Everybody who's nobody
is writing their first novel
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
Jennifer Veillerobe - Zweifarbige Gesten (extract) by ScrapyardForecast
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.