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Sleeping Dogs Lie 13aug10: 0/r, Ø + Noto

0/r is the collaborative project between sound artists Nosei Sakata (*0) and Richard Chartier. 0/r recorded two critically acclaimed full length compact discs for 12k: “0/r” (12k1006, 1999) and “Varied” (12k1018, 2002 ). While 0/r suggested a sense of chaos with its jarring and syncopated digital sound, Varied utilizes much more refined compositional techniques to create highly deliberate passages of whispering sine waves, extreme frequencies, and looping rhythms of noise and detailed sonic pops.

This collaboration between Mika Vainio and Carsten Nicolai dates back to 1997, and it’s bizarre to think that almost ten years have elapsed since this was first unleashed on the world. Sounding every bit as relevant a piece of electronic experimentation as it did back then, the four tracks here occupy some of the purest, most minimal territory the two artists have traversed over the years. Conceived as part of an installation to be exhibited simultaneously in Germany, Finland and Poland, the inspiration behind this music comes from magnetspintomograph and radiotelescope recordings of pulsars. Consequently, the music here is beautifully elemental, comprising Vainio’s sustained tones and Noto’s sophisticated clicks + cuts grid forms. There’s a purity to this record that harks back to the very genesis of electronic music, yet it still sounds timelessly essential today. Highly recommended. (boomkat.com)

01 0/r: “Trackb” (from “0/the/r”) (2006)
02 0/r: “Untitled..” (from “0/the/r”) (2006)
03 0/r: “[untitled]” (from “0/the/r”) (2006)
04 Ø + Noto (Mika Vainio & Carsten Nicolai): “Ø + NOTO : 01” (from “Mikro Makro”) (1997)
05 Ø + Noto (Mika Vainio & Carsten Nicolai): “Ø + NOTO : 02” (from “Mikro Makro”) (1997)
06 Ø + Noto (Mika Vainio & Carsten Nicolai): “Ø + NOTO : 03” (from “Mikro Makro”) (1997)

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 27nov09: Term

12k is an electronic music label based in Brooklyn, New York, run by composer Taylor Deupree since 1997. 12k specializes in synthetic microscopic sound designs and minimalist compositional aesthetics. In september 2000 12k launched Line, a sublabel focusing on ultraminimal, conceptual soundworks that explore the relationship between sound, silence and spatial metaphors. In 2002, 12k introduced term., an online-only series of minimalist sound explorations. term. is an extension of 12k’s output but its mission lies in careful balance to 12k’s aesthetic. While 12k’s emphasis lies not only in sound but on design and presentation as well, term.’s function is the exact opposite: existing entirely in the digital domain with no tangible object or package, term. is the representation of pure data and imageless sound information. The antithesis of physical form. term. is an ongoing series of MP3 releases by sound artists from around the globe. All downloads are free and will remain online as long as possible.

In the imperium of 12K, Term. is the most unknown country. 12K, Line and Happy are all labels that release materials people can actually own, but with Term. you can download nice music for free. Yet Term. isn’t a big store of music, it’s carefully selected tunes. The latest is by someone named Asher, and Term. doesn’t provide any information, except a quote from Samuel Beckett, about music at night. That was apt chosen since I was playing this at night for the first time. Both of the pieces are carefully, microscopic and detailled glitches that are embedded in a bath of drones – which are almost inaudible. Most suitable music to dimm your lights, open your curtains and watch the stars and moon on a clear night. As much as I enjoyed this, in a world with more light (the next day), I must also state that whatever Asher is doing is nothing new under the sun, but if you buy the Chartier CDs from Line, you certainly can’t pass on getting this for free at the same time. (Frans de Waard, vitalweekly.net)

0/r is the collaborative project between sound artists Nosei Sakata (*0) and Richard Chartier. 0/r recorded two critically acclaimed full length compact discs for 12k: “0/r” (12k1006, 1999) and “Varied” (12k1018, 2002 ). While 0/r suggested a sense of chaos with its jarring and syncopated digital sound, Varied utilizes much more refined compositional techniques to create highly deliberate passages of whispering sine waves, extreme frequencies, and looping rhythms of noise and detailed sonic pops.
Jodi Cave is a sound artist and musician from the UK. He was brought up in a small town near Sheffield playing the clarinet, went to study music, and then in 2006 completed a research internship at the IRCAM in Paris. Jodi’s work encompasses studio-based electronics, laptop performance and instrumental composition.

Since Jason Corder decided that becoming a weather man was farcely over-rated, he coined the ambiguously fitted moniker “offthesky” which was in reality birthed in transit of his experimenting with converting chaos theories (especially those relating to weather systems*) into musical forms. And really its just an apropos title summating this atmospheric and acoustic communal project emanating from his studio in Kentucky ergo USA. Sounds pretentious I know, but offthesky is truly a humble handle that reflects both Jason’s mild manered nature and his “in-the-clouds” mind-set when relating to others. His musical miasmatic manifestations are loosely inspired by chaos theory mathematics, dark foreboding jazz, and various natural susbstances… ‘form creek’ is an excerpt from a long-play work entitled ‘creek caught fire’. these songs stem from travels and personal studies of appalachian landscapes in particular to the region of kentucky where i’m from. a series of phonographs, drawings, and writings were taken at various naturally energetic hot spots such as ‘red river gorge’ and ‘sugar creek’. also a tally of weather patterns were interpolated then used to manipulate aspects of the music. all this eventually evolved into several humble odes to the haunting fire of bluegrass history.

Sleeping Dogs Lie 120 26_27nov09

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 23oct09: Dragon's Eye Recordings

+room-roomRecorded live at the Henry Art Gallery auditorium during the opening reception for Novak and Drouin’s installation +ROOM-ROOM, the performance re-contextualizes the sounds from the installation. Now abstracted from the installation rooms, the sounds take on new potential meanings as the artists build a dialogue of tones and textures in an improvisational environment. The performance is recorded using omnidirectional microphones placed on the stage. The result is a mix of the effect of the room on the sound, and the physical interaction with the performers’ equipment.

Dragon’s Eye has grown up fast in the field of designer minimal electronics and drones. Already with a distinctive brand identity forged through an active roster of core artists, it’s now established enough for Yann Novak, Seattleite installation art and sound designer whose baby DE is, to be seeing his main roster-men return with second, sometimes third, offerings. If not exactly seasoned campaigners, these artists are now evidently hardened enough by service in the post-digital frontline to be delivering discreetly different goods than previously: Wyndel Hunt an audio-visual collab with Thom Heilson; Kamran Sadeghi, last seen under the guise of Son of Rose, an exploration of rhythm and spatiality.

unit-of-selectionFirst to Unit of Selection, wherein Hunt’s audio pieces are subject for/to digital media artist Thom Heileson’s visualisations. Hunt is a sound designer whose work carries the infinity impulse of drone but here bespeckled with something cinematic and something else vaguely like the ghosts of Autechre Mk.1 discovering shoegaze. Thom Heileson is a visual artist with a penchant for fabricating fictive spaces drawn from photographed and filmed architectures. The collab sprang from realization of thematic commonalities between their sound and video works. Unit of Selection sets out with an ambitious brief: “to fashion new perceptual sculptures, in which the textural fluctuations and movements of each medium carve into one another.” Whether this is achieved is debatable, but the ride is certainly an interesting one.

Hunt’s sonics provide the trigger, conceived around the idea of an “anonymous force that shapes,” which determined movements of pitch, tone, and volume. Heileson based the imagery, on Hunt’s soundworks, bringing out “emotive tonalities” within them. The results range much more widely than Hunt’s earlier brittle minimalism. Unit of Selection has a big warm prickly resonant sound design threaded through with electrified drizzle and steepling drones. Hunt gets much mileage from patching in to a digitalised simulacrum of the post-MBV shoegaze-starburst familiar from Tim Hecker and Fennesz (see esp. “1” and “4”, and the closing minute); that is when not mixing up edit-heavy collages between audio-drama and ambient textural experiment (see “2” and “5”). Track 7 (confusingly entitled “6” according to the liner) effectively combines orientations, a nocturnal hum manoeuvred under welters of fuzz-drone and buzz-tone, swathed in a flicker and shimmer of harmonized static. In fact, static seeps into every corner eventually like aural rust, particularly eerie on penultimate track 9 (confusingly entitled “1”), spreading a sombre dystopian mood redolent of decay and desolation. Heileson’s visuals are not the subject of review here, but they offer effectively synched linkages to Hunt’s compositions with images of environments, sometimes bleached sometimes saturated, reflecting back the richness and glaciality of Hunt’s patterns and colours. (Alan Lockett, Igloo Magazine)

LeatherDragon’s Eye Recordings is celebrating its third anniversary with the release of Leather, a free digital compilation. The Leather compilation showcases sonic excursions from artists currently working with the Label. Leather is indicative of the label’s goal to explore new territory in minimal electronic music and sound art, and to expose and promote individuals whose voices it feels should be heard. The tracks included are all previously unreleased. The cover features a photograph by Chelsea Gaddy.

12k presents term., an online-only series of minimalist sound explorations. term. is an extension of 12k’s output but its mission lies in careful balance to 12k’s aesthetic. while 12k’s emphasis lies not only in sound but on design and presentation as well, term.’s function is the exact opposite: existing entirely in the digital domain with no tangible object or package, term. is the representation of pure data and imageless sound information. the antithesis of physical form. term. is an ongoing series of MP3 releases by sound artists from around the globe. all downloads are free and will remain online as long as possible.

Sleeping Dogs Lie 115 22_23oct09

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