Nova Scotian Arms
The universe is righting itself with plans for an overdue Nova Scotian Arms vinyl to be released on Digitalis this fall. Thank you, Halloween Gods, for Cult Spectrum, which will certainly show Grant Evans doing his usual best to scare up a thick sonic dust cloud of tape loops and keyboard granules. And if you’re close to Asheville for Halloween weekend, you’ll want to see Grant’s other project Quiet Evenings, along with a smattering of other bottomfeeder drone heads and tape weirdos, play at FoogMess. Uh, you’re welcome.
You will remember this track’s namesake as the pouty-lipped French angel in Mission: Impossible. Certainly a choice objet du désir, and the strange, free jazz/drone electronics combination that has become the signature of this Italian wunderkind is shown here in full force — it’s definitely worthy of her name. “Emmanuelle Béart” is actually an older piece by Valerio Cosi, originally released in a box set called Ode to France on Ruralfaune. But Cosi has recently teamed up with keyboardist Cosimo Friscira to form TUIN▲LS whose honorable aim is to create an “alien soundworld inspired by 78 RPM recordings.” Eyes peeled for a full-length out later this year. Meanwhile, dreams of Emmanuelle.
“From Love to Dust”
If you want some impossible-to-dance-to rhythms, Project Mooncircle is your resource. Sina’s From Love To Dust, out in early November, just barely holds its elements together for three minutes of spliced vocals and dangerously placed hi-hat. This makes it a fairly thrilling experience. Anyone who’s heard the jittery brilliance of Shlohmo or artists in the Brainfeeder gang will hear where Sina’s been influenced. But he does manage to give his productions a distinctly British feel. I’m not talking about trivial niceties with tea and crumpets here; this is good old pessimism served with a dose of healthy gloom.
• Project Mooncircle: http://www.projectmooncircle.com
Technology and digital shit is always progressing. I saw a TED lecture two or three years ago about the rate in which technology doubles itself, and how this rate gets faster every day. What I enjoy in music today is how musicians preserve their work. Like, the way each audio track is recorded can be rendered from a wide variety of digital and physical equipment. What do the new DJ Rashad, Caretaker, Javelin, and Michał Jacaszek joints all got in common? They all taking from the old and making it new. Now, I don’t have a set definition for any word in particular, but old/new — in music, that is — shapes a somewhat solid meaning for “progressive.” And in “Dare-gale,” Jacaszek got into his old school baroque zone. Yeah-yeah, and his sparkling-ambiance, featuring electric static and softly spoken tickled bells make me question how many bitches he own. But getting no answer is straight with me. ‘Cause I don’t know shit. Unless it’s December 6, when Jacaszek’s new album Glimmer hits the internet via Ghostly International.
Like many artists concentrating their efforts on noise and drone, Haptic are an enigmatic bunch. And also similar to others in the field, they’re a prolific bunch as well. However, I’m not sure others could boast such varied instrumentation:
A-Bitrman, Acousticon hearing aid, A-E2, air conditioner, bass drum, baoding balls, bows (cello and violin), cassette recorders, contact microphones, crotales, cymbals, DS-1, EHX-2880, e-bow, electric fan, electric bass, fabric, floor tom, found home recordings, FX42-B, GE-7, guitars, harmonica, hurdy gurdy, laptop computer, lapsteel, leaf, location recordings, marbles, metronome, ME-50, MF-105M, MX802A, open circuits, oscillator, paper (various weights), parade drum (bass), pianos (baby grand, concert grand, Rhodes), portable CD players, PS-5, radio, record player, recorder telephone pickups, RV-3, sand, sewing machine, snare drum, sparklers, strobe light, tone chimes, tuning forks, wineglass, wire brush, wooden clothespin
Now, I have as much knowledge of the intricate sounds of an “Acousticon hearing aid” as the next person, yet each item on the list seems to have its own cameo in Haptic’s tenth release, coordinated by Entr’acte and FSS. The result is a phenomenally complex and arid drone sound that is constantly and subtly changing. What begins as an ambiguous, warm chord mutates into what sounds like the vents of a deserted office block (something like these guys) before wailing sine waves and other screaming pitches kick in. As an anagram of silence, the title of the record hopes to portray the way sound and silence are never created, but merely reordered into new forms. So, for me, it’s hats off to the air conditioner, which I’m quite sure is the star player after having been arranged to create this disturbing and fascinating soundscape.