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

4.7.12

Consumer Waste



Two releases from the Consumer Waste label.
 Packaging derived entirely from post-consumer waste materials.

Two reviews via Dusted:





16.6.12

Rolf Julius - Raining



Rolf Julius – Raining
(Western Vinyl)

What do apartments, public buildings, cellars, solitary forests, beaches, and noisy cities have in common? For Rolf Julius, these places were linked for their potential to be “rooms of stillness”. The term, according to Julius’ friend George Thomas, who provides a preface to Raining, outlines the notion that one may find in all these places areas of retreat and tranquility. 

Thomas distinguishes the type of tranquility that Julius was interested in from a kind of “dumb” tranquility, and though that's rather vague, I feel it refers to a superficiality commonly associated with mood music, sunsets, and the like. Julius envisioned well beyond these trifling associations, seeing and hearing his “rooms” as areas of busy, repetitive, quiet and noisy sonic activity, where a harmony can be struck between music and environment. 

The near-hour spanning title piece perfectly exemplifies the small music series that emerged from these ideas around tranquility and liminal space. The work can be thought of as the musical equivalent to treading water, the sounds working furiously below the immediate surface, while above, everything drifts gently along, never exactly sitting still. High frequencies cycle in and out of the listener's perception, mingling with the sounds of rain, the low of cows, and sounds whose origins it becomes impossible to distinguish between natural or electronic. It all adds up to something quite mesmerizing.

There are two other shorter tracks on the album, and together the three work well as a whole. Track 2 is a 15 minute composed work not specific to an installation, incorporating what sound like more electronic elements but propelling forward rather organically. The final piece, "Music for a Glimpse Inward" is of an installation from 2005. It's rather short at just over 5 minutes, showcasing bird sounds and subtle inflections from the composer's hand. Raining is a delight to say the least.

Rolf Julius - Raining (extract) by ScrapyardForecast

7.6.12

ARBOR INFINITY, J. Borges et al -- Part 2

old
mill
site
high schoolers
call it 
the Ruins
a friend tells
me 

that age
we were
Moonshined Knights
an arsenal of 
fireworks and 
stories of ‘al-
most sex’

no map
just arced land
to follow
hit beach
too far
library
not far
enough


pant legs
rising 
with tide
slackened
beehive burn
-ers noses Pinocchio
shooting
the shit

burdens dance
runways of 
backs
slipping into
the sea



[a personal "recontextualization" of a three year-old poem]


Everyday Loneliness - Recontextualizations C40
(Arbor 124)

Jonathan Borges returns with a new Arbor tape. As the title of this most current release suggests – along with 2009's Appropriation – Everyday Loneliness is a project that, if not exclusively dedicated to tying up loose-ends, is an outlet for analog experiments that are rawer and more free flowing than that of Borges and Kennedy's Pedestrian Deposit.   

"Cassette appropriation of previously used materials", so says the liner. Though I'm not able to pinpoint the album(s) where Borges originally used these sounds (if those albums even exist), it's rather moot at this point, as what we have here is a proper work in its own right that doesn't beckon for an understanding of where the sounds came from. Playing this tape on repeat with the A-B rev. mode activated on my stereo relinquishes the music of the concept of beginning and end. Instead, it just is, with shapes that build from the depths of blown-speaker drones, and loops of simple piano melodies that get pulled apart; this perfectly captures that all-encompassing, trance inducing feel that many of these anonymous, underground tone-and-drone acts strive for (at least, it feels like that's what a lot of them are going for). In that vein, here's a tape not to be overlooked. 

Everyday Loneliness - Side A (extract) by ScrapyardForecast

6.6.12

ARBOR INFINITY, J. Borges et al -- Part 1

scanned
stucco
bedbound 
wake
it is morning 
glaze
it is sleepless
-ness that sends 
one out 
into the world

                                             double
                                             -taking twigs 
                                             as snakes 
                                             shadows 
                                             move 
                                             when you do
                                             funny thing 
the weight 
of cars
splintering concrete
quick and true
like ice
or are we talk
-ing formation of 
Earth
time?

                                           dust
                                           mat
                                           grey
                                           his beard
                                           a bet
                                           -ter night’s
                                           sleep
                                           in that cold
                                           door frame
                                           than 
                                           in my expen
                                           -sive fucking
                                           bed




 Pedestrian Deposit - Kithless LP
(Arbor 136)


The word Kithless describes someone lacking family or friends. To stop there, however, would be to unjustly attribute the word to a measly definition, when there is clearly more to it when it comes to the music of Pedestrian Deposit. Through a mood of near unrelenting isolation, Kithless acts as a hymn to the lone wolf. It is music as fuel for productive reclusiveness, harkening to those dark regions of place and mind that few of us dare to accept, let alone travel to. 

The Pedestrian Deposit entity has been alive for years, but the mind numbing noise tactics that once defined it have morphed into something very different over the last few releases. This is in huge part due to Shannon Kennedy's joining of the group, and particularly the haunting scrapes and drones she conjures up from her cello. While Kennedy takes care of the strings, Jonathan Borges – the other half of PD – wrangles electronic devices. 

The pair were in top form on the live performance that makes up side a: drift gently down the frigid tides of sleep, which was recorded live by Jim Haynes as part of 2010's Activating the Medium festival in San Francisco. The theme of that year's fest was ICE, and about midway through the performance we hear Kennedy douse herself with freezing water in a tub, a microphone set nearby to record her shivering breath. The shift is surreal, sounding at first like sampled field recordings of some nondescript river before Kennedy's quivering creeps into the mix. Soon, equally frigid feedbacking tones skirt in an out of the sound of kennedy's breath playing on loop, making for some grim and starkly beautiful minimalism. 

Following very nicely in suit is the flip's under a veil of living light, eloquently bridging the gap between electroacoustics and harsh noise. The blipping Ambarchi-esque sonic layer acts as a nice backbone to the piece, which closes with stunning arced tones not unlike the opener. Kithless is easily the pinnacle of PD's discography. Highly recommended. 

Photo by R. Yau. , 23five inc.

Pedestrian Deposit - Under a Veil of Living Light by ScrapyardForecast

31.5.12

old era, new epoch



a. dziewanski - epoch of humility
fifteen page chapbook
five dollars

distribution limited to this site and various galleries and bookstores in vancouver - tba
as a 'thank you' frequent scrapyard forecast contributors will also be receiving copies

please email if interested in your own copy (can be found at "view my complete profile" under the "something more" header)

again, thank you

24.5.12

A Paper Doll's Whisper of Spring



Vikki Jackman, Andrew Chalk & Jean-Nöel Rebilly 
- A Paper Dolls Whisper of Spring
(Vikki Jackman Self-Released)


If forced to chose a single release that perfectly exemplified the ethos of the Scrapyard Forecast, I would greatly consider A Paper Doll's Whisper of Spring. As a glistening example of humbleness, musical prowess, and beauty – both in terms of music and packaging – it is exactly the type of album that got me excited about starting the site in the first place.

As merely a place to begin, I'd like to point out that the instrumentation is not listed, and though it's unclear as to what instruments these three may be playing at any given time, what does come through in the music is a sense of three performers playing as a trio, as opposed to individuals. I've iterated this idea in the past but feel as though it's especially pertinent here. It's important in terms of this music because of how spare it is. That's not say it sounds thin, but that every action, every finger pressed on a piano key, every rising and falling arc seems absolutely deliberate, and yet so fleeting.

Chalk and Jackman seldom fall short in presenting art that is the musical equivalent of a lake ripple, or a wisp of smoke. Much like Chalk's work with Daisuke Suzuki, or Jackman's solo endeavors,  A Paper Doll's... balances the intimacy of chamber music with a clear sense of deliberation. These elements are then distilled through a honed minimalism that amount to none other than a work of breathtaking ambience. Excellent. 

Self released by Vikki Jackman, and I must say, it feels very much like her release. Marvelous package design and assembly by Andrew Chalk, as I hope the photos will attest..

Vikki Jackman, Andrew Chalk & Jean-Nöel Rebilly - Wandering by ScrapyardForecast

15.5.12

Local Flare: Jack Jutson - Mother Official + Words by Roe Enney

let one word be the
leader in the V of mi
grating birds

research an imperson
ater in a foreign lan
d and impersonate the
m ordering lunch


[two extracts from at-home writing exercises by Roe Enney: "Native Aesthesia", Nodic Press, 2012]


Jack Jutson - Mother Official 
(Mood Hut Cassettes 001)

Jack Jutson is perhaps best known for his role as guitarist in the Vancouver band No Gold, where he allocates a fair bit of his time as a musician. He's as of late been branching out on his own, with some solo tracks popping up here and there on the internet and now with Mother Official, his first cassette. Being handed this tape from a friend, and told only that it was "minimal", I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What I am sure of, is that I didn't expect to find myself so fully immersed in the six ambient pieces that make up this opus.

While No Gold spout jams that lean heavily on an impromptu Tropicalia vibe, Jutson's music is far more reserved, and in the best possible way. The pieces here, with titles like "Loose Truth", "Mata" and "Sand Boiling", embrace a clarity and introspection through a slowburnt concoction of softnoise and drone oscillation that is unlike any contemporary Vancouver-based music that I've heard. With whatever instruments that are used to create these sounds (guitars? synths? is that a buddha machine?), Jutson injects the pleasantry of warmth that extends far beyond what the cassette medium brings forth. While the undulating tones that are the base to these pieces are left virtually unchanged over long durations, the elements that Jutson interweaves are what really bring his music to life. For fans of era-spanning minimalism, ambient, drone, etc... Beautifully done indeed.


Jack Jutson - Makaw (Extract) by ScrapyardForecast