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Sleeping Dogs Lie 27may11: Yann Novak, Marc Manning

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 18sep09: Marc Manning, Bionulor

marc-manningThis edition of 250 showcases the work of guitarist, Marc Manning. Occupying territory somewhere between the delicate restraint of a typical 12k release, and with slight jazz infusions, not dissimilar to some of David Sylvian’s recent forays, this is an elegant work of textural strings, using reverb, multi-tracking, and a variety of other elements to build around. The album consists almost solely of guitar, and effects are used to form atmosphere and dynamics. Manning deploys a variety of compositional techniques, creating scrolls of delicacy, wispy tracts like “Not any time soon”, or “Not forever but for a long time”, with their dreamy, almost transcendental moods and shifts. For guitar experimentalists out there, don’t expect Fennesz’s influence here, as Manning uses the instrument in it’s purest form, unadulterated,and unaltered,a work of profound beauty, and stark simplicity. (Barry G Nichols, White_Line)

Oh, this is just a beauty of a release. Simple, lush, beautifully played guitar pieces with a lightly ambient touch which emphasises the nature of the room it was recorded in. Earthy, warm and fragile sounding there’s an honesty here that will please your ears no end. I can’t fault it really and have been enjoying it for some time. It’s one of those things I keep going back to as it has a timeless quality which suits many different moods. Truly gorgeous and another outstanding release from Dragon’s Eye. (Mike Olliver, Smallfish)

BionulorTaking a similar approach to the classic likes of Aube, Bionulor is billed as being focused exclusively on “sound recycling,” or using only a single sample or sound as the basis for an entire piece. As a self-imposed limitation this sometimes does keep the compositions to a Spartan minimum, yet just as often become a chaotic mess of layered sounds and effects.

Some of the pieces are intentional details of singular sonic elements: both the opening “nchr.01? and “nchr.03? focus exclusively on singular stringed instrument sounds, left to repeat for lengthy periods with only the most minute changes in dynamics and layering. The changes and variations are there, but are extremely subtle, with more electronically effected sounds serving more as accompaniment to the organic sounds rather than being the dominant focus.

This is a pretty stark contrast to tracks like “pvn.,” which opens with subtle ambient tones and cricket-like loops, while plucked string notes are there and clearly defined, the focus becomes much more on the processed sonic elements, via spacey pitch bent tones and more low frequency percussive thuds. The final minutes of the track pile on the effects and noises to a level of pure chaos. This dynamic carries over into “l. fll.” which, though opening with a large pastiche of silence, eventually becomes dominated by digital clicks and cuts over plucked string notes. Piano sounds are allowed to appear in their natural state for most of the piece, but the digital elements are much more the focus.

Unfortunately, these tracks are almost too chaotic for their own good, and the shift from subtle repetition to erratic texture shifts is a jarring one. Tracks like the symphonic “nchr.04? are among the most satisfying, balancing the natural with the digital well.

This is a good debut release, and the concept of limiting ones self to a single sound to create an entire piece is a good one, and definitely goes beyond the limitations of a Boss DD-5 delay pedal that Akifumi Nakajima was too reliant on, but the actual structure and composition needs more attention. A greater focus on development and sequencing as opposed to just a quick transition between moods and textures would be a definite asset to future releases. (Creaig Dunton, Brainwashed)

Sleeping Dogs Lie 110 17_18sep09

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 13aug09: Marc Manning, Yann Novak

der004Marc Manning is an artist and musician living and working in San Francisco. He has released music under the monikers, legend of boggy creek, everything is fine, red weather tigers, and heavy lids. He has performed extensively on the east and west coasts over the past 10 years. Manning is a veteran of several Philadelphia atmospheric bands, the shoe gazer art rock of “the legend of boggy creek” and cave core rock of “everything is fine”.Likewise his visual art has been well exhibited on both coasts. In 2004 manning exhibited a show of abstract photographs at Disjecta gallery in Portland OR which featured an audio cd to accompany the images. Based on the music from that exhibit Dragons eye recordings released “things are happening at the same time” in 2006 which was packaged with a hand made book of Mannings drawings. This release marked the beginning of a creative relationship between composer and label director of dragons eye Yann Novak which has since inspired several critically lauded collaborative recordings.

Yann Novak (b. 1979 Madison, WI) is a sound artist, composer and designer based in Los Angeles. His compositions have been published by Dragon’s Eye Recordings (US), Dulcett Records (US), The Henry Art Gallery (US), Infrequency (CA), Mandorla (MX) and smlEditions (US). His work utilizes different forms of digital documentation as a point of departure. Through the digital manipulation of these sound and image files, his works serve as a translation from documents of personal experiences into new compositions fueled by the original experience.

Novak - Live @ Chapel Performance SpaceNovak’s installations and performances have been presented internationally at prestigious events and venues including American Academy in Rome (Rome, Italy), Blim (Vancouver, BC), Decibel Festival (WA), Ersta Konsthall (Stokholm, Sweden), Fiske Planitarium (CO), Henry Art Gallery (WA), Hit Art Space (Gothenburg, Sweden), Kasini House (VT), Las Cienegas Project (CA), Lawrimore Project (WA), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (CA), Mutek Festival (Montreal, QB), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (WA), Soundwalk (CA), Suyama Space (WA), TBA Festival (OR) and Western Bridge (WA).

As a result of these endeavors, Novak had been invited to numerous Residencies including Environmental Aesthetics Residency (WA), Espy Foundation Residency (WA), and Kasini House Studio A Residency (VT).

In 2005, Novak re-launched his father’s Dragon’s Eye Recordings imprint with a new focus on limited edition releases by emerging and mid-carrier sound artists, composers and producers. Since its re-launch, Dragon’s Eye Recordings has published over 25 releases and has received critical acclaim.

In recent years Novak has collaborated through select installation, performance and recorded work with Gretchen Bennett, Brittle Stars, Crispin Spaeth Dance Group, Jamie Drouin, Marc Manning, Brian Murphy, Alex Schweder and Tiny Vipers.

Dragon’s Eye Recordings is pleased to announce the release of Pairings, the first full length collaboration between Marc Manning (Heavy Lids) and Yann Novak. Pairings is an exploration into a now standard formula, a traditional instrument processed by laptop. Novak and Manning choose to use the formula to explore their often similar emotional states resulting in six improvisations divided into pairs by instrument. The album moves gently through melancholic drones and ambient washes, ending in a soft flurry of fractured melodies. Pairings showcases the tender relationships between songs, instruments and musicians.

“… the luscious ambience is subtly overwritten with more exploratory techniques, and at the “sweet spot”, the interface of chaos and equilibrium, we are treated to some very special moments, that most likely blossomed free of human intervention.”
–Barry G Nichols, White_Line (UK)

“when the ‘real’ instruments comes in, things balance quite nicely and makes this a fine work in the otherwise overcrowded scenery of drone, ambient and microsound. ”
– Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly.

Dragon’s Eye second installment of the de6000 series documents the live performance by Marc Manning and Yann Novak at the Dragon’s Eye Second Anniversary showcase at The Chapel Performance Space. Available as a free download in MP3 format.

Sleeping Dogs Lie 107 12_13aug09

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