more yomp than stroll: socrates martinis, enrique r. palma, richard kamerman, louie rice & daniel bennettApril 4, 2017 at 6:13 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | 1 Comment
Tags: computer, daniel bennett, digital noise, electronics, enrique r palma, kostis kilymis, louie rice, omft, organized music from thessaloniki, process, richard kamerman, socrates martinis
Socrates Martinis – Under the arches of her voice (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
Enrique R. Palma – Contenance (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
Richard Kamerman – Music for Glassblower’s Studio and Broken Toy Piano (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
Louie Rice- 33/45 (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
Daniel Bennett – Roil (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
Socrates Martinis – Under the arches of her voice (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) CD and digital album
Richly textured recordings of rumbling mic damage. Abstract in the extreme, this symphony of hiss and clicks, gritty-roar and deflated muss are edited cruelly with a straight razor.
The quick, decisive cuts that dart between dry hessian rough and oily slipperiness are arresting to say the least. No sooner does my heart-rate settle into a particular gruff hum then I’m thrown by a high-end squeal or inflatable ping.
Track 3, ‘Under the arches of her voice, words explode in blue sparks like gunpowder spilled on candles’ gradually reveals a slender hand dropping plastic cups, the echo of the cloister thick and clouded as mediaeval glass.
To my cloth ears track 4, ‘Under the arches of her voice, horses carry the milk of dawn’ seems the most worked on: an imagination of typists clicking away on MacBook keys, inside the Laundromat, singing bowls rubbed with warm Vaseline.
But its track 6, ‘Under the arches of her voice, the air of summer whistles over the headless statues of the hours’ that stretches out a battered alarm bell’s (?) tinny ring into the most gorgeous fade out you’ll hear today.
But any way you want to slice this dusty fig the power of the scrubbed and polished sonic palate is palpable.
Like stepping down the ladder of the landing vehicle to emerge blinking into the harsh white light of Mars.
Enrique R. Palma – Contenance (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) 3 inch CD
Enrique offers us lucky listeners a passport to an imagined future via the murmurings of some giant data engine. The sound of one million calculations bouncing from damp connectors and making the valves glow a warm sunset orange.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself here. The process is important and in this case the process involves Javier Beci on melodica huffing over Enrique’s bowed cymbal and computer morass – the electronic 10101010’s merging seamlessly with that dry breath bruising a vibrating reed. Simple enough I guess but the resulting bluster can throb wildly like a stubbed toe or smear itself as hot tar covers a pock-marked road. Gosh…either approach is good for me and I find myself rocking gently to this 20 minute piece never quite relaxing but riding the changes in intensity and clarity…we’re weaving between clearly recorded melodica/cymbal and abstracted NOIZE flickering like a stick pulled across a chain-link fence /or/ a rusty jet taking off /or/ a scrap-yard dog dragging an iron bone across black rivets.
The only un-rawkus moments are the final 3 mins. Of course this only serves to remind us of the technique and brains behind this operation. As slack as a Jazzfinger jam, this brief pause in the splintering noise digs deep into the engineering of sound, pulling leavers and oiling the blunt teeth of the many cogs making up this contraption.
File under: magnifying-raindrops-to-better-understand-the-hurricane music.
Richard Kamerman – Music for Glassblower’s Studio and Broken Toy Piano (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) Cassette and digital album
Blimey! Ultra-minimal rattle and site specific munge; a real scratcher that makes me go ‘wha?’ And I like it.
Side one – This may well be a glassblowers studio with the fiery ‘husss’ of the blast furnace underpinning some rusty hinges, various droppage and steel-rod clangs along with an almost Lucier-like radio chattering in a room (in a room). There’s an easy momentum as things get plunged into stuff, utensils are washed and tools are replaced noisily to the tool box.
Side two – The flipside makes me think of a miniature Big Ben, small enough to fit in John Cage’s top pocket along with the pens. Delicately placed pings humbly peal through a glorious riot of cassette grot. Ever heavier manners are laid upon the scene until dread is the only emotion vibrating out the stereo. A happy finish of deeper drone, slow slaps and the faint impression that you’ve left the iron on.
Layers of enigmatic rustle; plateaus of barren shell-noise whistle – this cassette pushes boundaries.
Louie Rice- 33/45 (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) 7 inch single and digital album
Right-to-left dry brillo scours out your ears, bouncing
A slow glutinous train advances from Osaka directly into your weak skull
Onward black snake, advance dark worm!
This hiss that shuffles the shadows, the finger that smears grease on soft bacon
A fumble for tickets means you drop your felt hat
More pop than mope, more yomp than stroll
The interior dialogue of a boulder (containing quartz and seams of basalt)
The soft rubber leavings from an erased life-drawing collected in tiny pyramids
Metal Guru? Iron Man?
There’s a great Wurlitzer in the sky hungry for the 3:23 of this perfect un-beat
Daniel Bennett – Roil (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) CD
This sharp palette of breathtaking sourness makes me realise how sweet and cloying much of today’s music is, as our Daniel is relishing in the zesty and tangy on this quartet of electronic pieces.
The first two tracks ‘Pain’ and ‘Mint’ are forged of elements ranging from thin magnesium to bright electric scissor-kicks. They unfold like the endless belt on an escalator, gnashing interlocking steel teeth with a relentless energy. But there is enough black avalanche to please a grim-faced noise fan. For me though the sweet spot comes in the quieter moments: a reflective squeal, an introverted circuit snap, all placed with unknowable logic.
The second pair of tracks take a clubbable twist with the scent of salty bodies writhing on ‘Tennenbaum’ and ‘We’. The first is a superbly warped beat and bass rumble that’s boiled down until it is almost liquid. The approach to rhythm is choppy as the Solent with static breakers crashing on a crisp digital shore…
…and on my deckchair I fantasise about FKA Twigs humming over the top of the bit-splicing, waving a tiny foot in a bruised ballet pump.
The closer ‘We’ is a bacchanal; a no-holds-barred ritual in losing one’s shit at 6am in the morning after fourteen hours of hard partying and then ending up in a chill out room with a cyborg Sunn O))) providing the vibes.
Or do you disagree?
Tags: aetheric records, in atoms, joe murray, organized music from thessaloniki, slowthaw, will montgomery
Will Montgomery – The crystal at the lips (CD, organized music from thessaloniki, t29, edition of 200)
In Atoms – WREATHS (self-released download)
slowthaw – doll cuts (download, aetheric records)
Will Montgomery – The crystal at the lips
Super-brain Will takes not one but two scores from toff-composer Manfred Werder and uses their cryptic instructions to place his hizzing field recordings about the noble Hansard Gallery, Southampton.
I’m a relative newcomer to all this kinda jazz and find the pale austerity a real turn-on. So, for once, I resist the temptation to listen ‘blind’ and check out a bunch of links that lead me to Werder’s beautiful and inventive scores and a disturbing picture of the other Will Montgomery… a so called Chicago Bear. I’m hungry for context and even beat a path to the straightest RFM bedfellow yet [Editor’s note: you’re on a warning].
So, rigid with excitement, my pink little shrimps pick up the baffling wind and stray electrix easy enough. I tune in deeper and the sea-birds start caw-cawing (it’s Southampton right) and small-city hubbub of traffic and noisy kids kind of build a bivouac between my hammer and anvil.
Some voice intones ‘honey’ or ‘honning’ or ‘awwney’ or something, adding to the general duck-egg blue fuss in the air between my speakers. I catch myself squinting as I’m listening with a fierce intensity. The high heel footsteps clip-clop and are as dubby and regular as a Pole jam from way back. And then…it’s over. You know I can’t get enough of this domestic psychedelic sound-world so press play again.
When I finally recover my frothing I check out track two, ‘Filtrate’, which is even better. It’s an exercise in reduction, redaction and erasure. Will takes a source field recording from the desk of one Mr Kostis Kilymis and proceeds to rub out all the ‘field’ frequencies. This delicate slash with the tippex leaves the lucky listener with a transparent ghost of the original recordings. Beautiful magnetic curves loop out of ether mirroring Sarah Hughes’ spare sleeve design.
I recline awkwardly and close my eyes to concentrate harder. It’s all just feedback I guess but the tones are so wonderfully grimy and smeared… all soft grey pencil rather than garish fluorescent highlighter and tracing single lonely arcs. One by one the tones rise and fall in splendid isolation. And never, until the closing seconds, do they intersect, setting off a sepia-tinted soft blossom.
There’s a calming desolation to these recordings, like watching sand blow off the crest of a dune.
In Atoms – WREATHS
A super-classy synth/drone affair in three parts.
- Pretty dramatic, like Black Beauty, as horses appear out of the mist. There’s a close up of a sweating flank and long-lashed eye. You can feel the yearning from the saddle.
- The intro to Sweatloaf (complete with vinyl crackles) but instead of Sabbath riffs we get lovely denuded drum patterns.
- Gentle floating? A bath of warm cumin seeds; at first a dry slithering over the body but then eczema-like patches form sticking to any protein dampness.
slowthaw – doll cuts
Blissed-out electro/drone summons the unveiling of a leisure centre in Asgard. All the gods and demi-gods stand proud as the wave machine is turned on for the first time and marvel at the heated floors and lockers you open with a 20 pee piece. After the frolics they stop for hot chocolate on their way out.
Scene: A horizon scanning meeting in the Department of Transport. While the interim Accounts Director (the real Director is on sabbatical – yeah right!) outlines our 2016/2017 business plan I track the starlings over Victoria Coach Station. Huge abstract shapes fold in on themselves. Murmurations… that’s the word for their psychedelic ravelling my shattered brain reminds me.
Their black-fuzz smears the peachy sky.
It hypnotises me to such a degree I’m absentmindedly rolling my pen across the desk, ‘clack, clack, clack’ it goes.
Anything to add Mr Murray?
The interim Director points at me.
It’s about all I can manage under the circumstances.
the heady scent of courage: joe murray on greta buitkute, alan wilkinson, thf drenching, seth cooke, nick hoffman, va aa lrFebruary 12, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: 1000füssler, adam asnan, alan wilkinson, council of drent, dictaphonics, dominic lash, electronica, fort process festival, free jazz, greta buitkute, improv, infinite jukebox, joe murray, lf records, louie rice, new music, nick hoffman, no audience underground, noise, organized music from thessaloniki, paul lomere, plush wattle, seth cooke, thf drenching, va aa lr, vasco alves, vocal improvisation
Greta Buitkute & THF Drenching – Contribution to a Discussion on Tic (download, Plush Wattle)
Alan Wilkinson & THF Drenching – Night of the Flaming Meatus (download, Council of Drent)
Seth Cooke – Eternal World Engines Of The Demiurge (3” CD-r, LF Records, LF044)
Seth Cooke / Dominic Lash – PACT (3” CD-r, 1000füssler, 025, edition of 60)
Nick Hoffman – Necropolis (CD, organized music from Thessaloniki, t26, edition of 200)
VA AA LR – Newhaven (3” CD-r, organized music from Thessaloniki, t27, edition of 100)
Greta Buitkute & THF Drenching – Contribution to a Discussion on Tic
An under-the-radar, sneaked-out recording from two of the out-est heads around.
I came across this one by accident via that You Tube. This led to a series of embedded links, a journey through the dark web to the home of the Plush Wattle Corporation, where this very generous free download sits.
Taking callused thumbs, fingers and twin gob-holes to act as our orchestra these two have charmed their way into my very bones. This is an intimate listen, full of clicks, creaking and rustling; it’s an interior sound world that’s perfect for headphones and tedious train journeys.
So (drum roll please)…introducing Greta Buitkute! Greta might be a new name to Radio Free Midwich but she has been wowing Northern audiences with her fresh take on vocal jaxx/nu-scat for the last couple of years. A recent move to Manchester, a light ale quaffed and connections made via The Human Heads means Greta and the great THF Drenching have teamed up – their individual super powers amplified by the presence of similar corduroy mutants.
You already know THF Drenching and you’re thinking Dictaphones yeah? Sure, the Dictas make an appearance but over half of this collection is vocal-based doof, hurling two well-lubricated throats together to dance merrily like bacteria in a Petri dish.
Yet keen Drenching watchers will note the Dictaphone tone is drier – less squelch; more rattle and hink/rustle and clatter. The bombs are deftly dropped and the feedback ‘heek’ soars like a rectangular alto.
‘Bach Bathed in Bathos, Full Illustration’ is an important cornerstone. An Hawaiian motel room is wrapped up in garish litmus paper, reacts pinkly and then is noisily unwrapped. You can’t beat them apples!
But it’s the twin-vocal pieces that froth me over like excited milk. The twin ‘Portrait of Baize Wattle’ pieces (large and small) make me recall those European Public Information films that would show up on That’s Life! The humorous animation would be followed by a vaguely chucklesome punchline…’Winner’s drink piss’ or something like that. The pace is furious but uncluttered; live with no overdubs (I think). This almost puritan and old oaty approach really pays off. The clean living certainly lends itself to Amish-style efforts.
This is in and out, reflexive and agile music. It slips happily between hi-brow and goose-honk, pearly notes and granddad mumble. As the closing seconds of the recording state:
Oh my God, it’s exhausting
THF Drenching (sniffs with a chuckle):
Alan Wilkinson & THF Drenching – Night of the Flaming Meatus
This is an altogether more Jazz recording. Two pieces; live, live, live at Sconny Rotts (2014) or something.
Welcome, reader a fine pair of foils: thin breath pushed through brass and the quivering whine of sculptured feedback. Damn, that’s good!
(i) Like snakes making out in the back of an old Audi until they make a mess of the upholstery; their coppery tones get all twisted and spoony.
(ii) Old doods reminiscing about the days in their wartime dance band – sounds leak all gummy from their ears.
(iii) The alarm on our oven telling me the bread’s ready…oh wait. That is the oven. Give me a minute…
…but it’s not all top-end tomfoolery. A real satisfying base layer of hissing creak (Dictas) and watery saliva- garbles (Saxes) give this a weighty gravity that pulls on the rocketing undulations (a flight of a condor).
And if you’re still asking questions about what free music is doing right now jam your ear up against these two beauties and huff up the heady scent of courage.
This is music for heroes!
PUBLIC APOLOGY: This review also functions as an apology to Mr A Wilkinson for my cheeky and childish ripping of his sound check sounds on my Correct Come tape. Sorry mate – can I buy you a pint or something?
Seth Cooke – Eternal World Engines of the Demiurge
These two pieces of electronic gumbo take what we might call process recordings and apply the extraction method adding calm and deliberate shadings to a real-world sound scenario.
In the first of two offerings Seth ransacks an insurance office circa 1978 whilst the office party averts prying eyes. The unmistakable sound of a dot matrix printer (duh…I was mistaken. Research shows it’s one of them stupid 3D doo-hickies) going all akka over a slowly emerging picture (in this case a 3D bust) of Benjamin Disraeli – or some similarly bearded goof – as it appears line by dotty line.
Said printer is jammed with cocktail sticks and discarded business cards – in reality electronic shadows – as he hits the print button and lets nature take its course. The frantic slide, shuffle and whirr is hypnotic and lulled me like a fat wren zonked by bright red berries until it snaps off into disturbing silence.
The calm is suddenly fractured by track number two, a gliding, sliding and silvery cascade; a perfect sound track to ice skating that would make Torvill & Dean throw greasy shapes ending up as sooty smears on the ice.
Gear heads will be pleased to note that the machinery on this disc was pioneered by Paul Lomere for his Infinite Jukebox that “endlessly extends and reconfigures MP3s by calculating probabilistic routes through the sound file based on pitch, timbre and metric position.”
Seth says he’s channelling Jack Kirby but for the romantics out there this is Bolero 2015 and a perfect 10 for artistic interpretation.
Seth Cooke/Dominic Lash – PACT
The quicksilver tones versus Pront-a-Print kerfuffle that starts this disc (‘PA’) are a waterslide into a world of grimy groan.
Massive and ungainly ‘things’ are rubbed with tweed gloves. Moist and sweating ‘objects’ are painfully squeezed to release sticky ichors. Soft and flexible ‘parts’ are cruelly bent into unholy shapes resembling the Goat of Mendes.
A close-up inspection reveals canyons of scrape and gummy friction. And while the pace remains stately for a time layers of rub and tug bring forth some slippery excitements. Oh Matron!
Track two (‘CT’) is a darker affair. The double bass bowing (Lash) and kitchen sink manipulation (Cooke) as uncooperative as a sullen teenager. Black storm clouds gather over my cheap-o high-fi and I feel my brows knit.
Gosh. This is brooding stuff.
The simple bass riff is not happy with me or you and doesn’t care who knows about it; electronics twinkle but with the black light of sea coal from Redcar beach. I love this sombre and funereal pace and can feel my mood merge into full-on sulk.
So, what you looking at eh? Clear off and leave me with Lash & Cooke. You don’t understand me anyway.
I hate everything!
More details here if you can be bothered.
Nick Hoffman – Necropolis
Microscopic attention to microscopic detail turns my hammer, anvil and stirrup into marshmallow fluff.
This is a record of extreme extremes: from hosepipe-full-on-gush to tiny cooling-metal-tik. These five pieces of sieved electronics lurch from Black Metal through the Gristleizer (The Rotten Core) to the ivory click of miniature pool balls intensifying until my speakers are fizzing and flipping-out like a model railway going straight to hell (Eros).
But what I like most about this disc are the abrupt edits, the inter-track halts and about turns that keep this grizzled noise monkey twisting to check that a fuse hasn’t blown. While I enjoy a heads-down, no-nonsense, continuous blast of fetid sludge as much as the next pair of ears being wrong-footed and fooled is a joy. What’s next? Is this build up going to explode or whimper out? It’s as slippery as Be-Bop from Minton’s Playhouse.
Nick pulls out all the stops for the lengthy closer, ‘The Scent of Ground Teeth’, a 16 minute monster of glitching signal, spluttering like a coffee percolator spiked with cobra venom.
If this blog was a radio show I would segue seamlessly from this blustery fizzing into the white-hot spitting of VA AA LR’s Newhaven. Recorded at last year’s fascinating Fort Process festival VA AA LR drop their usual prepared electronics and objects and carve out a landscape from the sound of distress flares alone. Taking away the literally explosive visual element you are left with a wonderfully peculiar 20 minutes of sparkling hiss and frazzle. Every permutation of splutter and crackle is worked through like Coltrane on Giant Steps, probing and searching; pushing forward and wringing all possible combinations from this electric spitball.
After a time the busy and frantic schizzle seems to fine-tune my old ear ‘ole letting me pick out tone and textural changes. There is a whole world in here as the planes of fuzzing gimble regroup like a forgotten language. Be sure to make a beeline for this vibrant crackle readers; a worthy bookend to that other splutter classic, Lee Patterson’s Egg Fry #2.
Tags: early hominids, field recording, glistening examples, grisha shakhnes, jason lescalleet, luke vollar, neil campbell, new music, no audience underground, noise, organized music from thessaloniki, paul walsh, psychedelia, seth cooke, zanntone
Grisha Shakhnes – Distance and Decay (CD, organized music from thessaloniki, t24, edition of 200)
Seth Cooke – Sightseer (3” CD-r, organized music from thessaloniki, t25, edition of 100)
early hominids – palpate (CD-r, zanntone, 000)
Grisha Shakhnes is a Moscow born, Tel Aviv based individual. I’ve heard of him before as he has a record released on Glistening Examples, the label run by American tape fiddler and conceptualist Jason Lescalleet. There are some obvious similarities between the two as both use obsolete recording devices to blur and confuse what is recorded and what is an artefact of the recording – are we hearing the inner workings of a tape machine or is this a field recording made ghostly with ferric oxide?
There are no details provided with Grisha’s disc just the enigmatic, lovely artwork and title. There are sounds that hang in space as if suspended in water, their movements as slow and methodical as a giant sea creature. Indeed, when I try to put into words the sounds of this disc I invariably end up with an aquatic theme. At one point I imagined a mini-sub coming across a metropolis on the ocean floor, its occupants staring slack jawed at the enormous structures of neon lights and chrome towers churning out geysers of bubbling water. Later I hear a game of snooker played under a waterfall before the sad lament of a female voice in an alien tongue is buried beneath the gloop of machine malfunction. A somnambulant feeling is maintained throughout the 75 minute duration making it an unwise choice for your car stereo but a great soundtrack for full time dreamers.
Seth Cooke presents us with an entirely different beast on his little disc. He lists his tools as:
no recording, recording and no input field recording
No, me neither. Whilst ‘Cape Coast Seashell Bowed On Minster-on-Sea Shore’ informs us of its method of execution, the other titles reveal very little other than a rye [Editor’s note: sic, but what a great typo! I’m keeping that one in] sense of humour: ‘If You Only Listen To One FLAC This Year’ being a prime example. The mood is lonely, with voyeuristic overtones. At one point I could hear Seth releasing a caged pigeon to fly around a dimly lit multi-story car park. In other moments a faceless individual impassively views a seaside location, now devoid of human life. A sense of disquiet is achieved as a recording of, essentially, nothing is gradually enhanced with surgical precision only to be abruptly cut off just as it starts to become uncomfortable then switched for grizzled distortion swiftly followed by ghostly tones receding dimly. I have to say the more I listen to this, the more impressed I am with the craft and thought that has gone into it. Seth has used the format of a 3″ disc to fit in a lot of ideas though it never feels overcrowded.
Both artists make ample use of field recordings and both presumably use some form of processing for further confusion. Where Grisha’s sounds are in no hurry to get anywhere and are blurred by the use of cassette tapes, Seth’s sounds are clear and shrapnel sharp with abrupt editing and unexpected changes in colour and tone. Seth’s espresso to Grisha’s grande latte, if you will.
I’ve seen early hominids, the duo of Paul Walsh and Neil Campbell, play a few times and part of the pleasure is marveling at the collection of noise kit spread before them: a couple of light activated boxes that fizz and crackle in response to strobes, like an angry serpent disturbed from its slumber, and all manner of odd looking stuff, presumably soldered together in a shady basement with the fiendish duo shouting ‘it’s alive, ALIVE!’ as it bleeps itself awake. One show in particular sticks in my mind from a few years ago at the Fox and Newt in Leeds. Paul and Neil created a Technicolor psych noise juggernaut that vibrated the tiny room while threatening to levitate the whole darned boozer into another dimension. It was what I’d always hoped Incapacitants would sound like: noise as the ultimate euphoric wig flipper.
The boys are in a more restrained mood here but their electronic gadgets still stutter and belch as if barely controlled by their probing fingers. Rather than batter us with a relentless sonic barrage the sounds are allowed to rise and fall into pleasingly awkward shapes. As I am hypnotized and my head begins to nod I visualize the two of them face to face over a table of wires and boxes creating a slurry of rich and spicy noise blarts while occasionally reaching for the ever present ale that fuels them. ‘Tis good stuff I tell thee.