14.5.11

The Outsider 3 | Women in Music: An Eight Part Series. Part One- i8u

The Outsider is an on-going feature that pertains to ever changing themes within the world of sound art. More specifically, it highlights micro-niches within this world, commonalities through place and style, organizations that facilitate sound practice, important sound documents, etc...Hence, the Outsider pertains to anything outside of a typical album review. Previous Outsiders have included Select Music From Australia and the Framework 250 Compilation ++.

As the title suggests, May and June will see the unfolding of an eight part series dedicated to women working in varied fields of experimental music as both curators and musicians. Over the three years of managing this blog I've rather embarrassingly, though unintentionally,overlooked much of the fine work produced by talented females across the globe. Let this feature make up for those years of neglect. The format for the series is such that each artist is given their own post featuring a photograph, a pre-existing bio, and a review of a select work.

France Jobin aka i8u

Abbreviated artist's bio:
France Jobin aka i8u (b. 1958) is a sound / installation / web artist et curator residing in Montreal, Canada. i8u’s audio art can be qualified as “sound-sculpture”. It reveals powerful, opaque and complex sound environments where analog and digital meet. Her installation/web art can be said to follow a parallel path, incorporating both musical and visual elements.

i8u has created solo recordings for ROOM40 (AUS), nvo (AT), DER (USA), bake/staalplaat (NL) as well as many collaborations notably with Goem, Martin Tétreault, David Kristian and more recently with Tomas Phillips. Their work is featured on the album “ligne” released on the Japanese label, ATAK. She produced compilations tracks for ATAK (JP), bremsstrahlung (USA), Mutek (CA), murmur records (JP), and/oar (USA), tsuku boshi (FR), Contour Editions (USA), Extract, Portraits of Soundartists (book + 2 cd) on the label nonvisualobjects (AT).

i8u
29 Palms (Dragon's Eye Recordings, 2010)

I was initially introduced to Jobin's work under the i8u guise from her contribution to the magnificent Physical, Absent, Tangible compilation released on Richard Garet's own Contour Editions label (read my review). Expanding greatly on that comp track, 29 Palms is a 41 minute piece for field recordings, processing and analog gear that remains true to the austerity of past i8u releases yet feels more of an organic effort. The effervescent drones that fill in the space between Jobin's clinical frequencies during the latter half of the composition are especially note worthy, reminiscent of John Duncan's Phantom Broadcast. Very nice.

Jobin's pacing remains quite brilliant throughout, especially evident in the very quiet midsection, where one has to remain focused to discern for changes, and although subtle, they are there. The choice to opt for more lower range frequencies as opposed to ear splitting highs – highs that I've heard Jobin achieve in the past – works to her advantage here. Some of those high frequencies make themselves known though are rarely at the center of attention, existing more as appendages to a wider body of sound. Simple yet elegant packaging, edition of 200.



i8u - 29 Palms (excerpt) by ScrapyardForecast

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