Russell Haswell & Yasunao Tone
“Convulsive Threshold #2” (excerpt)
When I saw that Russell Haswell and Yasunao Tone were collaborating together, my first thought was something along the lines of “whoever organized this must be one sick motherfucker.” I mean, have they heard Tone’s wounded CD work? Or, say, Haswell’s improbably noisy field recording “Electro Swat?” Clearly, this combination could only yield unparalleled cacophony.
Well, I’m happy to say that, based on the excerpt below, my sonic forecast for this record is pretty correct. Plenty of joyous brutality to go around! However, unlike many other artists who work in the vast realm of digital noise, Haswell and Tone’s methods aren’t based in a desire to explore extreme textures as much as they are in a fascination with the mathematical anomalies of digital technology. Look at Editions Mego’s page for the record and it becomes clear that this project is as much research as it is composition.
Apparently, Convulsive Threshold is the result of deviated MP3s created from Haswell’s specialized digital/analog system that were then further deviated using Tone’s methods. The duo’s seemingly rigorous adherence to this scientifically process-generated technique falls directly in line with the musical philosophy of Alvin Lucier’s work. Like Lucier, Haswell and Tone aren’t in this for expression, but instead to illustrate and to manipulate the acoustic properties of sound itself; similarly, emotional/timbral impact is left up to the listener. Convulsive Threshold may be abrasive, but it could just as easily be beautiful if the MP3 deviations had yielded those results. Haswell and Tone are simply carrying out a process in their work, and luckily it happens to be a very interesting process to listen to.
Convulsive Threshold is out May 13 via Editions Mego. You can listen to an excerpt of the record below.
Charlatan / Cray / Kraken Mare / KPLR
RM18 2xC60 [previews]
Titans clash in furious dilapidation of bleeps and smears, battling for that new sound. Crashing down all barriers: simple manipulation of the mind comes between a magnet and a thin film. Devastation arrives when there’s nothing left but everything that is new to behold. Uncharted territory becomes that of the pioneer. And something as easy as just finding the way and following it. Take what you can’t hold and stare at it until the tide takes it and makes it anew. What it comes down to is Sandy taking away my summer spots on the beach! Yet, I’m so looking forward to fluffing RM18 2xC60 HARD in a new location. It’ll be my way of christening a new-found location. The change of land and the mystery of sound have very little natural connection. But to Clifford Morrissey, it has everything to do with fishing, wave-length, and dro(w)ning out. Also, this sounds like some mighty fine gardening music. Spring is in the air? For Rocket Machine, it’s more like fall… but it’s always warm in Australia, mate!
Hit up your copy of RM18 2xC60 ASAP. Only 50 released. Also, a new ZX-9 tape is out in edition of 25. There’s a deal at the top of the homepage incorporating sale of both. Enjoy!
• Charlatan: http://www.foxydigitalis.com
• Cray: http://www.vicmod.net
• Kraken Mare: http://retrogradetapes.blogspot.com
• KPLR: http://kplr.bandcamp.com
• Rocket Machine: http://rocketmachinetapes.blogspot.com.au
I’m on the train as I write this. I look down on the neighborhoods I pass over, which shift from yuppie-ish to middle-class to really not great, and I think that I’m not scared of any of these places, right? This is all part of my “home” or something, right? Like, in the big picture I mean. But I’m thinking now that maybe I’d be in deep over my head out there alone at night trying to find my way around in some places of the city, cutting through zones at once close to home and entirely foreign in the darkness, following the train tracks above my head or at my feet or waiting one more hour for a bus in the doorway of a closed church. It’s not about the people, in this case. It’s the character and atmosphere of the city itself. In a moment of vulnerability, I wonder if it’ll offer me its blessing or continue to obstruct my way home.
San Francisco residents Barn Owl (Jon Porras and Evan Caminiti) have tuned into the terror in the city landscape. In collaboration with filmmaker and projectionist Paul Clipson, they offer us six minutes of prismatic urban claustrophobia with their video for “Void Redux,” a track from their forthcoming album V (due April 16 from Thrill Jockey). A fixture of the San Francisco scene, Clipson has crafted stunning film accompaniments for some of the West Coast’s experimental elite, including Grouper, Gregg Kowalsky, Golden Retriever, and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. In “Void Redux,” he presents a kinetic montage of overlapping Super 8 footage filmed in Zagreb, Geneva, and Berlin. Clipson’s kaleidoscopic abstractions develop and multiply alongside Barn Owl’s layers of processed synths, guitars, and percussion until we turn left into the most glistening type of hallucination and rush dizzy down a series of more and more alien avenues.
18+ ft. Victor Tricard
Such hesitation comes in so small a subject. Finely on the surface as soft. Rough where the voice crackles in tone. The moment before it all starts was so long ago. Just as the tower tumbles, you catch eyes. “Ode Crébillon,” you whisper, and it’s falling. Faster than earning crébillon in monetary value. But the memory comes in as if it’s happening and you’re not there. Yet it is. The ground beneath you loses faith in your feet. Guts in your lungs and the feeling of fleeting. Her hands are in your hands and then they’re not. Like a dream, you’re floating. As a kiss tastes like what you make it. Speed and time is of the mind now. And precious and rare and freak moments as these last only as long as they last. The sensation cannot replicate. You see everything and you see her. Nostalgia is riding over bumps in a station wagon. Love is fitting. It’s all hesitant, and hair gets in your mouth. Her eyelashes have peeled back with the lids. Tears blur every last moment until.
“Hare Tarot Lies”
“Dude, No Joy is the best band ever. Two hot blonde girls just shredding away. Sooooo amazing.” So tweeted Best Coast’s Bethany Consentino waaaay back in 2010. In the years that have since followed, the Montreal dream poppers have shared their swooning shoegaze stage show with not only Ms. Consentino, but also Surfer Blood, Wire, and Clinic, with the last of whom they’re currently on tour. The outfit is gearing up to release Wait to Pleasure on April 22, and judging from “Hare Tarot Lies” and the earlier-released “Lunar Phobia,” it appears that they’re determined to rally against the monotonous drone created by their guitars. The background roar here is very Loveless, but the additional touches feel fresh — the piano creeping along underneath the din, the soothing harmonies circling above it, the sun-washed guitar fractals continuing throughout. Not sure if No Joy is the best band ever, but this new material from Wait to Pleasure definitely merits a listen. It’s shoegaze with more space to breathe, and here, a little wiggle room goes a long way.
It’s not inaccurate to say that “ÁlæifR” sounds similar to other synth-driven cassettes Not Not Fun has produced in the past few years. I won’t bore you with my experience listening to the label or how much I do or don’t enjoy this track, but if you’re looking for similar music of theirs in the release pile, Moon Wheel just may be right there with ya. What kinda feel does this have compared to other Not Not Fun releases? For starters, it has more of that hidden underground retro-futurism feel. Example: a laboratory miles under 1950s Earth, walls consisting of wires and plugs and mainframes, cots for the cult of scientists living there, led by their chief, sleep standing up, farm vegetables. They were trying to harness inner-world energy to create everlasting life. And the project was called “ÁlæifR.” Fed through tubes and filters, this everlasting substance absorbs bits of heat and shattered light within its proximity, so the lab is constantly below freezing and dark. There’s a side-paneled room for absorption testing, but nobody has ever walked out everlasting and alive. So they continued, lost beneath the Earth’s surface. Evolving their vision and hearing. Now, humans have a piece of what was “ÁlæifR” via Moon Wheel’s newest self-titled cassette on Not Not Fun. Out as of yesterday: GET IT!! Nope, I bought em all… maybe.