Sujo - Diaspora (Inam)

broken ribs, a few
a functioning media
always ready for growth

[haiku found in old notebook extracted from a newspaper]

Ryan Huber continues his stellar work as Sujo, Diaspora being the second release of his that's come through the Scrapyard Forecast. The album meditates on a style nearly identical to that of the refined metal-gaze of 2011's Eilat, only Diaspora takes that sound and cranks it up even higher. The crackling noise at the onset of the opener "Six Days" is quickly overtaken by an onslaught of slow-hammering drums and iridescent textures. With that, the album's tone is set.

Combining metal, shoegaze and ambient seems to be Sujo's trademark. It's on display here as Huber presents movements that follow seamless arcs that build from guitar tone to form swirling masses comprised of lineal modulation, percolating filigree, and heavy drumming. As cacophonous as these masses get, they never feel beyond the control of their maker. At any point one feels Huber could take control and steer the music in a number of possible directions. This ever-presence and uncompromising grip on the reigns normally points towards heavy work in the studio, ie editing, post-production. I like to think that this isn't true in the case of Sujo, and that the music is created (at least mostly) in real time, with real instruments that play out of loud speakers and are then recorded that way. It's hard to say for certain how the music is made, but Huber's grounding in a real-time process would lend much to his skills as a musician, and the overall movement of blending respective musical styles.

In the end, categorizing and musing on how it's all done falls short in revealing the things that give music its magic. And this album is pretty magical. Limited to a mere 50 copies, with colour-printed vellum sleeves and black and navy blue insert.

Sujo - Sayan (extract) by ScrapyardForecast


Two albums :: Senufo Editions

Everybody who's nobody
is writing their first novel
screenplay, whatever
"my novel"
something sexy
about saying that
nothing sexy about
still saying it

[passage taken from a found notebook that had been left behind at the supermarket]

Dakim - 34 Fragments

A delightfully idiosyncratic offering here from the San Francisco Bay Area producer Dakim Saadiq. Dakim (who also records as just "Dak") is best known as a beat-maker – the small amount of material that I've heard possessing an early turntablism sensibility. On 34 Fragments, however, what has come to be expected from the guy gets completely tossed out the window.

The "fragments" that the title refers to are made up of recordings of house hold items, audio captures of the BayAreaRapidTransit sytem, and what sound like discarded beat samples. As a way to bring about a cohesion in these dissimilar vignettes, Dakim subjected his source material to audio cassette treatments that included the unspooling and respooling of his primary tapes, deliberate mis-edits, rough splicing and mending, and weathering. In other words, he treated his tapes like garbage. Without a doubt, these treatments all left their abusive mark on the final mix, and more so than what one might hear on a Basinski or Leyland Kirby release. Here we get a full fledged dosage of deterioration.

After the initial shock wears off, it's not all that difficult to be lulled into 34 Fragments, despite all the varying parts. I'm tempted to write this off as a by-product of the album's affective use of lo-fi, but I think there's more going on here that's harder to pin down, a conscious use of pacing, perhaps? In all, it's very enjoyable and wholly unique.

Jennifer Veillerobe - Zweifarbige Gesten

Zweifarbige Gesten, translating to english as "two-colour gestures", is an attempt to realize a sonic narrative through sharp edits of unprocessed modular synthesizer patterns and simple acoustic gestures. The work utilizes no overdubbing, which is evident in playback as each gesture is left to ring out on its own, humble, accord. The sparsity of Veillerobe's composition leaves much to admire, alternating between mind numbing synth patternage and short tactile ruminations. Unfortunately, her striving for a narrative falls a bit short, and we're left with a sequencing of semi-interesting sound samples. Veillerobe's work, then, could have likely benefitted from a slight slackening of constraints, I figure. A fair work, though too tightly wound.

This is immaculately packaged, as with the Dakim release, sporting embossed / letterpressed fold-out white jackets. Printed at Middle Press by Ben Owen.

Jennifer Veillerobe - Zweifarbige Gesten (extract) by ScrapyardForecast