17.3.12

Continuation of the Steadfast Path :: 23five

Because the liquor store is there
and I live here
and trains stop in between, I pass them
on the way back I approach slowly
grip the fence like a boy
and listen with intention to remember
the sound of a whale surfacing for air
do I know that sound
or do I only know of tv whales?
do they sound like this bull in front of me
gnawing its teeth and blowing steam?
if only a loophole in this cage
if only not bound by (something)
soon another will take this one's place
acting too, like its tracks curve into the ocean

[inspired by the sounds of trains and current reading: ernest hemingway - the sun also rises]

Richard Garet - Areal

Floating not far from the decayed resonances of Jim Haynes and owing at least a slice of credit to John Duncan's Phantom Broadcast, is the new release by Richard Garet, entitled Areal. The album is a further exploration of Garet's practice with electromagnetic disturbances through radio, and is easily his most realized work in that realm. Through a musical process that is largely dictated by purposeful use of interference and distortion, Areal doesn't succumb to a murky free-for-all psychedelia, nor is it overly pedantic; and one should expect this from Garet, who sculpts his sound within a framework, while rarely truncating it.

Though not psychedelic in any conventional musical sense, Areal does at times share common qualities with the "mutant dronemuzik" psychedelia of one, Matt Shoemaker. The majority of the album is quite fluid, rarely breaking its form, save for a short section near the beginning that quickly introduces some sparkling high-end and then just as quickly moves on. While there's a sense of an undercurrent that is always pushing the piece forward in time, its the disruption in Garet's process that allows one to focus in on the work, adding a brightness, grit, and tactility, while also forming a nice counterpoint to the dark swell. Quite mesmerizing.


Helmut Schäfer - Thought Provoking III

Helmut Schäfer was an Austrian electroacoustic composer who died in 2007. While his recording output is quite small, he was an active performer and collaborator. Notably, he developed a long-time friendship with fellow noise musician Zbigniew Karkowski; the second track on Thought Provoking III – a shorter and far more intense remix – is credited to him. While Schäfer's musical sensibilities leaned more to the noise extremist's side of things, Thought Provoking III employed more eeriness than aggression.

Originally a performance piece, this recorded version of Thought Provoking III is actually culled from rehearsal takes of the work's premier at the St. Andre Church in Graz, Austria. Gongs, percussive bursts, violin drones, and the bellows of an impromptu instrument made from organ pipes and hair dryers, are all heard on the near half-hour duration of the focal track (yes, it's rather short). Emerging from the dissonant scrapings of strings, the piece soon unfurls to include a precise cycling of the aforementioned instrumentation – including the organ / hair dryer contraption, which sounds great. I'm not usually one to boast ad hoc improv work, but this one seems to tap into a grimy electroacoustic realm that really works, albeit there is a fine line that exists there. It's nice to see this work find publication, as it so easily could have gone overlooked. Jot another down for the keen eared and eyed staff at 23five.

Helmut Schäfer : Thought Provoking III by 23five

1 comment:

Myke said...

Wow, both of these sound absolutely wonderful. Thanks for the heads-up. (Although only one of them is on eMusic at the moment...)