What else was Sarah Lipstate to do after releasing Glacial Glow (TMT Review), her most approachable Noveller album yet, than to follow it up with an ultra-limited looping cassette/quadruple-DVD titled ARTIFACT in all caps? For the experimental artists of the world, there is no other choice; it’s simply a matter of deciding on the exact number of looping DVDs and whether or not the package should include actual locks of hair. Well, Lipstate pulled it off, and here’s what Jspicer said about the original ARTIFACT release in a Cerberus column last summer:
Those who have witnessed Lipstate’s live show often find themselves as equally mesmerized by her filmmaking skills as they are her array of pedals and demure presence. ARTIFACT marks Lipstate’s first stab at combining her passions into a direct-to-consumer package. The four looping DVDs capture a recent installation, but it’s the cassette where Lipstate’s imagination grabs hold. Each six-minute cassette was uniquely recorded, one-of-a-kind artifacts (pun!) that link listener to artist. The first track to come to life from this idea may be the lightest Lipstate track I’ve ever heard. As her recorded output moves toward heavier basslines and deeper rhythms, the loop is ginger in its approach. Notes dance as if flower pedals carried in a warm summer breeze. The mood matches the installation’s isolated pictures recalling the work of Rodney Graham (in the place of Graham’s pop culture reinventions is one linked to abstract thought). Sadly, ARTIFACT’s supposed run of 50 was cut to 20, making its careful packaging and etched lettering the trophy of but a few Noveller fans; worse still, only 20 unique loops exist when Lipstate has proven herself capable of at least 50.
Weep no more (or weep harder now that your cassette is less special): Noveller has now hand-picked 12 of the best ARTIFACT loops and laid them out on a double LP for all to zone. As each tape held six minutes of music, each LP track will be roughly six minutes long and you’ll just have to stand up every once in a while and loop them yourselves. Talk Normal’s Sarah Register has mastered the whole thing for vinyl, and according to Lipstate it’ll “be off to the pressing plant as soon as I finish the gatefold artwork.” Why yes I will accept a “review” copy and one more for an adoring friend!!
As for 2012 jamming, Ms. Lipstate was commissioned by the Low End String Quartet to create a work for their altered string quartet setup — electric guitar, electric violin, amplified cello, and electric upright bass — and the finished composition will be premiered on April 14 (alongside a piece by Zoe Keating) at Center Stage in Reston, Virginia. Only thing is, they need your dollar bills to make it happen, as right now they haven’t even been able to cover the commissioning fee. Head here to see an explanatory video, give what you’re able, and receive incentives, all without even mentioning Kickstarter. Even if you only give $1 you’ll be rewarded with a download of “We Will Be at Sea Again” off the double LP. Twenty days are left and it’s less than 50% funded so far. Help your Virginia concert-goers out for once!