” (featuring SaffronKeira) are as confident as an armed man. In contrast, “Diffus” sounds tentative and morose, moored in a harbor of beeps. On “Demring”, the beeps turn into bells and chimes, suggesting an anchored boat, a weathered hull, a fishmonger’s anxious cry.

How much of this is trumpet? Only Pjusk knows for sure, but the press release states that the disc “is made almost entirely” from its sound. If this is true, there’s another layer of wonder underneath, as deep as the bass of “Blaff”. Or is it a bass? That’s where the fun starts. We imagine the composers in the studio, performing autopsies on these notes, splaying them across wax paper, smearing them on glass slides, seeing how far they can stretch before they snap. And even when they snap, we can be assured that Deupree is on the floor, sweeping them into a dust pan.

The term solstøv (sun dust) implies not only the motes that tumble through shafts of light, but the flecks of distant galaxies that course through our veins. By breaking an instrument’s sounds into components and reassembling them in different forms, Pjusk honors this principle of reclamation. If the nature of matter is to disengage and re-engage, could not the same hold true for music? Even the cover art suggests fragments in motion. From dust we were born, and to dust we shall return, but in the meantime, we’re living in the great in-between. (Richard Allen)
Pjusk
Solstøv

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: BLACK AUDIO (BLOG)

VISIT Schaefer has been around producing aural installations for the past 20 years or so; and this is his first for the 12k label, pleasantly opening up with harmonic drones and filtered sounds of driven field recordings (usually a process I detest).

‘Lay-By Lullaby’ is one of those albums that demand the listener sits down, filters out any distractions and soaks up the subtle wave upon wave of ambient beauty. The 12 tracks created could all filter through as one long song and thankfully, Janek has separated them up into individual moments in time (‘Radio 101FM’, ‘Radio 102 FM’ etc.).

What I love about this release is that you can almost imagine yourself parked in a car at the side of a lonely country road, with fogged up windows and rain hitting the windscreen, contemplating what life has thrown at you. There is a natural feel to the album where there is a direct synergy between the field recordings and pads and it’s all too easy to just become engrossed in the hypnotic bliss, reminding me of some respects of some of the works by Fennesz.

At the end of the release there is a feeling that the clouds have broken just as the sun, sinks over the hillside horizon; and there is a feeling of satisfaction once the album comes to completion. ‘Lay-By Lullaby’ won’t be one for everyone, but I am sucker for well placed ambient and Janek Schaefer has constructed a reflective story that’s worthy and heartfelt.
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg

Between You And The Shapes You Take

12k1078

REVIEW: ROCKERILLA (IT)

In vent’anni di carriera Stephen Vitiello ha collaborato con alcuni pesi massimi dell’elettronica e dell’elettroacustica, da Tetsou Inoue a Scanner, passando per Michael J Shumaker e Lawrence English. Le collaborazioni con Molly Berg (Fuzzy Baby, Hotel X, Jason Molina) sono però una storia a sé: come se Vitiello riuscisse a tirar fuori l’aspetto più romantico della sua musica, quando aiutato dalla giovane musicista americana, come già era accaduto nel 2009 per The Gorilla Variations e due anni più tardi nell’omonimo esordio dei MOSS. Nelle dieci tracce di Between You And The Shapes You Take la Berg suona il clarinetto e le percussioni oltre a cantare in un paio di occasioni. Il è stato mixato dal solito Taylor Deupree e come negli ultimi capolavori del boss della 12k, i suoni acustici sono prevalenti mella scelta del mix finale: frasi di chitarra acustica, clarinetto o violino (suonato da Hahn Rowe) lasciati alla deriva sulle delicatissime trame intessute dai loop e dai sintetizzatori di Vitiello. Dalla prima traccia in scaletta ("From Here") all’ultima ("Another End") il disco non perde un momento la sua strabiliante intensità, rimanendo sospeso tra liquidità elettroniche e calore acustico, ravvivato da melodie che lentamente si distendono tra i silenzi incantevoli creati da Stephen e Molly. INCANTEVOLE. Roberto Mandolini
Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg
Between You And The Shapes You Take

Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg

Between You And The Shapes You Take

12k1078

REVIEW: BLOW UP (IT)

In tempi di estrema "liquidità” e di notevole fragilità dei confini espressivi, non sorprende che Vitello abbini alla ricerca sulla sound art e alla "pratica museale" una ben più prosaica produzione di album di stampo chitarristico. Questo è il secondo lavoro pubblicato assieme a alla vocalist/clarinettista Molly Berg ed è composto da una serie di brani dai toni crepuscolari e intimisti dal fascino impalpabile e melanconico ma destinati a perdersi nello smisurato insieme di produzioni contemporanee che fluttuano fra ambient e una forma più astratta di canzone. (6) M. Busti
Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg
Between You And The Shapes You Take

Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg

Between You And The Shapes You Take

12k1078

REVIEW: BAD ALCHEMY (DE)

In Richmond, Virginia, hatte dieses folktronische Gespann nach ihren The Gorilla Variations (2009) Lust auf mehr. Mehr gemeinsames Schwelgen in Bergs Vokalisation und Klarinetteneuphonie und Vitiellos Modularsynthiegedröhn, das er mit akustischer und Baritongitarre akzentuiert. Zu dieser aus Loops und Processing gesponnenen Poesie streicht Hahn Rowe, ein Drifter von Bosho und Branca über Hugo Largo und Foetus bis George Cartwright, The Hat Shoes und mehrfach auch schon Vitiello, zweimal seine Violine. Die aus Wallace Stevens großem Poem "The Man with the Blue Guitar" übernommene Überschrift und das gelegentlich faheyeske Picking lassen dabei einen amerikanischen Traum aufscheinen. That generation's dream, aviled In the mud, in Monday's dirty light. Hier wird er aus dem Schlamm geborgen, auch wenn dafür die Zeit manchmal rückwärts gebogen werden muss. Der Lauf der Dinge muss doch zu "Another End" umgeleitet werden, einem harmonischen. Die bitteren Erinnerungen verwandelt in einen Klang, einem noch einmal paradiesischen A und O, noch einmal Virginia, noch einmal Neue Welt. We shall sieep by night. We shall forget by day, except The moments when we choose to play. Im harmonisch-euphonischen Schwingen gibt es nur selten Variationen. Bei "Clarinet Assembly” ein Flattern und Zucken, das jedoch im elegischen Dröhnen dunkler Bläser sich beruhigt, wobei ein Orgelschimmern den sublimen Ton noch unterstreicht. Ob die Reise auf ein besseres Ende zu allerdings leicht sein wird, wie "Easy Travel" suggeriert mit seiner sanften Gitarre und silbrigem Gefunkel, darf bezweifelt werden. Das Gefunkel, das mir da schon vogelig vorkam, zeigt sich zuletzt tatsächlich als Gepiepse. Sogar der Klarinette wachst ein Schnabel. Von Bergs Lippen strömen sanfte Schwingungen, von der Gitarre fragiler Klingklang. Aber Himmel und Zukunft, die gibts doch nur noch im Museum.
Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg
Between You And The Shapes You Take

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: SONIC SEDUCER (DE)

Für den britischen Soundkünstler lief es überaus gut in den letzten Jahren. 2008 erhielt er die Auszeichnung als bester britischer Komponist in der Sparte Soundart. 2010 wurde seine Installation "Asleep At The Wheel" vom Publikum begeistert aufgenommen. Lay-by Lullaby basiert auf der 2013er Installation "Collecting Connections" uns lässt sich Gegentwurf zu "Asleep At The Wheel" lesen. Erneut dienen Aufnahmen von nächtlichen Autofahren als Ausgangsmaterial, die Schaefer im Westen Lindons anfertigte - unweit des Ortes, wo James Graham Ballards Romanklassiker "Crash" und "Die Betoninsel" entstanden. Fahrzeuge rauschen am Zuhörer vorbei, und dennoch bleiben die Klangskulpturen unaufgeregt, sanft und verträumt. Am Rande der Straße hat Schaefer einen Ort geschaffen, der dämpft und etschleunigt und so Hörerinnen und Hörerm die Möglichkeit gibt, sich eingehender mit seinen Texturen befassen. Sascha Bertoncin
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: ROCKERILLA (IT)

Janek Schaeffer è tra i più brillanti e geniali musicisti della sua generazione. Ci vorrebbe un numero intero di Rockerilla per cercare di descriverlo. I dischi sono solo una (parziale) fotografia della sua attività. Lay-by Lullaby è tra i lavori più atmosferici del musicista inglese. Evidentemente entrato subito in sintonia con l’estetica della 12k, Schaeffer ha registrato un disco di 73 minuti utilizzando i suoni della stessa autostrada che ispirò i capolavori di Ballard (lo studio di Schaeffer è vicino alla casa dove visse lo scrittore di Crash e L’isola di cemento). Le automobili della M83 continuano a rappresentare l’immagine della società in declino, ciecamente proiettate verso un futuro tutt’altro che determinabile. Schaeffer indica un’altra direzione, con drone lenti e avvolgenti, che svelano ascolto dopo ascolto impercettibili particolari. DA NON PERDERE. Roberto Mandolini
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: BLOW UP (IT)

Dodici tracce che seguono un preciso tratto nurnerico — da Radio 101 FM a Radio 112 FM — con field recordings miscelati a manipolazioni di trasmissioni radio e registrati appena sopra un'autostrada londinese, alla fine della strada dove visse JG Ballard: citazione e ispirazione opportune per un'opera nata inizialmente come installazione, gentilmente noisy, ottundente e ipnotica, ideale colonna sonora per una viaggio al termine della notte tra bagliori di fari che illuminano strade perdute e chiari di luna più lontani ancora. (7/8) G. Dal Soler
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: BLOW UP (IT)

I titoli dei pezzi sembrano venire da un trattato di fisica ("Diagrams Of The Physical Interpretation Of Resonance" ad esempio) ma la musica è poetica. Il rischio di esercizio di stile c'è, ma Il duo giapponese dà alla luce (questo significa Akari) una serie di incantati paesaggi sonori in cui troviamo note free di chitarra acustica, gorgoglii, tocchi di tastiera, rumorismi pacati. L'attenzione lirica ai dettagli sonori si armonizza con l'ambiente sonoro, come lunghe note su cui si stendono con agio i dettagli. (7) G. Dal Maso
Illuha
Akari

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: BAD ALCHEMY (DE)

Zuletzt hörte ich JANEK SCHAEFER mit seinen für Crónica auf Double Exposure versammelten Codas, Requiems und Memorials. Unter diesen allertraurigsten Musiken war auch ein Ausschnitt von "Asleep at the Wheel...", seiner Kritik am Drive-by-Konsumwahn, die er mit dem ökologischen Menetekel des aus der Denkschule von Immanuel Velikovsky hervorgegangenen Richard Heinberg verstärkte. Ole zwölf "Radio 101 FM” bis "...112 FM” betitelten Tracks auf Lay-by Lullaby (12k1079) versetzen einen mitten in der Nacht an die M3 und die impliziten Schauplätze für JG Ballards Crash und Concrete Island. Die Autobahn entstand 1973 und führte westlich von London direkt an Ballards Wohnung vorbei, auch Schaefers Studio liegt heute nur wenige Meilen davon entfernt. Sein Mitternachtsradio suggeriert nun ein Abseits, einen Ausstieg, sowohl aus Ballards Crash-Obsession als auch vom benzinfressenden Immersoweiter. Die Karawane rauscht zwar weiter, aber mit einlullendem Effekt. Aus Halbschlaf wird ein Tagtraum, mit Träumern, die erwachen, um festzustellen, dass sie eigentlich gar nicht mitrasen müssten. Dass man den Fuß vom Gaspedal nehmen und das Lenkrad loslassen kann, dass man überhaupt loslassen kann. Um einfach der Nacht zu lauschen und zu hören, wie die Englein singen, die Sterne funkeln. Feines Georgel macht den Nachthimmel zu einem Dom, in dem doch auch noch andere Götter neben Mammon erscheinen. Ein akustischer Gitarrenriff dreht sich gebetsmühlenartig. Der Äther knistert und wird plötzlich von nebulös wallendem Orchesterklang durchzogen. Drones mischen sich mit Dopplereffektwooshes von Autos und von Zügen, werden von Radiowellen gestreift oder von Harmoniumloops durchkreist. Einer der Nebeistreifen klingt wie ein melancholisch gesummtes "...und steht sie noch davor”, ein Piano klimpert, Musik liegt in der Luft. Denn die Erde ist eine Scheibe und der Tonarm hängt schon in der Auslaufrille. Das Ende vom Lied sagt, was keiner hören will: Öl, Wachstum, Party, vorbei, vorbei, vorbei.
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: BAD ALCHEMY (DE)

Album bei 12k, entstand in einem gut bestückten Studio in Tokyo. Corey Fuller und Tomoyoshi Date nutzten die Gelegenheit und orchestrierten ihre zarten Klangvorstellungen in elektroakustischer Üppigkeit. So kamen neben den elektronischen Klängen und denen von Tapes diesmal auch Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Flügel, Harmonium und präpariertes Klavier zum Einsatz, elektrische und akustische Gitarren, Kontrabass, Vibraphon, Drums und Percussion. Alles freilich in feinster Dosierung, so bedächtig und träumerisch, dass die Glitches öfters rückwärts als vorwarts zu glitchen scheinen und die delikaten Dröhnweflen in Zeitlupe als ihrer natürlichen Schwingungsform schwingen. Spitzfingrig gezupfte Saiten, gläsernes Geklimper, sanfte, zeitvergessene Tupfer lassen vermuten, dass das Licht - akari heißt Licht - , das die beiden da tragen, eine kleine Kerzenflamme ist, die vor den Windstößen der Zeit gehütet werden muss. Klickende Steinchen, feine Schablaute und Vogelstimmen suggerieren zwar auch ein Draußen, aber bei völliger Windstille und so abseits vom Betrieb, dass kleinste Details hörbar werden in diesem Steinbruch im Format des Dürerschen Rasenstücks. Von Natur sollte trotzdem nicht die Rede sein, das Biotop hier erscheint als kunstliches Leben in Versuchslabor, das durch mehrere Sperren störungs- und keimfrei abgeschottet ist. Das Requiem in "Requiem For Relative Hyperbolas Of Amplified And Decaying Waveforms” macht die elegische Grundtönung, die da von Anfang an herrscht, offiziell. Der letzte menschliche Besucher ist längst Staub, der Solaris-Ozean formt nur noch ihre Simulakra und spieit mit ihren wehmütigen Erinnerungen an frühere Tode, früheres Entschwinden. Die Schwermut wirkt als Schwerkraft auf die Erinnerungen ein, macht sie haltbar als atmenden und zuletzt sogar groß aufrauschenden Orchesterklang - "The Relationship Of Gravity To The Persistence Of Sound".
Illuha
Akari

Seaworthy + Taylor Deupree

Wood, Winter, Hollow

12k1075

REVIEW: LIABILITY (FR)

VISIT Une guitare fuyante, des field recordings discrets et minutieux, une nature sous l'emprise de l'hiver. Voilà le programme concocté par Seaworthy aka Cameron Webb et Taylor Deupree. Une rencontre qui abouti sur une musique micro-climatique du plus bel effet et qui se diffuse lentement sans direction précise mais avec un instinct naturel certain. On connaît fort bien les aspirations de Taylor Deupree, moins celle de Seaworthy malgré que certaines de ses escapades musicales soient parvenues jusqu'à nous notamment par le biais du label de Deupree, 12k. Et c'est sans doute ce dernier point qui les ont amené à travailler ensemble pour ce disque au titre tellement évocateur. En tout cas, c'est une belle réussite, une sorte d'accomplissement dans le registre de la musique discrète et contemplative qui, de part sa fragilité relative, nous emmène, là encore dans un environnement sonore contrasté qui évoque des paysages aux couleurs pales. L'hiver donc, et rien d'autre que celui-ci permet de vous inspirer de telles beautés froides qui intègrent autant des volutes vagabondes que passages plus noisy et torturés. Taylor Deupree et Seaworthy n'avaient pas l'intention de concevoir ce disque d'une manière monolithique. C'est pour cela que l'hiver n'est pas le thème unique des cinq pièces qui composent cet album. C'est pour cela que le mot hiver est accompagné par deux autres dans le titre (bois et cavité). L'ensemble de ces mots donnent l'orientation finale de ce que les deux hommes avaient imaginé. De fait, on comprend que si il doit y avoir des lignes claires, elles seront toujours accompagnées de scories, de détails crépitants et de nuances naturelles. L'album s'articule ainsi : chaque mot correspond à un titre de l'album constituant l'élément central de ce titre. Chacun de ces morceaux est séparé par une sorte d'interlude ou passage de témoin qui sont aussi censés représenter une journée précise (sans doute celle pendant lesquelles ce disque a été enregistré). Ceci étant, chaque composition qui correspond à un mot, il apparaît que les deux autres ne sont pas oubliés et alimentent naturellement celui qui tient le rôle principal. De fait, ils sont indissociables, permettant à tour de rôle de donner une architecture particulière à la musique du duo. Une réussite disions-nous.
Seaworthy + Taylor Deupree
Wood, Winter, Hollow

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: CARNAGE NEWS (IT)

VISIT Interamente costituito dal suono dello strumento a fiato, sia al naturale che processato, “Solstøv” è un generatore di suoni sfumati partendo da materiale originale.

“Pulviscolo atmosferico”, potrebbe essere la traduzione adatta del titolo del disco Solstøv (parola composta da sole + polvere), ultima opera del duo norvegese Pjusk. Un album che interroga in maniera specifica la fecondità di un suono: la tromba. Un disco unico nel suo genere, diverso e ben contestualizzato (“rinchiuso”, nella sua specificità) che si dedica completamente alle sonorità della tromba suonata da Kåre Nymark. Interamente costituito dal suono dello strumento a fiato, sia al naturale che processato, Solstøv è un generatore di suoni sfumati partendo da materiale originale. Il duo gioca difatti sui rilasci, sugli armonici dello strumento e sulla speculazioni di piccoli elementi fino a disegnare macromondi (dal micro al macro, suggeriscono Rune Sagevik e Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik – componenti di Pjusk).

E proprio dal micro si parte, come suggerisce la copertina di Marianne Morild , come se si prendesse una lente d’ingrandimento e facessimo passare la luce del sole attraverso essa. La luce si smista, si sporziona nel suo luminoso fragore. E se qualcuno parla di suono glaciale, solo in parte esaurisce la varietà di dinamiche del duo, delle loro infinite gradazioni. C’è molto altro: frammenti di luce, nebbia, gelo, calore, tenebra, colore, grigiore, sospensione, movimento, tutto quello che subisce un ambiente vissuto (mai rimane statico, ma sempre si modifica) ed è proprio qui che colpiscono i Pjusk: nella creazione di soundscape – che poi sia la Norvegia, piuttosto che la Nuova Zelanda, è affare esclusivamente degli autori. L’ascoltatore può prenderne atto, ma immedesimarsi completamente in uno scenario fin troppo specifico, è questione fuorviante.

La geografia possiede vicinanza e lontananza, ma questo disco raffigura la distanza (che è cosa diversa, è percettiva, è sensoriale, sentimentale, che non si lascia misurare da porzioni e unità, ma che è già olismo (tutto e tutti sono presi in un sol colpo). Un solo fiato può rifrangere panorami.
Pjusk
Solstøv

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: ATTN MAGAZINE (UK)

VISIT I drive down the M3 at least three times a week. My commute to work takes an hour and a half, and a predominant amount of this is spent on the motorway. It’s a strange sort of stillness; a constant blur and drone hangs on all sides, while I sit, almost completely immobile, in the driver’s seat. A lot of the time it feels more akin to a slow teleportation that a journey – I am absent in mind as I drive, and as my mind wanders gently between traces of thought, I feel like my body evaporates and is taken with it.

Lay-By Lullaby parallels my experiences of being both on the M3 and beside it. I follow the soft outlines of synthesiser as they circulate the audiosphere and swiftly dissipate, like the vague clumps of thought that screensave my brain when I’m behind the wheel. At times I feel as though I’m sleepwalking through a mansion: passing through chamber orchestra rehearsals, glancing into empty rooms obliterated by sunlight, half-hearing the waltzing leakage of an abandoned radio down the corridor. There is a lightness to my interaction with these gentle flares of music; not apathy as such, but a swooping, deliberate sensory surface skim. It reminds me of those dangerous, post-midnight journeys I occasionally take back to Bournemouth (generally after attending a gig in London). The glow of headlamps against my dirty windscreen translates directly into lulled harps and gentle purrs of synthesiser radiation.

There are moments where Schaefer cuts everything back to just the vacant chorus of the motorway, as heard outside it. It’s that distinct, endless sigh of absent transit – a hollow band of congregative car noise, tilting delicately between pitches – which Schaefer melts into the hush of loose radio static. As noted in the record description, it’s the sound of our society “hurtling down the fast lane of life with our head in the clouds, and our foot to the floor thinking the road ahead goes on forever”. Indeed, speed seems irrelevant when the horizon renews itself indefinitely. In light of this description, the gust of passing traffic starts to chill me – it’s the sound of coma and postponement, carrying the listener to their destination faster than they care to realise. I rest in the silence that fades up as Schaefer’s record comes to a close, and I understand the difference between the grey tarmac of mortal stagnation and the clarity of self-reflection and engagement.
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: SWQW (FR)

VISIT « Sur la sente fragile comme suspendue dans les airs, Entre le nuage et l’abîme, Le voyageur poursuit sa quête Vers les eaux claires du jour. Par la nuit, le matin, Par l'éclair qui dresse le péril, Dans la lumière qui hâte le pas, Il aspire à l'Immensité. » (Nicolas Grenier)

À peine le temps d’éroder de nos écoutes le magnifique Drowning In The Sky que nous avaient offert Pjusk et Sleep Orchestra, que le duo norvégien (Rune Sagevik et Jostein Gjelsvik) nous propose un nouvel et quatrième essai solo : Solstøv. Une productivité qui d'ailleurs ne semble pas se tarir cette année pour Jostein Gjelsvik, puisque cette parution précède de peu celle d'un nouvel album de Circular chez Ultimae, un projet qu'il mène en duo avec Barte Andreassen depuis 1995. Solstøv lui, est sorti le même jour que Captiva de Stephen Vitiello et Taylor Deupree, chez un 12k qui ne cesse de nous combler cette année.

Sensiblement différent de leur collaboration, cet album se rapprocherait plus, dans une certaine mesure, de leurs précédents opus. Dans une certaine mesure en effet, car la trompette de Kåre Nymark Jr, que l'on entendait déjà sur la piste Skdiv de Drowning In The Sky, se trouve ici au cœur de Solstøv, ou — plus exactement — en trace les contours. Une trompette, naturelle ou manipulée de façon électronique par Taylor Deupree, qui semble jaillir du microcosme musical de Pjusk, telles les fleurs de la peinture de Marianne Morild (l’illustration), pour mieux repousser les cavités caverneuses qui logeaient leurs premières expérimentations. Des contours en pleine expansion donc, vers les cieux.

Et pour esquisser une transition avec Drowning In The Sky, la piste d'ouverture Streif voit Sleep Orchestra se joindre aux norvégiens dans un échange entre la trompette et des textures mouvantes. Afin de maintenir quelques minutes de plus ce brouillard qui enveloppait si gracieusement leur collaboration, peut-être, prolongeant ainsi leur symbiose à merveille, avant que des vents glacés ne viennent le disperser. Les glitchs auxquels ils nous avaient habitués sortent de la brume, appuyés par SaffronKeira — autre habitué des collaborations avec un trompettiste —, et se font moins discrets, plus électrisants, contrastant avec la chaleur de l’instrument-roi (Gløtt).

S’il devait être couronné justement, ce serait inévitablement au cours du magistral Diffus, où sa plainte retentit, brusquement, comme s’il voulait percer la couche de gel qui le retenait prisonnier. Un cri qui retentit à l’infini et déchire la voûte céleste dans son élan. Pjusk touche alors au divin. L’écho, côtoyant les étoiles affolées, ne s'éteindra que difficilement.

On peut également citer l'enchaînement parfait Blaff / Sløret / Trolsk, où la trompette s'apparente au tonnerre, plus intimidante, mais sait aussi se faire plus discrète (ou plus traitée) au milieu des échos cristallins, des field recordings et du soundscaping fabuleux que déploie une nouvelle fois Pjusk. Et dans une dernière prière face au ciel, l'instrument réveille la vie qui sommeillait sous la carapace de glace et amorce une dynamique désarmante (le sublime Glød).

Outre le dialogue céleste (Sol : soleil) / terrestre (støv : poussière) qui traverse l'album, ce sont d'autres voix qui habitent Solstøv, celles des artistes qui ont été invités et qui contribuent à sa richesse. Aux musiciens déjà mentionnés (Kåre Nymark Jr, Taylor Deupree, Christopher Pegg, Eugenio Caria) s'ajoutent donc Yui Onodera (pour le titre final), Anders Voldsund (guitariste que l'on retrouve sur les autres albums solo de Pjusk) ainsi que le poète français Nicolas Grenier dont le haïku résonne sur Falmet (le très beau poème cité en introduction).

Un poème écrit spécialement pour le duo norvégien et qui retranscrit pleinement l'impression qui subsiste après immersion dans cet album. Solstøv est un périple vers des hauteurs insoupçonnées, un album vertigineux vers lequel on revient inlassablement pour cotôyer les cieux. Après Drowning In The Sky avec Sleep Orchestra, cette année, vous n’aurez pas meilleurs compagnons ambient que Pjusk.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: FOCUS SOUND (JP)

VISIT Rune Sagevik と Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik によるノルウェーのデュオ・グループPjuskの4thアルバム 『SOLSTV』がリリース。これまでに同レーベルよりSart(2007)Sval(2010)を発表し、北欧らしい 雄大な風景を想起させる澄み切った冷たい音像によるアンビエント/エクスペリメンタル・ダブ作品を発表 してきた彼らが、今作では全編を通してトランペット奏者Kare Nymark jrを大々的にフィーチャーした、 アコースティックな響きと北欧らしいアンビエント・ダブの要素が絶妙にブレンドされた意欲作となってい る。更にゲストミュージシャンにSleep OrchestraやSaffronKeira、日本からはサウンド・アーティスト Yui Onoderaが共同プロデュースで参加。
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: INFINITE GRAIN (.COM)

VISIT …And the sound got vanished and frozen, went back and forth. Detention: where is the sound? There’s an activity around nowhere, like one finding listening in a remote cave of shimmering structures where time is dilated, dissolved and redefined. Solstøv is a new album by Pjusk that challenges what we have heard before, creating a truly masterpiece of cloudy atmospheres where, grain by grain, a symphony of solitude is constructed to deliver a unique listening encounter where the ear is able to travel between time scales, between both sinister and quiet environments; spheres of delusion and stability, all deeply marked with a sense of magnitude and resonance. Magical reverberation, trumpets orbiting the spheres of the self, voices traveling across the aether and microsonic villages, floating as cosmic detritus colliding all over the place. A work that never ends, as the infinite shinning of an antarctic moon. (12k)
Pjusk
Solstøv

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: ETHEREAL (FR)

VISIT Comme annoncé lors de la recension d’Interstices, l’album live paru en juin 2013, un nouveau long-format d’Illuha arrive bien début 2014. Ayant expérimenté plusieurs endroits de réalisation de leur musique (une église pour la confection de Shizuku, des salles de concerts dont Interstices constituait un témoignage), les deux musiciens membres du duo ont choisi d’enregistrer et mixer Akari en studio, à Tokyo même, là où ils vivent tous les deux. Musicalement, l’ampleur autour de leurs éléments se fait peut-être un peu moins grande mais leur capacité à entremêler composantes électroniques et instruments réels s’avère intacte.

Il en va de même pour leur aptitude à évoluer sur la durée (deux morceaux autour des douze minutes, un autre dépassant les dix-sept), propre à permettre la participation successive de divers instruments, intervenant toujours de manière particulièrement délicate, si fragile qu’on pourrait presque penser qu’ils sont sur le point de se casser, particules musicales de verre ou de porcelaine (Diagrams Of The Physical Interpretation Of Resonance, The Relationship Of Gravity To The Persistence Of Sound). Sur ces mêmes titres, l’adjonction de quelques nappes et textures en flux et reflux apporter une indéniable profondeur, sur laquelle peuvent progresser sans peine les composants décrits précédemment.

Parfois, Tomoyoshi Date et Corey Fuller optent pour une approche plus expérimentale, privilégiant les frottements, craquèlements et sonorités aigues (Vertical Staves Of Line Drawings And Pointillism). Rompant avec les autres pistes du disque, ce morceau peut être rapproché du caudal Relative Hyperbolas Of Amplified And Decaying Waveform qui, après deux premiers tiers dans lesquels un piano opère en quasi-solo, des traits et percées synthétiques, saturées et grondantes viennent le rejoindre.
Illuha
Akari

Taylor Deupree

Lost & Compiled

12k2030

REVIEW: TEXTURA (CA)

VISIT A title such as Lost & Compiled might evoke the image of somebody clearing out his hard drive and passing on half-finished ideas to a devoted audience all too eager to lap it up. But anyone familiar with Taylor Deupree's output knows that even a collection of early mixes and previously unreleased works by the renowned sound artist will be a recording of superior quality. Originally made available at venue stops on a 2014 Japanese tour the 12k head did with Illuha, Stephan Mathieu and Federico Durand, the recording is now being made available to the public in in a 500-CD edition.

Even describing the material (in part) as early mixes threatens to mislead, as an early mix by Deupree often ends up in a far different place, the distance between the initial and final versions so great that little to no audible connection between them remains. There's also something to be said for the refreshingly loose quality that a pressure-free early mix possesses when compared to the final version, which, while admittedly more polished, can sometimes seem as if too many of its rough edges have been ironed out.

Lost & Compiled begins with “July 032013,” a previously unreleased sketch that, being the most recent of the eight tracks featured, offers a mini-portrait of Deupree's music as it currently stands. Interestingly, the piece on the one hand aligns itself to the kind of deeply textural music for which he's become known, yet on the other includes a rhythmic insistence that, for a few moments at least, suggests some buried connection to techno. In keeping with the loose character of an early mix, Deupree, channeling a John Fahey or Robbie Basho, spreads fleet-fingered guitar picking across the electro-acoustic base.

“Field (Beta),” a striking alternate version of a piece included on the Room40 release Landing (2007), shimmers peacefully in a manner representative of Deupree's meditative electro-acoustic style, as does “Sea Last (06.05.08),” a nascent treatment of a 2009 piece whose flickering ambient-drone details unspool over fourteen minutes with a measured yet poised assurance. If “Sleepover (Alt)” presents a strikingly delicate ambient side of Deupree, it's in part attributable to the fact that the piece was created for the Lost In The Humming Air, a 2012 Oktaf compilation designed as an homage to Harold Budd. One final surprise arrives during “Journal (Rough)” in the presence of church organ-like sounds and vocals, elements not commonly heard in Deupree's productions.

Quite frankly, had Deupree coyly elected to present the release without disclosing details about its origins, the listener—even one intimately familiar with his output—would probably hear the recording as a collection of new Deupree material and ultimately regard it as one more fine addition to his discography.
Taylor Deupree
Lost & Compiled

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: VITAL WEEKLY (NL)

From Norway hail Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Sagevik, who call themselves Pjusk. Their debut, 'Sart' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 575, but the follow-up albums, 'Sval' and 'Tele' went by, not reviewed. This is their fourth album, and the title means 'sun dust' and it sees them using the trumpet sound of Kare Nymark Jr, which they solely use, besides a bit of guitar (by Anders Voldsund). Label boss Taylor Deupree adds a bit of his own trumpet processing, using Kyma, and the Pjusk cuts, past and collage all of these processed recordings into a ten-piece/one hour release this is. I wonder who was responsible for making the trumpet sound like wind chimes in 'Demring', maybe all of them? This is an album that has to offer quite a variety of approaches. From the glacial and somewhat predictable opening tones of 'Streif', the trumpet-as-trumpet in 'Gløtt', the chimes of 'Demring' and the somewhat crude (nice!) guitar effects on 'Blaff'. Maybe at times there is too much reverb on that trumpet and it sounds too much as a cliché ('Blaff' again), but the album is saved by the amount of variety in these pieces. I like the more abstract pieces, which avoid the pure glacial drone style that Pjusk has at times, but, as said, it's a combination of various interests (glacial drones, trumpet with reverb (ECM inspired I wondered), abstract) that makes this quite an interesting album altogether. A bit Hubro Music at times, I mused, bit jazz like, but a totally different kind of jazz. (FdW)
Pjusk
Solstøv

Illuha

Interstices

12k2028

REVIEW: NEURAL (IT)

VISIT Behind the moniker Illuha are hidden the Japanese experimenter Tomoyoshi Date and the cosmopolitan Corey Fuller. The first works of both sound-artists date back to the second half of the last decade; so they belong to the last generation – the very last, actually – of audio manipulators who weave ambient, field recordings and microsound. The duo have already shared their musical approaches and views in a previous album, Shizuku, released in 2011. As with the latest work, Shizuku was characterized by pure improvisation and was based on a physical place where it was possible to build relationships and give life to a number of projects in a defined and evocative environment. In Shizuku the location was a majestic and ancient church, but now the two musicians are in a room, not far from the city and semi-immersed in a wood. The place is a liminal work-area, actually a place that is not a place, where the passing time is no time, a place where the sound combinations, their unconditional flux beat the daytime; of course, the flux also includes normal daily happenings, not only work activities but life on the whole. The care with details is clear, but Date and Fuller know well that the power of creation is not merely the act of creation; this reminds us of the ancient strain between art and life: “only art allows to escape so well from the world, but no closer relation can be between us and the world, if not through art”, said Goethe. Somehow this lesson echoes so purely and essentially in Interstices: among the interstices, the pride of art and the vulgarity of life are magically put in a state of suspension.
Illuha
Interstices

Stephen Vitiello + Taylor Deupree

Captiva

12k2031

REVIEW: BOOMKAT (UK)

VISIT Stephen Vitiello and Taylor Deupree remind us the arresting beauty of simple, spacious ambient music with this sublime suite created as part of the Robert Rauschenberg Residency Program at the late artist's estate and studio compound in Captiva, Florida. It marks Deupree and Vitiello's first full length work together, following their combined effort with Ryuichi Sakamoto and live performances which signalled the pair as kindred spirits. 'Captiva' is a set of duets, both between the artists, and the pair as a unit with their surroundings, incorporating environmental recordings of osprey, pelicans and water with warm modular overlays and slivers of electric guitar recorded on sunny afternoons on the first disc, while on the second they retreat to Rauschenberg's vast workspace to commune between baby grand piano - played with E-bows and prepared with beach shells and forks - and the spirit of the room itself. The results are effortlessly fluid and beautifully mixed, suspending all the elements just out of reach.
Stephen Vitiello + Taylor Deupree
Captiva

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: BLACK AUDIO (BLOG)

VISIT Tokyo’s two-piece Illuha, return with their 3rd album, following 2011’s ‘Shizuku’ and 2013’s ‘Interstices’. With a naturist slant to their ambient, subtle background summer garden noises are mixed with flowing pads and background drones, whilst plucking instruments intersect with resonating hums.

Illuha play with gentle noise along the way, breathing out subtle field recordings as a foundation. Reverberated piano is infused into the mix along the way, providing the higher end of the range, whilst lower end frequencies twist and whirl on the lower end of the spectrum.

‘Akari’ requires patience and space to sit and take it all in; ‘The Relationship of Gravity to the Persistence of Sound’, being a highlight of the album as a whole, taking their commitment to a new level and keep a consistency throughout the song. Occasionally, Illuha stumble on a few tracks where things can tend to get a tad tedious; and luckily this song focuses the listener at a key point in the album, where it’s starting to get a trifle dull.

As a full release, Illuha’s latest work is a mixed bag; when it shines, it is truly magnificent. There are however just a few moments where things tend to stagnate; which is a pity as this has all the ingredients to be truly great, although it is worth picking up just for those momentary flashes of brilliance alone.
Illuha
Akari

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: ATTN MAGAZINE (UK)

VISIT One second unrolls into a long, levitating minute as I hear a solitary piano note fading into the air around, with all other sounds frozen into quiet as though mesmerised by the graceful decay. Elsewhere, time is overlain at different speeds and in frictional chronology, with a stream of soft electric drones running like a bathroom tap between harp notes that scuttle like a spider evading the flow of water; timelessness intertwined with a mortally frantic moment. The whole thing hovers, cloud-like – cradled by an implied, psychologically fulfilled tonality, tense as though modestly charged with electricity, billowing outward and inward with the frosty scrapes of a field-recorded elsewhere and the hums of my own bodily stasis.

In spite of the space-time confusion, I feel calm. Careless, almost. I pick up fragmentary details and drop them: swapping the confirmation beeps of hospital equipment for a slither of winter birdsong, slurping up reverse bells and then flitting across to see a hard-drive needle stuttering with age, or watching as a piano chord drops like wooden boat debris on a lake. I am rendered curious and blissfully distracted, sucked into the intricate workings of a particular electric glitch while vaguely aware of the flicked guitar strings in my peripheral consciousness. The bustle of sound is constant and intense but it does not demand my attention; I may dissect it by the seams if I wish, or lie upon it and feel its tidal undulations pushing gently against my back. It is a thousand tiny sounds in ecological conversation, and it is a single living entity breathing in and out.
Illuha
Akari

Taylor Deupree

Lost & Compiled

12k2030

REVIEW: HAWAI (CL)

VISIT Esbozos, elaboraciones iniciales de una obra de arte, ideas o conceptos vagos, imprecisos. Definiciones que apuntan a un mismo lugar, un mismo estado, un instante previo de algo que aún no se desarrolla, cuando esa impresión en la mente todavía está lejos de adquirir la forma ideal. Los primeros trazos ya apuntan las formas definitivas, pero la indecisión lleva a que el camino desvíe su curso dejando atrás un rastro de ruido impreciso, una belleza imperfecta que queda escondida entre los escombros de archivos acumulados en carpetas y datos comprimidos. Su cubierta indeterminada permite apreciar eventos imprevisibles, puntos de tonos diferentes sobre el lienzo blanco que permanece aún con tramos vacíos, quedando las notas expuestas en su cruda pureza y su melancólica indefinición. La última obra del norteamericano, en muchos sentidos, no es una obra definitiva, en la forma cómo fue concebida, en la forma en que fue presentada. Sin embargo, desde cierta óptica perfectamente se puede plantear como una colección de piezas que forman un cuadro unificado, y un trabajo que posee una autonomía propia, dado el carácter de las mismas y dado el desarrollo de su cuerpo creativo. El sonido de Taylor Deupree ya tiene, desde hace algún tiempo, una fisonomía muy asentada, y cada una de sus composiciones tienen rasgos de imperfección que quedan a la luz, en ese mismo estado, una rugosidad explícita que deja visible la belleza del error y los eventos inesperados. Este trabajo más reciente, y que recupera rastros olvidados, puede ser tanto un resumen como una reunión de piezas que cobran nueva vida, nuevas aproximaciones que generan una obra en cierto punto inédita.

Recientemente, es decir el pasado año, las huellas dejaron en la vereda álbumes compartidos, creaciones a partir de la unión de ideas conjuntas. Fue el caso de “Origin” (12k, 2013), junto a Savvas Ysatis, “Wood, Winter, Hollow” (12k, 2013) [264], junto a Seaworthy y, finalmente, “Disappearance” (12k, 2013) [280], la enorme colaboración que reunió a Taylor con Ryuichi Sakamoto, una obra que aún es necesario dilucidar, de la que todavía quedan aspectos por descubrir. Del mismo modo, “Faint” (12k, 2012) [229], el último creado en la soledad de su estudio, conserva rincones de su interior sin ser explorados. Su continuación, este que se mueve en mis manos, expone esos rincones y los ángulos de la canción para adaptarse al clima exterior. “Lost & Compiled” surge como un disco de viaje, como material fabricado para ser entregado en la excursión en tierras extranjeras. Su estreno ocurrió durante una exposición de sus fotografías en la galería Il Solito en Ebisu, Tokio, como también en la gira que por varias ciudades japonesas efectuó junto a Illuha, Stephan Mathieu y Federico Durand recientemente, en abril pasado. Lo que quede estará disponible a través de la tienda virtual de 12k, lo que indica el carácter casual de esta recopilación, además de aparecer en las ‘Limited Series’ de 12k, aquella serie de lanzamientos únicos y de edición limitada bajo el radar. “‘Lost & Compiled’ es una colección de mezclas tempranas de canciones mías del pasado reciente así como trabajos previamente no publicados. El concepto de este lanzamiento viene de la idea que las canciones que compongo atraviesan tantas permutaciones que al tiempo que son lanzadas han dejado tras suyo un rastro de fantasmas. A veces cuando regreso a las mezclas ásperas y tempranas escucho algo más relajado, libre y menos perfecto… Un punto en la vida de la canción donde la tensión de terminarla o pulirla para una mezcla ‘final’ aún no tiene lugar”. En total son ocho piezas las que son recogidas desde ese lugar extraño, extraviadas en algún hardware y ahora restauradas en su estado natural, música recolectada directamente desde el campo que rodea al estudio de Taylor Deupree en Pound Ridge, muy dentro del estado de Nueva York. Hay en él bosquejos, versiones alternativas, materia aún en desarrollo y una excepción a estas reglas impuestas. El murmullo del bosque próximo traspasa la barrera de la distancia, logrando pasar desde su hábitat propio hasta la superficie del sonido. Es la naturaleza el lugar donde crecen estos instantes de electrónica orgánica, como se puede apreciar en ese fondo que se transforma en parte integral de la estructura variable. Las texturas saturadas comienzan a formar un terreno esponjoso sobre el cual crecerán ramas acústicas: “July 032013”, el primer fruto inmaduro cosechado desde el plano no fijado, cuerdas de nylon que dibujan un cuadro primigenio encima de las formas abruptas, borrador de nuevo material grabado en el verano del anterior año, y que se conecta con su pasado reciente. Folk entrelazado con paisajes de electricidad desgastada y estruendos microscópicos generando enlaces de luz natural. “Field”, la última fracción de “Landing” (Room40, 2007) [041] sufre un tratamiento similar, ahogando las brisas aéreas en un mar de sonidos desenfocados. Su versión alternativa, “Field (Beta)”, queda absorbida por el paso del tiempo que oculta las armonías originales, quedando en un eco de la memoria. “Live In Osaka” es la única que es incorporada en su forma final, antes disponible en el recopilatorio (libro + CD) “Extract – Portraits Of Soundartists” (Non Visual Objects, 2007): el remanente de la pureza electrónica de etapas previas unido a las eventualidades que suceden en tiempo real, las que luego se traspasarían a las grabaciones más procesadas, tendiendo puentes entre el ayer y el presente, ya vislumbrado en “Sea Last” (12k, 2009) ), parte de esa serie de obras breves que servirían de base para desarrollos posteriores y más extensos. Un EP “inspirado por la calma y la pérdida del sentido del tiempo del océano” que en “Sea Last (06.05.08)” se presenta en una versión previa: ambient acuático interrumpido por el brillo del sol en el mar, una delicada capa sintética movilizada creando olas amplias mientras detalles ínfimos la cubren. Catorce minutos que luego serían diecinueve y que bien podrían ser horas. El pulso ambiental y atemporal permanece con “Sleepover (Alt)” versión alternativa de la aparecida en “Lost In The Humming Air (Music Inspired By Harold Budd)” (Oktaf, 2012), donde similares capas sintéticas sobresalen por sobre los detalles, salvo un resplandor y una resonancia distante. Las tonalidades indecisas serán de nuevo el suelo sobre el que aferrar melodías que parecen borrarse apenas dejan de emitir su última onda expansiva. “So Sleepy”, versión primera que culminaría en “For A Morning When” para otra recopilación, “For Nihon” (Unseen Music, 2011), no deja que veamos su configuración: solo nos quedamos con una impresión de lo que fue, una sensación agradable de pausa constante. Otro bosquejo, otra vez los contornos desiguales y las armonías en construcción en mitad del campo y la hierba creciente. “Sketch For February”, febrero de 2012, la noche y su canto suave integrado en los tonos de acústica belleza rural, tonos desintegrados en trozos que se esparcen en esta pieza minúscula que se adentra en la piel con su humedad. Para el final queda una mezcla previa de la cara principal de “Journal” (Champion Version, 2011) [144], aquel maravilloso single en formato siete pulgadas de hace tres temporadas atrás. “Journal (Rough)” es precisamente eso, una interpretación más áspera, una versión fantasma que cubre de arena y ruido la gloriosa melodía de enorme sencillez, un loop hecho a mano que deja en su agonía la voz del mismo Deupree, la única vez que se ha oído, ahora una cinta de sonidos fragmentados.

“Las canciones sobre este álbum son solamente esto; pistas en estados más tempranos de terminación o versiones completamente diferentes que nunca llegaron al corte final. Esto es una mirada interesante en lo que queda olvidado y enterrado que no es menos poderoso, y bastante más vulnerable, que los cortes finales”. Las pistas exhibidas en su forma menos refinada permiten escuchar el rastro de imperfecciones, esa vulnerabilidad que menciona. “Lost & Compiled” reúne piezas segmentadas, exponiendo las rendijas que quedan entre una corteza y otra –preciosa fotografía de la portada: un árbol cubierto de tintura celeste. “Fue un descubrimiento agradable un día caminando en un parque… estos árboles con pintura sobre ellos…”–, y así poder escuchar el ruido de las partículas de audio y las manchas que quedan como esbozos imprecisos, los restos de una melodía olvidada.
Taylor Deupree
Lost & Compiled

Taylor Deupree

Lost & Compiled

12k2030

REVIEW: FLUID RADIO (UK)

VISIT Taylor Deupree’s Lost & Compiled is a record that basks in a warm, hushed glow. The collection is made out of previously unreleased tracks and early mixes that never made the final cut. Songs go through different stages, they alter along the way and sometimes they completely change. Taylor Deupree’s songs never feel like rough cuts or half-finished tracks, though. His songs “go through so many permutations that by the time they are released they have left behind a trail of ghosts”. It is beautiful music, aesthetically pleasing and comfortable with itself. Its kindness is heard in the soft electronic discharge of ‘Sea Last (06.05.08)’, and the drone floats on and on. As if blown through light sails the drone serenely glides, and clean electric guitar melodies blur against the electronic background. Lost & Compiled is incredibly pretty in its own right and provides an interesting look at the music that often gets left behind. Its voice should be heard, but Lost & Compiled is only available in the 12k shop, so be quick.
Taylor Deupree
Lost & Compiled

Stephen Vitiello + Taylor Deupree

Captiva

12k2031

REVIEW: FLUID RADIO (UK)

VISIT American label 12k are the kings of experimental, electronic music. The New York label was set up by Taylor Deupree in January 1997 and has since become one of the music industry’s shining lights. Since its inception the label has substantially increased its output while remaining true to its original intentions and musical philosophies.

On 12k, minimalist ambient music collides with the acoustic, and electronic rhythms bleed into abrasive, micro-tonal noise. Advances in technology are fused with natural, thicker textures. Digital textures criss-cross over ornate, organic architecture, leading to highly detailed, highly emotional music. But it goes deeper than music alone. Their sleek artwork sticks like vague, white-stoned concrete to the music, glued to the very fabric of the music. 12k care for what they do, which isn’t always the way. These brand new releases on the 12k imprint show their quality and their current intent.

Stephen Vitiello & Taylor Deupree’s Captiva is another great example of 12k’s style. It’s a soft hush of a record, quieter than a sweltering Wednesday afternoon at the local library. ‘From The Fish House’ was recorded in a guest house above the bay of the inland waters of Captiva, Florida. The duo used both inside and outside microphones to record their environment – osprey, pelicans and the clean sound of water all become an essential part of the music. It becomes a calming listen, with something of the American state exhaling inside the music.

The tropical atmosphere, the humid air and the thin breeze that ripples the shirt against your back can all be felt if you listen closely enough. Their music together is infectious, beckoning you to come closer. They play around with pinpoint accuracy, but they celebrate imperfection. Perfection is just an unobtainable dream, and its pursuit would probably dilute the music and its emotional impact anyway. Imperfection is the way to go. In Navajo culture, weavers deliberately place a mistake into their work which they call a ‘spirit line’, a line that runs from the centre of the rug and out to the edge of the fabric. It indicates intentional imperfection so that the creative soul can continue to grow, a path out from the present that leads into their future. It’s proof that everyone can continue to improve, and that is something that should be cherished.

The slight dissonant flavour of a piano makes up the final track, and the cooler, nocturnal tone is just as spacious as the light Floridian drone. The album has arced in a subtle, steady curve. Their tonal colours are numerous; fine shades, light hues and thin lines. This is what minimalist ambient music should sound like, a spacious, non-invasive treasure where every listen has something to say.
Stephen Vitiello + Taylor Deupree
Captiva

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: FLUID RADIO (UK)

VISIT American label 12k are the kings of experimental, electronic music. The New York label was set up by Taylor Deupree in January 1997 and has since become one of the music industry’s shining lights. Since its inception the label has substantially increased its output while remaining true to its original intentions and musical philosophies.

On 12k, minimalist ambient music collides with the acoustic, and electronic rhythms bleed into abrasive, micro-tonal noise. Advances in technology are fused with natural, thicker textures. Digital textures criss-cross over ornate, organic architecture, leading to highly detailed, highly emotional music. But it goes deeper than music alone. Their sleek artwork sticks like vague, white-stoned concrete to the music, glued to the very fabric of the music. 12k care for what they do, which isn’t always the way. These brand new releases on the 12k imprint show their quality and their current intent.

Norway’s pale Pjusk reflect the colour of the grey ocean. Dark tones glide icily over the music, and the lonesome, breathy tones of a saxophone come to claim a single space, an icy, isolated chamber. Chiming, frost-bitten tones tinkle against the saxophone, and the undercurrent of static insists on a cold, dangerous environment. Malevolent, even. It’s a typical 12k release – it gives the listener a copious amount of space to walk around in, the air is fine and clear, breathing isn’t a chore and the music is an experience, unassisted by thoughts or artistic direction. It echoes two of 12k’s founding principles:

“Don’t tell listeners what they want to hear, let them discover that for themselves”.

“Treat your audience as they are: intelligent, passionate lovers of art and sound”.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Pjusk

Solstøv

12k1081

REVIEW: AMBIENTBLOG (.NET)

VISIT Not counting their recent collaboration "Drowning in the Sky", with Sleep Orchestra, "Solstøv" is Pjusk's fourth release - and their third for the 12K label. Since their debut in 2007, the Norwegian duo (Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Andre Sagevik) have built themselves quite an impressive reputation. With "Solstøv" , (Sol - Sun / Støv - Dust) they don't disappoint - to say the least!

While maintaining their original 'glacial' sound, the original starting point from this album is quite different: the complete album is created using the sound of the trumpet (played by Kåre Nymark jr.). A bright natural sound to start with, but it is also heavily processed to create the characteristically delicate sound layers. (Taylor Deupree added extra sonic manipulations that he created using the Kyma Sound Design System). But how strange and alienating these sound manipulations may be at times, the music always stays connected to its natural source: the trumpet.

The use of the trumpet in ambient soundscapes is not exactly new: think Jon Hassell, Arve Henriksen and - to some extent - Nils Petter Molvaer. (It can hardly be a coincidence that, apart from Jon Hassell, these musicians all come from Norway, too?.)
Pjusk manages to take the the music to another level of abstraction. The 'jazz' connection is still vaguely present, but it's a shimmer in the background, hovering behind the 'sparkling and fractured textural fragments'.

"This is an album that channels the Norwegian landscape in all of its stark beauty; its cold, its warmth, and its place in the universe. To listen to Pjusk is to sit quietly in an endless night."

The ambient music genre in general may be in danger of collapsing under a 'sameness overload', but Pjusk restores faith with their new release. "Solstøv" feels like waking up.
Pjusk
Solstøv

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: SOUND OF MUSIC (SE)

VISIT Om pointilismen inom bildkonsten har en musikalisk motsvarighet borde det vara elektronisk ambient från skivbolaget 12k. Musik uppbyggd med ofta små punkter, klick och klanger som tecknar ljudlandskap att förlora sig i. Bolagets detaljrika, allt annat än påstridiga electronica handlar som regel om vackert sobra utgåvor, musik för lyssning i stillhet och avskildhet.

Japanbaserade duon Illuhas tredje album Akari är bedårande. Jag låter mig villigt slukas och förföras. Tomoyoshi Date och Corey Fuller har på tidigare skivor – debuten Shizuku (12k, 2011) och den mer liveinspelade Interstices (12k, 2013) – sparsamt och harmoniskt använt sig av pianon, Rhodes och Wurlitzer-elpianon, akustiska och elektriska gitarrer. Så också på Akari, som på japanska betyder ”ljus”. Toner droppar som vattnig akvarell, på gränsen till mjäkigt ibland, men det är inte där utan i den stora, sammansmälta målarduken som musiken har sitt hjärta.

Illuha har under närmare ett år haft tillgång till en inspelningsstudio i Tokyo med, som skivbolaget beskriver, ”amazing equipment at their fingertips”. Att skynda långsamt i studion ger inte nödvändigtvis intressant resultat, som bekant, men när det gäller finstilta mikrofonjusteringar och klangliga detaljkvaliteter kan det, som här, göra hela skillnaden.

Jämfört med den mer råa, nakna föregångarens liveljud ligger här inte ett dammkorn eller hårstrå snett. Ljuden från studion och fältinspelningarna har mixats samman till en organisk helhet som undviker att kantra mot det utstuderade, snarare andas musiken som med luften i skogen, över haven, i rymderna.

Låttitlarna pekar mot den fysiska (ljud)världens inre konstruktioner: ”Structures Based on the Plasticity of Sphere Surface Tension”, ”The Relationship of Gravity to the Persistence of Sound”, ” Diagrams of the Physical Interpretation of Resonance”. Min tes om pointilism tillfredsställs i ” Vertical Staves of Line Drawings and Pointillism”, skivans vackraste spår med ljud av olika inspelningskvalitet som fångar illusionen av papper, glas, vatten, fysiska objekt och linjer. Och undertill en lätt oroande, lätt drånande baston i det lägre mellanregistret.

Akari är diskret och reducerad, nyanserad och balanserad. Att önska en prick ytterligare eller ett klick annorlunda vore som att önska bättre väder en redan perfekt dag.
Illuha
Akari

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: FRANCEMUSIQUE (FR)

VISIT Janek Schaefer (né en 1970) est un grand nom des musiques expérimentales, ses bandes sons, ses installations et ses albums sont toujours très remarqués par la critique et son travail (axé sur la spatialisation et l'architecture sonore) a reçu quelques distinctions d'importance. Parmi elles : Le titre de compositeur britannique de l'année en 2008 et le prix Paul Hamlyn. Pour cette dernière production Janek Schaefer a posé (la nuit) ses micros au bord de l'autoroute M3, plus précisément au beau milieu d'un pont qui enjambe cette autoroute reliant le sud-ouest de Londres au sud de l'Angleterre. Il a ainsi enregistré une ambiance sonore nocturne qui tend vers le silence mais sans jamais l'atteindre puisque régulièrement cadencée par le rythme incessant des véhicules. Sur cette base sonore l'artiste a comme infiltré ses musiques avec beaucoup de maîtrise et de précisions, des musiques comme toujours chez Shaefer, très fantomatiques et généralement constituées d'enregistrements sur disques vinyles mais également du son des vinyles eux-mêmes, ce fameux souffle qui crépite doucement sous la tête de lecture de platines. Sur son site Janek schaefer fait quelques références à Brian Eno et Karl Hyde et surtout l'écrivain James Graham Ballard. Ballard était fasciné par la psycho-sexualité des violences automobiles (cf son roman Crash et son adaptation cinématographique par David Cronenberg) et il habitait tout près de l'endroit ou Schaefer a réalisé cet enregistrement. Vous allez l'entendre, Lay-by Lullaby est un album délicieusement soporifique, mais y a rien d'insultant à appréhender ce type d’œuvre comme un moyen de s'abandonner, de lâcher prise et de se laisser entraîner vers un état de conscience modifiée. Janek Schaefer nous plonge dans une ambiance nocturne paisible pour certains, stressante pour d'autres, et les deux à la fois pour d'autres encore. Je vous propose d'en faire votre propre expérience, une expérience qui sera très certainement pleine de réminiscences sonores qui iront du Continental Circus de Gong à l'Autobahn de Kraftwerk (dont nous fêterons le 40ième anniversaire l'automne prochain), en passant par les musiques ambient de Brian ou de Roger Eno, d'Hoger Czukay mais également du grand spécialiste des musiques fantomatique qu'est James Kirby sous le pseudonyme de The Caretaker. (©Eric Serva – mai 2014).
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg

Between You And The Shapes You Take

12k1078

REVIEW: THE SOUND PROJECTOR (.COM)

VISIT Reflective, guitar-rooted atmospherics with an evident indifference towards definite statements, like a long stretch of fence wire singing sadly in the open country wind. The title and music suggest a threshold where form surrenders to a tentative state of being, while unnameable somethings fleet past in the hazy traces of dawn light.

Following on from the pair’s 2009 recording, The Gorilla Variations, Between You And The Shapes You Take was improvised in seemingly quiet surroundings by Vitiello (guitar and processing) and Berg (clarinet and vocals) – largely without prior discussion (the two have enough of a collaborative history to have a strong intuitive rapport) – then whittled and tweaked into these ten charming, melancholy miniatures. Along with maudlin mountain winds, twangs and picks, one catches snatches of radio noise, lilting sighs, organ, flutes and grainy oscillations, all of which elements are largely stripped of their defining features to conform with the music’s hazy wholeness. Instrumental contributions are delicate and minimal, occasionally punctuating the haze like small rocks jutting from the stream’s surface. It’s sometimes remote, sometimes warm in a Fennesz-y way, but ever shy of direct physical manifestation.

While each track offers sufficient variation from that previous, listeners who favour ‘event’ coverage are not advised to partake: your heavy hands will be thwarted by its illusiveness. Nor should it be played specifically for relaxation purposes, for Eno it ain’t. These pieces describe a dreamy netherworld lit by errant sparks from unearthed appliances and loosely defined by the stupor of forgotten selves ambling through the obtrusive undergrowth of one’s mental antipodes.
Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg
Between You And The Shapes You Take

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: CHAIN DLK (.COM)

VISIT J.G.Ballard's bounteous literature and visionary creativity have often been a source of inspiration for UK sound artist Janek Schaefer, who after 20 years of acknowledged activity and an impressive number of releases and sound installations for many labels and institutions signed his first release for Taylor Deupree's label at last. The nocturnal field recordings of "Lay-By Lullaby", which took place above M3 motorway, whose building and proximity to Ballard's house as well as to Schaefer's recording studio heavily influenced proper masterpieces about spiritually noxious effects of so-called progress and technology on human life by this sci-fi novelist. The ready-references of this album are the narrative setting of those novels where car culture and motorways had a meaningful and emblematic role such as "Crash!" and "Concrete Island", where Ballard splendidly shows sensorial and spatial cracks on some of the most typical badges of modernity by bringing characters out of that idea of chimerical order whose structure rests on pervading conceptions of organization, efficiency and urbanization, acting like addicting drugs on minds and souls. You could imagine Janek Schaefer in the guise of Robert Maitland, whose "accident" reactivates memories, feelings, thoughts and reveries that burst into consciousness over the hypnotical streaming aural code of a motorway where gusts of wind and barreling wheeled cells constantly weave a trapping web. The sonic strategy by which Janek renders such an abstract sequence of "enlightenments", which sound like unpredictable radio interferences, is simply stunning and deeply emotional and seems toi come from phantasmagorical entities which invite listeners to take a rest, come out of this suffocating stream and lapse into daydreaming in a whisper. "Lay-by Lullaby" is undoubtedly one of the best "environ/mental" ambient release of the year.
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: HEADPHONE COMMUTE (.COM)

VISIT Akari is the new album from the Tokyo based duo of Corey Fuller and Tomoyoshi Date, known as Illuha, on the 12k label. While this is the third Illuha record, it is the first in which the duo worked in studio recording and mixing together (Shizuku (2011) was recorded in the US and completed separately by the artists and Interstices (2013) captured the duo creating their music together live during a Japanese tour). Akari is the Japanese word for light and it proves to be an apt title as there is a bright, organic luminescence that imbues each piece.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry is quoted as saying, “a designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”. This premise can also be applied to music, especially the ambient genre, and Akari might just be the perfect embodiment of it. Every track strikes an ideal balance between sparseness and elegance with nothing lacking and not a single sound proving inessential. This gives the album an internal harmony and fluidity that proves more and more satisfying each time it is heard.

“The beautiful st-robo studio in Tokyo put a collection of amazing equipment at their fingertips, from vintage mics and outboard gear to a vast collection of instruments, both acoustic and electronic. Their writing sessions were numerous and long with details meticulously obsessed over for nearly a year. The result is the most bewildering music Illuha have created to date. An album swimming with the most delicately tactile sounds and instrumentation that draws the listener in with hushed, motionless attention.”

The opening track, ‘Diagrams Of The Physical Interpretation Of Resonance’ feels like a long and delightful awakening from slumber with the bell tones of guitar harmonics, plucked strings, and delicate piano weaving a gauzy web of sound among sizzling and crackling electronics. ‘Vertical Staves Of Line Drawings And Pointillism’ is a slightly more tense affair with mildly unsettling flat notes ringing out over somber and heavy bass drones. This tension is beautifully released by the next two tracks which together comprise over 20 minutes of truly sublime listening. In ‘The Relationship Of Gravity To The Persistence Of Sound’, sparse natural sounds create a mood of serenity as a tide of lush analog synthesizers washes in slowly with ever-increasing power. This is followed by the shimmering ‘Structures Based On The Plasticity Of Sphere Surface Tension’ which utilizes the sounds of water and delicate instrumentation to create a sense of tranquility.

Finally, Akari closes with ‘Requiem For Relative Hyperbolas Of Amplified And Decaying Waveforms’ in which minimal and hushed tones dissolve into a swirling pool of distortion, thus ending the album with a powerful flourish. Patiently constructed and exquisitely rendered, Akari is one of the most captivating and beautiful releases you are likely to hear this or any other year. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The album is available both on CD and as a digital download along with a 6 postcard set of paintings by Corey Fuller’s son, Samuel Estlin Fuller who also did the lovely cover art. See the link below for the various package options and prices.
Illuha
Akari

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: CHAIN DLK (.COM)

VISIT Since the moment when Taylor Deupree's 12K seems to have walk out on the end to itself of merely abstract ambient in order to make waves in this stylistical pool by means of organic and narrative hooks, this label is managing to dope many music lovers with authentic masterpieces and this third album by Illuha, the suprising collaborative project by Tomoyoshi Date and Corey Fuller, could reasonably belong to such a category. "Akari" could be considered the third evolutive step of these Tokyo-based musicians as "Shizuku", their first release, was mainly recorded in the US with final intergrations which got separately added by each musician, the second stunning release - "Interstices" - got recorded during live sessions, while this record has finally been recorded in a studio recording in Japan, where these guys had a wider sonic equipment at their disposal in the bargain. In accordance with the title of the album - "Akari" is the Japanese word for "light" as well as the name of JAXA infrared satellite -, you could almost feel that each track unfold gradual permutations from darker sonorities to cathartic expansions, but they follow such an ascensional curve by means of delicate interplays between acoustic and electronic instruments, which brings ambient closer to the boundless electroacoustic field. The scientific connection of the titles of each track let foretaste the essence of each suite, which almost seems to the intellectual delight of discovery and knowledge where any single sonic element sounds like interconnected with other ones before it reaches its emotional acme. Winsome sonic entities got psyched out by delicate piano strikes on the initial "Diagrams of the Physical Interpretation of Resonance" before they fade out over a sort of cosmic breeze, a certain inquietude got rendered by the solitary contemplation which occasionally seems to transmute into a deep mental absorption by surrounding natural elements on the following "Vertical Staves of Line Drawings and Pointillism", it smells like a gradual renaissance on the breathtaking daintiness of "The Relationship of Gravity to the Persistence of Sound", which reaches the highest level of purity on "Structures Based on the Plasticity of Sphere Surface Tension" before percolating with reinvigorated strenght over seemingly flat land on the final "Relative Hyperbolas of Amplified and Decaying Waveform"...
Illuha
Akari

Illuha

Akari

12k1080

REVIEW: SWQW (FR)

VISIT « Tout ce mélange, c’était le fleuve des destinées accomplies, c’était la musique de la vie. » (Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha)

Cela pourrait en effet s’apparenter au cours d’un fleuve, la musique d’Illuha. Un fleuve chargé de vie, paisible et faussement monotone, que ceux qui le traversent hâtivement pourraient ne pas saisir, alors que son écoute attentive et patiente révèlerait sa nature et sa beauté.

Ce troisième album du duo tokyoïte, composé de Corey Fuller et Tomoyoshi Date, fait suite au live Interstices, publié l'année dernière chez 12k, et à Shikuzu sorti en 2011. Deux albums empreints d'une élégance rare, avec cette faculté de stopper le temps à chaque écoute. Akari est sorti il y a quelques semaines, toujours chez 12k, et ne déroge pas à l'excellence à laquelle ils nous avaient habitués.

La grande variété de sources sonores utilisées dans cet album n'est pas forcément ce qui importe le plus, mais plutôt l'harmonie qui se dégage de ce microcosme luxuriant. Chaque nouvelle sonorité semble en effet s'immiscer naturellement dans les compositions du duo, comme si elle y avait déjà sa place. Une harmonie qui se ressent aussi bien au regard des nombreux instruments acoustiques joués, que des field recordings qui peuplent cet univers foisonnant ou des diverses incursions électroniques. À ce niveau, impossible de ne pas mentionner les titres Diagrams of the Physical Interpretation of Resonance et The Relationship of Gravity to the Persistence of Sound, qui atteignent une splendeur désarmante.

Les textures, diluées dans cette nature opulente et servant de ponts entre les différents éléments, semblent flotter, entre terre et ciel, à l'image des peintures de Samuel Estlin Fuller qui accompagnent l’objet. Statiques pour l’observateur et à contre-courant de toute inertie extérieure. C'est l’impression qui se dégage aussi à l'écoute de cet album, qui se dévoile avec une douce lenteur, et fait l'effet d'un havre de paix dans lequel on se réfugie comme dans une bulle, à mille lieux du vacarme extérieur.

Si le duo a toujours fait usage de l’électronique, celle-ci se fait plus présente ici, voire légèrement plus sombre par moments. L’atmosphère qui règne sur certains morceaux semble presque menaçante, notamment sur Vertical Staves of Line Drawings and Pointillism où des drones planent au-dessus de tous ces bruissement organiques, prévenant ces occupants d’une éventuelle menace à venir. Un danger qui ne prend réellement forme que lors du dernier morceau, Requiem for Relative Hyperbolas of Amplified and Decaying Waveforms, dans une tempête qui tente d’emporter cette tranquillité. Car Akari, c'est aussi la lumière en japonais, une lueur que les deux compositeurs se sont efforcés de maintenir tout au long de l'album, coûte que coûte, comme dans ce maelström final et magistral.

À chaque nouvelle écoute de Akari, on en découvre des détails qui nous auraient échappé – car ce disque en fourmille. On se replonge alors inlassablement dans ce véritable travail d'orfèvre, dans lequel on aimerait se perdre pour ne plus revenir.
Illuha
Akari

JANEK SCHAEFER

Lay-by Lullaby

12k1079

REVIEW: CHAIN DLK (.COM)

VISIT J.G.Ballard's bounteous literature and visionary creativity have often been a source of inspiration for UK sound artist Janek Schaefer, who after 20 years of acknowledged activity and an impressive number of releases and sound installations for many labels and institutions signed his first release for Taylor Deupree's label at last. The nocturnal field recordings of "Lay-By Lullaby", which took place above M3 motorway, whose building and proximity to Ballard's house as well as to Schaefer's recording studio heavily influenced proper masterpieces about spiritually noxious effects of so-called progress and technology on human life by this sci-fi novelist. The ready-references of this album are the narrative setting of those novels where car culture and motorways had a meaningful and emblematic role such as "Crash!" and "Concrete Island", where Ballard splendidly shows sensorial and spatial cracks on some of the most typical badges of modernity by bringing characters out of that idea of chimerical order whose structure rests on pervading conceptions of organization, efficiency and urbanization, acting like addicting drugs on minds and souls. You could imagine Janek Schaefer in the guise of Robert Maitland, whose "accident" reactivates memories, feelings, thoughts and reveries that burst into consciousness over the hypnotical streaming aural code of a motorway where gusts of wind and barreling wheeled cells constantly weave a trapping web. The sonic strategy by which Janek renders such an abstract sequence of "enlightenments", which sound like unpredictable radio interferences, is simply stunning and deeply emotional and seems to come from phantasmagorical entities which invite listeners to take a rest, come out of this suffocating stream and lapse into daydreaming in a whisper. "Lay-by Lullaby" is undoubtedly one of the best "environ/mental" ambient release of the year.
JANEK SCHAEFER
Lay-by Lullaby