Archive for November, 2008

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/29/08

November 29, 2008

I’m starting off this week’s broadcast with a long set of Grey Park, from what they’ve described as their first “real CD”. It’s still not listed on the Planned Confusion label website, but it’s #10 in their catalog if you’re interested. The label name is pretty accurate– I have five titles listed on the inner cover, and three tracks. Ah, those crazy Fins!

Now I’m on to some Matt Weston. And hey, it’s from one of those minidiscs I didn’t like all that much the first time around, “Resistance Cruisers.” As it turns out, I just needed a bit more frame of reference for what Weston was actually doing, some way of understanding his music that I didn’t yet possess. They’re sounding a lot better lately, so I figured I’d get ’em on the show.

Currently playing the first track, “Willow Piece,” from Off the Sky’s “Creek Caught Fire”. This disc is out on one of my very favorite labels, The Land Of, which it seems I am constantly recommending. For this disc, Off the Sky’s Jason Corder gathered a wide variety of data on an area of the Appalachians, data which was then utilised to drive and modify various sounds which otherwise have no obvious aural connection to the landscape. Appalachians as envelope, I guess you might say. Although I’m enjoying it, my gut feeling is that this album would have been even more interesting had it employed natural sounds gathered from the same location, but perhaps this method was discarded for some good reason I have yet to discover.

In the next few weeks, I am going to be playing a lot more electroacoustic compositions, especially works featured on the Empreintes Digitales label. I’ve been working on it for a while, but it looks like I finally have a functional DVD player that I can donate to WDBX-FM, which is a growing necessity given the amount of DVD-based promo material I have been receiving in the past months. With a little work, I’m hoping to host another “screening,” perhaps in the coming month… I’ve got some Cristopher Cichocki material that needs to be seen as well as heard!!

For now, I’m going to play this Theodore Lotis disc, “Epoque de l’eau”. I wouldn’t mind hearing his take on the Off the Sky disc I played just prior– might make for an interesting comparison, especially both artists’ use of spacial placement of sound. Damn, now I really want to play some of Robert Dow‘s work! If I’m lucky, he has something appropriate posted on his webpage– be back in a minute after I check!

Errr… all Dow has is “extracts,” yuck. That’s not helping anybody! Maybe next week, eh? Poor me, I can’t carry it all to the station, haha.

Grey Park — Carpenter
Grey Park — Drunk Tank
Grey Park — Buddha
Matt Weston — It’s Your Career
Off the Sky — Willow Piece
Off the Sky — Red River
Off the Sky — Safety Snake Hole
Off the Sky — Still Wisher
Off the Sky — Clound Spotting
Off the Sky — Phaelous Yonice
Off the Sky — Tunnel Art
Off the Sky — Heart of Midlight
Theodore Lotis — Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110
Theodore Lotis — A South Wind Will Bring the Sand
Theodore Lotis — Underwater Theories
Theodore Lotis — Sibylla’s Voice
Theodore Lotis — Shadows

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/22/08

November 22, 2008

I decided to start tonight’s broadcast with some older material, and figure out what direction the show might take from there. The last-minute choice was Peter Wright, from the lovely three-disc set “Pariahs Sing On,” from Last Visible Dog. Seems like that label dropped me from their promo list some time ago… I suppose I better write and find out why, eh? It’s actually too bad, because they were just starting to get some really good avant-garde releases coming out on a more regular basis.

In truth, the next selection (this being the Arrington de Dionyso disc “I See Beyond the Black Sun”) could have been an LVD release– even the cover art reminds me of it, perhaps “The Feral Blood fo Swagger Jack”? However, this is on K Records, who unexpectedly sent me a promo copy this last week. Gotta admit, not a label I usually pay much attention to, personally… let’s see how this unlikely relationship plays out.

If you’re still listening, you’ll know that I’ve moved on. Kim Cascone has a new disc, “Music for Dagger and Guitar.” I’m not hearing the dagger or the guitar much, and there’s a distinct lack of liner notes… Still, the music is rather engaging, despite the semi-regular occurrence of abrupt cut-outs and extended periods of silence riddling the main work. It’s a needlessly irritating quality that I would be inclined to chalk up to Cascone’s inability to sit still if it wasn’t for the well-wrought detail evident in each assemblage. Fun to listen to, but I’d love a bit more of a connection to this music. Like many of his other works (and I’m thinking most about “Statistically Improbable Phrases” here) the music inspires me to get closer, but I’ve yet to find a way in.

Where Cascone apparently collected his sounds from the meatspace world, the Cadavre Esquis compilation “Imperfect Silence” has performed a similar task in the digital world, utilising sounds gathered from the Cadavre Esquis music-collab site to create a “personal journey” within the sounds. It’s an interesting concept, taking the now-ubiquitous composition-by-mail technique one step further– something like field recording on the net, don’t you think?

Lovely Music recently re-issued the 1982 “Blue” Gene Tyranny LP “The Intermediary,” which also confronts the task of a composer utilizing sounds at hand, albeit more immediately, through a computer setup re-interpreting the performer’s input and re-introducing it into the overall mix in unexpected ways. The result is Tyranny in a middleman partnership between the listener and the machine, both reacting to the changed output with new musical gestures and guiding them as possible.

It’s nice to see that this week’s broadcast developed a theme after all!

Peter Wright — Strumming Rotunda
Arrington de Dionyso — All Is On!
Arrington de Dionyso — AION (intuition and science)
Kim Cascone — Music for Dagger and Guitar
Cadavre Esquis — Imperfect Silence, pt.1
“Blue” Gene Tyranny — The Intermediary, A
“Blue” Gene Tyranny — The Intermediary, B
Ester Poland — Sateenvarjo

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/15/08

November 15, 2008

Sweet Action kicked off the first few minutes of this week’s “ITDE” with a nasty surprise– Tracy Chapman. Who knew Nick was such a fan? Anyways, it was supposed to be some Otis Redding for me, but he switched it! This is like drinking Pepsi when you think it’s going to be Coke. Nothing to do but hold your nose, and wait for the vomit.

I countered with some vintage DaveX material, and am currently swirling a bit of Jin Sangtae’s “Extensity of Hard Disk Drive” around my earholes to make sure no germy detritus has been left behind. But hey, cool things are on the horizon– I’m doing a live set tonight, just me and some processed balloon… and you might get to hear some more vintage DaveX, which I’ll be playing to illustrate points while being interviewed for an upcoming documentary about Southern Illinois experimental music!

As it turns out, keeping up a liveblogged playlist while being interviewed (and hosting a radio show) is very difficult. I will simply list materials used– if you’re super-interested in the exact order, let me know, and I’ll figure it out for you. Otherwise…

~OrE~ — Heavenly Noise (excerpt)
~OrE~ — Doug’s Party (excerpt)
DaveX — The Only Motion is Returning
EKV — Purification
Thanos Chrysakis, Dario Villegas, Oli Mayne — Terse Symmetry
Thanos Chrysakis, Dario Villegas, Oli Mayne — Phosphorus
Thanos Chrysakis, Dario Villegas, Oli Mayne — Sonoric Clay
Thanos Chrysakis, Dario Villegas, Oli Mayne — Fountain of Violet
EKV — 8onkey
EKV — We’re Having Problems
EKV — Incidental Damages
RP Collier — Dirigible
RP Collier — Prongulator
RP Collier — Over Valley
RP Collier — Yaw
RP Collier — Nightside
RP Collier — Jet Stream
Nils Butmann — Welcome
RP Collier —  2
Jin Sangtae — Fixed
Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide — 1/1
Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide — 1/2
~OrE~ — Mr. Lincoln’s Party (excerpt)

Jin Sangtae – “Extensity of Hard Disk Drive”

November 14, 2008

Comprised primarily of challengingly primitive rhythmic bursts and metallic honking, Jin Sangtae’s “Extensity of Hard Disk Drive” makes an excellent addition to the Seoul-based Balloon & Needle label’s ongoing microscopic investigations into the nature of sound, but not as much of a first choice for most listeners’ music shelf.


That’s not to say that “Extensity of Hard Disk Drive” is a bad album– by no means is this true. Throughout, Sangtae presides over his disk-drive-become-feedback-speaker with great aplomb, avoiding any of the obvious “accessing” noises so frequently used to signify a stereotypically cold digital world. Instead, Sangtae focuses wholeheartedly on destructive-sounding transient crackles, bonking, and other relatively overlooked sounds. Often, Sangtae allows them to play out fully, apparently unconcerned with his current choice’s overall ability to convey any sort of message to the listener.

On one hand, I find myself welcoming Sangtae’s explorations.. His liner notes detail his efforts to limit the ambient presence of the recorded sounds’ existence in the studio space over the course of creating these works, playing “as if the sound were locked inside.” This is a great point, and I do find some interest in imagining this process playing out over the course of the album.


On the other hand, I feel like I’m missing something important. A vital element of much Balloon & Needle output has been the exploration of “cracks” between noise and silence, or between the medium and the product– when labelhead Hong Chulki uses a turntable sans vinyl, it’s to shift vibrations directly from the medium itself, without a middle step. Sangtae is doubtless aware of this, but fails somewhat in the execution thereof, most likely due to the average listener’s unfamiliarity with his instrumentation. I know what a turntable sounds like, so the appearance of Chulki’s “cracks” allowing the turntable to speak directly to me are apparent and significant. Sangtae’s “disassembled hard disk drives” are quite a bit more esoteric, and don’t produce sounds like I’ve heard before– I need the familiar to guage the unfamiliar.

“Extensity of Hard Disk Drive” is available from Balloon & Needle as release bnn22.

Don’t believe DaveX? Here’s someone else’s review!

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/1/08

November 1, 2008

As far as I’m concerned, it’s still Halloween until the sun comes up. The whole “darkest before the dawn” thing applies, don’t you think? In honor of the night, and as a companion during our charge towards the day, I have decided to fill this week’s broadcast with themes of fear– directly or indirectly, influenced by fear or conjuring it in some way– each composition represents different aspects of the theme.

Ordinarily, I would do my usual “scary sounds” broadcast, filled with frightening noises (and noise!) of all sorts. But that’s “terror,” and not entirely the same as fear. Instead, I’ve decided to focus on more common fears… dying alone, politics, fear of others, stress, paranoia, loss of self, drowning, dementia, abandonment, loss of love, being unable to communicate. I could keep going with this theme, because it’s been an interesting broadcast, but I’m out of time! Perhaps I’ll pick this up next week. Be sure to let me know if you heard something you enjoyed.

Conure — Some Vowed Abstinence
Will Grant — Preamble
Danielle Palardy Roger — Nnaaaooon
Danielle Palardy Roger — Seule son ame / Litanies
Diamanda Galas — Les Litanies du Satan, pt. I/II
Robert Ashley — Foreign Experiences, The Coyote
Robert Ashley — Foreign Experiences, Eagle Tearing Hearts Out of Chests
Stefan Kozminchuk — The Mind is the Voice
Absolut Null Punkt — Absolute Magnitude 3
blackhumour — and do what/control
OiMa vs. DaveX — Oat
Andrew Liles — The Dead Submariner, Part III
Alan Courtis — Cardamomo