beyond the limits

Atthletic Duddes Whole discography (2008-2009)

(This is a translation of Rémi’s text. Original french version at the end)

The recording of François Virot‘s LP “Yes Or No” (Atelier Ciseaux‘s first release) took more time than expected, so instead of getting impatient and considering a perpetually delayed future, I decided to re-record some tapes.

The idea was quite simple. We recycled abandoned tapes by having bands record their own tunes on A sides while keeping the original songs on B sides.. The result was a series of unlikely splits between experimental bands and Top 40 stars, classical music, oriental music etc.
It came up to me during a discussion I was having with a friend (who took part in the premices of Atthletic Duddes) about ultra-limited releases. I couldn’t explain what it was exactly that motivated me. It had something to do with this quest of rare objects and my own questioning of it. This project shortly became very important to me, nearly obsessive and vital, like something I needed to do. Painting A sides, cutting out the sleeves — and my fingers — hearing the tape unwind — or break. Over and over. The relationship with the object almost turned intimate, yet tinged with a certain nostalgia. Like many others, I discovered Music when I was a teen, by trading mixtapes.

At first I created a myspace page. Back then, we could still consider myspace as a form of revolution, and it wasn’t as saturated as it is now. I got in touch with bands anonymously because I wanted to keep the project unidentified. What really mattered was putting forward the idea and the urge that fuelled it.

The first answer came from Blue Sabbath Black Fiji, that’s how Atthletic Duddes became a label. I didn’t expect to get so much feedback from people who wished to participate on the artwork. People like Neil of Astral Social Club  or Laurent of èl-g wrote me and offered to make a tape.

I always knew this project would be short-lived — that’s what I wanted anyway. I ran it somewhat urgently, probably because it was necessary for me at that point in time. The spontaneity I would enjoy then is hard to perpetuate while working on Atelier Ciseaux: dealing with manufacturers, sharp deadlines and the fact that financial reality always weighs on small structures one way or another. While talking with Olivié of Amour & Discipline I realized it was a shame that these tapes (limited to 30-50 copies) had had so few listeners. So I contacted all the bands from the project. Asking if it was ok to put the entire discography of Atthletic Duddes online for free download. And they were all up for it.

After my hard disk crashed I lost most pictures of the tapes. All that remains comes from the internet’s feeble memory. You can download and discover all releases here or in the website which we created for that matter.

I often find myself thinking back and having fond memories of this project. So I’m taking this opportunity to thank all the bands and everyone who did some artwork, gave away tapes, shared their recorders and supported me witg their precious hands. And I’d like to apologize to Motherfucking for never releasing their tape.

 —

AD#01 | BLUE SABBATH BLACK FIJI
In a believer is still a liver
Download

AD#02 | THE POLLY SHANG KUAN BAND
Deeked with feathers and shells, a grass-skirted yap woman leads a folk dance
Download

AD#03 | SLASHER RISK
Rat body
Download

AD#04 | ASTRAL SOCIAL CLUB
Sank stacks
Download

AD#05 | PART WILD HORSES MANE ON BOTH SIDES
Fuck off massive ocean
Download

AD#06 | DUANE PITRE
Le, la, le
Download

AD#07 | DREAMCATCHER
Hangover Music
Download

AD#08 | èl-g
Comme les américains
Download
A collage of archives from different years/towns, of unreleased songs & new psychedelic “liants” recorded for the tape.

AD#09 | SINDRE BJERGA
Pretending to be confused
Download

AD#10 | DISCIPLINE
Tutti i colori dei buio
Download

AD#11 | FELICITY MANGAN
Piimdom
Download

 — Continue reading

Outrageously Out of Print – 1

All these records are, as the title says, out of print. To hear them entirely you’ll need to spend a ridiculous amount of money on Ebay (and the artists/labels won’t see a penny), or invoke Culture Sharing Powers of the interweb. As we don’t particularly like commercial cyberlockers, the whole A&D crew advises you to look for it on Soulseek.

 –

Philemon Arthur & The Dung - Musikens Historia del 1 och 2 (1992 – Silence Records – compilation of 70′s and 80′s releases)

 Oh boy. Definitely in my top 5 records of all time. Again, there probably isn’t much out there that sounds like this. So fucking weird, yet they still won a Swedish grammy in 1971. I have no idea how that happened. It’s a odd, acoustic, folk mess. A Clanking, chanting, strumming pile of fun. This mysterious duo’s identity still remains unknown. But look at the art and tell me that that alone doesn’t make you want to give it a listen. What’s that baby doing with the telephone? It’s my favorite album art ever. Shame it made it onto the back:

Philemon Arthur & The Dung - Jag Vill Va I Fred (Right click/Save as)

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 Philemon Arthur & The Dung - In Kommer Gøsta (Right click/Save as)

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Philemon Arthur & The Dung – Lille Pelle (Right click/Save as)

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Philemon Arthur & The Dung – Jag Mar Sa Illa (Right click/Save as)

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Philemon Arthur & The Dung – Djurvisa For Barn (Right click/Save as)

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Rema-Rema - Wheel in the Roses (1980 – 4AD)

 
Although this was released on 4AD, don’t expect anything ethereal. Instead, this e.p. has swelling dissonance mixed with simple tribal drums. Featuring a pre-Adam & the Ants Marco Pirroni on guitar, this album (all they released) proved influential with both goths & punks though sounding like neither (well, maybe a little punk). Big Black even went on to cover “Rema-Rema.” See, post punk even had it’s Bad Company moments of bands singing about their name.

(editor’s note: It was 4AD’s first release. Although they reissued it in 2003, even the MP3 version is now impossible to buy on their own webstore, hmmm)

Rema-Rema  – Rema Rema (Right click/Save as)

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Big Black – Rema Rema (Right click/Save as)

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Clock DVA ‎- Thirst (1981 – Fetish Records)

 There’s really nothing like asking your student why he has been suspended for the past couple of weeks and hear that it’s because he brought a crack pipe to school.  And it’s even better when he, in a rather nonplussed manner, says that it’s going to add two more years to his probation.  What’s probably worse was my reaction when I told him that he probably should have left the pipe at home.  But it’s easy for me to say oh well and carry on.  I don’t say this to make myself sound like a shitty teacher, but I’ve done this long enough to know that I’m not going to talk a crackhead out of smoking crack.  They like crack.  And who am I to judge?  Just like I like this album and I’ve met a few people that just do not like this band.  But I don’t foresee how they are going to convince me of anything other than how much this album rules.  I can’t stand by all their work (especially the dancey stuff) but the early post-punk industrial cuts are aces.  Adventurous, yet accessible, these tunes continue to deliver even after all these years.

Clock DVA – 4 hours (Right click/Save as)

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Clock DVA – Uncertain (Right click/Save as)

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(editor’s note: Okay next song is from White Souls In Black Suits, their previous album, but God came out as Stevie Wonder and told me i had to post it too)

Clock DVA – Relentless (Right click/Save as)

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If you’re wealthy and fanatic enough, Vinyl on Demand records (specialized in late 70s and early 80s industrial, noise, avantgarde…) made a TOTAL DELUXE Clock DVA reissue (6 LP + huge booklet + DVD), “Horology 1978-80″. This reissue countains four tape-releases, plus an unreleased 1979 EP, plus additional 78-80 archive-material. Get it here.

R. Murray Schafer

As one of a handful of living Canadian composers to cause waves on an international level, Raymond Murray Schafer has pushed the boundaries of music, theatre, and performance through his explorations in environment and ritual. Born in Sarnia, Ontario in 1933, he studied music at both the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music before accepting a teaching position at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. Finding himself increasingly disturbed by the city’s cacophonous backdrop of mechanical noise, Schafer founded the World Soundscape Project. During the late sixties and seventies the WSP dedicated itself to studying the ecology of soundscapes and the potential impacts of noise pollution, advocating for noise by-laws and acoustic design in urban planning. In a representative piece of writing from the era Schafer wrote:

A park or a garden is a place where nature is cultivated.  It is a humanized treatment of landscape.  It may contain human artifacts but they must harmonize with the natural inheritance – otherwise we no longer have a park but a highway or a slum. If synthetic sounds are introduced, if we venture to produce what I would call “the soniferous garden,” care must be taken to ensure that they are sympathetic vibrations of the garden’s original notes. The wind chimes of the Japanese, or the once-popular aeolian or wind harp, are reinforcements of natural sounds in the same way as the trellis reinforces the presence of the rose. (The Music of the Environment, 1973)

 

The score for “Divan / Shams / Tabriz”, by R. Murray Schafer

 

As some of the first to produce methodical soundscape recordings and publish treatises on soundscape ecology, including The Tuning of the World (1977) and The Handbook for Acoustic Ecology (1978), the WSP proved influential to environmentalists and artists alike. As a composer, the realization that the totality of environmental influences had such an impact on the perception and reception of sound would ultimately compliment Schafer’s interests in history and myth and his penchant for romance during the production of some of his most spectacular works.

Although Schafer’s musical output is diverse in style and genre, it can be roughly divided into two bodies of work: his concert music and his environmental works. The concert works include a series of eight string quartets (check out the great recording by Quatuor Molinari here), a number of orchestral pieces, a handful of concertos, and some chamber works. Check out this 1987 composition for guitar and tape titled Le Cri de Merlin for an example of Schafer’s instrumental writing. This work showcases Schafer’s expert integration of extended instrumental techniques, his interest in electronics and prerecorded sounds, and his fascination with myth and nature. The title of the work is a play on words, referring to both the Merlin species of falcon and Carl Jung’s analysis of Merlin and Parsifal myths. There is also a powerful allusion to Merlin the wizard’s powers of transformation.

 

 

Schafer’s concert works also encompasses his large body of choral writing.  Here is a fantastic recording of Snowforms (1986). Schafer composed the piece in his farmhouse in Ontario over the course of several winters, inspired by the snow covered landscape outside. The score for this work makes use of graphic notation and some improvisation on the part of the performers.  The text is based on a number of the various Inuit words for snow.

 

R. Murray Schafer – Snowforms

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While the influence of the natural world is evident in all of Schafer’s music, it truly takes centre stage in his environmental works. Compositions like Music for Wilderness Lake (1979) and some of the opera and theatre pieces in his grand cycle Patria transplant the performers and audience directly into the wilderness of North America. Music for Wilderness Lake is scored for twelve trombonists in three groups and an isolated wilderness lake. Schafer places the groups of trombones at separate locations around the shore and conducts from a raft or boat in the centre of the lake using coloured flags and cues. The work comprises the two movements “Dawn” and “Dusk” that are to be performed at those times and requires the performers and audiences to camp at the lake on the preceding night in order to be prepared for the early morning performance.  Similarly, The Princess of the Stars (1981), the prologue to his twelve-part opera cycle Patria, plays out at dawn on the surface of a lake. Based on Native American mythology, the piece tells the story of the Princess of the Stars, daughter of the Sun God, who falls to earth and interacts with a cast of characters including Wolf, the Three Horned Enemy, and the Dawn Birds. The instrumentalists are located around the shore and the singers and actors placed in costumed canoes on the surface of the lake.  The libretto of the work is written in an imagined language of Schafer’s own design and a medicine man narrator serves as an intermediary between the performers and the audience.

Due to their very nature, recordings of these works are difficult to find. There is a National Film Board of Canada production of Music for Wilderness Lake that is engrossing to watch, ask your local library to find you a copy of the DVD.  While there doesn’t seem to be any full video productions of the wilderness operas, there are a number of excerpted recordings and photographs available online and in print. Schafer’s own book Patria provides an incredibly in depth overview of the cycle and his philosophy and is well worth checking out if you can find a copy.  Here is a short excerpt of The Princess of the Stars that gives you an idea of how the costumed actors are conveyed in canoes and you’ll also get to hear a bit of Schafer’s original language. Also worth checking out is the following excerpt from Isis & Nephthys, part of Schafer’s sixth opera in the Patria cycle, Ra.

 

 

R. Murray Schafer – Isis and Nephthys

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The music, productions, and settings of these environmental works are beautiful and stunning, but they hold an even greater ritual significance for Schafer. Pieces like The Princess of the Stars compel an otherwise urbanite audience to undertake a pilgrimage into nature. The exceptional change in niche that the opera dictates compels the audience to pay attention to their surroundings, as does the actual content of the work. The immersion is absolute as the opera begins with the narrator paddling slowly across the lake towards the audience before informing them that they are about to witness the sacred actions of gods and animals and performing an incantation meant to turn them to trees so that they may not interfere in the proceedings. This opening act completes the transformation begun during the voyage to the site and sacralizes the setting whilst solidifying the audience’s identity with the local ecosystem. This ritualistic approach reaches a zenith in And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon, Schafer’s epilogue to the cycle and ongoing project. Realized each summer, the epilogue has no audience and calls for sixty-four performers divided into eight clans to hike into the wilderness where they camp for a week. During the week time is split between routine camp work and highly ritualized performances.  Schafer provides the performers with music and ritual instructions to be realized during certain activities and at certain times of day. The week culminates in a highly involved ritual that marks the return of the Princess of the Stars to her home and Wolf’s reward in Schafer’s mythos. For an idea of what Schafer is trying to create in these works, one need only look to his own characterization of an idyllic pre-modern time:

Once ‘art’ made divinities out of trees, out of mountains, out of the sun and the sky, out of the sea and the moon and the stars. …  Then there was no art.  There were miracles. Then there was no music. There was tone magic.  Then there were no artists. There were priests and magicians. Then the whole world of nature was a continuous, evolving hierophany.  And man was dancing and singing and gawking at the heart of it. (Patria, 2002).

 

For more check out Schafer’s website and an overview of the Patria cycle.

Laurent Jeanneau’s Ethnic Discrepancies

Foreword :

Laurent Jeanneau aka Kink Gong is a Frenchman based in Yunnan, southern China, where he specializes in documenting and recording ethnic minority music. He also composes experimental music based around his enumerable field recordings. After contributing with recordings for labels such as Sublime Frequencies and a mind-blowing Ghulja mix for Touch Records, Laurent treats us with a fantastic soundcape journey through the heart of Yunnan.


Laurent Jeanneau – Soundscape Yunnan – Ghulja
(right click + save as)

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“On this special Yunnan mix, the acoustic recordings are on the foreground, without too much electronics. However, it’s still a mix, so even if you are listening to some pure beautiful women voices, chances are that it’s already been overdubbed and mixed. You might be listening to 3 voices at the same time, in perfect harmony, although in reality, the voices would be coming from three different villages in the Yunnan province, where they were recorded and then mixed at home for your listening pleasure. Most of the recordings come from ZHANG XING RONG – a music teacher in Kunming, the authority on Yunnan ethnic matters, as well as tracks from the KINK GONG ethnic recordings catalogue.”

Laurent Jeanneau 2010

From the moment Laurent Jeanneau’s collage work reached my susceptible ears a couple of years back on the Touch Records podcast series that my attitude to traditional ‘world’ music was to be changed forever. His soundscape approach to so-called ‘world’ music emitted something so unique and captivating that I couldn’t stop myself going back to it for months to come.

Laurent Jeanneau – Touch Radio 44 (from Touch Records Radio) (right click + save as)

By taking the listener to unknown remote regions of our planet and mixing it with contemporary electronic sounds, Laurent’s work as a collage artist becomes highly engaging, presenting an old world, an unknown world, and a place so far away from our cultural references that one has difficulty describing the sounds that they hear. Repeated listens only re-enforced the deep hypnotic vibes that, in my opinion, are unequalled in the so-called genre of ‘globe trotting psychedelia’.

By googling his name, I quickly found out that besides his work as a DJ and occasional contributions to Sublime Frequencies compilations, most of his free time is spent recording Ethnic minorities in South Asia- with remote villages of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos being the main focus of his work. Once back to his base in Yunnan, South China, Laurent meticulously compiles the recordings into several CD’s to be eventually released by his own label, Kink Gong Records. From recordings of religious ceremonies, gong rituals and compilations of loops coming from Buddha Machines, Laurent Jeanneau’s work represents unique records of the most remote people and tribes of our planet.

A lot can be learned about a culture by the way it sounds. Languages, instruments, melodies, all become indelibly part of our lives, whether we notice it or not, they shape our past, present and future. For this reason, Laurent’s work should be considered as a testament of highly cultural and historical importance. Some of the sounds and instruments recorded are often played by a very small and segregated group of people. Its unique approach and insight into these esoteric sounds is up there with works such Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music or Alan Lomax‘s ethnological studies. In other words, if governments have any interest in keeping records of their own cultures they should be sponsoring individuals like Laurent Jeanneau. Our planet is way too rich to be neglected.

DISCREPANT: How long have you been recording Ethnic Minorities and how did you come to it?

LAURENT JEANNEAU: It s been a long process, I only came to be active in the field in my 30ies and became a professional at it in my 40s, but I’ve taken interest in real world music in early 80s as a teenager, then started to travel to far away places in 1990, then did my first recordings in India in 96/97 mostly in Chennai, former Madras, with the exclusive purpose of remixing it my way, destroying the rigid musical Indian rules. The performers were horrified by the result and it never got anywhere. Then in 99/2000 in Tanzania a double CD of the Hadzas bushmen got released on French label ‘Musiques du Monde’. I eventually moved to Cambodia, and never stopped since, going through a lot of music in Cambodia , Laos, Vietnam and China.

DSCR: Do you see your role as a field recording/documentarian, keeping other people records to posterity, or more of a musician?

LJ: I guess those recordings, now 86 CDs will go through posterity, but let me remind you that the very first and essential impulse is not to pretend to do that work for preserving, but rather for the discovery of an incredible diversity of structures and textures in those unknown music fields that are fast disappearing. That to me has connexions to all kinds of different music created in western contemporary culture, like the first abstract painters of early 20th century had been influenced by African art like pygmies drawings as an example. It’s about giving a different aesthetic codification of music a chance to be heard, and in the first place influence me, for my ongoing process of being fed with new things.

DSCR: Name a few of your favourite places/people you’ve recorded over the years and why?

LJ: In north east Cambodia and southern Laos I became the specialist of gong ensembles, orchestras of tuned metallic percussions, hardly nothing has been done in terms of recordings, the Unesco can claim to add this musical culture as one of the master pieces of intangible patrimony to their list,but they do nothing at all to preserve it. Most gongs ensembles are a socio-musical interaction, one gong of different size per person, including nipple gongs, flat gongs, a pair of thick flat gong hit with long mallets, a single one hit by one fist, 3 or 5 nipple gong orchestra, 5 nipple gong + 3, 5 or 8 flat gongs, up to 13 gongs, hit different ways (fist, mallets, green wood) different techniques, different tunes, and different occasions totalize a great diversity of gong playing. Otherwise 2 other major musical expressions attract me very much, the various vocal polyphonies, the Hani of Southern Yunnan in China are an outstanding example,  and different mouth organs that I’ve recorded in Northern Vietnam, Northern Laos and Southern China.

DSCR: How difficult it is to locate and approach the different musicians all over the World?

LJ: Every recording has a different story, according to the country’s loose or rigid access, my ability to communicate, the time I spend there, who I’m working with, and lots of other parameters, but usually I know what community I’m targeting, so I get informations from locals mostly and read all kind of semi-anthropological content about it if they exist. Ask me one specific example out the 86 CDs and I’ll tell how I met them.

DSCR: Your work seems to be mostly based in South Asia with some spells in Africa? Have you got projects to record in other continents?

LJ: No, I just wish to continue in the same area, would be nice to extend further south west in Myanmar and more Eastern parts of India and Northern Bangladesh to find about non-Buddhist, non-Muslims and non-Hindus.

DSCR: Finally, are there any places/people you must record before it’s too late?

LJ: Different ideas, one is based on 2 unfruitful meetings with a French anthropologist in Northern Laos- I missed him in June last year and met him in Oudomxai, North Laos last November when he just got Dengue fever, so he could not move from bed. However, we’re supposed to get together again to finally reach villages of the small uncategorized ethnic groups of Phongsaly in North Laos. Basically there are 4 big ethno-linguistic families in South east Asia, in the north  (Southern China, Laos, Myanmar, North Vietnam, North Thailand)  the Tibetan-Burmese, the Tai, Thai Kadai, the Hmong- Mien (Southern China, Laos, North Thailand, North Vietnam) and the Mon ( Cambodia, Laos, Central Vietnam, Myanmar, India), so some guys are still not belonging to any category, not that I care, those classifications are actually meaningless to me, but it’s just the idea that those outsiders from the 4 categories are found in one area where those 4 ethnic categories all live: Phongsaly. That’s pretty unique! And like I’ve mentioned above, I wish to go to the very northern part of Myanmar, where there’s absolutely no information available but it’s a dangerous country home of all kind of ethnic military oppositions and drug mafias, not to forget a terrible military dictature that’s not going to allow me to hang with minorities. At the moment going there would mean to limit myself to Buddhist temples further south…

For more on Laurent’s work and label go to King Gong Records.
For Laurent’s Discrepant transmission click here.
Check the Xinjiang LP on Discrepant’s releases page.
All pictures (except first one) owned by China Life Magazine.

About Iancu Dumitrescu

You are more likely to have heard of Romanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu than to have heard his music. After Stephen O’Malley of Sunn 0))) dropped his name as a major influence in an interview with The Wire in April, 2009, he received his own full article treatment a few months later in October via Philip Clark. Unfortunately, his music remains difficult to acquire, available only through his mail order label Edition Modern and their distributors and in a few clandestine corners of the internet.

Unphased by his relative obscurity in the West, Dumitrescu has been doggedly pursuing his own thing for years. Born in 1944 amidst the turmoil of war, he discovered the harsh nature of dogmatic Stalinism as a child when his father, a philosopher and scholar, was arrested and imprisoned for supposed ideological infractions in 1949. Released three years later, the elder Dumitrescu was determined to protect his son from similar persecutions and encouraged Iancu to pursue the study of music. Fortunately, the intellectual bug had already taken hold and Iancu found himself drawn more and more to the forbidden and wild sounds of the avant-garde composers coming out of the Darmstadt Summer Courses and Olivier Messiaen‘s famous seminars and the ground breaking phenomenological philosophy of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and his own mentor conductor/philosopher Sergiu Celibidache. Dumitrescu has disclosed the importance of those early influences in a moving statement:

The musics of Stockhausen, Boulez, Nono, Messiaen, Berio, being prohibited, circulated clandestinely, from one hand to another, as copies of tapes which had become almost unlistenable. But imagination continued to hear what, in fact, did not exist any more for the ears. The spirit of modernism, of new worlds…

Because of his progressive interests, Iancu faced his own battles with censorship and the repression of Romanian communism. During the 1970s he had an increasingly difficult time having his compositions approved by the backwards Romanian Composers’ Union and performed in public. In 1976 he gave up working with official channels altogether and formed his own group, the Hyperion Ensemble, to serve as a workshop and stable of performers for his works. Likewise, fed up by Robert Zank’s refusal to switch from vinyl to compact disc during the ’80s, Dumitrescu split with his label Edition RZ and launched his own venture, Edition Modern. Today, he continues to conduct the Hyperion Ensemble and maintain a steady schedule of releases on his label with his wife and fellow composer Ana-Maria Avram.

Dumitrescu’s music is utterly his own. A unique and personal blend of his avant-garde and
texturalist influences from Western Europe and his own philosophical attitude. During his tutelage with Sergiu Celibache in the 1970s his music began to manifest the very ideas of phenomenological reduction and analysis, producing meditative works that seem to be pure studies in sound and perception. These developments have led some to describe his music as acousmatic in the vein of Pierre Schaeffer or spectral after the French school of composition. Many of these compositions are scored for soloists or small chamber ensembles, illustrating his dependence on the Hyperion Ensemble and personal connections. Gnosis for solo bass is characteristic of his chamber music for strings with
long droning passages and the prominent use of harmonics and varied timbres conjured forth by detailed bowing and fingering instructions.

 Later, as he gained access to greater resources, Dumitrescu began composing for large ensembles and using more electronic sounds in his work. These compositions are comparably bombastic and utilize a wealth of instrumental techniques and both prerecorded and live electronics parts. This performance of Étude Granulaire demonstrates Dumitrescu’s lively conducting and his proficiency with incorporating electroacoustic techniques into live performance.

 You can purchase Dumitrescu’s Edition Modern recordings and his book of collected interviews Acousmatic Provoker from awesome distributors like ReR Megacorp in the UK and Squidco in the USA.

Entr’acte mix by Giuseppe Ielasi

Entr’acte is a record label based in London and run by Allon Kaye (nom de plume of R. de-Chantecler). Most of the releases (well, all of them except for the 12″ records) are sealed under vacuum. The only way to have access to the music is to tear apart the sleeve, loosing any possible ‘collectors value’. No downloadable versions (except for the ‘illegal’ but well accepted pirate versions). No images, same font and a few variations of shape and color for the sleeve.
Most of the releases come from demos that Allon received, and there’s no difference at all in the way the debut cd of a young artist is presented and promoted in comparison to one of a more established musician.                                                                                             

What the buyer gets is just music (finally !): pure, stripped down, in most cases beautiful, at least engaging / interesting in some way. In an age of ‘amazingly packaged nothing’, and that goes for every field including sound and art, what looks like a suicidal choice, is probably the only possible one.

Last february Entr’acte released my new solo cd, together with the new Bellows (me and Nicola Ratti). What a relief to be able to release music with no cover image, no title and finally no press text !

Giuseppe Ielasi – Entr’acte Mix – Tracklist (times are approximate):

00’00″ – S R Hess: System Failure extract (E88 cassette, out of print)
03’30″ – The Automatics Group: Summer Mix (E130 cd)
08’15″ – Evapori: Transkript 17 (E74 lp)
10’30″ – John Wall / Alex Rodgers: Work 2006-2011 (E114 cd)
13’30″ – Adam Sonderberg: American Hours with German Efficiency (E116 cassette)
15’20″ – Jacques Beloeil: Bidules (E64 lp)
18’10″ – Adam Asnan: Fancies (E101 cassette, out of print, cd reissue forthcoming)
20’10″ – Esther Venrooy: The Spiral Staircase (E50 lp)
24’30″ – Bellows: Reelin’ (E128 cd)
27’25″ – Strategy: Noise Tape Reggae (E62 7″)
30’30″ – Dj Ordeal: Seagull (E39 lp)
31’45″ – Ben Gwilliam / Michel Vorfeld: Laute (E97 cd)
33’40″ – Renato Rinaldi: Time Machines III (cd, forthcoming in 2012)
35’40″ – Adam Sonderberg: American Hours with German Efficiency (E116 cassette)
37’50″ – Ian Middleton: Time Building (E66 lp)

Download the whole mix + tracklist + cover (made by Clarence Manuelo from Volcano The Bear):

Giuseppe-Ielasi-Entracte-Mix.zip (headphones & serenity recommended)

Reines d’Angleterre – Les Comores

Trio Reines d’Angleterre, made up of noise pioneer and veteran Ghédalia Tazartès teaming with younger deconstructionists él-g & Jo, have released a singularly ethnic album. Not that ‘ethnic’ by itself means anything: is it an offensive term for something Other? Does it refer to a specific place, a specific people, a specific style? A specific language even?

No, to all accounts (except, perhaps, the offensive question). On Les Comores, Reines d’Angleterre tightly restrain the free noise and industrial leanings of each member, and the result is an album that bounces and smashes influences and cultures, ethnicities and languages – even/especially Tazartès’ trademark fictional language – off and into each other. There are pieces of Native American drum circle wailing, Exuma-style Caribbean folk, American children’s folk music, gypsy clatter, blues riffs pulled into oblivion, French and English and gibberish. There is singing and speaking, and everything fighting for recognition over the walls of sound that, picked apart, are themselves clamoring pieces broken off of at one time coherent wholes.

Reines d’Angleterre are not curators picking up and showing off the pieces that have built them, they are musicians living within a multifarious and incoherent culture, they are the most recent examples of T.S. Eliot’s self-portrait in ‘The Waste Land’: “these fragments I have shored against my ruins”, because surely Les Comores is an album about ruin as well. No matter the urgency of Tazartès’ voice – that voice – by the end it is almost swallowed by the noise it rises from, the noise it combats and tries to shout into place. Is that the point? Is there a struggle between the human and the inhuman, first pointed at by the title that refers to an African island nation which France still oversees? Whatever the struggle, Reines make it one we must fight from within our contradictory cultural makeups so that we become not universalists, not French, not American or Comoran, but human, owning another poet’s prescient statement, a positive reinterpretation Eliot made negative, Walt Whitman wildly writing: “Do I contradict myself? Fine, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

 

Reines d’Angleterre – Untitled (Track 3 side B)

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Reines d’Angleterre – Untitled (Track 1 side B)

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This record was released by Bo’Weavil but is currently sold out. You can buy MP3/Flac version here.

our weeks on soulseek – 2

Two weeks ago, OSR tapes put out the first album of Better Psychics, twenty tracks of collaborative live mixing between Chris Weisman and Zach Phillips of Blanche Blanche Blanche, both international ambassadors of Brattleboro, Vermont.
It kind of sounds like a blend of early Psychic TV albums and Sebadoh cassettes, with sprinkles of woodsy experimental folk and acousmatic bossa nova on top. (it’s outstanding).
I never buy cassettes, as the closest tape player i could use is in the old family car, but I pre-ordered theirs as an inticement to finally get my driver’s licence and drive around while blissfully listening to it.
You can download the album (then consider doing a donation) and/or order it here.

This one is short but it kills me:
Better Psychics – I bet I can write one more (right click/save as)

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Better Psychics - What stays

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Better Psychics - With my attitude

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I guess I have a thing for every band John Dwyer plays in, as they cover the entire spectrum of genres that naturally stroke my ears, from garage punk to weird doo wop and drone psych pop. However it seems that, lately, The Oh Sees have been favoring their binary rock’n'roll side (close to Dwyer’s older band, The Coachwhips), to the detriment of the numerous other facets that made the superiority of their first records. But now their new album is out on In The Red and it’s quite a gem — great name, great artwork, wicked songs. The tracklist of Putrifiers II is somehow based on a chiasmus, with rowdy garage tunes both opening and ending the record. “Cloud#1″ provides a graceful contemplative transition towards the middle of the album, which is very 60s sounding, but in a way that freshens your bronchial tubes, spruces up your hair and takes you on a fuzzy journey where Nico and John Cale (“So Nice”) are striving to deprave the Everly Brothers (“We will be scared”) while impish voices fuse with Can-like instrumentals (“Lumpine Dominus”). Makes my day.

The Oh Sees – So Nice (right click/save as)

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The Oh Sees – We will be scared

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The Oh Sees – Lupine Dominus

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Natural Snow Buildings is an impressive French experimental duo who have released about 20 albums since 2001. They were/are mostly released on outrageously limited series, so the only way to listen to them is through culture sharing. Night Coercion Into The Company Of Witches, one of their best albums, was first issued in 2008 with 22 (yes, twenty two) copies, but people who love to manipulate cumbersome objects before listening to music can rejoice, as Ba Da Bing just made a three CD/four Lp reissue (yes, it is almost three hours long). Judd of Ba Da Bing speaks the truth: “Natural Snow Buildings make melodic, orchestrated, folk, droning compositions with layers of guitars, chants, woodwinds, percussive bells, distortion and delay. On Night Coercion, they push to extremes, producing layers of stereophonic sound both nuanced and grandiose. This record is the ideal introduction to the band’s sound, building harmonies upon noise upon harmonies, and providing a clear explanation as to why their albums (even the ones that aren’t so limited) sell out so immediately upon release”.

Natural Snow Buildings - Kadja Bosou (right click/save as)

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everything’s okay

Right before retiring from music and going to work with chickens and goats in a farm, Sir Jason Molina recorded eight songs with just guitar, rawness and his elegant voice from Desperate Land. I have to admit I’m not a huge supporter of his whole Magnolia Electric Co. era, but Autumn Bird Songs arouses the same kind of shivers in the stomach as his majestuous Lionness album with Songs:Ohia. We will always love you Jason.

Jason Molina – A Sad Hard Change (right click/save as)

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Songs:Ohia – Lionness (right click/save as)

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The Staircase Conspiracy Tape Vol. 1

Picture by Joseph Stuefer (http://www.flickr.com/photos/josefstuefer/)

The Staircase Conspiracy is an imposingly complex, fluid and organic mixtape/collage showcasing Discrepant‘s musical randomness and embracing lots of points of collision with Cedric Stevens’/The Syncopated Elevators Legacy atmospheres (see Discrepant’s previous post on the subject here).

The Staircase Conspiracy Tape Vol. 1

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Download the whole pack.

Tracklist:
Cédric Stevens - Between The Battle and the Sheets (Fennesz Remix)
Roy Porter - Tleilax
Marcel Duchamp - The Creative Act
Ben Frost - Stomp
Andy Moor & Anne-James Chaton - Une Histoire De L’aviation
Leyland Kirby - This is the STory of Paradise Lost
Liz Green - Bad Medicine
Cédric Stevens - Vanda (excerpt)
Oiseaux D’europe (excerpt)
Tremor- Caracol
Petrona Martinez - Sepitema (Thornato Remix)
Burning Star Core - Hopelessly Devoted (excerpt)
Third Eye Foundation – Lions Writing The Bible
Benoit Poelvorde - Mer Du Nord Poem ( from Man Bites Dog)
Oiseaux D’europe (excerpt)
Acid Kirk - Hillary Fuzz Station (Excerpt)
Werner Herzog - On the Obscenity of the Jungle
Paul Cantelon - Theme For The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Nils Frahm - Familiar
Robert Mitchum - Preacher Song (from Night Of The Hunter)
Acid Kirk - Hillary Fuzz Station (Excerpt)
Drifting Bear Collective - Cum Jack Frost (Excerpt)