Sunday 30 December 2007

Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell - From Hell (1989-1996)




Subtitled "Being a Melodrama in 16 Parts," "From Hell" takes on the most notorious unsolved mystery in the annals of crime, the 1888 "Jack the Ripper" killings of five prostitutes in London's East End. But Alan Moore is more excited by history than he is by any horror show. In his introduction to the series, Moore wrote "It's my belief that if you cut into a thing deeply enough, if your incisions are precise and persistent and conducted methodically, then you may reveal not only that thing's inner workings, but also the meaning behind those workings ... 'From Hell' is a post-mortem of a historical occurrence, using fiction as a scalpel."

Open "From Hell" and you may involuntarily draw back -- it feels like the dark, sooty atmosphere of Moore and Campbell's Victorian London could seep into your own living room. Campbell renders "From Hell" in a scratchy, drippy black and white, with each panel seemingly drawn using a blend of London's chimney ash and tabloid ink. With no campy sound effect balloons, "From Hell" unfolds in an eerie silence, its pauses worthy of Harold Pinter. Although it's still a suspense-driven thriller, "From Hell" condemns the urban destitution and the maltreatment of women of the time in the starkest possible terms, with Moore and Campbell peering into the darkest corners of the victims' squalid lives.

Inspired by the Ripper's centennial, Moore found himself sucked into the lore of "Ripperology," where wild suppositions and fierce factions rival the theorists of the Kennedy assassination. "Watchmen" is replete with Pynchonesque paranoia, and "From Hell" posits a similarly complex conspiracy at the heart of the slayings. Inspired by "Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution" by the late Stephen Knight, "From Hell" suggests that Prince Albert "Eddy" Victor had fathered an illegitimate child, and when four Whitechapel prostitutes attempted to exploit this information, they were executed (the fifth victim was allegedly a case of mistaken identity). Complicit parties include Scotland Yard, the Freemasons and Victoria herself, while such London notables as Oscar Wilde and James "Elephant Man" Merrick make cameo appearances.

(...) Moore's larger point is that the Ripper murders were the fullest expression of 19th century injustices and hypocrisies (...) Moore and Campbell refuse to avert their eyes to even the most brutal or despairing content. Not only do we see the victims plying their trade in the least glamorous ways possible -- hurried couplings against filthy alley walls for a handful of pence -- but the murders are captured with ghastly precision. The book reaches its zenith (or nadir) in Chapter 10 with the last and grisliest of the killings, shown in such detail that it's all you can do to keep your eyes on the page. Still, the graphic novelists aren't in it for splatterpunk shock value. "From Hell" asserts that the Ripper killings provided a catalyst for the 20th century, both figuratively -- the murders and their coverage anticipated tabloid journalism and the modern fascination with serial killers -- and literally. As Gull goes about his dreadful business, he experiences increasingly vivid visions of London in the 1990s.


"From Hell" is as heavily researched as any scholarly work. Although the appendix is superfluous in the human body, here it's as crucial as the heart. Almost every page features end-notes in which Moore not only cites his historical sources but muses on everything from London's "dionysiac" architecture to streetwalking lingo like "thrupenny upright." (...)

To read "From Hell" is to temporarily become a Ripperologist yourself, jazzed by the case's facts, myths and weird coincidences. As you go, you realize that the hero isn't Abberline pursuing his investigation but Moore conducting his own. In "Appendix II: Dance of the Gull Catchers," Moore and Campbell use the comic form to recount, with tongue often in cheek, the strange history of Ripper theorizing. Ripperologists are shown as a mob of manic men with butterfly nets, and Moore himself eventually joins their ranks.

Curt Holman

link

To read this you can simply unzip the file and read it as a PDF document.
Alternatively, you can use a CBR reader. Find it here (windows) or here (mac).

Check comments for more Moore related material

Saturday 29 December 2007

Rick Roderick - Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition

Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition
by Rick Roderick

Eight Audio-Lectures on Friedrich,
Published by The Teaching Company

1. Nietzsche as Myth and Mythmaker
2. Nietzsche on Truth and Lie
3. Nietzsche as Master of Suspicion and Immoralist
4. The Death of God
5. The Eternal Recurrence
6. The Will to Power
7. Nietzsche as Artist
8. Nietzsche's Progeny

NOTE:
This post has been deleted by Blogger. There was a complaint regarding copyright infringement some weeks ago. We removed the link for the lectures, although this share was for educational purposes and therefore under the umbrella of "fair-use". Despite us removing the link, Blogger then took the liberty of deleting the entire post - therefore deleting reader's comments, our own art-work, etc.
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Wednesday 26 December 2007

V/A - Ambiances Magnétiques: La Bastringue Migratoire Vol 1 (1996)




"After 12 years of existence and 39 records produced, the seminal Montréal new music label Ambiances Magnétiques felt the need to release its first compilation album, La Bastringue Migratoire. This retrospective CD came out as the label’s main artists (René Lussier, Jean Derome, Joane Hétu and Martin Tétreault, mostly) were about to change their musical approach. After 1996, the bulk of the label’s production will shift from deconstructed rock idioms where humor often plays a central role (Les Granules, Justine, André Duchesne, Jerry Snell) to introverted free improvisation. So La Bastringue Migratoire came at the right time, summarizing the label’s pre-1996 sound. All tracks are taken from albums already published — no unreleased material — and thus this CD offers nothing new to the dedicated fan, but the “musique actuelle” neophyte will find it a helpful sampler. Every major act on the label is represented: René Lussier (thrice if one counts the track by his duo Les Granules), Jean Derome, Martin Tétreault, Justine, Évidence, Bruire and André Duchesne, plus a few lesser-known artists such as Geneviève Letarte and Jerry Snell.
François Couture, All-Music Guide.



"The compilation disc La Bastringue Migratoire makes for a good initiation to the Ambiances Magnétiques label. About a dozen artists are represented here and, though hard to classify, their music is essentially tropes on a basic theme of "art jazz". Some approaches are fairly conventional, like Evidence’s interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s Criss Cross, while others, such as Robert Lepage’s comic-strip-inspired clarinet ditty Le Sourire de la Joconde, are admittedly bizarre. Some tracks are gentle, as in Michel Côté and Diane Labrosse’s Y tu Mirar, while others are brash, like Jerry Snell’s Life in the Suicide Riots. Musical influences present on the disc range from DJ culture in Martin Tétreault’s work, to rock in André Duchesne, to folk music of various cultures sort of sprinkled throughout all the pieces. Poetry is present in the many of the tracks but is particularly central to Genevieve Letarte’s La Ragazza. My favorite work is Les Granules’ Le Tango Qui Ne Finit Jamais -- it combines kitsch with music-craft in a way that is at once sinister and charming. If you haven’t had the pleasure of aurally ogling anything from Ambiances Magnétiques, I strongly recommend La Bastringue Migratoire.
Noah Wane in Splendid E-Zine, June 22nd 1998



1. René Lussier - Mme. Xavier Martin Revisitée/ Le P'tit Jésus de M. Chose
2. Geneviève Letarte - La Ragazza
3. Martin Tétreault - Leurs Personnalités
4. Hétu/Labrosse/Parkins/Roger/Tenko - Épilogue
5. Robert Lepage - La Sourire de la Joconde
6. Jerry Snell - Hope
7. Évidence - Criss-Cross
8. Les Granules - Le Tango Qui Ne Finit Jamais
9. Danielle Roger - La Muette
10. André Duchesne - Elle
11. Justine - Bon Appétit
12. Michel F. Côté/Dianne Labrosse - Y Tu Mirar
13. René Lussier - Les Foins
14. Bruire - Les Deux Mégots
15. Geneviève Letarte - Les Fictions
16. Jean Derome et Les Dangereux Zhoms - Zuripari

link@320

Tuesday 25 December 2007

Texturizer (2003)


Texturizer is:

Nikos Veliotis: Cello
Coti K.: Electronics

.a _ 14'14''

.b_ 08'59''

.c_ 16'17''

.d_ 09'44''

Recorded live at Agios Georgios Church, Halandri - Athens, Greece/ January 2003. Antifrost Records__afro2018

Link1 | Link 2

all@320


About Texturizer:

"
The Athens duo of cellist Nikos Veliotis and electronic dronescaper Coti K recorded this glacial four-part drift in a local church, and there is certainly something mediative and reverential about the music. It's far from tentative, however, as from the first moment low rasping feedback tones ring out proudly, as Veliotis tries to prise open some space for himself with insistent scratchy harmonics. [...] The bowing of the cello within the brooding stasis of Coiti K's treatments adds a reassuring human warmth to what would otherwise be a rather forbidding experience; in this "Texturizer" recalls the driftworks of Pauline Oliveros, without quite managing to reach the same time-confounding plateaux." by Keith Moline, in THE WIRE (UK)

"Texturizer seems to me a very apt chosen name for the duo work of Nikos Veliotis and Coti K. The first one plays cello and Coti plays the electronic part. Apperentely this new CD was recorded in the Agios Georgios Church in a suburb of Athens, but they could have fooled me. No huge amount of natural church reverb, but a nice set of four pieces. Texturizer, who can it be different, play drone music, using cello and electronic processings thereof and field recordings (maybe those of motors, fans etc, basically anything that sounds drony), and of all these closely related sounds fit together very well. Overall, I found this drone music of a more louder nature, without saying it's aggressive or anything, it's just more present and more audible, and less blurry then some of the other music in this area. Since you may know me as a sucker of good drone music, I can't be wrong this one: very nice work." by: FdW, in VITAL Weekly (NL)

Ibn Báya Ensemble - Música Andalusí (1995)



"The musical heritage of Al-Andalus, the hispano-muslim Spain that flourished for more than seven centuries, was mutilated when the hispano-arabs were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula. In Christian Spain this heritage was diluted in popular musical traditions, in language, and in the oriental thematics of los romances and other forms of erudite music. In North Africa it took shelter in oral traditions, in what is today known as the Andalusí-Magrebí.

The Ibn Báya Ensemble, formed by Moroccan and Spanish musicians, wishes to create a meeting between these two Al-Andalus heritages that for centuries have been separated and ignored. Two cultures that today wish to unite through the Mediterranean Sea, hoping to reach the "essence" of these traditions in the quest for a novel way of interpreting this monumental musical heritage, and drawing inspiration from the ancient masters (avoiding the Oriental style).



The name of Ibn Báya refers to the musician and philosopher Avempace (Zaragoza 1070 - Fez 1138), who lived both in the Andalus and the Morocco of the 11th and 12th centuries".

Omar Metioui: Egyptian Lute, Andalusian Lute, Alto Viola, Tar, Chant
Eduardo Panagua: Medieval Flutes
Luis Delgado: Andalusian Lute
Gloria Lergo: Chant
Mohamed el Arabi Serghini: Solo Chant, Alto Viola, Darbuka



link@320

Bravo Clippings #20



Obi strip (The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet, Japanese CD, 2006)

Please send your obi strips' pictures to Sue Ellen's email

Monday 24 December 2007

Sonic Youth - Bad Moon Rising (1985)



"There is something inescapably barren and desolate about Bad Moon Rising, an ineffable, pervasive, gloomy darkness - and perhaps this is part of its attraction. This album is about as nocturnal as you get. The amazingly lo-fi, almost-in-tune aesthetic of the album simply adds to the experience somehow, and helps overcome the rather hindering simplicity of Sonic Youth's early writing. The album's flow is steady and droning, mostly quiet and afraid, though saturated with assertive, rallying yells and sensual moans that punch right through the heavy fog settled in throughout. The only real standout amongst the windswept wasteland is "Death Valley '69", aided by the shrieking, esoteric Lydia Lunch, though the hopefully dark opening riffs of "Brave Men Run" make a strong case as well".
Michael Freitag

"My favorite SY record. It just makes me wanna go back to heroin!"
Sue Ellen Ewing



"Intro starts with warm but strangely menacing plucked strings for about a minute, before launching into Brave Men Run (In My family). It's just the knack they have for presenting these songs that can swerve up to the verge of free-form madness and back to a disciplined structure in the space of seconds, all the while incorporating their own special formulated techniques which are played with such a positive force. After the guitars attain some more bashing they incorporate the theme from Intro. Kim Gordon's voice is excellent and has a great style of delivering the words-

"seven days and seven nights
I dreamt a sailor's dream at sea
seven days and seven nights
I dreamt a sailor's dream of me"


The song has a tempered breakdown (like most do on this album), with Gordon repeating three Bass notes while the other Guitar sounds are explored with pluckings on their bridges (this is a great moment where it forms the beginning of the next track), Kim whispers- "Brave men run...away from me" - then rising out of the depths, a tape-loop sample from the start of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, comes shuddering up like some underwater tardis... This menacing melée gives way to Society Is A Hole, a gorgeous sound with Bert's tapping cymbals and Ranaldo and Moore's chiming Guitars, overlayed with Moore's restrained vocal anguish...with that underwater tardis wobbling back and forth in the background...

"Society is a hole, it makes me lie to my friends...
It's running down the street with white power sneakers
...on the beautiful beat of black feet......."


Society runs it's marvellous course and then you hear a tinny, distorted sounding cassette machine playing a snippet of Not Right by The Stooges, complete with tape slips and jumps. It's as if SY are compelled to pay direct homage to Reed and Pop, Amerika's out and out Kings of Rebellion. Also, by way of their experimentation, SY are also tipping their hats to the avant-garde AND combining all of these gestures with their own innovative wanderings. You can have these songs and sounds whirling around your head, like you would with any 'commercial' pop song. They really did tap into something very strange with this album.
I Love Her All The Time begins with some very ghostly gliss-type string rubbings and then the rhythm section quietly sets the pace for Moore to relate the thoughts of some perturbed love-struck outsider-

"She comes into my mind, twisting thru my nerves
I don't understand, a word she says...."


Cymbals, Guitar slashings and eventual dual Guitar feedback bring this song to a close, you get the feeling of the outsider being resigned to his predicament. Ghost Bitch starts where the last track left off, with upper register bending feedback, then Bob Bert comes in with a manic tribal beat in the background. Kim Gordon's pained vocals set against some harsh strumming, but with the Bass strangely absent, which adds to it's very cold and raw effect.
I'm Insane has thudding Drums and chopping helicopter guitar with some of Gordon's very minimal, but perfect Bass, in which to move the whole thing along. Moore's words present more dark imagery, rushed out in a strange time phase in one breath-


"Love starved backwood teaser farm girl hot eyed bride
stone cold blonde a quivering menace atomic wallop...
wholesale murder, we want out, we fish at night, sex in heaven
...a tough town, a cruel touch..."

"...take off your mask, lay off my brother...
...kiss my fist, stop at nothing..."


Another strange lead-in here, as there is the looped sound of what sounds like a distorted vocal gasp or choke into a malfunctioning microphone- this goes into Justice Is Might, which has a megaphone-voice introducing the song. Just when it's teetering on aural insanity, a six-note guitar phrase brings it back from oblivion then the Drums come in which make it more palatable, but not for long, the breakdown is here again, with the guitars left chiming and the megaphone voice disintegrating the proceedings... but that repeated six note guitar part quietly sees it out.


Well, there is a break before the last track. This track is one of the best tracks I've ever heard and one that can re-create the adrenalin rush you get on first hearing, time and time again. An absolute stormer! The track is Death Valley '69. Sonic Youth are joined by Lydia Lunch - the Queen of No Wave! Bob Bert counts in the timing with four clicks of the sticks and then we're on the roller-coaster ride (or should that be Helter Skelter ride?) to lysergic oblivion. Moore and Lunch both sing the opening 'chorus'-

"Coming down...Sadie I Love it...
Now! Now! Now!...Death Valley '69!"

Lydia Lunch is such an unsung vocalist, here she counter-acts to Moore's words in a way that veers from agonised purrs in the storytelling via bleak references, while the track simmers down a touch, then slowly builds up like a longbow being drawn back, it's one of those urgent and tantalising moments, especially when they both start chanting - "hit it.....hit it....hit it..."- until the guitars are like a squadron overhead until Moore and Lunch holler the last- "HIT IT!!!"- and then sing the 'chorus' again to lead to the final blast with Lunch producing one the best female vocal howls ever... it's not loud as such, just very perfect in it's delivery.

It's as if the whole tension of the album has been leading up to this absolute scorcher. This is why I think the album is great to listen to as a whole, in one sitting. What really gets to me about this album, is that after twenty years, it doesn't sound dated considering the whole thing was made with conventional instruments, 'prepared' and 'modified' as they were in places.For me, the seeds were sown with 'Bad Moon Rising'. A dark masterpiece.
By the way, the CD reissue contains the extra tracks Flower, Halloween, Satan Is Boring (a cracking track title if ever there was) and the short, never before released Echo Canyon.
Sonic Youth still offer delights to this very day, their sound and strategy has expanded (hello Jim O'Rourke) and they always seem to have something great to offer. Twenty more years ? Yeah!!....why not ?"

Julian Cope


1. Intro
2. Brave Men Run (in my Family)
3. Society is a Hole
4. I Love Her all the Time
5. Ghost Bitch
6. I'm Insane
7. Justice is Might
8. Death Valley'69 (w/ Lydia Lunch)
9. Satan is Boring
10. Flower
11. Hallowe'en
12. Echo Canyon

link@ 320

Ensemble Gending - Soekarno Blues [Re-Up] (1999)



"This recording was made in the Erasmus Concert Hall in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1999, during a tour which the Dutch musicians conducted in their former colony. The ensemble does not try imitate the Indonesian way of playing in some kind of forced mimicry, but develop their own style, attaching and incorporating Western aspects into the web of sounds, into the rhythms and the overall atmosphere, which is, none the less, magic.

The man who inspired the forming of Ensemble Gending was the composer Ton de Leeuw, who has spent a lot of energy on fuse Eastern and Western traditions, in much the vein of Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar on a legendary vinyl from 1965 with melodies like “Tala Rasa Ranga”, Song From the Hills”, “Gat Kirwani” and other famous events, spellbinding a whole young Western hippie generation with his simplified – but incredibly beautiful – gently westernized Indian masterpieces, with master tablaist Alla Rakah by his side. Another personality who has done much to weave a pattern with threads from both the East and the West is of course Terry Riley, who even went to India to study carnatic temple singing with mastersinger Pandit Pran Nath in the 1970s.

Ton de Leeuw stressed that the goal was not to imitate other cultures, but to combine the best of different cultures in new settings. This is what Ensemble Gending is trying to achieve. One of the pieces has a tape part, while others incorporate Western percussion, and one, the first piece, Dutch vocals. Another of the composers combines two of the tunings of gamelan that normally is used separately, creating un-Indonesian tensions.



Willem Breuker’s (b.1944) Soekarno Blues (1999) is the first piece of the CD, beginning with what could be mistaken for a ritual gamelan, and then the vocals of Monica Akihary and Wouter Hamel move the gamelan into the realm of Dutch jazz and blues singing, in subdued voices. There are other interesting anomalities here too, making this a re-listenable event for sure.

Per Nørgård (b.1932) is a Danish composer held in high esteem. He has written much contemporary chamber music. His contribution is Gendhing (1980/1988). The guise in which the piece appears here is a reworking, or an arrangement (by Klaus Kuiper), of the original piece, which also existed in three versions, and the original title was “Variations On a Javanese Melody”. The piece starts very gently, on high notes, until more percussive intrusions spray the composition with sudden outbursts of hasty rhythms, again slowing down to a trance-like progression, which in turn speeds up and moves sturdily ahead. In other words; the music is varied, dynamic – and always displaying the diamond beauty of gamelan sound.

Jan-Rokus v. Roosendael (b.1960) introduces his piece Carillon (1997), in which the gamelan is regarded and treated as a big carillon. He has woven a medieval melody from the 13th century into the gamelan. Indeed this is weaving traditions together; the age-old gamelan of Indonesia, and an old European tradition, represented from inside the gamelan by a melody used by for example Praetorius.

Sinta Wullur (b.1958) is a native of Indonesia, but she came to Holland at the age of 10. She has studied with Ton de Leeuw and Louis Andriessen. She has made a point of the integration of non-western components in her works. Her piece is Kaleidoscoop (1997). It has the most touching beginning, in fat, solid, shiny spheres of sound, and the sounding space is crowded with colors of the most magnificent radiance. Some really “off” sounds cause stirring bendings of chords and pitch, and it sort of makes you nauseous, dizzy… It’s beautiful. She achieves this by using two different Javanese scales; “Slendro” and “Pelog”. Maybe this is my favorite on this set.

Roderick de Man (b.1941) was born in Indonesia. He has studied with electronic composer and tape music guru Dick Raaijmakers. The dynamics are unusually rough, penetrating, reverberating, at the outset of Orkes Bercahaya (1997). The drumbeat hits you in the stomach, and the shiny gamelan lets its gentle fingers trip in a shadow dance across your face. This work is intended for a simultaneous light projection, but I think it functions just fine by itself. The rumble of the big drum really kicks ass. The gamelan gold-plates the patterns.

Jacob ter Veldhuis (b.1951) presents his Cannibal Mass (1998). It was written especially for a tour of Indonesia by Ensemble Gending. This is gamelan rock ‘n roll, forcing its way on ahead, utilizing voices too, in an instrumental way, just to produce sounds of a vocal percussive kind. There’s a lot of drumming here, solid, intricate, violent! It is indeed a gamelan octet.

Klaus Kuiper (b.1956) concludes this beautiful CD with Sonata da Camera (1997). Kuiper has studied with Dick Raaijmakers too, like Roderick de Man. Kuiper is a member of the Ensemble Gending, but also plays in Turkish and Arabic groups. Kuiper uses a tape part in his composition, but all the sounds on the tape originate in the instruments of the ensemble. This is probably my second favorite on this startling CD, with its layers of progressive rhythms appearing through the luster of the gamelan splendor, which attracts the human ear so much. The activity is intense here, loading space with might, and it’s in fact hard to stay still, as the music almost compels you to move in time with the shadows of the sound. The murmur of the tape, that dominates for a while, stretches out like a long distant, extended thunder clap across the horizon, while the rustling of close-up percussive sparkles massage your temples, moving you into a summer day’s hypnosis… until sharp and slicing cuts of seriously manipulated gamelan sounds tear you out of your nose-tip meditation".
in Sonoloco Record Reviews



This re-up is dedicated to Michelangelo (from Beyond) and Adam Eleven, who requested it a long time ago. Better late than never, we hope.


link@320

Terre Thaemlitz - Means From an End (1998)


"Thaemlitz's deepening descent into the obscure sonorities of hard disk recording is here pushed to new extremes. Compositionally, Means From an End focuses on the metaphoric reconstitution of meaning through the social field, and is equal both in scope and sonic detail to the output of freeform academicians such as Francois Bayle and Jim Horton. But as challenging as the music is -- fuzz, clicks, and thin sheets of off-putting digital synthesis constitutes much of the hour on offer here -- the music is among some of the most engaging and even, at times, touching of Thaemlitz's career (particularly the title suite, which closes out the disc)".
by Sean Cooper, in All Music Guide

(1998 mille plateaux mp 44 / efa 00694-2) cd

01 00:02:00 02:01:11 g1.a-j
02 02:03:11 02:05:60 g6.a-s
03 04:08:71 02:49:50 g3.a-l
04 06:58:46 01:34:23 g2.a-o
05 08:32:69 02:18:07 g7.a-t
06 10:51:01 02:33:13 g5.a-s
07 13:24:14 02:09:49 g4.a-s
08 15:33:63 01:11:22 commentary
09 16:45:10 00:49:10 resistance
10 17:34:20 03:19:70 resignation
11 20:54:15 03:09:07 transformative nostalgia
12 24:03:22 08:27:52 still life w/ numerical analysis
13 32:30:74 10:28:30 means from an end
14 42:59:29 03:11:08 reduction of contents
15 46:10:37 01:08:56 reinroduction of contents i
16 47:19:18 07:40:38 means to a means
17 54:59:56 00:34:52 reinroduction of contents ii
18 55:34:33 08:24:36 end to a means
cd 63:56:69_total

link1 | link2 all@256

-------------------------
Still about "Means From an End"

"For Terre Thaemlitz, sonic synthesis is analogous to a bewildering, yet liberating multiplicity of historically determined social agendas. It is also his tool for commenting on that multiplicity. Though his theories undoubtedly come first, that's not to say his music disintegrates if you remove its theoretical scaffold. Besides, the weighty language masks a radical playfulness - the project is far more engaging than first appears. The disc comes in four sections. The first, called "Inelegant Implementations," loops brief jazz snippets and passes them through a waveform analysis of radical/pop cultural soundbites, for reasons Thaemlitz's sleevenotes best fathom. The second part is a sonic essay on "overcoming resistance to radical social change," which translates as a witty deconstruction of Billy Joel. "Still Life w/Numerical Analysis" is an eight minute sound collage around a high register operatic drone - which softens you up for the last part, the title track itself. "Means from an End" bombards the listener with high frequency noises. In his attempt to deploy music as an agent of deconditioning, Thaemlitz's methods come close to the audiences-baiting techniques of Non and Throbbing Gristle. But in its final transition from Metal Machine Music aggression to the Enoid serenity of Evening Star, Thaemlitz raises the suspicion that he's not quite the stern neo-Marxist theoretician he makes himself out to be."

by: Chris Sharp; in Wire, March 1998, issue 169.


Saturday 22 December 2007

Luc Ferrari - Le Banquet [Patajaslocha - 1984 / L'Escalier des Aveugles 1991]



Patajaslocha

Suite de danses (1984)

1. Paso-doble; 2. Tango; 3. Java; 4. Slow; 5. Cha-cha-cha

durée: 27'52''

L'escalier des aveugles (tracks 6 to 18 on this cd)

Recueil de Nouvelles (1991)

1. L’escalier des aveugles; 2. Intermède; 3. Suzanne et le clochard; 4. Interlude; 5. El cuerpo inglés; 6. Intérieur; 7. Hommage à Lorca; 8. Izaskun et la pomme; 9. Interférence; 10. Sans savoir pourquoi; 11. Nada; 12. Madrid, kilomètre zéro; 13. La nouvelle de l’escalier.

durée: 34'21''

link1 (Patajaslocha)

link2 (L'Escalier des Aveugles)

all@256

----------------------------------------

About L’escalier des Aveugles

"Œuvre créée sur commande du Centre pour la diffusion de la musique contemporaine (CDMC) et de Radio Nacional de España, Radio-2 (RNE-2). Coproduction du CDMC, de RNE-2 et de la Muse en circuit. Réalisée au studio de la Muse en circuit (Vanves, France). Tous les matériaux sonores concrets de l’œuvre ont été enregistrés à Madrid par l’Auteur, avec les actrices Ana Malaver, Julia Gil, Suzanna Cantero, Izaskun Azurmendi, Laura Notario et Gloria de Pedro. Producteur délégué de RNE-2: José Iges. À l’occasion de la Journée Européenne de la musique, l’œuvre a été donnée en première à RNE-2 le 21 juin 1991.

Tout au début, quand je parlais de mon projet de conte radiophonique, j’avais employé le mot «clip» pour évoquer la forme que j’imaginais. Et puis, en travaillant, je me suis rendu compte que ce que j’étais en train de faire était une métaphore sonore de la technique littéraire des «nouvelles». En effet: forme courte, qui raconte chacune une histoire, une situation, une ambiance, mais dans un climat d’ébauche, une manière indirecte de conter, allusive, irréaliste tout en employant des matériaux réalistes. Une manière aussi de laisser l’auditeur (j’allais dire le spectateur) en suspens, peut-être frustré de n’avoir pas une fin pour chaque anecdote.

Chaque nouvelle est construite sur un petit événement: un son, une atmosphère, un mot anodin porteur d’émotion par la voix qui le prononce, un cliché entendu. Et ainsi, l’ensemble se tisse à l’intérieur de multiples langages: le musical, le bruitiste, le réaliste, le synthétique et enfin l’espagnol et le français, proposant au public des pistes à suivre et à délaisser. À propos de chemin, celui-ci est un escalier qui revient comme un thème: l’idée qu’un lieu de Madrid s’appelle L’escalier des aveugles m’a fasciné, comme une réalité poétique, ou plutôt comme une surréalité; mais aussi comme un symbole de ce que j’étais en train de faire, une composition avec des sons et pour la radio. Et comme chacun sait, la radio est pour ceux qui ont des images pleins la tête." in reseauxconcerts.com

"A passionate journey into Ferrari's obsessions with Spain and Sexuality; enchanting, ironic, beautiful, humorous, sometimes glorious. An absolutely unique listening experience: where else would you find the dialects of pasodoble, chamber music, cha cha cha, field recordings and electronics merged into a single, coherent language?" The Ewings Short Reviews


Thursday 20 December 2007

Miles Davis - Big Fun (1974)



A few months after the Bitches Brew sessions that broke jazz-rock out like Phoenix from the flames, Miles Davis returned to the Columbia recording studios with the intent to push his music in yet another startling direction. This time around, Miles took inspiration from classical Indian music, interpolating it into rock and jazz structures as the Beatles, altoist Toby Harriott, and others had done before. But, as expected from Davis, he did it in an entirely new and unexpected manner.





Personnel: Miles Davis, trumpet; Steve Grossman, Carlos Garnett, Wayne Shorter, soprano sax; Bennie Maupin, bass clarinet, clarinet, flute; Sonny Fortune, soprano sax, flute; John McLaughlin, electric guitar; Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, electric piano; Joe Zawinul, electric piano, Farfisa; Lonnie Smith, Harold I. Williams, piano; Larry Young, organ, celeste; Khalil Balakrishna, electric sitar; Bihari Sharma, tambura; Ron Carter, Dave Holland, acoustic bass; Harvey Brooks, Michael Henderson, electric bass; Al Foster, Billy Hart, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, drums; Airto Moreira, percussion; Badal Roy, tabla; Mtume, African percussion.


Disc I

1. Great Expectations — 27:23
2. Ife — 21:34
3. Recollections — 18:55
4. Trevere — 5:55

Disc II

1. Go Ahead John — 28:27
2. Lonely Fire — 21:21
3. The Little Blue Frog — 9:10
4. Yaphet — 9:39

Link@320 Disc 1 :: Disc 2

Wednesday 19 December 2007

Tetsu Inoue - Psycho-Acoustic (1998)



"Perhaps the most interesting electronic music since the classic period of Stockhausen and Xenakis. Tetsu Inoue is a composer and sound artist who has worked in a variety of musics - ambient, sound installation, dance music, techno and is a frequent collaborator of Bill Laswell and Haruomi Hosono. This CD features some of the most intricate and fascinating computer generated compositions you've ever heard. Literally thousands of hours went into the creation of these miniature masterpieces charting a world of sound as yet explored. Also included is a powerful duet with brilliant electronic percussionist Ikue Mori."
...in tzadik's website.

1. Q Tip
2. Tonic Bit
3. Dot Hack
4. Psycho Plastic
5. Modu Lotion
6. Rebeat Reduction
7. All Natural
8. Plug
9. Tom & Tone

link@256

Thursday 13 December 2007

Bravo Tubes #3



Kinky Friedman - "The People Who Read People Magazine"

Wednesday 12 December 2007

The Rolling Stones - Let it Bleed (1969)


"Proving that [The Rolling Stones' previous album] Beggars Banquet wasn't a fluke, the Stones actually expand on the formula introduced on that classic record of '68 by playing even looser acoustic jams and tightening up the rockers until they are positively terrifying! Okay, they aren't terrifying at all, but darn it, you read enough critiques of this album that call "Gimme Shelter" and "Midnight Rambler" terrifying and, by golly, after a while, you start to believe it! Still, "Gimme Shelter" is an awfully spooky way to start off an album. Ever heard it? A scary quiet electric guitar line introduces it, then some voices go "ooo ooo ooo" and a threatening sorta lead guitar line comes in, then it all kicks together and Mick sings "ooo, a storm is threatening my very life today / If I don't get some shelter, you know, I'm gonna fade away!!!" Boo! Spookin'!

But that's about the extent of it, really. If you survive that one, the rest of the record is much more welcoming. Their stunning cover of the old blues standard "Love In Vain" shows exactly how far they've come since their early days as a fast-paced "blues" combo, "Country Honk" hicks up their hit single "Honky Tonk Women," "Live With Me" has a groovy-as-horseshoes bass line, and the title track is absolutely gross ("we all need someone we can cream on / and if you want to, well, you can cream on me!"). Plus, "Monkey Man" is a cool piano-guitar rocker, "You Got The Silver" features weak vocals courtesy of Keith, and if you're looking for epics, just stop here for a moment. "Midnight Rambler" is a seven-minute celebration of mass murder set to a sinister rockin' beat (with eerie slide guitar laid on top!) and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is a gospel song! A real honest-to-goodness gospel song! And good? Ho! Ever heard Joan Osborne's "What If God Was One Of Us?" Imagine the exact opposite. IT'S THAT GOOD! An earthy bluesy country real-life no B.S. American album made by a bunch of British drug addicts. Go figure. And check out the album cover. Their best ever. Better than the zipper, even.

Oh yeah. They threw out Brian Jones while they were making this album. A couple of months later, he drowned in a swimming pool."


Mark Prindle, markprindle.com

link @320

John Cage - Quartets I-VIII / Music for 17 (1976 - 1992)


1. "Quartets I-VIII" (1976) for 24 instruments 37'18''

2. "Music for Seventeen" (1984-87) 30'05''

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about "Quartets I-VIII"

"Quartets I-VIII" is among Cage's most beautiful works. While there are no restrictions in the score for the number of performers, no more than four can be playing at any one time. None of them are in conscious harmony with one another. The sources of his material are eight early American hymns, all of them known as "shape note hymns." Shape note singing is notated by large drawings on paper for those who didn't read music so they could find the pitch. Harmony was not paid strict attention to; emotions, rather, were to inspire singers and listeners. Cage's lifelong disrespect for musical harmony is held in abeyance here, not because of the hymns -- which have been deconstructed and reconstructed using the I Ching for guidance -- themselves, but because in such a system, over such a large number of pitches and overtones, harmony is bound to occur, perhaps not in specific places, but the chances of it not happening are rare. In the recording, with so much left to the individual, it seems to occur more often that it does not, coming as it does from terribly fragmented material. The result is a shimmering, spare piece of emotional music that reflects the harmony of nature -- human nature"
________________________
about "Music for Seventeen":

"In one of the interviews in Joan Retallack's "Musicage. Cage muses on Words Music Art" John Cage explains that he started writing this composition for the Ensemble 13. Being mistaken about the number of players and the ensemble disliking the microtonal writing, he stopped working on it and composed Thirteen instead. Since no manuscripts of Seventeen exist in the New York Public Library, Cage probably refers to Sixteen instead."

This recording was realized by San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Stephen L.Mosko, Music Director. Joan LaBarbara, Soprano.

Recorded digitally at Skywalker Sound, Marin County, California, USA (no dates mentioned). CD released in 1993 © Newport Classics
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Tuesday 11 December 2007

Purple Trap - Decided Already the Motionless Heart of Tranquility, Tangling the Prayer Called "I" (1998)



DISC 1:

1- Who decided the number 1?
2- Reassembling place of dispersed holy murderous thought, The
3- I already know the settlement of iridescent happiness
4- I can hear a scream... a scream resembling a scream
5- Only half of an imitation or your imitation of yourself
6- Come to this side... sadness
7- Supposedly generous possessors of death meet a warning while napping

DISC 2:

1- Just let us continue to say farewell
2- Decided...already the motionless heart of tranquility, tangling the prayer called "I"
3- Sudden accident protesting production methods, A
4- Where shall released time go next?
5- Continuously draw a gentle spiral... red death!
6- Ask a so-called sage who speaks only plausible excuses the meaning of the volition "further..."


Keiji Haino (vocals, guitar)
Bill Laswell (bass)
Rashied Ali (drums)

Monday 10 December 2007

Karlheinz Stockhausen - in memoriam: 22.08.1928 - 05.12.2007



"Mikrophonie I/II" (1964/65)

Mikrophonie I: 26'35''
[for tamtam, 2 microphones, 2 filters and controllers]

Mikrophonie II: 14'28''
[for choir, Hammond organ, and four ring modulators]


about Mikrophonie:

"Mikrophonie is the title given by Karlheinz Stockhausen to two of his compositions, written in 1964 and 1965, in which “normally inaudible vibrations . . . are made audible by an active process of sound detection (comparable to the auscultation of a body by a physician); the microphone is used actively as a musical instrument, in contrast to its former passive function of reproducing sounds as faithfully as possible.

link@320

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We at Bravo Juju profoundly dread the lost of one of the most brilliant electronic music composers of the 20th century.
As our personal homage to his great genius and work we post this wonderful work "Mikrophonie I/II" and the official press release of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, about the passing of Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Stockhausen will continue to influence generations of musicians to come, and remains alive within his extraordinary musical cosmos!!

_________________________________________________________

"Suzanne Stephens and Kathinka Pasveer, who have performed many of his works and, together with him, have taken care of the scores, compact discs, books, films, flowers, shrubs, and trees will continue to disseminate his work throughout the world, as prescribed in the statutes of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, of which they are executive board members. Stockhausen always said that GOD gave birth to him and calls him home.
**** For Love is stronger than death. IN FRIENDSHIP and gratitude for everything that he has given to us personally and to humanity through his love and his music, we bid FAREWELL to Karlheinz Stockhausen, who lived to bring celestial music to humans, and human music to the celestial beings, so that Man may listen to GOD and GOD may hear His children.

On December 5th he ascended with JOY through HEAVEN'S DOOR, in order to continue to compose in PARADISE with COSMIC PULSES in eternal HARMONY, as he had always hoped to do: You, who summon me to Heaven, Eva, Mikael and Maria, let me eternally compose music for Heaven's Father-Mother, GOD creator of Cosmic Music. May Saint Michael, together with Heaven's musicians in ANGEL PROCESSIONS and INVISIBLE CHOIRS welcome him with a fitting musical GREETING. On behalf of him and following his example, we will endeavor to continue to protect the music."

by: Suzanne Stephens and Kathinka Pasveer; in the name of the world-wide family of musicians who love him, together with everyone who loves his music.

Iancu Dumitrescu - Pierres Sacrees / Harryphonies / Grande Ourse (1983 - 1991)



Pierres Sacrées (1991) 17'25''
[pour pianos préparés, plaques et objets métalliques]

Harryphonies (alpha) (1985) 18'10''
[pour contrebasse solo et ensemble]

Grande Ourse (1983) 15'30''
[pour deux bassons, piano préparé, percussion et bande]

Harryphonies (epsilon) (1986) 19'00''
[pour contrebasse solo et ensemble]

(all music composed by Iancu Dumitrescu and performed by the Ensemble Hyperion, except Harryphonies (epsilon) performed by RTV [Orchestre National de Romaine], directed by Losif Conta)

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"Iancu Dumitrescu's music is spectral, is electroacoustic, but above all is a coherent totality grounded in a different conception. Of all living composers, Dumitrescu is the one who has most exploded sound. Dumitrescu's work is a negation, from the depths, of everything in contemporary music symptomatic of distraction, of banalization, and of a radical loss of purpose. His music is not a new convolution in the knot of modern music, but an unravelling of the curse.

Dumitrescu, composer, conductor and musicologist, was born in Romania in 1944. From the age of seven to twenty-two, he pursued conventional musical studies leading to an M.A. in Composition at the National Conservatoire in Bucharest. Towards the end of this period he met Alfred Mendelsohn, who introduced him to the music - then forbidden in Romania - of Schoenberg and Webern. A slight liberalisation of the regime beginning in 1968 catalysed a move towards more personal work amongst a group of composers that included Dumitrescu, Niculescu, Stroe, Vieru, and Olah. In 1973, Dumitrescu met Sergiu Celibidache, who made a profound impression on him and who introduced him to application of Husserlian phenomenology to music. In 1976, Dumitrescu founded the Hyperion Ensemble. With Ana-Maria Avram, he set up the Edition Modern record label in 1990.

Q: One of the first pieces I heard was Pierres Sacrées; I was very struck - as were many other people - by the sound of this music. It seemed quite unlike the usual sound of contemporary composed music. It had far more distortion, noise and violence. There seemed to be a shift away from stable fundamental frequencies, and a greater emphasis on the unstable aspects of sound. Do these characteristics of the sound have a special significance in your musical thinking?

D: First of all, you are quite right to say that there is this distortion, and secondly, it is absolutely deliberate. I myself was in a way surprised by it. When it first came - and during the development of this piece Pierres Sacrées there was a brief but intense period of experimentation out of which came this new sound - I wondered from what part of myself it had come. But I also knew that I needed it. You could say that this distortion in the sound comes from the attempt to release or unveil the god that is living in every piece of base matter. Pierres Sacrées placed me not only in the avant garde but also in the avant garde of deliberate and progressive use of distortion as an integral and necessary part of music...

On the technical level it comes from a kind of artisanal production. In Romania we had, and still have, a poverty and lack of equipment as compared with, say, IRCAM in Paris. Evidently - and this is not intended as a criticism - in the West, composers have at their disposal a massive array of technical possibilities. Unfortunately this tends to produce very conventional, very impersonal music. Music demands a process of introversion, of isolation and introspection. You have to go alone into your corner and concentrate. You can't be always looking around at what's happening, with your attention dissipated. But I don't want to say that this technology is inherently bad - simply that it was my fate to be poor."

in: interview from Tim Hodgkinson [AMM] to Iancu Dumitrescu (this article originally appeared in Resonance Volume 6 Number 1).

Friday 7 December 2007

Sakis Papadimitriou - Piano Oracles (1985-87)



"Mythology defines oracle as a ritualistic procedure that gives shape to unknown fears, joys, facts, knowledge... Oracle is a transformation of archetypal dreams into real life facts, of chaotic words to meaningful messages.
Call it a trip or a journey, music is always an oracle that gives form and image to everyday dreams. As an oracle, music has different meanings for different people producing feasts of the mind that start from an unknown world and continue in clear legible forms.
From improvisation to composition and back again: a style that describes life in its purest form. Sakis Papadimitriou combines original pianistic visions in these recordings, creating images that evoke memories of the past and the future, of the ancient and modern world alike. Making an aural movie in which he is the director and main actor at once. Having absorbed almost every aspect that has to do with pianistics, Sakis feels free enough to travel through every little corner of this world called "the piano", transmogrifying sounds of the keyboard or the strings to World Vibrations. We are listening to koto, zither, lute or everything human imagination has learned and is ready to feel and to know through knowledge or fantasy. Giving a human face to these products of the imagination is very easy for everyone: could be Monk or Tsitsanis, Beckettt or Ellington, depending on the listener's self-produced images.

These recordings, made in Athens and at the Le Mans Europa Jazz festival, were formerly available on the original LP "Piano Oracles."
by: George Charonitis _ Jazz & Tzaz magazine [cd liner notes]

ALPHA:
Prologue and Ten Piano Oracles 31'45'' (1985)

1. 0'40''
2. 2'59''
3. 2'17''
4. 2'41''
5. 1'45''
6. 2'10''
7. 2'09''
8. 4'25''
9. 3'20''
10. 4'26''
11. 4'22''

BETA Oracles:
Le Mans Piano 22'32'' (1987)
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link@256

Iannis Xenakis - La Légende d' Eer (1977)



La Légende d'Eer (1977-78) (47:04)
Electroacoustic Work for 7-channel tape

"La légende d'Eer is a powerful 7-channel electro-acoustic composition which Xenakis created in 1977-78 to be played in "Le Diatope", a curvaceous architectural construction designed by the composer, together with a visual component including laser lights. This "multi-media" work was composed for the opening of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where it was performed for three months and seen by thousands of people." in mode records website.



"Iannis Xenakis produced "La Légende d'Eer" in 1977 to celebrate the opening of the Pompidou Centre, that temple of the modern arts located on Beauborg Square in Paris. The 46-minute electronic work moves through a number of soundscapes. First there is soft ambience like one of Kaija Saariaho's "musical environments" (e.g. "Cloud Music", on a Petals disc). There is powerful fluttering designed by Xenakis for maximum impact on the ear, sweeping glissandos, sounds compressed down to a whistle and then expanded again. Whatever possibilities electronic means provide, Xenakis has used them. And yet, it's a much more accessible work than one would expect from the violent composer of "Metastasis" and "Nomos Alpha". Knowing that his piece was going to be played for a large Parisian audience, many of whom certainly didn't care about art music, sheer beauty seemed to be his overriding concern. But reading the booklet, with its description of Xenakis' design for the performance, really made me feel down. As Xenakis was an architect, he came up with a set that would truly complement the music: hundreds of mirrors, coloured lights, lasers. What a glorious experience it must have been to stand in the space and hear the music accompanied by such visuals. Indeed, the texts Xenakis put together to introduce the piece, by Plato (his "Legend of Er" from The Republic), Jean-Paul Richter, Pascal, and an astrophysicist writing on supernovas, mainly describe metaphysical experiences involving heavenly lights, multicoloured and infinite. It's quite remarkable how Xenakis, an atheist like much of the Darmstadt generation, was nonetheless intrigued by the idea of transcendence and the immortality of the soul. And yet, by just listening to this stereo audio recording, we miss out on the half of what Xenakis intended. [...] At least if you get MODE DVD which has the piece in surround sound, you get some of the spatial effects of this eight-track work."
by Christopher Culver

"[...] one of the most extreme electroacoustic music pieces ever produced in contemporary music. Our deepest respect to Iannis Xenakis, he lives eternally in his great music. "
by L. Vanessa

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link@256

Also check comments for Grasprelease's share of a new mix for Eer. Many thanks for this.

Ryoji Ikeda - 1000 Fragments (1995)




"1000 fragments is a compilation recording released by CCI recordings of several pieces revealing Ikeda's unique sound work produced between 1985-1995. Over a decade of Ryoji Ikeda's artistic work is portrayed on this marvelous CD. For who only knows Ikeda's work from his classical frequencies album +/- (or ), will be surprised and astonished with this album. In the first half [Channel X - 85 to 95] one hears 7 small sound pieces that resemble small electroacoustic radio pieces, where Ikeda's sense of humor [right on the second track one hears a voice saying: "It's the most beautiful ugly sound in the world" and talent for acousmatic composition and sound manipulation is quite evident. Although one can grasp Ikeda's compositional brand on this small pieces [the interspersed chirurgic combination of low and hi frequencies, many times arranged in hypnotic and dense frequencies drone scenarios] here his goal is achieved by creating many different soundscapes and tainted sound-situations that create a delightful hearing experience for the sonic listener.

The second part, named 5 zones [94-95], is an half hour deep sound journey through a musical path of a minimal and progressive electronic sound composition, Ikeda's keen ear for sharp rhythms and "sound-plot abstractions" reveals a very interesting mix of psychoacoustic scenarios and ambiences full of synthesized sounds and field recordings.

Luxus [93] is the last piece and finishes this compilation CD in a royal fashionable way! It's a 16 min. amazing kind of walk into Light itself; it starts of with a sample of an intriguing (whimsical) sparse highly reverberating voice (from a choir ?) and then a synth major accord appears in a glissando and drony kind of way, developing a crescendo over time in intensity (attack & envelope) and entering in a extraordinary mix with the vocals and what seems to be violin or cello strings (synthesized?), the composition reaches its zenith into pure interior bliss resulting in a delightful hearing pleasure, passing on to the listener a deep relaxed state of mind as the composition fades away into silence on the last minutes...
After hearing "1000 Fragments" one understands why Ryoji Ikeda is one of the most impressive experimental electronic music composers."

review by L. Vanessa.


Channel X (1985-1995)

01 testone 0:06
02 trans-missions 1:36
03 this is a recording 0:50
04 radiorange 0:28
05 what's wrong? 0:58
06 holy wood 0:35
07 into the tranquility 3:04
08 all has been changed 0:37
09 abstructures 2:54

5 zones (1994-95)

10 zone 1 7:47
11 zone 2 4:51
12 zone 3 2:56
13 zone 4 6:50
14 zone 5 8:45

Luxus (1993)

15 luxus 1-3 16:18

Total 58:21

[note: this cd is originally mixed in a continuous play mode, T.A.O. (track at once) recording mode is advised with 0 seconds between the tracks]

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