Solo Andata

In The Lens

12k1086

REVIEW: STATIONARY TRAVELS (BLOG)

VISIT Nearly seven years after their eponymous release on 12k, Australian duo Solo Andata returns to the label with a sublime electroacoustic gem called In the Lens which was born from fragments and recordings “found in the interstices of decades-old hard drives, lost email threads from disused accounts, and forgotten samples recorded on cassette dictaphones”, apparently just the sort of raw material from which they like to work.

The album is a beguiling tangle of the analog and electronic, recondite in its complexity, yet utterly organic in character as piano, guitar, woodwinds, horns and percussion coalesce into near melodies and almost rhythms among glistening strands and loops of found and generated sounds. It marks a return to the low-fi folk and jazz inflected style of their debut Fyris Swan (2006, Hefty) and something of a departure from the opaque intensity of the more recently released Ritual (2014, Desire Path).

In the Lens strikes me as an anthology of short stories written in sound, understated but keenly observed, stories you want to read and re-read not just for the compelling narrative but to savor the pleasures and subtleties of the language in which they are told. The album is available on both CD and digital formats from 12k via their online shop and Bandcamp page.
Solo Andata
In The Lens

Solo Andata

In The Lens

12k1086

REVIEW: DAS FILTER (DE)

VISIT Thaddeus: Ich erinnere den Projektnamen sehr genau, nicht jedoch die dazugehörige Musik. Auf „Hefty“ haben Paul Fiocco und Kane Ikin 2006 debütiert, das müsste ich eigentlich auf dem Tisch gehabt haben, die Alben auf 12k sowieso. „In The Lens“ ist nun das vierte Album der beiden Musiker und es ist mindestens so fluide wie die Fotografie auf dem Cover. Ich habe das Album in den vergangenen Wochen oft und regelmäßig zu Hause laufen lassen und merkte schnell, dass dieses Album etwas Besonderes ist. Die Sounds, das akustische Grundgerüst der Stücke, sollen allesamt „Abfall“ sein, Übrigbleibsel, die man findet, wenn man seine Festplatte aufräumt, weil man nicht schon wieder eine neue kaufen möchte. Danke für dieses Aufräumen. Das sage nicht nur ich, auch viele Gäste, die in den letzten Wochen am Tisch saßen, horchten bei all der Stille von „In The Lens“ gehörig auf und erkundigten sich interessiert, was da denn gerade laufe, das sei ja ganz wunderprächtig. Ist es. Ambient im besten Sinne, eigentlich, stolz und voller Überzeugung vorgetragen, sich dabei aber in nichts einmischend. Wenn solche Platten, die schon im Hintergrund so viel Aufmerksamkeit auf sich ziehen, in den Vordergrund rücken ... man mag sich nicht ausmalen, was dann passiert. Es ist eine dieser seltenen Glücksfälle, die zum ruppigen Beginn des Sommers passieren können. Denn genau für diese Momente ist „In The Lens“ wie geschaffen. Wenn der Tag vorbei ist, die Hitze langsam weicht, der Schweiß trocknet und man wieder einen klaren Gedanken fassen kann, dann legen Solo Andata genau den richtigen Windstoß auf die P.A.
Solo Andata
In The Lens

Solo Andata

In The Lens

12k1086

REVIEW: FLUID RADIO (UK)

VISIT Like everything, In The Lens has been shaped by its past, the music recovered from the garbled intestines of a decades-old hard drive and previously lost emails that were, over the years, left to wallow in discontinued, withering accounts. Forlorn and forgotten samples that were recorded on cassette dictaphones shed a gentle light on Solo Andata’s musical lineage, but in this new era fresh elements appear alongside these re-worked sounds. As a result, the music has both a contemporary and a lightly dated feel to it, like memories shrouded in orbs of present moment dust.

Solo Andata’s Kane Ikin and Paul Fiocco prefer to take things into their own hands, favouring a workshop vibe over the digitally pristine (and sometimes sterile) studio. Acoustic instruments that lie close to ruin sit beside the cheaply produced microphones, and when united they give off a beautifully impure sound. Anything goes, and this lends the music a special kind of authenticity. Photo-shopping of any kind is strictly prohibited. This is what the music looks like without its make-up on: truly glorious. There’s a raw spell to the au naturel music, a refreshing innocence that shrugs off the glorification of the over-produced record; instead, it is what it is, and it proudly glues itself to the record.

Their fourth full-length album is a creaking and yet progressive entity, surprisingly healthy in its full-bodied tones and its sprightly physicality. The motion is smooth and more than steady. The assembled parts fit sleekly into a mechanized whole. On their own, the incoherent strands would be messy, but, as in day-to-day life, order and rhythm is everywhere. They line up, producing a symmetry that is both free and structured. Other elements and found sounds are inserted into the music, peppering it with seemingly random clicks and clanks that nonetheless produce intermittent rhythms, the sound largely unfiltered but all the purer for it. Soothing tones are set free, looping around and shimmering in its lake of serenity. Ghosting around the music, a piano twinkles in and out, darkening the mood ever so slightly.

In The Lens has a little darkness to it (as well as a little rust), but the horns and the flutes dispel its lingering presence, providing pale streetlights against the gloom. And the under-produced sound is as warm as a cottage home, infused with love and tenderness, and you can risk losing that in a studio-produced environment. The jumbling sound is forever roaming, never settling on any given tone for long. In spite of its wanderings, and with so much going on, the music doesn’t lose its gentle, sensitive approach. Shy melodies never stay around for long; as their lifespan reaches the end, they converge and then fall apart. Tinkling chimes and clinking pieces of china gently produce the light, unobtrusive timpani as the lower drones swell and then rise, steaming like a recently boiled kettle. Yes, home-made music has a comfortable sound to it, but don’t mistake that for music consistently reclining in its comfort zone. It’s anything but that. A serene ending is in store as the music glides along like a pair of swans on a lilting lake, the silver dusting of light dancing and the trickling of running water sedating the sounds until they’re utterly calm and breathing easily.
Solo Andata
In The Lens

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: CHAIN DLK (.COM)

VISIT The sonic affinity between Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer was clear since their first output "In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes" in 2011, which sprung out of four days of intensive sessions in the middle of a snow-covered frozen New York, just a few months after their meeting. The imaginary "plaster" of their debut release was remarkably influenced by their passion for photographic arts, while the sparkle of this new output seems to have been a series of looped tapes whose hissing effortlessly and harmoniously mingled with the crackles that resounded in the dim light of a room, where they retired after they spent the whole day in a studio for searching and recording new sounds during a visit to the west coast in the summer of 2015. The physical tiredness, which sometimes alters perception, didn't appear to be reflected by their hungry for aural findings of these sonic wizards, so that after 15-20 minutes of contemplation while the above-described loop was mingling with their creativity as well, it seems they understood that this input is what they were looking for in the studio during daytime. Unlike the above-mentioned debut album by this bicephalous collaboration, which strongly influenced the sound of Deupree's label, the "sensorial" focus is on aural perception more than on environmental aspects of sound, even if space and photography keep on playing an important role in the process - for instance, the mechanical noise of the tape machine you could hear on "Buoy" brought their mind to an abandoned dock they photographed in Iceland and its quiet knocking against the shore -. The name of this album, "Twine", doesn't only refer to the number of its authors, but mainly to the "symmetry" of its sonic sources: two mono tape loops, acting like knots or bridges, but also as a source of dynamics by means of their asynchrony, and four acoustic instruments (electric piano, bells and a couple of stringed instruments), which makes two different loops, recorded by means of microphones that Deupree and Fischer placed in the room. There are many projects, which focus on this sort of sonic fossilization, but the skills and the experience by Taylor and Marcus make the difference and turn it into a listening experience, which is going to feed and foster daydreaming.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: MUSIQUE MACHINE (.COM)

VISIT Twine brings together two Us based purveyors of electro-acoustic ambience. The seven track CD is a journey into instrumental loop based ambience & sonic mood setting, which is alive with micro tonal detail & pleasing yet subtle noise elements.

Twine is the third collaborative release between this pair, and it’s clear to hear they are both comfortable with each others working patterns, and work well together to create something that is distinct from each others solo outputs. The tracks are based around just four instruments: electric piano, bells, & stringed instruments. These are added to by a selection of mono tape loops that the pair manipulate- then the whole thing was recorded onto a reel-to-reel tape machine.

The seven tracks here have a running time between the three, and eight minute mark with a total album running time of just under forty four minutes. Each track sets out a series of simple looped instrumental patterns, which the pair let play out in an often lulling, slightly melancholic, and dusty manner. We move from the lumbering & faded day-glow reputations of the opening track "Draw"- which brings together wavering electric organ, caught guitar, & tape hiss ‘n’ crackle. Onto the slow-mo & slightly eerier sea-sick, yet soothing harmonics of "Buoy"- with it’s blend of gently see-sawing feedback, lulling vibe pitter-patter, looped creaking’s, and lo-fi late night insect like crackle. Through to lulling & mellow drift of "Wake"- which brings together strummed & creaking guitar elements with warming lo-fi drone circulations.

Twine is a album you can either let simmer & ebb in the background, or enjoying as a closer & more concentrated listening experience- either way it’s a most satisfying & worthy journey into electro-acoustic ambience.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: HAWAI (CL)

VISIT Secciones de ruido en una órbita circular repitiendo un motivo de manera constante e irregular en el espacio, hermosos registros capturados espontáneamente que retratan el lento avance de la luz sobre los objetos, el decaimiento del brillo solar creando una paleta extendida de tonos débiles. “Slow, haunting melodies under a layer of warm tape hiss and accidental physical sounds”. En medio de las hojas lánguidas de estaciones diferidas, bajo las corrientes incesantes que arrastran piedras cubiertas de algas marinas y conchas brillantes, sobre los grietas del terreno cristalizado emergen pequeños rastros de una forma curva, sonidos surgidos entre las hendiduras formadas por siglos de adecuación terrestre. Desde esos lugares aparecen estas estructuras asimétricas las cuales emanan de sistemas cerrados, un cúmulo de sonidos trazados en el suelo húmedo y los bordes abruptos, trazos orgánicos que viajan alrededor de un mismo punto. El entorno determina la manera cómo se desarrollan los acordes, filtrando su anatomía geográfica en los surcos desgastados y las delgadas láminas de ruido frágil. Hace unos cinco años atrás Marcus Fischer publica “Monocoastal” (12k, 2010), su primer álbum particular, obra donde desarrolló algunas de las técnicas adquiridas luego de un tiempo de investigación sonora, un álbum donde afloraban superficies rugosas que tenían la apariencia de fotografías desenfocadas. Esas superficies llamaron la atención de Taylor Deupree, quien finalmente editara ese trabajo. Luego tendrían lugar otros registros, como “Birds Of A Feather” (Flaming Pines, 2013), “Collected Dust” (Tench, 2012) [182], “On Shore” (2013) y, recientemente, “Public Works” (2015). Por su parte, Deupree ha editado, desde aquel año una cantidad importante de interesantes obras, entre ellas “Shoals” (12k, 2010) [108], “Faint” (12k, 2012) [229], “Wood, Winter, Hollow” (12k, 2013) [264], junto a Seaworthy, “Disappearance” (12k, 2013) [280], junto a Ryuichi Sakamoto, “Captiva” (12k, 2014), acompañado de Stephen Vitiello, “Lost & Compiled” (12k, 2014) [319] y, recientemente, “Perpetual” (12k, 2015) [370], grabaciones en vivo junto a Sakamoto e Illuha, y “Live” (ThirtyThree ThirtyThree–The Vinyl Factory, 2015), nuevamente al lado del músico japonés. Sin embargo, previo a todo este despliegue de ideas ambos músicos se reunieron unos pocos días para producir un álbum de anotaciones en mitad del clima apartado. “In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes” (12k, 2013) [172], se tituló ese frío invernal. “Tan solo cuatro días fueron los compartidos y en ellos, acompañados de sus herramientas y unos cuantos bosquejos trazados, fueron la base sobre la que derramar estos sonidos nacidos de este enfrentamiento amistoso… Lienzos interminables, notas sonando en el aire frío y una nube brumosa de ruidos maravillosos. Texturas rugosas, capas de destellos fragmentados, guitarras en desfase con la realidad, postales desde el brillo del día sin sol. Un sistema ambiental que se sustenta en lo microscópico, energía y materia en un hábitat común donde florece la canción que no se detiene… La delgada línea de hielo que cubre un lago en temporadas heladas es el escenario en el que germina unas piezas que son un ecosistema privado. Sus lados atraviesan la frontera del ambient y se cruzan con las de la música quebradiza. A veces simula ser un extrañamente disco de field recordings, pero no lo es. Oculta, descubre, cubre y muestra. Sonidos de exterior que son el eco de la nostalgia interior. Las tres canciones, entre las dos breves, y su versión expandida muestran el espectro oculto de las mañanas y las tardes de un panorama bucólico y de temperaturas bajas, de estaciones para estar hacia dentro y mirar hacia fuera, donde se sienten los paisajes emocionales en medio de las melodías que Marcus y Taylor recuestan sobre la escarcha que reposa en la hierba junto a la orilla del lago. El clima cubierto, las líneas de nubes, en un lugar de tan armoniosas formas”. Partes de aquel sonido, estruendos minúsculos de la nieve que cruje, vuelven a surgir en la amplia panorámica natural, rastros recopilados en horas fatigadas.

Un lustro después de aquel álbum Taylor Deupree y Marcus Fischer retornan con nuevos registros de sonoridades similares pero con un planteamiento diferente. Asomándose en medio de las raíces y sus extensiones verdes, ambos músicos crean un trabajo en el cual se abren los sonidos de un modo involuntario, cómo si no quisieran buscarlos sino que simplemente están ahí, en su estado primigenio, listos a ser cosechados. Muestras de una sonoridad equivalente son exhibidas a lo largo del territorio congelado, un cúmulo de objetos diseminados que producen leves sonoridades imantadas, resonancias magnéticas en traslación permanente sobre un eje en rotación imperceptible. Deupree y Fischer desarrollan una serie de piezas de una duración media, piezas en que habitan un conjunto de pequeños sonidos, cada uno con una intensidad particular y una gradación particular, los cuales comienzan lentamente a desdoblarse como si fuesen flores respondiendo a los rayos del sol: colores que adquieren un mayor brillo, hojas que se estiran mirando al cielo, tallos elevados expresando su real dimensión. No obstante, como nada es nunca igual, en otros momentos los pétalos vuelven a recogerse, regresando a su cáscara protectora. “In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes” fue un álbum donde en un solo desarrollo se tendían los apuntes que variaban con una velocidad reducida, una composición que evolucionaba de modo progresivo mostrando diferentes longitudes de ruido y distintas magnitudes. En ese trabajo, tan solo el primer encuentro donde podían desenvolver cada uno sus propios métodos de creación, ya se apreciar como el uno de adapta al otro, conformando un sonido homogéneo de formas auditivas, una maravillosa estructura abierta en la que se propagan pequeños sonidos sobre una extensión territorial apartada, incorporando la atmósfera del campo forestal a su eco eléctrico. En el tiempo que media entre ese primer esfuerzo colaborativo y este último hubieron otras reuniones creativas, presentaciones en directo, paseos por el bosque, no necesariamente plasmadas en un archivo sonoro. Una excepción es Between, proyecto eventual que es en realidad la confluencia de varios músicos durante una gira por Japón que dio lugar a un disco del mismo nombre, “Between” (12k, 2012) [232], donde además estaban presentes Simon Scott e Illuha (Tomoyoshi Date y Corey Fuller), hermosa postal de un viaje por el relieve japonés. Luego de ese oasis regresan con un trabajo que, a diferencia de aquel, reúne una serie de obras breves con un método distinto, pero la forma exterior sigue siendo similar, pequeños ruidos generados de manera orgánica que producen estertores ligeros dentro del paisaje silvestre. Desde hace un tiempo que Taylor Deupree ha efectuado un tránsito paulatino desde circuitos eléctricos a medios cada vez más cercanos a repercusiones naturales, formas acústicas que emplean tecnologías desfasadas. Ese proceso ha servido para crear maravillosas obras donde convergen tramas orgánicas y reminiscencias de paisajismo digital. Ese lugar es donde también residen muchas de los rastros de Marcus Fischer, una colección de canciones que se apoyan en medios semejantes, composiciones surgidas casi de manera accidental. Ambos procedimientos se encuentran en este álbum de complexiones variables, impulsos mínimos que transcurren delicadamente en el aire. “Taylor Deupree y Marcus Fischer crearon su expansivo debut ‘In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes’ (12k2021, 2011) durante cuatro días en una fría y cubierta de nieve Nueva York sólo unos pocos meses después de haberse conocido. Desde entonces han viajado juntos, fotografiado y escrito música juntos, manteniendo la energía creativa colaborativa en cada oportunidad, dondequiera que se encuentren. Durante una visita a la costa oeste en el verano de 2015, y después de un largo día en el estudio creando, buscando y listos para retirarse por la noche, los dos se sentaron en un cansado silencio contemplando el enfoque del día siguiente. Sonando tranquilamente en el fondo había un simple loop de cinta mono que Fischer había hecho antes, rellenando las grietas sónicas en el cuarto oscuro. Después que quince o veinte minutos pasaron, con el sonido de este loop habiéndolos paralizado, los dos se miraron el uno al otro y dijeron: “Esto es”. Desde ahí formaron un proceso conceptual muy centrado: dos artistas, dos loops de cinta mono y cuatro instrumentos acústicos, nada más. Creando un bucle cada uno de diferentes longitudes y registrando las salidas de las máquinas reel-to-reel con altavoces incorporados con micrófonos en la habitación, Deupree y Fischer comenzaron a elaborar su obra más comedida hasta ahora y, sin embargo, centrándose en la belleza natural de tal sistema limitado de creación”. Dos cintas que se entrelazan para configurar sistemas de audio envolventes, fases en retorno que crean hermosos retratos del exterior inestable. “El título de ‘Twine’ viene de la idea de los dos loops de cinta como nudos, como soporte físico, combinándose para formar una sola, más compleja, pieza. Los siete temas del disco son altamente repetitivos a la vez que constantemente cambiantes debido a la asincronía de los loops. Toda la calidad cálida, táctil y polvorienta de las cintas y los reproductores antiguos es capturada en las grabaciones y el oyente puede fácilmente perderse en los lentos y envolventes ciclos. Fue importante para ellos ser sorprendidos mientras trabajaban, a no aproximarse al disco en las formas en que habían trabajado antes donde sabían cómo el resultado sonaría. Lo inesperado fue una fuerza impulsora detrás de la creación”. De esa manera se generan los sonidos que lentamente se desplazan por los artefactos, bandas que contienen los elementos primarios que crean esta música en rotación imperceptible. “La instrumentación en ‘Twine’ es simple: piano eléctrico, campanas, instrumentos de cuerda… Con cuidadosas y deliberadas manipulaciones físicas los sonidos se abstraen sutilmente, como se puede escuchar en “Buoy”, donde las máquinas mecánicas de cinta se unen entre sí en la grabación para crear una obra sugerente del muelle abandonado que los dos fotografiaron en Islandia un par de años antes, mientras era golpeado tranquilamente contra la fría costa de invierno. Imágenes como éstas abundan a través de las pistas. Lentas melodías inquietantes bajo una capa de cálido siseo de cinta y sonidos físicos accidentales dan al oyente un montón de espacio para la imaginación, la reflexión y la agitación de los recuerdos perdidos. La intimidad de los loops de cinta junto con la soledad de los sonidos da a ‘Twine’ una complejidad más allá de su forma simple. Deupree y Fischer han creado un nuevo trabajo intensamente enfocado que se basa en todas sus interacciones creativas desde su debut de 2010”. Siete piezas comprende este trabajo, todas desarrolladas dentro de un mismo sistema limitado pero que se abre a muchas posibilidades. La instrumentación simple fijada por ambos permite que germinen de manera más relajada las sonoridades que pueden nacer a partir de ella, ecos leves y cadencias reposadas brotando de los objetos disgregados en el estudio. Cuerdas, piano, campanas, unos cuantos recursos para conformar estas extensiones de delicados tonos. Hebras de ruido quebradizo inician su trayecto por los tornos de metal y las estructuras de plástico, armonías quietas trasladándose indefinidamente y dejando vestigios de su arquitectura frágil. “Draw” muestra, desde un comienzo, las formas que adopta este álbum, ese proceso sencillo del cual surgen piezas asimétricas de ruido fragmentado. Del mismo modo, “Bell” exhibe las formas que se repiten, sonidos que se desintegran en su circuito constante por los mecanismos obsoletos. “Buoy”, notas que se desvanecen junto al paisaje y la madera añejada, armonías que crujen y fracciones de sonido. “Telegraph” parte desde ese mismo punto espacial, sugiriendo melodías que se completan en la mente, anotaciones inconclusas de timbres de metal. “Kern” es como un murmullo submarino, sargazos avanzando con un ritmo lento por las corrientes de líquido empantanado, un micrófono capturando las resonancias bajo el nivel de un mar tranquilo, mientras que “Sailmaker” son trozos de sonidos atomizados que dejan marcas sobre la pureza sintética. Finalmente “Wake”, folk análogo envuelto en una capa de ínfimas partículas de distorsión, música discreta que fluye espontáneamente por el terreno húmedo, loops retrasados que emiten una radiación tenue y dejan marcas de pigmentación natural.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: HAWAI (CL)

VISIT “The physics of sound: the pressure waves in air that are the physical component underlying what we perceive as sound”. Trayectos imperceptibles a través de los cuales se desplazan partículas de ruido, conductos estrechos que sirven de medio por el que transitan fracciones de sonido, fragmentos acústicos que forman imbricadas redes de sonido. Música que es una compleja elaboración de patrones y objetos superpuestos, un entramado de botas, sonidos, timbres, cuerpos, elementos que colisionan en una gráfica transparente, complicadas estructuras vistas desde un lente que aproxima la visión para poder presenciar su configuración a un nivel nuclear. Desde el interior del sonido y sus directrices infinitas, es posible apreciar las formas que este adopta, las múltiples estructuras que convergen en sus tejidos acústicos, explosiones auditivas en su centro indivisible. Por medio de largas extensiones y proyecciones interminables se desarrollan millones de eventos sonoros, infinitud de decimales dispuestos en un sistema abierto de anotaciones y ecos, silencios resonancias en una cartografía intangible. El compositor norteamericano Kenneth Kirschner, a pesar de moverse también por reductos más estrechos, se desenvuelve normalmente en enormes espacios, largas composiciones donde convergen tramas orgánicas y superficies electrónicas, un universo de puntos, segmentos y líneas que se cruzan en diagramas espaciosos, intersecciones de ruido que configuran asombrosas y enrevesadas edificaciones. La mayor parte de su obra, si no toda, se encuentra disponible para ser descargada de manera libre desde su sitio, existiendo en los inacabados territorios de la red mundial. Sin embargo, existen también otros trabajos en formato físico, muchos también coexistiendo paralelamente en su sitio. Entre ellos se encuentran “Post_Piano” (Sub Rosa, 2003), “Post_Piano 2” (12k, 2005) y “May” (Room40, 2008) [026], todos junto a Taylor Deupree, “September 19, 1998 et al.” (12k, 2003), “September 8, 2005” (leerraum [ ], 2007), “July 29, 2004” (leerraum [ ], 2007), junto a Zimoun, “Filaments & Voids” (12k, 2008), “Twenty Ten” (12k, 2011), “October 8, 2010 et al.” (Champion Version, 2012) y “Transpositions” (SaD, 2013), acompañado de Tomas Phillips. Además existen una serie de recopilaciones en variados netlabels. No obstante, donde mejor se puede apreciar su trabajo es en sus álbumes para el label que dirige Deupree, donde se condensan de manera más precisa sus composiciones y de un modo más homogéneo, una lógica que a veces cuesta distinguir si uno salta de una pieza a otra a lo largo de sus desarrollos dispuestos en su sitio. Aunque de todas maneras, uno al acceder de manera cronológica logra alcanzar comprender y reconocer las formas que adoptan sus composiciones, estructuras que parten desde el minimalismo acústico y se extienden hasta texturas infinitas de espacios, silencios y desintegración digital.

“‘Compressions & Rarefactions’ es el cuarto lanzamiento en solitario en 12k del neoyorquino Kenneth Kirschner, quien es ampliamente conocido por composiciones de longitud épica que desafían las formas de la composición moderna. El álbum es lanzado como un CD con una descarga digital de más de cinco horas de música adicional que no podrían editarse dentro de las limitaciones de tiempo del formato CD. También se incluye un folleto de ensayos sobre la música de Kirschner por parte de Marc Weidenbaum (Disquiet), Simon Cummings (5 Against 4), Mike Lazarev (Headphone Commute) y la reconocida artista visual Kysa Johnson, quien también fue la responsable de las ilustraciones del álbum”. Como en obras anteriores, el músico de Nueva York elabora un trabajo donde esas composiciones de duraciones épicas vuelven a estar presentes, una obra que parte desde un formato físico y se amplía a un formato digital. Los largos desarrollos que son característicos de sus creaciones ahora son llevados al paroxismo, en registros casi inabarcables que muestran las distintas facetas de su sonido, las diferentes aristas de sus poliedros infinitos. “Compressions & Rarefactions ” es, primeramente, un CD con dos piezas amplias, incrementadas con otras tres que se añaden a través de su descarga en línea, de entre una hora y media y dos horas de duración. Obra difícil de aprehender, un trabajo donde es fácil perderse entre sus muchos cristales, espejos que reflectan el sonido hasta expandirse de manera ilimitada. A través de estos registros uno puede acceder a lo que es la música de Kenneth Kirschner, una música creada con nuevas tecnologías y recursos clásicos que tiene como fundamento las formas sonoras concebidas en la segunda mitad del siglo XX, en particular al compositor Morton Feldman. A pesar que en sus producciones existen unos cuantos instrumentos, es principalmente el piano la herramienta con la cual construye su trabajo, notas delicadas ejecutadas de manera tenue, cuerdas que generan impulsos a través de su cuerpo mecánico, objetos que actúan como un sonido más dentro de su rica paleta de tonos. Pero, además de esas formas, también cruzan por sus esquemas fibras sintéticas, abstracciones digitales que se confunden con las ideas orgánicas, formando una misma óptica del sonido, formas que en sus manos resultan homogéneas e indivisibles. “El título de Kirschner, ‘Compressions & Rarefactions’ se refiere, más directamente, a la física del sonido: las ondas de presión en el aire que son el componente físico que subyace a lo que percibimos como sonido. Este concepto encuentra un evocador paralelo en el arte de Johnson, cuyo trabajo trata acerca de la visualización de los imperceptiblemente pequeños fenómenos físicos que componen todo lo que nos rodea. El título también puede estar relacionado con las propias composiciones: esta es música que alterna entre la densidad extrema y escasez extrema, utilizando esos contrastes como un elemento expresivo importante, ya que se alternan como las ondas de presión y ausencia en el aire. Por último, el título también evoca las largas duraciones de varias de las piezas en el álbum, incluyendo dos que se extienden a más de dos horas de duración”. Kenneth Kirschner elabora así este trabajo donde coinciden estas formas opuestas a veces en un mismo lugar, trayectos de carácter diverso que se encuentran y se enfrentan, hebras naturales y artificiales que pierden su apariencia dando lugar a paisajes encriptados. “La música de Kirschner es a menudo descrita como “un reto”, y ciertamente él tiene una voz única entre sus pares y a través de los prolongados géneros de su sonido. Su obra tiende a flotar precariamente entre los mundos de la música electrónica y la música de cámara, probablemente debido a sus influencias del mundo de la música clásica moderna, la filosofía y la ciencia ficción. Esto se puede ver muy claramente en dos de las canciones del álbum , “September 13, 2012” y “January 10, 2012”, que utilizan lo que parecen ser pequeños conjuntos de instrumentos acústicos clásicos, pero que son en realidad realizados electrónicamente –lo que permite tanto alteraciones sutiles y radicales que no son posibles con la instrumentación tradicional–. Estas piezas en particular se centran en gran medida en la microtonalidad, torciendo y plegando los instrumentos aparentemente acústicos en afinaciones que no serían factibles en una presentación convencional”. Esta nueva edición para 12k comprime de manera amplia sus diferentes registros, cinco momentos en los que se despliegan figuras auditivas dentro de vastos territorios, capas que se superponen a otras capas, múltiples notas que coinciden con otras señales, impulsos eléctricos y pequeños estertores que se entrelazan hasta modelar estos diseños de resonancias épicas. Lo que parece ser en realidad no lo es. Planos de objeto sonoros reales que no son tales, sonidos manipulados y creados de manera artificial conforman los múltiples puntos que surgen desde el centro de “September 13, 2012”, primera mitad del CD, casi media hora de acordes sigilosos y espacios en medio de hermosas resonancias sutiles. En esta, como en gran parte de su trabajo, existen puentes sin construir entre lugares apenas habitados, acordes entre acordes y fisuras. Las notas se multiplican aunque espaciadas de forma sobria, señales que resplandecen con un brillo ligero. Existe un orden entre estos diferentes tonos que se reproducen de manera fina en la superficie, y dentro de él caen de manera espontánea distintos sonidos, partes ínfimas que se trasladan desde un sitio a otro de la gráfica, emitiendo ese reflejo sutil. Por su parte, “April 16, 2013” pareciera tomar uno de esos momentos, amplificarlo e incrementarlo, golpes de percusión que resuenan uno sobre el otro, explosiones leves de metal que conforman otra parte de la música de Kirschner, una elaborada de minúsculos impactos armónicos, también presente en el registro siguiente. “Regresando al territorio explorado por Kirschner en su anterior álbum ‘Twenty Ten’ (12k1066, 2011), “April 16, 2013” utiliza instrumentos de percusión afinados (campanas, carillones, xilófonos) tocados con constantes cambios, calibraciones irregulares, mientras que “July 17, 2010” se compone en su totalidad de los sonidos cotidianos derivados de vasos de cocina. Estas pistas son densas y altamente complejas, mostrando lo que puede ser visto como una extraña “hermosa” faceta de la música de Kirschner. Las cascadas y reflejos de percusión, como el agua que cae, en capas y redes muy melodiosas”. La primera de las tres piezas añadidas a este álbum muestra esa música hecha a partir de la confrontación de miles de colisiones, otra de las vías adoptadas por el artista norteamericano, un constante flujo de cosas que se desplazan de manera enérgica en esta interesante dinámica de sonidos. “January 10, 2012” es su opuesto, noventa y seis minutos de formas que son distintivas de Kirschner: objetos aislados organizados en el vacío, arreglos complejos que se posa libremente sobre la superficie, una enorme extensión en la que se establecen los cuerpos de ruido frágil. Elementos audibles generan exiguas repercusiones, ecos ligeros entre cuerdas sonando desde la distancia, tonalidades electrónicas en la inmensidad desierta. La belleza del sonido puro. “La pieza final, “October 13, 2012”, se compone en su totalidad de viola, interpretado por Tawnya Popoff, bajo la dirección de Kirschner. Sus actuaciones son en capas, y son procesadas para crear una especie de “viola polifónica”, lo que permite mucha mayor complejidad armónica que se podría lograr con un solo instrumento. Esta pieza, en un estilo muy característico de Kirschner, se basa en el silencio y la repetición, y consolida el concepto de “compressions & rarefactions” con acordes incrementados de la viola que parecen terminar con una disipación del aire en el silencio que espera a la próxima ola de sonido. Este estilo se ha convertido en una marca de Kirschner, en el cual la escucha extendida y la concentración da sus frutos en lo que finalmente se convierte en una altamente meditativa e inesperadamente serena épica”. Otro instante donde extraviar el tiempo, “October 13, 2012”, con la viola de Tawnya Popoff. Cuerdas y timbres majestuosos, notas que emergen y se sumergen, acordes desvanecidos en la infinidad, como astros consumidos por la energía de una estrella obscura. Diferentes láminas se forman desde la nada, una existe fugaz que desaparece en la nada, esa que está siempre visible en su obra. Ruido sutil y enormes silencios conforman la dualidad de esta pieza de belleza inconmensurable, cavidades inmensas que separan las notas discretas.
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: BLACK AUDIO (BLOG)

VISIT The last time we saw this duo together was on 2011’s ‘In a Place of Such Graceful Shapes’. Both have done other output individually and experimented with other artists, but I enjoyed their last release together and was looking forward to hearing this; safe to say, it doesn’t disappoint.

The gentle harmonics of ‘Draw’ opens this release up perfectly. It’s currently a mild winter as I sit here in this room looking out on what has been a dark, drizzly afternoon and this song just fits my current relaxed state.

Looped drones and acoustic instrumentation, should always work well together if the artists involved have any concept of what they’re doing, or indeed have the talent required. Deupree and Fischer have this in abundance and as one-song flutters into the next, it’s easy to watch the world go by from a raindrop-covered window, with the slow motion soundtrack that they provide. It also leaves me with little to say or do, other than to smile and nod in appreciation for the majority of this release.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: CHAIN DLK (.COM)

VISIT The sonic affinity between Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer was clear since their first output "In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes" in 2011, which sprung out of four days of intensive sessions in the middle of a snow-covered frozen New York, just a few months after their meeting. The imaginary "plaster" of their debut release was remarkably influenced by their passion for photographic arts, while the sparkle of this new output seems to have been a series of looped tapes whose hissing effortlessly and harmoniously mingled with the crackles that resounded in the dim light of a room, where they retired after they spent the whole day in a studio for searching and recording new sounds during a visit to the west coast in the summer of 2015. The physical tiredness, which sometimes alters perception, didn't appear to be reflected by their hungry for aural findings of these sonic wizards, so that after 15-20 minutes of contemplation while the above-described loop was mingling with their creativity as well, it seems they understood that this input is what they were looking for in the studio during daytime. Unlike the above-mentioned debut album by this bicephalous collaboration, which strongly influenced the sound of Deupree's label, the "sensorial" focus is on aural perception more than on environmental aspects of sound, even if space and photography keep on playing an important role in the process - for instance, the mechanical noise of the tape machine you could hear on "Buoy" brought their mind to an abandoned dock they photographed in Iceland and its quiet knocking against the shore -. The name of this album, "Twine", doesn't only refer to the number of its authors, but mainly to the "symmetry" of its sonic sources: two mono tape loops, acting like knots or bridges, but also as a source of dynamics by means of their asynchrony, and four acoustic instruments (electric piano, bells and a couple of stringed instruments), which makes two different loops, recorded by means of microphones that Deupree and Fischer placed in the room. There are many projects, which focus on this sort of sonic fossilization, but the skills and the experience by Taylor and Marcus make the difference and turn it into a listening experience, which is going to feed and foster daydreaming.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: LOOP (CL)

VISIT This is the ninth album of Argentinian composer Federico Durand based around the city of Córdoba, who also co-found Melodía, together with Japanese Tomoyoshi Date. “A Través del Espejo” ("Through the Mirror") is the debut album on New York label 12k run by Taylor Deupree, renowned artist of experimental electronic music. Formerly, co-founder of Instinct Records label who hold a wide discography with solo works and collaborations.

Federico met Taylor Deupree in a tour to Japan and they struck up a friendship that bore fruit with the publication of this release. The intimate character of Federico’s music conjures up nostalgia; his childhood, his daughter (heard in "Time To Sleep"), family, friends and natural environment. From loops and layers of sounds made by homemade instruments and processors recorded on cassette, Federico has painstakingly developed as if sculpted small sounds, sticking sparkles, precious timbres, crackles and interesting nuances. The simplicity of the melody shows that are required few notes to make beautiful music and evocative.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: IGLOO MAG (US)

VISIT The music is as beautiful as it is introspective, like a small window of antique glass looking right into Federico’s soul, allowing the listener to explore a mysterious, invisible world that suddenly appears.

After a series of amazing releases on awesome labels such as Spekk, Own Records, Home Normal, Desire Path and White Paddy Mountain, Argentinian composer Federico Durand finally reaches the 12k family to present his new album. The label’s instantly recognizable, elegantly spartan artwork contributes to create an inseparable symbiosis with the lovely handcrafted music Durand is renowned for. In his own words, he explains that the album title in Spanish means “Through the mirror,” and that he is fascinated with the experience of putting a mirror in front of another, seeing as a result the miracle of the image turning in a loop that flows into infinity. Loops in the mirror get less clear with each repetition, the color becomes diffuse and greener. When these loops turn into a lullaby we can enter the other side of the mirror: a place of delight and insight. So we could look at Federico’s music, and think about it, in a similar way. It has always been a very highly personal matter, very precious.

As the press release quotes, Federico Durand works like a craftsman, meticulously piecing together fragments of sound from cassette recorders, small instruments and loopers. Broken and simple melodies spinning from tape reels, field recordings and small found objects being played with care, the crackle of loops and other sounds that appear as an unexpected gift to create a dusty air of nostalgia. The music is as beautiful as it is introspective, like a small window of antique glass looking right into Federico’s soul, allowing the listener to explore a mysterious, invisible world that suddenly appears. Each of the ten track titles, as always in the Spanish language of his own country, are very evocative and carefully describe what probably had inspired the song’s birth: sometimes the world around him, sometimes a personal experience of life. A perfect example that reinforces this thesis is “Hora de dormir,” where children and other voices from his own house emerge over the warm tapestry of sounds to create a delicate world of hazy childhood memories, or in the following “Recuerdos en Super 8,” where the tactile and dusty quality of the vintage tapes is captured in the recordings and the listener can easily get lost in the slow, nostalgic, enveloping cycles. “Linternas junto a la laguna,” is also a standout: dreamy, instantly catchy melodies played by something that sounds like a delicate and familiar carillon, are progressively drowning under a layer of warm tape hiss and accidental physical sounds, until the point to become nearly inaudible, like an old Polaroid faded by the passage of time.

A Traves Del Espejo is a stunning and awesome release that confirms Federico Durand as one of the finest and most talented composers out there these days. Quite sublime.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: THE WIRE (UK)

If you ever feel nostalgic for the time before all childhood recollections became subject to the Instagram aesthetic, then it would be forgivable to spot that Federico Durand's latest features a track titled "Recuerdos En Super 8" ("Memories on Super 8"). Yet despite the familiarity of the conceptual and sonic ground trodden by Buenos Aires based Durand's looped vignettes of softly plucked strings and clattering toys - coated with a patina of tape cassette hiss or Roland Space Echo blur, naturally - A Travis Del Espejo still feels genuine enough to tiptoe around the cynicism shields.

One handy approach to Durand's music comes in the shape of his sometime collaborator Nicholas Szczepanik, with whom Durand teamed up under the name Every Hidden Color for 2012's Luz LP. They are clearly kindred spirits, but where Szczepanik mines the emotional territory of childhood and family like a cautious archaeologist who knows that unearthed treasures quickly corrode in the act of re-remembering, A Travis Del Espejo conveys a surprisingly immediacy.

Avoiding the rigidity of much loop-based music by applying a less sychronised approach to his sources, tracks float by as lingering snapshots from a past present. Drifting clusters of lyre and (what is probably) kalimba on "mirador En La Montana" and the playful see-sawing droplets of "El Jardin Encantado" create islands of temporal suspension; a tinge of expectation creeps in with "Cancion De La Via Lactea", which sounds like a shaving from the start of Fripp & Eno's "Evening Star."

While the halting, truncated melodies and abrupt tape editing noises of "Lanterns Junto A La Laguna" hint at frustration with the fragmentation of memory, there's little real darkness in the resulting music. Instead, the modest rings and clunks of found objects evoke sunlit mornings of childish discovery and nurturing domesticity, an aim given voice by "Hora De Dormir" ("Time To Sleep"), which is built around a recording of a woman leading a group of toddlers in play and song.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: TINY MIX TAPES (US)

VISIT Assembled from the residue of day-to-day life and neatly presented as such, A Través del Espejo is an album that aspires to demonstrate care and nurturing by way of its composure and pace. On his ninth solo album, Argentinian artist Federico Durand plays found objects that might otherwise appear insignificant or hold minimal value as he grants them a new lease on life through which they are to be sonically explored. The delicate fumbling of bells and toys is combined with piano keys and lyre strings to form a fragile, unperturbed sound that couldn’t be better suited to the 12k canon; scattered across a bed of tape hiss and surface crackle, these tracks tell a story of the humble existence of each instrument while giving rise to the personal spaces from which they have emerged.

The album is patient and gracious for the most part, where ambient chimes peak in and out of playful melody on “Teatro de Sombras (Shadow Play)” or snuggle between thick slabs of static on “Recuerdos en Super 8 (Memories on Super 8).” It’s seemingly designed to invite a feeling of calm while emphasizing the significance of forgotten objects by way of their impact. This allows for sentimental involvement, but it’s also distracting because of the overtones that hover above any appreciation of the album’s composition. I’m reminded of a broken jewelry box that still chimes when it’s opened and pleasant to listen to. Even when the cogs are rusty and it’s out of tune, the experience is one of nostalgia. And yet, it isn’t playing the music as it was heard when opened for the first time, because it’s been altered through age, skewed of intention.

When that experience is adapted for the purposes of a record, the listener’s response can often be quite conflicted. Slumping to one side and getting lost beneath a series of ambient compositions and gently-plucked strings can provide a blissful few moments of respite, but it doesn’t always demand much staying power.

Thankfully, Durand is able to strike a balance between creating that nostalgic vibe and crafting gorgeous tunes. The closing track, “A Través del Espejo (Through the Mirror),” captures the splicing together of tape wrapping around a pair of haggard spools, while anonymous flashes of metallic interjection allow for a tense and restrained setting, as though there is a sense of regret or insecurity in the throes of this project. The track casts doubt on the apparently stable and comforting juxtaposition of minimal strings with a recording of dialogue on “Hora de Dormir (Time to Sleep),” where a baby’s cry and a young girl’s shouts grate against the atmosphere that the preceding tracks construct. It’s a harsh yet masterful touch that permits the listener to experience the uncertainty that exists in later pieces alongside an ostensibly safe, homely setting.

Among that, then, there is an eeriness that demonstrates Durand’s tact as a composer: rather than merely swooning in a giddy headspace of ambient sound, he’s committed to generating environments that reflect a stark and sometimes painful reality. But with A Través del Espejo, that’s not the impression you are initially greeted with; the artist ensures that it needs to be uncovered, in the same way that his found objects were reimagined as instruments within his music. There are hidden treasures here that aren’t as tranquil as they first appear, even as you feel yourself getting lost in them.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: BODY SPACE (PT)

VISIT Um lugar para sonhar.
A música do compositor argentino Federico Durand continua a ser uma apologia a tudo o que orgânico, natural, humano, sujeito a erros, frágil. As suas construções são feitas de colagens, de melodias quase impossíveis, de memórias, de sonhos. A sua linguagem é a beleza.

A través del espejo é a continuação dessa experiência, o prolongamento de um local onde apetece estar vezes sem conta. O músico argentino continua a construir e desconstruir um universo onde apetece viver, aquecer os ossos e . "A través del espejo é um sonho de beleza. Um amor por música feita à mão", diz o próprio Federico Durand. E não há como desmenti-lo.

Ao longo de dez episódios, Federico Durand propõe um espelho onde cada qual poderá ver a sua cor. Como um puzzle, cada uma das suas peças é essencial para continuar o mistério da anterior. A sua beleza é de uma hipnose constante. O compositor argentino move-se de uma forma misteriosa. E A través del espejo dificilmente poderia ser uma melhor forma de continuar a sua nobre tarefa de criar uma banda-sonora para as nossas vidas.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: BRAINWASHED (US)

VISIT Federico Durand’s music has always had an extremely intimate, hushed quality to it; akin to being in a small room with him as he records, and his newest release is no different. A Través Del Espejo, which translates to "through the mirror" is an apt metaphor for the sound of this record, given its glassy clarity and deliberate, brilliant use of loops and repetition. His use of Spartan instrumentation is especially effective, making the absolute most out of even the smallest sounds culminating in a gorgeous, multifaceted record.

Much of this album is constructed from the use of cassette tape loops, but the medium is usually secondary to the sound being played. A song such as "El Jarden Encanto" seems to be constructed from a plucked strings of some sort (Durand is fond of working with non-traditional instruments), and the whole piece ends up having an almost toy music box feeling to it. The brief "Mirador en la Montaña" (featuring Andrew Chalk on synthesizer) captures what could be gentle plucked strings and delicate chimes, with a distinct purity and clarity to the sound.

On "Teatro de Sombras," he once again constructs from sounds that most closely resemble chimes or pure, glassy tones, but by placing an emphasis on the lower end parts of the sonic spectrum, the resulting piece takes on a very different quality than some of the other, lighter moments on the record. "Diorama" may be a bit lighter with the expansive tones and twinkling bits of noise that define it, but it is a cold, frosty beauty rather than a warm, embracing one. "El Grillo de Nácar" is one of the album’s softest moments, with what could be a low fidelity nature recording blended with some light, airy plucked notes that is anything but cold.

Durand's use of analog tape as a source material does creep to the forefront at other moments, however. "Linternas Junto a la Laguna" slightly sputtering analog noises and inconsistent tones feel much more in line with the unpredictability of cassettes, and also culminates in a piece that stands out due to its less pristine sound quality. "Hora de Dormir"'s only obvious musical element seems to be a piano of some sort, but instead the focus is on the taped conversations, children in the distance, and so on. It has such a distinctly domestic feel to it that, while not specifically musical, fits in squarely with the more intimate moments of the album. The title song begins with wet noise akin to that of rewinding tape, with Durand including sustained, ghostly waves of reversed sounds. The early moments are more dissonant (at least in relative terms), but by its conclusion, the loops lock into a near groove, to end the album on an almost conventional passage of music.

Like his previous album El Estanque Esmerelda, Federico Durand blends the sparsest of instrumentation and the lightest of processing to make for an album that resonates with the most delicate of sensibilities. His unique approach to instrumentation and deliberately luddite-like approach to recording ties together as an inviting, extremely personal sounding record that renders the simplest string pluck into a dramatic, beautiful orchestral passage.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: AMUSIO (DE)

VISIT Friede sei mit Euch. Zumindest jedoch A Través Del Espejo, die erste Veröffentlichung des argentinischen Tape’n’Loop-Experten auf dem New Yorker Label 12k. Spiegel spiegeln Spiegel. Eine Ahnung von der Unendlichkeit, auch der eines Loops gedacht. Oder auch die verheißungsvollste Nahtoderfahrung im Dauerdurchlauf: freeze and flow again. Balsam in Tropfenform, aufgefangen von Erinnerungen an Momente, deren Status des Vergangenen hier und nun erträglich wird. Persönliche Nostalgie wird zum klang-poetischen Gemeingut.

A Través Del Espejo: Ein Album wie eine Batterie aus Spieluhren in konzertanter Stimmung. Und dabei so wohlfeil geschliffen und austariert – im Sinne einer Würde, die sich dem Wort entzieht. Sich entzieht wie der Schlaf dem Bewusstsein. Sich entzieht wie die Koinzidenz des Schönen (ganz im Sinne der Kritik der Urteilskraft, Kant) von Zweckbindung oder sonstiger Semantik.

Der Entzug ist zugleich jedoch auch eine Einbindung. Eine Integration des Vor-Bewussten im Modus der Nach-Betrachtung. Federico Durand exemplifiziert, wenn er kindliches Zubettgehen anhand eines O-Ton-Aufnahme einbringt (Hora De Dormir, zum Glück blendet er das Drama des Zubettgehenmüssens aus…). Doch begeht er diese Form der Konkretisierung auch nur dieses eine Mal, hält sein Album somit unbeschädigt. Und sich selbst schadlos – am Sinn für eine Nostalgie, die weder Domestikation oder Naturzustände etwas anhaben können.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: TINY MIX TAPES (US)

VISIT Assembled from the residue of day-to-day life and neatly presented as such, A Través del Espejo is an album that aspires to demonstrate care and nurturing by way of its composure and pace. On his ninth solo album, Argentinian artist Federico Durand plays found objects that might otherwise appear insignificant or hold minimal value as he grants them a new lease on life through which they are to be sonically explored. The delicate fumbling of bells and toys is combined with piano keys and lyre strings to form a fragile, unperturbed sound that couldn’t be better suited to the 12k canon; scattered across a bed of tape hiss and surface crackle, these tracks tell a story of the humble existence of each instrument while giving rise to the personal spaces from which they have emerged.

The album is patient and gracious for the most part, where ambient chimes peak in and out of playful melody on “Teatro de Sombras (Shadow Play)” or snuggle between thick slabs of static on “Recuerdos en Super 8 (Memories on Super 8).” It’s seemingly designed to invite a feeling of calm while emphasizing the significance of forgotten objects by way of their impact. This allows for sentimental involvement, but it’s also distracting because of the overtones that hover above any appreciation of the album’s composition. I’m reminded of a broken jewelry box that still chimes when it’s opened and pleasant to listen to. Even when the cogs are rusty and it’s out of tune, the experience is one of nostalgia. And yet, it isn’t playing the music as it was heard when opened for the first time, because it’s been altered through age, skewed of intention.

When that experience is adapted for the purposes of a record, the listener’s response can often be quite conflicted. Slumping to one side and getting lost beneath a series of ambient compositions and gently-plucked strings can provide a blissful few moments of respite, but it doesn’t always demand much staying power.

Thankfully, Durand is able to strike a balance between creating that nostalgic vibe and crafting gorgeous tunes. The closing track, “A Través del Espejo (Through the Mirror),” captures the splicing together of tape wrapping around a pair of haggard spools, while anonymous flashes of metallic interjection allow for a tense and restrained setting, as though there is a sense of regret or insecurity in the throes of this project. The track casts doubt on the apparently stable and comforting juxtaposition of minimal strings with a recording of dialogue on “Hora de Dormir (Time to Sleep),” where a baby’s cry and a young girl’s shouts grate against the atmosphere that the preceding tracks construct. It’s a harsh yet masterful touch that permits the listener to experience the uncertainty that exists in later pieces alongside an ostensibly safe, homely setting.

Among that, then, there is an eeriness that demonstrates Durand’s tact as a composer: rather than merely swooning in a giddy headspace of ambient sound, he’s committed to generating environments that reflect a stark and sometimes painful reality. But with A Través del Espejo, that’s not the impression you are initially greeted with; the artist ensures that it needs to be uncovered, in the same way that his found objects were reimagined as instruments within his music. There are hidden treasures here that aren’t as tranquil as they first appear, even as you feel yourself getting lost in them.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: DARK ENTRIES (BE)

VISIT Taylor Deupree, owner of the fantastische12k record label, loves collaborations. He is known for his ambient works well produced techno under the name Prototype 909 and Arc. The latter project brought together a highly acclaimed minimal technocd on Radical ambient, a sub-label of our legendary native KK Records. He is also a graphic designer.
Marcus Fischer is an artist on the label of Taylor which is mainly engaging in ambient and electro-acoustic music.

It was a tape loop that was still running after a day in the studio that inspired these two gentlemen to delineate the concept for this LP: they would limit their instruments into two mono tape loops of different lengths (ie play) and only using some instruments. The machines that played out the tapes were recorded directly with a microphone placed against their built-in speakers. That way, they get really the role of full 'band member. service tools are a electric piano, bells and some strings.

What do you get when you do this? The two tapes walk asyncroon so they always go another way confronts as the song progresses over time. Also grab the musicians themselves occasionally. So you get a simple yet compelling form of accidental music. So you hear a whole LP long pleasant band noise, a few modulations and the occasional piece of mechanics. This gives this release a DIY-feeling-what is very pleasant at times of overproductie- but also makes it tremendously intimate and tender. This music is timeless: it had a shot may be from 1963 but just as good in 1998. The overall sound in any case sounds very pleasant to the ears and bring instant peace in the head. It seems such a sense of contemplation, a contradiction that precisely mechanical devices can produce.

this music is only at times be very monotonous. Like atmosphere creator is all quite ok: you now reading a book, you can visit if you wallowing in melancholy on your own with a glass of red wine. An intensive listening session, however, tolerate this drive a little less, although it may also be due to our over-stimulated brain.
I find it very moving song Kern. This is perhaps the most understated composition on the plate but many subtle details make this track perfect for multiple listens. The subsequent Sailmaker among the favorites because of the very wistful tones tentative and subtle but effective volume differences when the tape resumed walking.

Fans whisper music such as Machine Factory will be able surely taste it. Personally find it all a bit too informal, especially for a whole LP. However, I can certainly the intrinsic quality of this work appreciate. Where you can at least not next look, love is noise where both men face. Also, you imagine yourself into their studio on the West Coast, for that matter they have very well understood the concept of communication. This is also a blood honest work, unpretentious and straight from the heart. Finally we want to mention the beautiful artwork that the music reflects a sublime way.

Be sure to check the wonderful clip!
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: GOUTE MES DISQUES (FR)

VISIT Vous pouvez toujours aligner les onze meilleurs joueurs de football du monde, cela ne vous fera pas nécessairement la meilleure équipe du monde. Il en va de même pour la gastronomie, le cinéma, la peinture ou le sujet qui nous concerne aujourd'hui : la musique. Tout cela tient de la plus pure évidence. Dès lors, faire jouer ensemble le légendaire compositeur Ryuchi Sakamoto, Taylor Deupree, boss du très respecté label 12k et le duo Illuha ne doit pas vous laissez penser que le résultat sera indubitablement phénoménal. Ajoutez à cela que la performance se fera en totale improvisation, la tâche paraît ardue mais pas insurmontable pour de tels cracks. C'est dans cette configuration que l'alchimie va avoir lieu au cours de ces trois mouvements parfaitement maîtrisés. En bonne intelligence, chaque musicien avance patiemment sa composition, sans jamais bousculer ses associés. Tous apportent leur pierre à l'édifice, que ce soit par des notes de piano subtilement placées, les manipulations impeccables d'un synthétiseur, des bribes de field-recording ou par un silence qui tombe toujours à point nommé. Mis bout à bout, tous ces éléments bâtissent une œuvre qui a pour unique objectif d'atteindre l'harmonie la plus totale. On ne peut qu'être admiratif devant ces quatre cerveaux qui fusionnent pour ne devenir qu'une seule et même entité, un tout indissociable. Œuvre subtile et foisonnante, Perpetual se découvrira avec une attention de tous les instants.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: BAD ALCHEMY (DE)

Diese Immersion in die feinstofflichen und elementaren Essenzen der 12k-Ästhetik ist entstanden bei der 10-Jahresfeier des Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, am südwestlichen Zipfel von Honshū. In der Julihitze kam es im japanisch-amerikanischen Miteinander von Altmeister Sakamoto, Tomoyoshi Date, Corey Fuller, der auf dem west-östlichen Diwan nach Tokyo gependelt ist, und 12k-Macher Deupree zu einer intuitiven Evokation von Immergrün. Eingesetzt wurden Piano, Harmo­nium, Gitarre & Pianet bzw. Modularsynthesizer sowie Electronics und perkussiver Krimskrams für einen 50-min. Trip als incredible shrinking men, die bei REKAL eine Reise zum Volk der Gräser gebucht haben. Die Erinnerung wird gespeist mit einem täuschend echten Mittendrinsein in einem sonst nur Makroaufnahmen und Hochgeschwindigkeitskameras zugänglichen Mikrokosmos. Pflanzliches und Mineralisches wird von quasi insektoid oder schneckenartig angepassten Sinnen wie im Traum erkrabbelt und mehr noch erkrochen. Blattgrün scheint zu atmen, Kristallines zu funkeln, Moleküle glitchen, die ganze Atmosphäre dröhnt und perlt als sonor driftende Wunderwelt, die man aus Facetten- und Stielaugen wahrnimmt. Tschilpende Schnäbel lassen die Luft schillern, Halme reiben aneinander wie Schiefer, Stein und Metall schaben aneinander wie die Hinterbeine einer Grille, eine Spitzmausnase schnüf­felt. Aber von dem, was da aneinander stößt, scheint nichts fest, nichts wirklich hart zu sein. Alles rieselt und driftet dahin, zeitlupig morphend, wie in einem Traum, der sich sein eigenes Wiegenlied gaukelt. Sakamoto perlt dieses Lullaby zwischen Tag und Traum am Piano. Die andern sechs Hände sind vereint in einem selbstlosen Tönen und Vibrieren. [BA 85 rbd]
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: ETHERREAL (FR)

VISIT Après une dizaine d’années sans nouvelle aucune de Dan Abrams (que ce soit sous son propre nom ou bien via un de ses pseudonymes, tel Fenton), l’annonce d’un nouvel album de Shuttle358 ne pouvait que nous réjouir. De fait, le souvenir de Chessa, très bon disque, déjà paru sur 12k, est encore présent dans notre mémoire au moment d’entamer l’écoute de Can You Prove I Was Born, long-format publié en format digital et vinyle, et délibérément pensé dans cette optique.

En effet, la manière qu’a Shuttle358 d’employer ses nappes paraît frappée d’une volonté de jouer sur leur caractère tournoyant, à l’image des sillons d’un disque vinyle. De même, l’intégration d’adjuvants (tels une guitare acoustique ou bien un violoncelle, à la fin de Imaginary Other) travaille sur la circularité du propos et non sa frontalité. Ne se laissant pas enfermer dans une ambient ondoyante assez balisée, l’États-Unien opère, par ailleurs, quelques écarts, à l’image d’un Meteor Heart davantage porté par des petits bleeps et une approche plus expérimentale, ou bien un Burrowed Vows traversé de saturations et distorsions.

À l’intersection de ces deux chemins, un titre comme Paper Wings croise recherche sur les nappes et introduction de matériaux plus acérés en surface, comme Dirty Sunkiss intègre quelques pulsations particulièrement bienvenues. Privilégié par Dan Abrams, ce choix de proposer des pistes enrichies et savamment ouvragées conduit l’auditeur à naviguer de morceau en morceau, sans véritablement savoir à quoi s’attendre par avance. Sans être réellement pris par surprise, la tonalité générale étant assez homogène, on sera ainsi néanmoins toujours à même de se trouver face à un nouvel agencement ou un nouvel élément (comme ses samples de petit jeu électronique dans le caudal Years Later).
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: STRAY LANDINGS (UK)

VISIT Why is tape so fascinating? In the past decade, we have converted to smaller, higher definition and more pocket-friendly formats. Yet despite these advances, we still remain somewhat anchored to formats of the past. There is something about the definitive low definition quality of tape that gets under one’s skin. Tape is often not only considered in terms of sound, but also in the tactile nature of the object itself. When this happens, attention focuses instead on tape as part of the material media, not just a means of production.

The latest record to honour the tradition of tape is Twine, a joint project between Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer. The method employed for this album is modest, with only two mono tape loops and four acoustic instruments. Each sound on Twine creaks and groans like a broken gramophone. There are moments of clarity with the soft twinkling of ‘Telegraph’ or the mournful hums of ‘Kern’. But every time the sound attempts to actualise itself, it is never fully realised. It exists instead within a strange liminal nether-zone; as a half-manifest idea.

This gives the album enormous room for imagination. In the brilliant series ‘Reasonably Sound’, Mike Rugnetta discusses the function of tape as a window into the unconscious. Discussing the pseudoscientific ‘subliminal tapes’ of the 90s, he claims:

“I think for more people than we tend to recognise, mysticism is there in the tape, the cassette, the recorder, the machine and the medium itself. Does a subliminal self-help vinyl record seem ridiculous to you? What about a subliminal self-help CD? Or MP3? They seem ridiculous to me. Of all these media, tape has such life; the format itself has this personality. The sway of the iron oxide coating and the hiss and something about the whole mysterious and particular way of the tape itself.”

The argument put forward is that the subliminal cassettes could have only worked as tapes. Digital formats simply wouldn’t have had the same spiritual pull. These features of the unconscious are also present on Twine. The pitch flux, tape hiss and asynchronous looping all contribute to the romantic and evocative lure of the album. It sounds less like a modern record from a pioneering label, and more like a piece of nostalgic memorabilia.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: AVANT MUSIC NEWS (.COM)

VISIT The Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media celebrated ten years of being and doing in 2013. Among the celebrants were Ryuichi Sakamoto, Illuha (the duo of Tomoyoshi Date and Corey Fuller) and that most eminent small sound handler, Taylor Deupree (12k is his label). An ostensibly informal entertainment improvised on piano, guitar, pump organ, and synthesizers made enough of a “third mind” impression, that the four of them decided to preserve it for grateful listeners across the world.

A lesson in listening. Despite the fact that comparisons to Eno and Budd lie close at hand – Sakamoto is of course such a pianist – it is Eno´s Neroli that Perpetual calls most often to mind (that is, when it isn´t calling Thursday Afternoon to mind) on “Movement, 1”. As if it were used as a template…

Exquisite ambience threatens to float you blissfully away, but microscopic, almost transparent, amniotic things are happening and they crave your attention. Children are at play in “Movement, 1,” and someone, not the children I suspect, is playing with blocks. Not ordinary blocks. Detail is of the essence to this quartet. A guitar is picked up by a signal receiver and scrambles its message. Static turns into a rain of hobnails.

“Movement, 2” begins with movement inside the piano, notes being nipped in their respective buds, before further mechanical adjustments are made to the internal braces of its engine. Butterfingers drop a tool, a coin falls out of his breast pocket. A nectarous, wavering tone hovers, biding its time. Shards of frozen tears, fabric rustles impatiently. The wavering tone resolves itself back into Enoness.

Final, third movement, slides down Sakamoto´s sweet axis, at its root excavations are being conducted. It gets sweaty. Birds are more than a little annoyed, field workers scribble notes assiduously. The odd sour note says, Put a ring around its tiny leg and release it back into the wild.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: ESSMAA (FR)

VISIT Les crépitements transforment le paysage figé, comme frigorifié, en une petite ruche clignotante et remplie d’intentions. L’auditeur, tel une miniature de porcelaine, évolue dans cet univers de sophistications ( standardisées 12K) semblent le fruit d’une minutieuse attention aux plus petits détails des moments de silence de tous les jours. Le temps de l’inanimé surplombe et enveloppe ce disque jauni comme une vieille photo que l’on use à force de la regarder. Un discours mélancolique (un peu trop conventionnel dans la forme), auquel il faut arracher la pellicule de plastique transparent qui menace, afin d’éviter l’échange muet dans l’espace des convenances du style ambient diffusé par 12K depuis des années.

Il faut passer ce cap pour découvrir les invitations à l’errance loin de la pure fonction « décorative », au gré des jardins que l’on imagine couverts de neige ou toujours plus seul(e) dans la bulle d’une tendresse nocturne.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: SILENCE AND SOUND (FR)

VISIT C’est à un monde emprunt de douceur et de légèreté que nous convie le nouvel album de l’argentin Federico Durand, avec A Través Del Espejo, qui n’est pas sans évoquer une certaine idée de cet « autre » moi que l’on pense voir et discerner à travers le miroir. Ici les boites à musique, carillons et autres instruments à lames et à cordes que l’on effleure, s’emploient à dessiner des motifs tutoyant les bords d’un abime en forme de doux précipice. Federico Durand bâtit des mélodies puisant leurs ressources dans une poésie embrumée de musique aérienne et de broderie féérique. Les pointillés de ses notes se superposent avec élégance, donnant à apercevoir la beauté d’un monde enfoui, que l’on cache sous un manteau d’étoiles, souvenirs d’une enfance heureuse baignée de mélancolie vaporeuse et de lumière jaunie. A Través Del Espejo ne se contente pas de jouer avec les sens, véhiculant des histoires irisées par le temps, aux angles arrondies et courbes horizontales, flottant sur les soubresauts de l’âge tendre, perché dans les profondeurs d’un cortex flirtant avec les caresses du vent, les voiles gonflées à bloc pour remonter lentement les courants d’une énergie bienfaitrice. Vital.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: AGAINST THE SILENCE (GR)

VISIT (google translation from Greek)

There are label that watching the imprint in a disk understand immediately what music you hear. In this way they wonder how Federico Durand came in today to take off for the first time something through 12k which many associate him primarily with respect to the whole design. Still images with notes moving as Anemologio the middle of a desert meadow, viewed through the material and this disc the particular experimenter. It's like there from the beginning to the end of a random element, of which way the wind will blow to lure touches on an invisible glockenspiel or a tweaked piano. This creates a series of recollections in a memory as it ages falls oblivion. There is this child and spontaneous element along an album, like the morning thoughts that then deletes the day brushed aside. But deeper in them, as in the material here that reminds a separate piece, worth to above.
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

12k1085

REVIEW: VITAL WEEKLY (NL)

By now you must be familiar with the name Federico Durand, with his releases on Spekk, Own and Desire Path, either solo or with the duo Melodia. Apparently, like other musicians from Argentina, he's big in Japan and plays a lot of concerts over there. In 2014 he bumped into Taylor Deupree, head honcho of 12K and became friends and that friendship now brings us this album of new solo pieces, all inspired (apparently as always) by his family. The cover lists all of his instruments, which makes an interesting read: "Auris lyre hammered with a black pencil, synthesizer, piano, music boxes, Roland Space Echo RE-201, Ehx 2880, Mackie 402VLZ4, hokema, little objects, crystal cups bowed with a penknife, Koshi chime, Fostex X18, contact microphone, minidisc, Sony TCM-200DV, owl of wood, tape loops, scissor and masking tape"; I guess it sums up his love for small objects and all things analogue. I understand also that much of what Durand does is hands-on: playing all of this with his two hands and looping stuff on the spot, thus creating this very intimate sound his music always seem to have. More than before it seems we now hear snippets of voices, maybe from around his own house, children voices. It is perhaps a reminder of home-life when he is on the road? For me it's also another reminder: that of the music of Dominique Petitgand, who was also an avid taper of domestic life, and who also used small instruments around these home recordings; there is however one distinction and that is that for Petitgand it was almost obligatory to use them in every track, whereas Durand uses it more sparsely. For him the sound of his 'toys' play the most crucial role, and it makes his work less of a radio-play and it seems to be using a bit more melody, which he loops around and creates beautiful hissy pieces of music with. Sometimes, such as in 'Linternas Junto A La Laguna (Lanterns beside the lake)', the cassette hiss forms even the most substantial part of the composition but usually it's a few sparse notes on the piano, a bow playing a small object to create some overtones, and everything pitched up and down, to form a web of small tones, intertwining with each other. All of this is a highly natural setting, free from digital processing or other computer tricks. In the official world of music journalism one would say 'honest' music. I don't believe in such notions. But I'd say this is highly personal music, without caring too much about 'styles', 'trends' or 'scenes' and this is some damn fine release. (FdW)
Federico Durand
A Través Del Espejo

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: BLACK AUDIO (BLOG)

VISIT The last time we saw this duo together was on 2011’s ‘In a Place of Such Graceful Shapes’. Both have done other output individually and experimented with other artists, but I enjoyed their last release together and was looking forward to hearing this; safe to say, it doesn’t disappoint.

The gentle harmonics of ‘Draw’ opens this release up perfectly. It’s currently a mild winter as I sit here in this room looking out on what has been a dark, drizzly afternoon and this song just fits my current relaxed state.

Looped drones and acoustic instrumentation, should always work well together if the artists involved have any concept of what they’re doing, or indeed have the talent required. Deupree and Fischer have this in abundance and as one-song flutters into the next, it’s easy to watch the world go by from a raindrop-covered window, with the slow motion soundtrack that they provide. It also leaves me with little to say or do, other than to smile and nod in appreciation for the majority of this release.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: ONDAROCK (IT)

VISIT Quella tra Marcus Fischer e Taylor Deupree è una delle relazioni artistiche e personali sulla quale si è imperniata l'esistenza recente di 12k. Succeduto in ordine temporale a Savvas Ysatis, Richard Chartier e Christopher Willits nel novero dei collaboratori stabili del fu Human Mesh Dance, Fischer ha riversato la sua influenza in maniera particolare sull'estetica del catalogo dell'etichetta statunitense. Un contributo tangibile sia dal punto di vista sonoro (il suo “Monocoastal” rimane uno dei momenti-chiave del passaggio di main focus delle pubblicazioni 12k dal microsound all'organicismo elettroacustico), sia e soprattutto da quello visivo, con la maggior parte degli artwork co-firmata proprio con l'amico e label boss.

La passione per la fotografia, condivisa dai due al pari di quella per il suono, era stata alla base di quel capolavoro intitolato “In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes”, autentico trattato di estetica e design dell'ambiente sonoro, come intuibile dal titolo. A quattro anni di distanza, “Twine” riparte dalle medesime premesse ribaltando però il rapporto di priorità: è il suono, e in particolare quello di una raccolta di nastri, a costituire il soggetto centrale, da esplorare, scoprire e preservare. Un approccio decisamente più vicino alle esplorazioni post-acusmatiche e romantico-decadenti di Stephan Mathieu che all'impressionismo organico evoluto minuziosamente da Deupree nei lavori recenti e alle costruzioni archetipiche della precedente collaborazione.

E si tratta forse per certi versi davvero di una sorta di comeback a una ricerca sul suono puro (e in quanto tale, imperfetto), slegato da qualsiasi contesto ambientale, pittoresco o estetico, ma in grado di costituire contesto concreto di per sé. Fra arpeggi dilatati e una livida melodia sintetica, lo schizzo di “Draw” fornisce i primi elementi per “entrare” in un lavoro scarno, intimo, in cui il suono è letteralmente denudato di ogni possibile sovrastruttura. Simili accenni melodici sono sparsi equamente in quasi ogni brano: nella diapositiva sbiadita di “Buoy” sono affidati a un pianoforte, nella ninnananna di “Telegraph” si schiudono fra i rintocchi a carillon di un vibrafono, nelle gemelle “Wake” e “Bell” affiorano fra arpeggi in stile Seaworthy e dilatazioni per oscillatori.

Sullo sfondo residui di un tempo indefinito, affidati ai loop dei nastri che si muovono su coordinate circostanziali, irripetibili e sempre diverse. Stralci strappati alle rispettive origini e riproposti nella loro identità più propria, addirittura in primo piano nei due passaggi più sfocati: la semi-immersione analogica di “Kern” e l'inquieta e nebbiosa “Sailmaker”. Forse gli approdi più radicali di una fenomenologia dei nastri magnetici in grado di “lasciar essere” il suono nella sua dimensione di sussistenza autonoma, portandone così alla luce una poetica nascosta, in genere privata della sua purezza dalla “contaminazione ambientale”. Eppure incredibilmente “diretta”, immediata, sintetica, per certi versi di facile fruizione, potenzialmente divulgativa. Qualità che solo l'esperienza di due fuoriclasse può aver donato a un'opera, comunque, autenticamente sperimentale.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: CARNAGE NEWS (IT)

VISIT La magia che l’etichetta 12K, capitanata da Taylor Deupree, continua a far sognare con questa uscita che continua a seguire l’impronta già lasciata fin dagli inizi e, nel suo solco, presenta qualcosa di nuovo che è più un’attitudine, un continuo esercizio formativo, piuttosto che la mera prova di declinare un genere vasto come l’ambient o, una delle sue cavità, il glitch. L’esercizio di cui parliamo ha un titolo, Twine, che gioca sul concetto di doppio. I due musicisti, Taylor Deupree e Marcus Fischer, durante un periodo di sosta sulla West Coast, creano un processo concettuale così strutturato: “Two artists, two mono tape loops and four acoustic instruments, nothing more.” A loro volta, questi nastri in reel-to-reel, produrranno loop che verranno registrati da microfoni all’interno della stanza. Molto semplice, essenziale, questo dialogo tra i due che, nonostante la scarnezza delle possibilità, raggiunge vette di poesia altissime, a cominciare dal tuffo di Draw, avvolgente, che si porta dietro il peso degli anni, una vecchiaia data dall’effetto del nastro, calore e saggezza presenti in tutto il disco. I rumori d’ambiente si mescolano all’uscita del suono degli speaker dei nastri traslando la dimensione temporale, come nei ronzii e nelle calde cadenze della lontana Buoy, vicina all’ipnosi vibrante di Telegraph, dolce, luminosa, poco meno sottile della polverosa Kern, tappeti che appaiono e scompaiono, partenze e sfumate, puro impressionismo acustico. Immagini come l’orizzonte del mare e la dimensione di nostalgia di Sailmaker, o come il risveglio di Wake, sono delle necessarie dimostrazioni di come una tavolozza sonora, possa effettivamente dipingere un paesaggio a carrellata, vasto, che forse solo il cinema sarebbe in grado di realizzarlo, renderlo tangibile in modo sinestesico. La dialettica del nastro ha un fascino tutto suo (come quello di altri artisti come William Basinski, Gelbart, o le memorie di lavoro diretto su nastro, ancor prima dell’acusmatico) e se noi prendiamo quel nastro e lo puntiamo in direzione della luce, essa filtrerà in una tale esplosione di colori da rendere la realtà semplicemente più viva, che custodisce una memoria che potrà anche slavarsi, ma avrà la stessa vita della sua genesi.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: ETHEREAL (FR)

VISIT Contrairement à d’autres collaborations entre deux artistes ayant une carrière solo en parallèle, la coopération entre Taylor Deupree et Marcus Fischer ne s’était pas arrêtée à In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes, album paru en 2011. Tournées communes et travail photographique en partenariat ont ainsi jalonné les quatre années écoulées avant que les musiciens ne se retrouvent pour tenter de composer un nouveau long-format. Séduits par le son d’une boucle, issue d’une cassette que Fischer avait réalisée, les États-Uniens décidèrent d’en faire la matrice de Twine, album centré sur des boucles de ce type, auxquelles quelques instruments seulement sont ajoutés.

Avec ses sept longues plages, Twine présente le format idéal pour cette sorte d’ambient, un peu cotonneuse, invitant à la rêverie et marquée par une grande délicatesse dans l’exécution. Les sonorités ne heurtent jamais, tandis que les mélodies, à l’état parcellaire, se frayent un chemin entre légers crépitements et notes tenues lumineuses. Plus encore, on a parfois l’impression que les matériaux utilisés s’insèrent d’eux-mêmes dans les compositions de Deupree & Fischer, à l’image des craquements de bois de Buoy, dont on n’est pas certain qu’ils aient été directement sollicités par les deux hommes.

Le caractère légèrement onirico-organique qui résulte de ces fragments sonores vient alors renforcer l’impression de se trouver en face d’une musique extrêmement vivante, fortement introspective et particulièrement agréable. Même le caractère esquissé des interventions de guitare électrique ne s’avère pas frustrant, cohérent qu’il est avec le reste de la proposition musicale (Wake). En ses périodes dans lesquelles le froid commence à se faire ressentir, l’écoute de Twine agit ainsi très favorablement et confirme la très forte pertinence du duo Deupree-Fischer.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: SKUG (AT)

VISIT »Compressions & Rarefactions« vom New Yorker Kenneth Kirschner wandert als CD mit Downloadzugang über den gut sortierten Ladentisch. Die CD präsentiert zwei Stücke bzw. 55 Minuten, die »Compressions«, der Download legt drei Stücke bzw. 350 Minuten nach, die »Rarefactions«. Knapp sieben Stunden also alles zusammen, eine Geduldsprobe für Freunde moderner Klassik, die jedoch durchaus ihren Reiz hat, zumindest wenn man sich irgendwo zwischen Morton Feldman, John Cage, Arvo Pärt oder den Vertretern der Minimal Music wohl fühlt. Das ist auch gleich das Hinkebein an der Sache, die ewig mitschwingende Frage, warum es denn gar so ausufernd lang sein muss, wo man doch nicht wirklich musikalisches Neuland betritt, sondern dem sperrig-sphärischen Minimalismus der berühmten Kollegen nur eine eher bescheidene persönliche Note hinzufügt – eben den epischen Gestus, der aus diesem Kammerkonzerten für Drones, Streicher und Echos eine Art Ambient für Anspruchsvolle macht (die selbst dort noch »Ambient« ist, wo sie pure Minimal Music ist). Ein im Ansatz ähnliches Werk hat übrigens auch Max Richter gerade mit »from Sleep« (Deutsche Grammophon) vorgelegt und zugleich gezeigt was herauskommt, wenn man diese Ingredienzien als bloße Attitüde umsetzt: hochkulturelle Warmluft, gerade gut genug, um einen PR-Ballon damit zu füllen. So schlimm stehen die Dinge hier bei weiten nicht. Womit »Compressions & Rarefactions« letztlich überzeugt, ist die Konzentriertheit und die Unbeirrbarkeit, mit der Kirschner ans Werk geht, nicht der Umstand, dass man sich beim flüchtigen Hören wieder einmal fühlen darf wie bei einem Rundgang durch Supermanns Kryptonithöhle (ja, diese grünen Kristalle, die so sphärisch-verzaubernd klingen würden, wenn sie singen könnten ...), wodurch die Frage nach der ausufernden Länge in letzter Konsequenz doch positiv beantwortet werden darf. Ja, stimmt, das muss so lange sein, sonst entfaltet es ganz einfach nicht die nötige Wirkung, den betörend-hypnotischen Sog, der wohl der beste Grund ist, sich diese CD samt Downloads zu besorgen.
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: ETHEREAL (FR)

VISIT Après une dizaine d’années sans nouvelle aucune de Dan Abrams (que ce soit sous son propre nom ou bien via un de ses pseudonymes, tel Fenton), l’annonce d’un nouvel album de Shuttle358 ne pouvait que nous réjouir. De fait, le souvenir de Chessa, très bon disque, déjà paru sur 12k, est encore présent dans notre mémoire au moment d’entamer l’écoute de Can You Prove I Was Born, long-format publié en format digital et vinyle, et délibérément pensé dans cette optique.

En effet, la manière qu’a Shuttle358 d’employer ses nappes paraît frappée d’une volonté de jouer sur leur caractère tournoyant, à l’image des sillons d’un disque vinyle. De même, l’intégration d’adjuvants (tels une guitare acoustique ou bien un violoncelle, à la fin de Imaginary Other) travaille sur la circularité du propos et non sa frontalité. Ne se laissant pas enfermer dans une ambient ondoyante assez balisée, l’États-Unien opère, par ailleurs, quelques écarts, à l’image d’un Meteor Heart davantage porté par des petits bleeps et une approche plus expérimentale, ou bien un Burrowed Vows traversé de saturations et distorsions.

À l’intersection de ces deux chemins, un titre comme Paper Wings croise recherche sur les nappes et introduction de matériaux plus acérés en surface, comme Dirty Sunkiss intègre quelques pulsations particulièrement bienvenues. Privilégié par Dan Abrams, ce choix de proposer des pistes enrichies et savamment ouvragées conduit l’auditeur à naviguer de morceau en morceau, sans véritablement savoir à quoi s’attendre par avance. Sans être réellement pris par surprise, la tonalité générale étant assez homogène, on sera ainsi néanmoins toujours à même de se trouver face à un nouvel agencement ou un nouvel élément (comme ses samples de petit jeu électronique dans le caudal Years Later).
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 riavvolgimenti spaziotemporali. Il suono della memoria che si riavvolge su se stesso.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: DALSTON SOUND (BLOG)

VISIT Twine continues a creative partnership that debuted on record with In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes in 2011 – an album recorded in four days of close collaboration using guitar pedals, looping boxes, analog synths, tape recorders, found objects and percussion instruments. Since its release, as press notes say, Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer “have toured, photographed, and written music together at every opportunity, wherever they find themselves.”

Fischer, from Oregon, originally worked as a drummer, but has since evolved a minimalist practice involving field recordings, acoustic, often DIY instrumentation, and complementary visual art – notably photography and video, but also printmaking. Deupree has parallel careers in photography and sound art, the latter evolving from arthouse techno to a limpid minimalism based on transmuted natural sounds. The duo have shared interests in recording technologies and an aesthetics of imperfection, and both have recorded prolifically for Deupree’s 12k label.

The inspiration for Twine was apparently fortuitous. After a day of (presumably unrewarding) work in the studio, 12k says: “the two sat in tired silence contemplating the next day’s approach. Playing quietly in the background was a mono tape loop Fischer had made earlier. …”

So inspired, Fischer and Deupree made one mono tape loop apiece of differing lengths, and recorded their asynchronous playback on reel-to-reel machines, capturing the output of the built-in speakers using room mics. Onto these recordings the duo layered electric piano, bells, and stringed instruments.

The album title Twine comes from the notion of: “the two tape loops as knots, as physical media, combining to form a single, more complex, piece.”

Taking William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops as a reference point, Twine has similar sonic qualities. But where Basinski’s re-recordings capture an entropic dissolution of static time and matter, Twine encapsulates an inconstant and unpredictable present. There’s a similar muzzy, cocooning warmth to the sound of each body of work, but in place of Basinski’s subtractive revelation, Twine offers abstraction and reverie through drift and dérive.

That said, the album has been impeccably sequenced. Flutter and feathery tape frictions on lead track “Draw”are illuminated by glowworm electric piano, casting a hypnotic spell, and once captured the ear is attuned to the subtlety of the Twine‘s progressions.

There’s a wavering, trace melody that undulates through “Bell” that’s echoed by sounds suggestive of buoy gongs gently sounding through sea mist. The next piece is actually titled “Buoy”, and achieves a similar effect through sonic creaks and settlements, along with a constant lamina of what might be nocturnal insect sounds.

“Telegraph” achieves a similar effect with more obvious string preparations, while “Kern” features long, tremulous, shimmering bowed sounds, and “Sailmaker” has an ingrained tracery of folk music – elements even more pronounced on the last piece “Wake”. So there’s development of sorts, but it’s so gradual as to be almost outside time. If Deupree and Fischer spun Twine at much greater length, their last, least static efforts might almost resemble the most ambient output of Tape.

Each of these brief but beguiling time-stretched soundscapes, experientially slowed down, end on fadeouts that come as ineluctably as sleep.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: CHAIN DLK (.COM)

VISIT The reading of some reviews or meditations, where more or less famous music writers describe the experiencing of Kenneth Kirschner's music as if they were in the guise of Burroughs writing a page of literature under the effect of some hallucinogenic substance, as well as the way by which graphic artist Kysa Johnson, who cared the artwork of this release and matches Kenneth's extreme dilutions of sound in time to subatomic decay patterns, are an interesting explanation of the mission and the vision of this Ney York-based sound artist. You could read them on the booklet of this release, which managed to include of a couple of shorter recordings (shorter if compared to the average length of Kenneth's psychotropic epopees into sound) in a cd and added a code that could be redeemed to download three other recordings (lasting 5 hours in total...), but I'd like to extract some parts of them in order to give you an idea of what you could expect or you could skip, if you are a lover of concision in music. For instance, Marc Waidenbaum (disquiet.com), after an extremely detailed description of the (both emotional and spacial)set and the setting as a preface, reasonably claify that Kirschner "embraces a sense of periodicity that challenges the listener's comprehension" before turning back on his meditative path and stating that "if time is Kirschner's most self-evident compositional tool, then memory is his most active one. As we find our way - that is, find a way - through the immersive, percepting-consuming, periphery-spanning territory of his work, as time passes, as life passes, our sole guide is the work itself". While Simon Cummings (5against4.com) sees "paradoxes everywhere" in Kirschner's output and run through some of them on his interesting track-by-track commentary, I find the conclusion by Mike Lazarev (headphonecommune.com) particularly guessed to set the emotional fences where Kirschener's sonic particles or electrons draw their seemingly chaotic circles and microtonal twists: "while listening to the music of Kenneth Kirschner, one can become lost in time, ceasing to be in its prison of binding. As the shackles of time fall away through the sounds, I am brought back into this very moment, where the vois is the present, and the silence is noise". What could I say more to these fine words? I might say my very first impression, as I maybe felt the some fascination that a baby could experience inside a big and hidden lab of clock repairer, where variation of single gears or steps gradually mutate the "scansion" and the perception of time. Check it out!
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: MUSIC WONT' SAVE YOU (IT)

VISIT L’infinita teoria di contaminazioni stilistiche coincidente con le innumerevoli collaborazioni di Taylor Deupree conosce anche repliche e ritorni: “Twine” rappresenta infatti la testimonianza del secondo incontro del sound artist newyorkese con Marcus Fischer (Unrecognizable Now), con il quale condivide l’approccio un multidisciplinare già sostanziatosi nelle morbide coltri elettro-acustiche di “In A Place Of Such Graceful Shapes” (2011).

Questa volta il “padrone di casa” è stato l’artista di Portland, nel cui studio Deupree ha – letteralmente – incrociato i propri nastri, gli effetti elettronici e le fragili armonie reali che hanno dato luogo ai sette brani del lavoro. “Twine”, il cui stesso titolo costituisce un riferimento al carattere duale dell’operazione, appare strutturato appunto come un dialogo tra i due artisti, che da un lato pongono in atto un gioco di continui rimandi reciproci e dall’altro sviluppano un percorso sonoro che trae le mosse da una miriade di irregolarità, screziature (l’iniziale “Draw”) e modulazioni tremule (la successiva “Bell”), in un’ideale declinazione al tempo del minimalismo elettro-acustico del glitch del primo arco della carriera di Deupree. Detriti puntiformi e pulsazioni particellari come segnali Morse percorrono poi le sparse note pianistiche di Fischer (“Buoy”, “Telegraph”), in un rincorrersi di iterazioni in loop ed esili variazioni costellate da placide risonanze e micro-suoni naturali (“Kern”).

L’essenza vitale delle miniature di Fischer e Deupree cambia impercettibilmente forma lungo i quaranta minuti di “Twine”, senza cesure o sostanziali modifiche di registro, come in una coerente galleria d’arte lungo il cui percorso i due musicisti, pur entrambi impegnati nelle arti visuali, espongono non immagini ma sculture sonore che, dalle irregolarità iniziali, vengono via via smussate fino ad assumere il formato puro di oscillazioni di frequenze ondulate (“Sailmaker”) infine rifinite da fragili frammenti armonici (“Wake”).

Al culmine di tale itinerario d’ascolto si coglie dunque con evidenza la combinazione tra estemporaneità e creazione intellettuale, tra particelle analogiche e minute stille acustiche che, insieme, formano un universo sonoro delicato, riflessivo ed estremamente dinamico.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: BRAINWASHED (US)

VISIT The comparatively stripped down arrangements Deupree and Marcus Fischer create on Twine result in compositions that are not quite as varied or diverse, but unsurprisingly they pull refined beauty from the two lengths of magnetic tape they manipulate. Some of the compositions are largely defined by the imperfections and idiosyncrasies of the recording medium they work with rather than what is pre-recorded. "Bell" would seem to be based on recordings of, well, bells, but the specifically discernible sounds are all buried under the noise of tape. What may be a simple series of repeated tones become something much more captivating as they work in crackling and distortion in addition to the sounds from the manipulated tape. On "Draw" the duo utilize the wavering, inconsistent tones that can be culled from analog equipment to excellent effect.

"Buoy" is another example where the two put a greater emphasis on the sound of the equipment more than the existing recordings. With a bit of buzz and some metallic knocking (which I just assume is the mechanics of the tape players they are using), soft notes contrast the equipment's jagged looseness and imperfections very well. "Sailmaker" too has Deupree and Fischer just barely flirting with melody; instead the slowed down sounds and mechanical noises becoming the focus of the piece. It is only on "Telegraph" and "Wake" where the recorded source material seems to be the focus of the compositions. The former sounds again like the two manipulating loops of bells and chimes, but the focus is placed more on these gentle sounds as opposed to manipulating the delivery system. "Wake" closes the album, and there seems to be clearer sounds of guitar or other stringed instruments coming through the mix, with lots of open space and incidental sounds within the loops. There is not a lot of raw material utilized in the piece, but the duo generate amazing sounds and moods from that basic formula.

Taylor Deupree has done an amazing job at curating the 12k label since its inception, presenting music that may not always be similar to his, but always reflects his ear for rich compositions created from the most hushed of sounds. Whenever he does release his own work, however, the result is never a disappointment and just a reiteration of his expertise at this style of composition. These two albums may differ in their methods and composition techniques, but that common thread between them, Deupree himself, is what makes for two beautiful, understated compositions that do so much with the barest of sonic ingredients.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree

Perpetual

12k1082

REVIEW: BRAINWASHED (US)

VISIT Perpetual is presented as a three movement composition that progresses adeptly from soft melodies and tones into a wider reaching feel of dissonance, then back to spacious, open, and beautiful music. The first movement has the quartet generating delicate, warm layers from their stringed and synthetic instruments. Fragments of voice, and a bit of electronic buzzing offset the carefully interplaying frequencies, resulting in a lush, tone-heavy arrangement of sound.

The second part still features Sakamoto's distinctive piano, but his playing focuses on the lowest notes and the recording perfectly capturing the metallic, vibrating dissonance of the strings. This hint of chaos sets the stage for the remainder of the piece. Odd noises and unexpectedly bleak music box sounds appear, with the artists blending organic and electronic sources extremely well. Deupree's modular synthesizer performance introduces just the right amount of chirps and noisy scrapes to give the piece an appropriately hollow, slightly bleak feel. The final movement is a natural progression from the previous, where the artists begin with clattering sounds, but they bring the sound back to the opening via pure guitar and piano sounds, creating a spacious, yet delicate sound.
Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Perpetual

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: VITAL WEEKLY (NL)

12K labelboss Taylor Deupree has worked with Marcus Fischer before, I noticed while browsing old weeklies, and he also released a previous solo release by Fischer, 'Monocoastal' (see Vital Weekly 756). The two of them sat together for a couple of days trying out some new music together and at the end of the first day, tired as they were, they sat down and in the background there was just a mono reel-to-reel tape loop from Fischer playing. They looked at each other and decided that the that would be the starting point: two mono tape loops and four acoustic instruments; loops of varying length and picked up with microphones from the build in speakers, adding an excellent sense of warmth to the recordings. The instruments they use are bells, electric piano, stringed instruments and played more or less in an accidental/incidental way; a few notes here and there, and the repeating click of the loops, the point where the repeat starts, as part of the music. This is music that is not unlike the solo release by Fischer or the recent work of Deupree himself (and others on his label). This is very ambient music for sure, exactly as Brian Eno thought of this: a bunch of tape-loops of an unequal length playing together, so that sounds are never in the same place when they collide. It brings that odd shifting of sounds, going back and forth, but here tape-hiss and room quality are added as a bonus instrument. It reminded me of Steve Roden's music, even when Deupree & Fischer create significantly shorter pieces. It is all of a delicate beauty and deserves to be played a lot. (FdW)
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: LE SON DU GRISLI (FR)

VISIT Un peu d’ambient, maintenant, et pas n’importe laquelle. Celle de Kenneth Kirschner, que le label 12k continue de soutenir à bout de CD et de téléchargement (une fois Compressions le CD terminé, on pourra se plonger dans les cinq heures de Rarefactions le téléchargement). De quoi faire, donc…

Comme si l’on m’avait invité à parcourir les toiles de Kysa Johnson qui ont servi au design du disque (noir et blanc dehors, coloré à l’intérieur), me voici téléporté sur Kirschnerland. Diaphane, le paysage de September 13, 2012. Les notes qui me parviennent ont l'air de sortir de mobiles où sont suspendus des pianos, des violons (de Tawnya Popoff, je lis), des EBows… Un peu plus loin, sur April 16, 2013, il y a des notes cristallines qui se répondent, mais leur minimalisme me parle moins.

Je disais cinq heures, mais c’est plus de cinq heures et demi de musique téléchargée. Rarefactions doit correspondre au noir et blanc du design, la partie cachée de l’icebient… Sans CD, la musique de Kirschner semble plus immatérielle encore, son ambient plus oppressante. Dans le livret du digipack, Marc Weidenbaum (de Disquiet) écrit de cette musique « Il y a un nuage au-dessus, et un océan en-dessous. » Moi, je suis dans l’un et dans l’autre en même temps, mais ma tête fait la navette.
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: POLYPHONIA (PL)

VISIT Jeśli ktoś z Was czekał na piękne jesienne muzyczne pejzaże, stworzone przez Deupree i Fischera, ten na pewno się nie zawiedzie.

Był rok 2011 kiedy to Taylor Deupree i Marcus Fischer postanowili nagrać wspólnie album. Jako, że obaj mieszkają na przeciwległych wybrzeżach USA postanowili zacząć współpracować przez Internet. Stworzyli wtedy 2 krótkie utwory (które ostatecznie zalazły się na 7″ winylu), ale postanowili, że muszą się spotkać, aby powstało coś na prawdę wartościowego. Dzięki temu spotkaniu światło dzienne ujrzało wspaniałe ambientowe, organiczne nagranie – pełne intymnych dźwięków, żywych instrumentów, szumów i elektroniki. Stanowiło on trzon ich pierwszej płyty „In A Place of Such Graceful Shapes„, obok dwóch nagranych wcześniej miniatur.

Minęły 4 lata, w czasie których obaj artyści często spotykali się, to podczas występów w Japonii (patrz album: „Between„), czy też innych występów. Wydawać by się mogło, że w końcu dojdzie do ponownej współpracy duetu, i tak też się stało właśnie w tym roku. Koniec października przyniósł najnowsze wydawnictwo labelu 12k – album zatytułowany „Twine„.

Spędzając razem czas w studio latem 2015 roku artyści wpadli na ciekawy pomysł, aby do nagrań wykorzystać dwa monofoniczne magnetofony szpulowe, oraz cztery instrumenty akustyczne – nic poza tym. Deupree i Fischer nagrali i skleili pętle taśmy o różnej długości, które były odgrywane przez magnetofony szpulowe. Przy głośnikach tych magnetofonów ustawione były mikrofony, zgrywające całość na cyfrowy rejestrator. Ta prosta metoda pozwoliła uzyskać bardzo ciekawy efekt delikatnych dźwięków, lekko przybrudzonych, nasyconych szumem taśmy magnetycznej – a jednak wcale nie nużących, gdyż z powodu różnych długości pętli, dźwięki cały czas ulegają przesunięciu względem siebie.

Słuchając płyty można odnieść wrażenie, że choć stworzona została latem, to jednak z myślą o jesiennych dniach. Tak się składa, że w tym roku jesień jest piękna i pełna słońca, dzięki czemu muzyka duetu Deupree – Fischer’a świetnie wpisuje się w ten klimat ciepła i intymności. Po przesłuchaniu materiału odnoszę jednak ciekawe wrażenie, że na tej płycie więcej do powiedzenia miał Marcus Fischer. Znając solowe dokonania obu artystów, na „Twine” styl Fischera wychodzi znacząco na pierwszy plan, podczas gdy pełne ambientu pejzaże Deupree giną gdzieś w tle. Niemniej jednak płyta jest bardzo dobrym rozwinięciem poprzednich dokonań duetu i warto zapoznać się z nagraniami Amerykanów, szczególnie w tych dniach, gdy nadal dopisuje nam ciepła jesienna pogoda.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer

TWINE

12k1084

REVIEW: FLUID RADIO (UK)

VISIT In signal processing terms, an artefact is information that is not considered part of the signal being transmitted, but is rather the result of external interference or internal technical deficiencies. Magnetic tape is notorious for its artefacts: pitch wobble, hiss, and low resolution at the extreme ends of the audible frequency spectrum are frequently encountered properties of the transmission medium. On “Twine”, their follow-up to 2011’s excellent collaborative album “In A Place of Such Graceful Shapes”, Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer have chosen to make these purported artefacts part of the signal, using the characteristics of tape as a means of shaping and moulding a handful of acoustic and electronic sound sources the way a composer might use the physical and timbral characteristics of various orchestral instruments to shape and mould the sound of an orchestra.

Where the material being fed through the tape reel just isn’t that interesting, no amount of added fuzz and wobble can save it. This happens once or twice, I feel, across the seven tracks of “Twine”, but this is more than made up for by the strength of the remainder. In ‘Buoy’, a deep bell-like sound rings out with a terrific “buh-donnnnnnng”, and reverb is used to create a strong sense of atmosphere. Here the tape effects contribute to the piece’s inherent sense of distance and scale, the tendency of its ocean to fog over, rather than being sprinkled on afterwards with hopes for the best. The constant shifting of ‘Telegraph’ between blurring and coming into focus, congealing into pattern and dispersing into randomness, swelling and dissipating, relies less on the properties of tape than on the knack for corralling drift and uncertainty that characterises Fischer’s landmark album “Monocoastal”.

If you ever loved listening to chewed-up old tapes more than pristine new ones, you’ll certainly love “Twine”. To my ears the best pieces are those in which the unwinding of tape is indistinguishable from the movement of the piece as a whole, becoming inaudible as discrete effect. The album blurb emphasises chance and accident, but perhaps more important than chance is risk — those rolls of the dice that have stakes riding on them. The barely-thereness of ‘Kern’ and the labouring of ‘Sailmaker’ under the constant threat of disintegration illustrate this principle; their eerie, unsettling hover between sense and non-sense demonstrates the ability of the musicians to draw us into riskier, more dangerous territory. This is the point at which I forget about how Deupree and Fischer go about making their music and start simply listening to it, drawn up in its world.
Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer
TWINE

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: DAS FILTER (DE)

VISIT 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.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: HHV (DE)

VISIT Von Dan Abrams alias Shuttle358 hatte man eine Weile nicht mehr gehört, sein letztes Album (als Fenton) erschien vor zehn Jahren. Was unter anderem damit zu tun haben könnte, dass Abrams hauptberuflich als Visual Effects Supervisor für Regisseure wie David Fincher oder Sam Raimi arbeitet. Den reduzierten Glitch-Ambient-Stil seines Projekts Shuttle358 hat er in der Zwischenzeit erweitert, »Can You Prove I Was Born« bietet reichlich verwaschene analoge Klänge, die manchmal eine leicht düstere Dramatik erreichen, in erster Linie aber ein Gefühl von nostalgischer Wärme vermitteln. Die Stücke sind im Aufbau und vom verwendeten, sprich: geloopten, Material her durchaus 12k-typisch, geben sich jedoch auf eigenwillig-diffuse Weise entrückt. Was in recht unterschiedlicher Weise zum Ausdruck kommt. Mal klingt es ein bisschen wie Hauntology mit vermindertem Spuk-Faktor (»Bent and Swallowed and Opened Again«), mal kann man dezente Anklänge an Boards of Canada hören (»Meteor Heart«). Abrams Musik durchzieht zudem oft eine gewisse unterschwellige Unruhe, an der sich die Ambient-Oberflächen immer wieder reiben. Dabei entsteht so etwas wie eine verstaubte Schönheit, vertraut und fremd zugleich.
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Shuttle358

CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

12k2033

REVIEW: MUSIC PAPER (GR)

VISIT (translated by Google)

Entitled Can You Prove I Was Born, the Californian Dan Abrams, or, Shuttle 358 is released after a long time an album where there's that little - sound that combines minimalist, sinematikes loops Sablon, loose piano passages, melotron- general atmospheric images deserted landscapes and mystical journeys. All this and mixarismeno Drawn from tapes, recorded before 15- 20 years. Interesting sample postindustrial synthetic minimalism. - See more at: http://www.musicpaper.gr/playlist#sthash.8exbLIte.dpuf
Shuttle358
CAN YOU PROVE I WAS BORN

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: ETHEREAL (FR)

VISIT Se lancer dans l’écoute d’une nouvelle publication de Kenneth Kirschner, c’est très souvent s’atteler à plusieurs demi-heures d’écoute d’une ambient composite. De fait, ces pages avaient pu rendre compte d’un double CD, puis d’un triple CD, avec des morceaux de quelques dizaines de minutes chacun, aux résultats pas toujours convaincants tant la durée n’était pas forcément maîtrisée. Avec Compressions & Rarefactions, le New-Yorkais pousse encore davantage cette logique puisque l’album se décline en une version CD (un seul disque, constitué de deux morceaux de trente et vingt-cinq minutes environ) et une version digitale longue de six heures et quarante minutes (!) avec deux titres dépassant les deux heures chacun (! !). La prochaine fois, on peut donc s’attendre à une sortie s’étirant sur une dizaine d’heures…

Limitant notre recension à la version physique, on débute celle-ci par September 13, 2012 (l’États-Unien étant fidèle à son habitude d’intituler ses morceaux par la date à laquelle a débuté leur enregistrement), pièce ambient faite d’une superposition de mini-larsens et autres éléments acérés, parsemés de quelques touches chromatiques (provenant d’un Glockenspiel ou d’une boîte à musique) agissant telles des perles de pluie. Sur la fin du morceau, ces dernières laissent leur place à des participations, tout aussi discrètes et lointaines, de piano pendant que des traits, entre crissements sur une cymbale et fade in électroniques, sont mis au premier plan.

Nettement plus surprenant et, partant, plus enthousiasmant, April 16, 2013 livre une cascade de petites notes, issues de clochettes, Glockenspiel et métallophone, tous réunis pour tinter de concert. Si le travail sur la répétition peut sembler un peu monotone sur la longueur des vingt-cinq minutes (surtout que l’intensité, le volume et la fréquence des interventions ne varient guère tout du long), l’aspect joliment mélodique comme le caractère léger et délicat de la composition emportent l’adhésion. De surcroît, dans son dernier tiers, le morceau intègre des notes un peu plus graves (comme si, après avoir laissé opérer des instruments soprani, des alti apparaissaient), démontrant que, malgré tout, Kirschner sait faire évoluer ses titres.
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

Kenneth Kirschner

Compressions & Rarefactions

12k1083

REVIEW: HEADPHONE COMMUTE (.COM)

VISIT It is hard to find the right words for the music of Kenneth Kirschner, because it seems to defy all of the familiar concepts we have about music. If you’re not familiar with 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. Be prepared to let go of all your preconceptions about musical composition and [most importantly] the notion of time! With all that music mostly freely available, 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 Kirschner solo release for 12k, the label continues to show their indefatigable respect for this composer and his work.

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 in length, 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, you’ve read that correctly – two of the extra 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 in concentration 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 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, xylophones) that may get you nervous at the start but gradually seem to fall into place to a calming effect without losing their pace. Or 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 wind-chime-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 by Kysa Johnson, whose ‘subatomic decay patterns’ are a perfect visualization of the music. Also included is a booklet of essays on Kirschner’s music from Marc Weidenbaum (Disquiet), Simon Cummings (5 Against 4), above mentioned Kysa Johnson, and HC of Headphone Commute.
Kenneth Kirschner
Compressions & Rarefactions

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