album

Streifenjunko ~ Like Driving

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“Streifenjunko has taken a shift towards electronic sounds. Their previous albums “No Longer Burning” (SOFA 2009) and “Sval Torv” (SOFA 2012) was remarkable in the magnificent sound achieved only with a saxophone and trumpet. With the seemingly endless possibilities of electronic instruments their strategy of finding simple tasks has been put to the test, and in the making of this album Streifenjunko was put back to the starting position to re-discover their focus and recognisable simplicity. The result is music with sharp edges and sudden changes, crude starting and stopping. The engine of the music is the interlocking of slow moving streams. Some of the electronics are self generating for Espen and Eivind to follow, and the different sounds and layers are multiplexed using starting and stopping signals. To play is simply to follow the signals, like driving.”

© SOFA

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mixtape

Grup Ses ~ Mimaroğlu Tapes

The Mimaroğlu Tapes mixtape prepared by Grup Ses is a selection of music from the music cassette archive of İlhan and Güngör Mimaroğlu. It helps to keep in mind that some of the cassettes were likely to be gifts or promotional copies given to the couple. The selection was based on the subjects and themes of the documentary “Mimaroğlu”. > www.grupsesbeats.com


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album, reissues

2018 – Fav. Reissue: Luc Ferrari ~ L’Escalier des Aveugles

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«Tous les matériaux concrets ont été enregistrés à Madrid. Chaque lieu est en même temps le portrait d’une jeune femme, à la fois guide, interprète et actrice. Les éléments ont été ensuite recomposés en studio, pour leur donner une dimension surréaliste, particulièrement madrilène.»

L’Escalier des Aveugles, or The Stairway of the Blind, was commissioned in November 1990 by Spanish National Radio (Radio Nacional de España). Asked for a piece to premiere as part of the European Day of Music, Luc Ferrari returned with a radiophonic concept that organised his anecdotal music into montage form, sequencing short, elusive narratives in a successive way.

The completed composition is formed of thirteen chapters containing a mixture of environmental and synthesised sound, commentary, chatter, and encounters with people and places. Each focuses on a small event within this playbook, and Ferrari notes that each “in addition to being a realistic photograph, will be the subject of a ‘setting to music’: fragments of voice and atmosphere will be sampled and will produce musical matter or a ‘song’.”

The sonic language of Madrid forms the setting to which Ferrari lays out the persistent theme of the piece, that of the composer being guided throughout the city by a young woman. Using a game-like structure (liners for this edition include Ferrari’s “Regles de Jeu”, or “Rules of the Game” which act as a script or score to the piece) the motivation is posed: imagine that one day you are told “I know a place in Madrid that sounds amazing (or bizarre)”, to which you reply “Let’s go to it together.” The recordings toy with the relationships between guide and tourist, translator, director and actress, and masculine and feminine that emerge as Ferrari and the actresses follow this action, documenting the shared experience and connections they make as they visit these places.

Six actresses guide Ferrari (and the listener) through locations simultaneously ordinary and sonically rich: the metro; the El Corte Inglés department store where we hear the gossip from changing rooms set against music emanating from the PA; vagabonds declaiming their political stance in the Conde de Barajas plaza; interactions buying apples in a market; the reverberant and spacious halls of the Prado Museum where one actress gives a moving description of her favourite painting – Goya’s The 3rd of May 1808.

Ferrari replies in French to their comments in Spanish, and there are several self-referential plots, devices, and word games that flirt with the poetics and rhythm of language and sound. A recital of Lorca’s poem “La Casada Infiel” in “Hommage À Lorca” in amongst the location recordings feels striking, and the call and response of “La Nouvelle de L’Escalier”, where one of the actresses descends the staircase of the blind – a long stone stairway in Madrid proposed to Ferrari as an interesting location to visit during the trip by producer José Iges. She replies to Ferrari’s vocal enunciation of the place (and title) in French – L’Escalier des Aveugles – with the place-name in Spanish: La Escalera de los Ciegos.

Using this repeated title and image of the staircase of the blind as a symbolic place, a line is drawn to a situational landscape experienced and diffused through snapshots and allusion rather than holistically overviewed, sound conjuring pictures within the imagination. In the sensorial qualities of Ferrari’s treatment of emotion and language—fortified with electro-acoustic motifs and musical properties—the piece accelerates towards a render that is truthful, beautiful, yet also surreal; somewhere between theatre and reality, a gonzo cinema of the ear.”
> Mana Records

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album

Terre Thaemlitz ~ Comp x Comp

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“A compilation of electroacoustic and ambient tracks released on compilations over the years. Tracks listed in alphabetical order. Contains the previously unreleased “Mille Glaces.000-009,” a series of ten audio shorts intended for release in an anniversary compilation for the label Mille Plateaux (DE), which I believe was cancelled during the 2003 bankruptcy. In keeping with the “Mille Plateaux” theme, “Mille Glaces” (or “One Thousand Layers”) is generated using one thousand 1-minute audio excerpts from the Mille Plateaux catalog. “Mille Glaces.000” is a digital mix of 1000 layers of audio heard simultaneously. “Mille Glaces.001-009” are recordings of my computer crashing as it attempts to play the same files in realtime (a Power Macintosh 7100 with Sound Designer II card).
See individual “track credits” for original release information, as well as “about this album” for details about themes and production techniques. Cover photo is an excerpt from the photo series “Interstices,” from the album of the same name. Produced, mixed and arranged by T. Thaemlitz (BMI).” > Comatonse Recordings

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album, reissues

2018 – Best Reissues: Henning Christiansen ~ The Executioner

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“First in a series of two releases unveiling the previously unissued soundtracks made for the films of Ursula Reuter Christiansen by her partner and collaborator Henning Christiansen.

The Executioner (Skarpretteren) is Ursula’s first film from 1971 and is now considered one of the most important works of early Danish feminist art. A highly praised recent show at the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen highlighted the pertinent themes and ongoing urgency which lies within this bold symbolic work.

The exquisite score is one of the key neo-romantic works in Henning’s far reaching output. A deeply melancholic set of vocal based works which place the listener deep within the tension and despair of Ursula’s themes. This unique vinyl presentation also features nature sounds recorded for the film on the island of Moen along with surprising works that defy anything else in Henning’s output.”Penultimate Press

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