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

9.5.12

Loops and Loops :: M. Mucci - Days Blur Together

                                                             Taipei Type A
                                                       Taipei              Type A
                                                 Type A                      Taipei
                                              Taipei                               Type A
                                           Type A                                  Taipei  
                                         Taipei                                        Type A
                                        Type A                                       Taipei
                                        Taipei                                         Type A
                                          Type A                                  Taipei
                                             Taipei                               Type A
                                                 Type A                     Taipei 
                                                      Taipei              Type A
                                                           Type A Taipei                       


M. Mucci - Days Blur Together CDR (Tall House Recordings)

As I’ve hinted at in the past, tape music reserves a special place in my heart. The cassette ­– its clunkiness, warmth, and physicality – and the simple and brilliant idea of the analog loop, share equal occupancy in that special place. So when the Canadian musician Michael Mucci got in touch and asked if I’d consider reviewing an album of his that was comprised entirely of tape loops, I was pretty much sold.

What is rather quickly distinguishable about
Days Blur Together, compared to (for the reason of most obvious point of reference) the Disintegration Loops series by William Basinski, is its fullness in sound. While Basinski’s pieces focused on individual loops, Mucci applies a multi-layered approach, weaving three or four loops together to form this sprawling work.

When I think of ambient, I think of music like this. The work washes bleary melodies and lush textures over the listener, while ebbing, flowing, and changing almost without notice over an hour. There is change though, that’s apparent when one smash cuts from the 10 minute mark to the 50 minute mark, but listening for them as the work unfolds is like watching the minute hand of a clock.

There is another element that warrants dissection, and that is the work’s transparency to the tape medium. Basinski’s loops disintegrated, and that was the point. Mucci’s loops, on the other hand, while clearly not subjected to the same lengthy decay as Basinski’s, reveal the medium just the same. Mucci achieves this through imperfection, his loops having a jolty, roughly spliced quality. At times, it’s possible that even
too much of the medium is revealed because of this, which zaps a bit of the mystery and appeal from the piece. However, it's quite well done all around, very patiently executed, and I do understand the ultimate decision to release this on cd and not on the more apropos cassette format.
 
Limited to 30 copies only. Simple and elegant hand-made sleeves including opaque obi.  

     
Days Blur Together by mmucci

1.5.12

Nil - Nilmonic Process LP (PPR22)

a box containing the sound of its own making
is art I get
resonates the same
as in the negative space
of doodles done well

banks and mining companies
sponsor the arts
in downtown Vancouver
the Van City theatre
played
Wavelength by Michael Snow
he’s Canadian but had a loft
in New York
walked in 
applauding
walked out with ringing ears
, applauding


[extract from a first draft of a forthcoming chapbook. Passages from a collection of personal notebooks and diaries were used as jumping off points for poems.]



Just when I start to feel as though albums that satisfy my tastes are losing any and all shock value, Jonas Asher and Jochen Hartmann release something on Phaserprone that shakes things up again. Over the years, the label has consistently been one of my favourites, so it was a real treat to receive this piece of wax in the mail. It comes from Hartmann and Asher themselves releasing under the collective name of Nil.

The music of Nil seems to be culled from a process (yes, the nilmonic process) of taking loosely formulated sound segments derived from things like pedal feedback, and working them into rigidly assembled compositions via the computer. The result of the process sees a new spin on the outdated canon of harsh noise; a much welcomed framework for these oddball sounds. But the duo aren't dealing strictly with noise here, there exists a myriad of styles on the album, shifting rather quickly to accommodate them all. The record employs a jump-cut mentality, which can be a rather tricky path to proceed down, though I think Nil work it with aplomb over the duration on account of them sticking to it, and a sense of the duo having perfect control over they're production. 

I'm not one to compare one's music to another much anymore, but it's worth pointing out that I don't think I could do it if I tried with the Nilmonic Process. As I mentioned, sections of the album align more with current noise tactics, particularly the A side, while others are far more nuanced. The flip side especially showcases these more minimal movements, that range from a hyper-terse techno, to raw analog permutations, to what some musicians working exclusively with cassette tape might conjure up with a simple reversal of a loop. It's hard not to enjoy when it all comes together. A fantastic release, and nicely packaged in what is and might be the first and last all pro-printed release from Phaserprone.

Nil - B14 (extract) by ScrapyardForecast