19.7.12

somewhere down the road...


As much as I would prefer to continue writing here and for Dusted, other important life matters are calling for my attention. I've appreciated your submissions and readership over the years. Everyone is welcome to send submissions during the down time, though no reviews will come of them. Until I'm able to return, keep listening...

Pierre Gerard - Principe D'incertitude


Pierre Gerard - Principe D'incertitude

One of my favourite contemporary musicians returns with a beautifully hand-crafted self release that's criminally limited to 21 copies. I was lucky enough to be graced with one, and like other exquisite albums I've showcased in the past, Principe D'incertitude is a perfect example of what the Scrapyard Forecast has always been about: exceptional care and quality in sound composition and presentation.   

Pierre Gerard's work often resides somewhere in the crosshairs of field recording and hyperminimalism. His ENVIRONMENT & Gesture release from last year illustrated this meeting of styles near perfectly–that particular work becoming a definite favourite of mine. Gerard expands on ideas employed in that work here, keeping in check his ear for terseness and microsound movement, while at the same time bringing in a wider palette of acoustic devices and environmental recordings. This is music that requires full attention to grasp, and I can say from experience that it benefits to close all the windows in your house if you're serious about giving this a proper listen (It wouldn't hurt to unplug your fridge either).

What I've come to really like about Gerard's recent work extends beyond an obvious patience he brings to every piece. In his interest and attempt to eliminate the performer as much as possible, Gerard's work brings new meaning to the word organic. I'm reminded of when in the middle of listening to long works by Rolf Julius I've on multiple occasions come to a sudden moment of abrupt realization. That moment is spawned from the thought that no matter how natural, how seamlessly the music seems to swim from my subconscious mind to my conscious awareness and back again, there is always a maker behind it. Principe D'incertitude brings about a similar epiphany. And yes, I've come to terms with the fact that I perhaps haven't the slightest clue as to what these epiphanies truly represent, but it's safe to say that there is more going on in Gerard's work than a snap judgement can impart.  

Pierre Gerard - Sans y Penser by ScrapyardForecast

What are the Roots that Clutch


I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding                                  
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing                                          
Memory and desire, stirring                                                   
Dull roots with spring rain.                                                    
Winter kept us warm, covering                                                       
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding                                              
A little life with dried tubers.                                                 
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee           
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,            
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,                          
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.                              
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.       
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,        
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,                                 
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,                                     
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.                             
In the mountains, there you feel free.                                     
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.            
                                                                                              
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow              
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,                                  
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only                        
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,                      
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,        
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only                          
There is shadow under this red rock,                                       
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),                        
And I will show you something different from either            
Your shadow at morning striding behind you                         
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;                      
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.                                
        Frisch weht der Wind                                                     
        Der Heimat zu,                                                               
        Mein Irisch Kind,                                                           
        Wo weilest du?                                                               
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;                                
They called me the hyacinth girl.”                                          
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,  
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not                       
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither                                
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,                                       
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.                             
Öd’ und leer das Meer.

–Extract, T.S. Eliot
  The Waste Land


TAILINGS II : W w I i N n D d O o W w


Window In Window - Julia Rothblatt

5 burnt, wax + glue coated, stitched, mesh, fabric assemblages, re framed through the processes of xerox printing + scanning, and binding.

Julia can be reached at,
beardbrains (at) gmail.com

18.7.12

T A I L I N G S

Connor Camburn of the Tailings label recently got in touch and sent over a small stack of cassettes and a photo book in the mail. It's very minimal (to its favour), but do check out the Tailings site here

About:
Tailings, also known as, slimes, leach residue, or slickens, are the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the uneconomic fraction of an ore. Tailings is a collection of ephemera brought together by Katie McCarty and Conner Camburn.

We are physically located in Chicago Illinois. 


Agnes - Night City

Cities have a distinct buzz about them. When I think of what a city sounds like I picture a beehive or a whirlpool, or anything that lends to the notion of incessant, swarm-like activity. More specifically, a city, especially at night, brings to mind the sounds of car engines, squeaking fan belts, and the cold and clinical drone of neon lighting. Though I've no idea who or what Agnes is, as info on the project is scarce, listening to this tape I hear the night city evoked through two sides of churning noise. The style is all locked-in arpeggiations that spout a swelling buzz of tones and down-tuned feedback. Sure, the consistency is there, but the sounds don't do a whole lot to excite. Occasionally, underlying textures try muscling their way into the plodding fore, but never make a significant enough impact to take the music in another direction. It sounds as though there exists a whole world of interesting sound trapped somewhere in the stew of Agnes's music, but only tiny fractions of that world ever get revealed. By no means a write-off, but I doubt I'll be coming back to this one.    

Agnes - Side A (extract) by ScrapyardForecast


Remnants - Elusive Infinite 

A bit more info than the Agnes work tucked into the j-card of this cassette by the equally as mysterious Remnants outfit. However, even the adding of track titles and a release date doesn't shed much light on the work, and not until one peruses the label's website can it be read that the tracks here are the remains of a theatre production composed of tape loops and fractured viola segments (hence remnants?). The A side's "End of the Shuttle Program Pt I & II" begins with a static laden buzz-saw ebbing not unlike the commencing of all-too many noise tapes. This is, however, soon overtaken by a couple tape loop segments unfolding in succession, the second of which sounds like a short section of pitch-shifted classical music, and is particularly nice. A more blunt loop then becomes the focus of the remainder of the side, and while it's at first perhaps a bit lacking in nuance, it eventually becomes swathed in other sounds that do a good job in accenting it.      

It is, however, the B side's two part "Amplified Strings" that brings things up a notch. I'm assuming it's the viola at play here, that at the side's start unfolds as a swirling bed of drones, slowly teeming to life as time passes. The music has a very cinematic quality, and though it was likely appropriate for whatever theatre production took place, the pieces work well on their own. The processing too, is also apparent, but the acoustic properties of the viola aren't drowned out, merely blurred. Nice work. 

Remnants - Amplified Strings Pt.1 (extract) by ScrapyardForecast


Black William - Nauric/Naural

I almost said pass to this tape of three live performances from Black William after an initial side A listen left little to desire. I'm still not all that sold on it, as it's the kind of ham-handed array of noise agitation that's full of stops and starts and is all-too prevalent in the place I call home. No, it was the flip's "Naural", recorded in the autumn of 2007 in San Francisco, that turned me into a believer of the music of Black William. It was a pleasant surprise really, that the A side's "Nauric" could be countered with a piece that puts much work I've reviewed on this site to shame. "Naural" is calmer, more repetitive of choice sections, and an all around more introspective piece. A part of me feels that it seems that much better only in comparison to "Nauric", but another part of me feels it's just that good. It could be a single loop for all I know, not too distant from NWW's Soliloquy..., and ending in a short burst of muted feedback reminiscent of Coleclough's Makruna.   

Black William - Naural (extract) by ScrapyardForecast



Re.Pro.Cor. - Obsrob


Probably the biggest head-scratcher of these four Tailings releases is Re.Pro.Cor.'s Obsorb, which seems to have an overwhelming "found sound" element. It's composed of what could be sounds culled from the radio, or perhaps from field recordings or sound effects records. In all likeliness, it's probably made up of all of these. Though it's hard to describe, Obsorb is a kind of scattershot of low-fi sonic abstraction, always sounding murky but never overly meandering. The roughness of the scratchy drones bring to mind home-made contact mic recordings, a particular section reminding me of a recording I made of an electrical room door once. It's impossible to know for sure what's going on in this music, but unlike Dakim's 34 Fragments, fits the chosen medium of release. In a bizarre way, it works.  


Re.Pro.Cor. - Side A (extract) by ScrapyardForecast