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Atlantic Waves 13oct09: LIFEM 09

The very first London International Festival of Exploratory Music unites the myspace generation of musical explorers from the four corners of the globe.

Produced by Red Orange and presented in the perfect acoustics of Kings Place, LIFEM has truly exploited the incredible potential of the world-wide-web to seek the most exciting finds from the far East, the middle East, the Arctic Circle, south America and East and West Europe. LIFEM shows just what the internet can do for world music.

LIFEM has curated evenings which bring together a selection of artists from shared continents to reveal the commonality and differences between them.

The Old and New worlds touch on Friday 6 November. Opening with the raw intensity of sean-nós singer Lorcán Mac Mathúna. This young singer makes his first appearance outside Ireland, bringing with him the ancient language of sean-nós and its songs of lament and hardship. Formed by three members of the group Melike, Tri a Tolia brings together Turkish voice, an Iraqi qanun (lap-harp) and a Belgian cello to create spellbinding music that defies easy categorisation. Their debut album Zumurrude received critical acclaim and attracted an international fan base, with this UK debut their live shows should go the same way. Lonely China Day break out of the clichés of Chinese music (traditional, plastic pop or tacky karaoke) and bring to London a taste of China’s growing experimental rock scene.

Friday, 06 November 09

Old and new world music touching approaches
18:30 – 19:15 Lorcán Mac Mathúna (Ireland) [UK premiere] Kings Place – Hall 1 Buy Tickets Here
19:45 – 20:30 Tri a Tolia (Turkey/Iraq/Belgium) [UK premiere] Kings Place – Hall 1 Buy Tickets Here
21:00 – 21:45 Lonely China Day (China) [European premiere] Kings Place – Hall 1 Buy Tickets Here

86 Atlantic Waves 13oct09

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 09oct09: Few Quiet People

promo_cd_webPoland’s expression of experimental music is flowing very nicely at the moment, and the installment of FQP looks to be another interesting project to watch out for in the cold months ahead…

Make sure to visit the label’s web site from the link at the bottom of this page as they currently have a free promotional album download up for grabs that has some amazing tracks for your listening pleasure.

FEW QUIET PEOPLE is an independent record label focused on digital contemporary forms, based in Poland. It was founded on August 5, 2009 by Wojciech Krasowski, Maciej Nejman and Cezary Rudas. The main interest is to drive the repetive drone sounds into the direction of pop.

Promo Sampler 09 is the first release showcasing audio aesthetics of FQP. All of the tracks on Promo Sampler are previously unreleased and represent the future way of label thru granular textures and minimalistic side of sound.

Artists Involved: Ethhe, Moosk, Tomasz Bednarczyk, Gustay Tutre, Nejmano, Tropajn, In., Radek Kordasiewicz, Strangelet, Krypton, Tom Hall, W Von

www.fewquietpeople.com

Sleeping Dogs Lie 113 08_09oct09

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 02oct09: Jamie Drouin, Yann Novak, Bionulor

auditoriummutekAnother exquisitely packaged treasure trove from Yann Novak and Jamie Drouin on Dragon’s Eye companion label, Infrequency. This is the fourth edition released by Infrequency, and sees the live work of Drouin and Novak captured for posterity in this fine release, a document of their live performance at Canada’s hugely influential Mutek sound festival.

As with any combination of artists it is always a reviewer’s worst nightmare in trying to ascribe authorship of any sequences to any particular artist, and this is one such instance. As both artists inhabit very similar sonic territory, that would be a futile exercise, and detrimental to the overarching and pervasive sense of sheer quality and precision of this release.

Auditorium Mutek is about as polished and delicious as any ambient soundscaping gets, with an evenly paced tonalism permeating a sonic vacuum right from the outset, this release fully engages with the senses, and lures the listener in to one of the most accomplished and beautifully worked pieces I’ve heard in many a year, and it’s run of 250 copies should easily expire in a very short time. If I sound excited, its because I have seen the work of these two artists evolve and become more defined over the last couple of years, and I think here, we perhaps see that collaboration at its peak, in a singular release that is at once mature and measured.

Drouin and Novak take familiar elements that could easily fit in with any minimal/digital release, and yet somehow they manage to make it sound fresh, at times like Ryoji Ikeda on downers, with delicate rhythmic sequences, and protracted bleep-fests, draped over raw, elemental tones and atmospherics, that creep along, enveloping the senses, and sparking the imagination.Sometimes the rawness is extruded into almost pure feedback, but a feedback that does not grate or tear at the listener’s sensibilities, but recedes into the background as texture. If you only buy one CD this year, then Auditorium Mutek would be the one that I would go for… hands down, one of the best releases of the year so far. (Barry G Nichols, White_Line)

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)

Picture 1

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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 11sep09: Yann Novak, Bionulor

In-ResidenceNovak continues his epic self-publishing project with a mature and evenly paced series of works, based on three art residencies that took place in the fall of 2007. These works catapult the listener into a remote and somewhat desolate form of isolationism, and in fact it is the sense of frequently working in isolated conditions that informs the three pieces on “In Residence”. The stuttering opening sampling of the first piece,”1?, is a minimal, oblique tonescape, occasionally blistering with subtle sonic interventions and distant activity, that give the piece its depth. Similarly in “2?, and “3?, the theme is continued, and the sense of calm and isolation are denser, more stratified. Whatever Novak’s source material was here, it is reverentially treated and distorted, negating any kind of formal recognition, and propelling the auditor into unfamiliar, yet strangely soothing territory.

Novak is without doubt, a minimalist, and most of his work interlocks at a deeply cerebral level that is unique, but not alien, and is always assuredly calm, and subtly and expertly understated. Reluctant as I am to mention the man Chartier as an obvious comparison, “In Residence” has many of the hallmarks that have set Chartier apart from his peers, with a restrained and perfectly poised pallette of sounds, interwoven with rich and resonant incidentals, Novak is most certainly a name to watch out for in the future.Fine work indeed. (Barry G Nichols, White_Line)

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 109 10_11sep09

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Atlantic Waves 30jun09: Poland

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Atlantic Waves 23jun09: Warsaw Village Band

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 09: Henryk Górecki

Written for the 50th anniversary concert of Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the ensuing tragedies, Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 is a powerful, prayer-like setting of memories of those events. While considered a modern composer, the work is firmly rooted in the tonal world, often creating a mantra/meditative feel; the 1976 composition is as emotional today, as it was in its own time. Gorecki’s first work composed for unaccompanied voices, the Psalms setting titled “Euntes Ibant Et Flebant” is reminiscent of the mood of his now famous “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”.

01. Henryk Górecki: “Lento, Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile” (from “Symphony #3, Op. 36, ‘Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs’, Elektra Nonesuch, 1992)
02. Henryk Górecki: “Lento E Largo, Tranquillissimo” (from “Symphony #3, Op. 36, ‘Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs’, Elektra Nonesuch, 1992)
03. Henryk Górecki: “Lento, Cantabile Semplice” (from “Symphony #3, Op. 36, ‘Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs’, Elektra Nonesuch, 1992)
04. Henryk Górecki: “Euntes Ibant Et Flebant, Opus 32” (from “Miserere”, Elektra Nonesuch, 1994)

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 08: Giya Kancheli, Henryk Górecki

01. Giya Kancheli: “Bright Sorrow (In Memory of Children, Victims of War)” (from “Bright Sorrow / Mourned by the Wind”, BMG, 1997)

Requiem for two boys’ voices, boys chorus and orchestra after Shakespeare, Goethe, Tabidse and Pushkin. Dedicated to all the children who have become victims of a war.

02. Henryk Górecki: “Miserere, Opus 44” (from “Miserere”, Elektra Nonesuch, 1994)

Miserere is a stunning work, a response to the political upheaval in Poland that surrounded the United Peasant Party in 1981 when members of the Rural Solidarity were slaughtered by the militia. In response to this Gorecki immediately composed this work for large unaccompanied chorus which for the first thirty minutes intones the words ‘Domine Deus Noster’ (Lord our God), first by massive male voices intoning, plea-like, then joined by women’s voices in agitation and ultimate reverence, adding only at the very end the words ‘Miserere nobis’ (have mercy on us). If any listener fails to be moved by this quiet, urgent, sonorous plea for peace, then we as a universal people have much work to do!

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