MICROVIEW :: Volume 20a By TJ Norris

1029 image 1

>>> Key

  • . Frozen In Time (10 Below)
  • . . On Thin Ice (Playable)
  • . . . Icebreaker (Solid)
  • . . . . Sonic Ice (Repeat)
  • . . . . . Avalanche (Classic)

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Francisco Lopez :: Live in San Francisco
  • CD :: 23five Incorporated
  • . . . . .

    1029 image 2 :: At Sonar 2003 the most fascinating live performance by far was the limited audience piece by Francisco Lopez at Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum. He had the audience blindfolded and lying on square ottomans in the complete darkness. Let’s just say it was an altering mind/body experience that this reviewer will never forget. Big thanks to San Fran’s 23five for making the extra effort to document a precursor piece (that is packaged with, sans instructions, a blindfold). The work is a haze of swarming crickets, a serrated blend of industrial drone. The first piece “Live at the Lab – Hexaphonic” was performed live in the Summer of Y2K. Building and growing it crescendos with a metallic drop and just withers away softly, like a cartoon’ish shy machine. But again, at about ten minutes into this eighteen minute piece, it floods the room with flaring treble, like some massive periscopic field device taking over a major city by night. There’s something rather ambitious about the assumed size of the sound as it just oozes all over everything and caresses the hallways and crevices of the space it is released into. “Live at 3feetofftheground” starts off like a distant thunderstorm with a fine, soft hiss like grassy rain migrating through the air. Something about this recording gets me anxious, and I’m a laid back guy. It just quivers for these segments and then you’re in the fryer, sizzling like the edge of a raucous cymbal. Lopez plays with the elements in a sensory play of sonic, vibrating revelry that doesn’t let go of you.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Kammerflimmer Kollektief :: Absencen
  • CD :: Staubgold
  • . . . 1/2

    1029 image 3 :: “Lichterloh” opens with a clear modern pop-jazz flare on Absencen, the fifth album by the German sextet Kammerflimmer Kollektief. But that’s just the start, don’t discount this record at first scance, there’s a whole lotta genre-bending melodies stuffed in this collection. Overtures of classical vibrancy mixed with the feel of Goldfrapp’s ‘Felt Mountain’ topped with a bit of sci-fi ala Kubrick’s anti-soundtrack to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. Shades of colors and rough edges bleed in braids over and around each other scantily in “Nachtwache, 15. September”. The center to the production is the very tenuous and watchful percussion, it sounds so live and courting in its own space in and out of the background, but remains constant and stays with the various rhythms and curves from fluttering horns and other knobbing popping out like a standard on “Shibboleth”. I feel like I am listening to a set from Miles’ quartet with some updated, ornate structures thrown in for good measure. Another tribute to the Gun Club’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce (see reviews for Two Lone Swordsmen’s recent ‘Sex Beat EP’) on “Unstet” which follows its long nose through hayseed and tumbleweeds. Yah, it’s a bleary, long days cross between say Cowboy Junkies and Ry Cooder, with the cinematic consciousness of fellow collective Godspeed You Black Emperor. It just makes space sound more open. The techno snake-dance that is “Matt” is a quickie track that teases, taunts and wriggles in shortened syncopation to a dead halt.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Eric Malmberg :: Den Gàtfulla Människan
  • CD :: Häpna
  • . . .

    1029 image 4 :: The Hammond organ is something pretty staid, tried and true in the annals of music, from the Phantom to the back of the church, but Eric Malmberg concocts something quite exotically charged, briskly ornate and psychedelic all at once. It floats and emotes, and is grand kin to the stylistic trance inducing early 70’s work of Tangerine Dream and Can. Here you will find some raw, organic melodies, born first thing in the morning, cracking dawn with sweet scaled layers of light. I appreciate the choice to have these tracks seamlessly weave into each other subtly, it only benefits the long-playing hypnotic, tale-evolving feel in the work. Somewhere here the sounds of television themes for shows like Nova, Jacques Cousteau’s Wild Sea Adventure and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom are hinted at dully. It’s a bit of that lazy Saturday afternoon placidly bored thing going on. But it seems to work and at the same time poke at the Muzak culture that has evolved. Throughout some of the tracks there is a time signature that is captured by a counting percussion sound playing centrally in “Överjaget.” It’s a record of wide-eyed colorful emotions and otherwise dreamy pastoral settings.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Looper :: Squarehorse
  • CD :: Absurd
  • . . .

    1029 image 5 :: Sax, cello and percussion Greek trio Looper present two lengthy tracks on their debut Squarehorse. Sparse and esoteric at first, the minimal play on sound widens like a bit of an electrical current steadily charging. Some high pitched feedback is courted and controlled, like waves of vibratory signals. The cello can instantly morph from a saw to the edge of an ocean. Midway through the first track it seems to veer off to an ending, but Looper has another good 8 or so minutes to stretch and strain and struggle in and out of an industrial twist of galvanized warble. Martin Küchen, Nikos Veliotis and Ingar Zach start off part two quite silently, just a vague crackle and bowing emerge. The sounds that you get from blowing into the top of a glass bottle faint rise to the surface, like those at an old ship yard harbor. What comes next is just plain mysterious, dark, dramatic scrap drone that plays with detonated fire extinguishers and hairpin tones that shoot straight through the cornea into the vortex of your brain’s last nerve ending.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Carter Tutti :: Live Concert LEM Festival October 4, 2003
  • CD :: Gliptoteka Magdalae
  • . . . .

    1029 image 6 :: Something wicked this way comes –wicked good that is (pardon the 80’s slang). Liquid rhythms flow in isolated hypnotic patterns, streaming lengthwise, long and loose. For the Throbbing Gristle alums this is quite secretively slithering and so sensually wet. Atmospheric head-trip drone, passages that just wrap themselves around you like a chilling massage, diodes firmly in place. Yes, this is the core of the night, personified. “Calm Circle” actually isn’t at all calm. In fact it’s the Jaws theme redux, while a simultaneous calmative is on overload. You are taking those curves on a winding road with no streetlights in a lightning storm through crooked steep paths on the coast of some remote island. Dizzying and dangerous.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Andrey Kiritchenko :: True Delusion
  • CD :: Nexsound
  • . . . .

    * Ukraine :: “Scope of My Perception” is a very pretty intro of off-centered guitar strings that just dance in a pale light. True Delusion is contemporary folk music that uses the guise of noise and various samples that include feedback and the openness of a room capped by a chaotic open mic that wanders, gets dragged and plays with the Polaroid quality of field recordings. The crickets, digging in the dirt and other activities are rigorously tended to as Kiritchenko strums his strings on “Both My Sides.” The piano on “Illusion of Safety” is not as threatening as it is quite lovely. Tells a story of quiet patience, anticipation. The story changes to something of a spiral staircase snow-globe of lost control in the startling “Illusory Self-Motion” that is just raw, unrefined and sudden. ‘True Delusion’ winds down with delicate, repetitive melodies that toy with a far more sleepy side of this album. “Agravic Illusion” is the static foam produced by the last lapping waves of Summer. Low tide drifts away, in it the memories of all this play.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Andreas Meland/Lasse Marhaug :: Brakhage
  • CD :: Melektronikk
  • . . . .

    1029 image 7 :: Beyond Grandpeople’s seductively psychedelic and explosively colorful cover art Brakhage is a split release by two emerging artists come together to pay homage to filmmaker Stan Brakhage. And with sass and brass these two men re-style this recording, originally performed live back in ’03. The results permeate the listening space into an experience in instant solitude, as Andreas Meland wrangles through the six-part “Dog Star Man.” It’s like sipping ether through a swirly straw, just bloating your head with an slow-churned eruption of blisteringly shaped white noise that tightly wraps itself over and over like an endless spool of twine. This is not sheer noise, its cultivated sound-art noise, with blowing whistles and a vibrant presence. When Meland softens the tones there is an air of twitchiness, a nerve spasm, quiet but omnipresent. Lasse Marhaug’s (Jazzkammer) single 1/2 hour “The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes” track opens with a passage that blurs at intervals and slowly adds textural surface noise. Quietly hypnotic as guitars are only hinted at, the track could illustrate a stagnant ecosphere, dried-up bodies of water and the wind just rustling through a long, shadowy canyon. A gurgling grind begins balanced by an itchy micro-beat. In all, it’s a pretty subduing ride into a dulling dense darkness.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Evol :: Magia Potagia
  • CD :: Mego
  • . . .

    1029 image 8 :: The Spanish duo Evol presents three rubbery, cut-up algorithmic compositions done exclusively with computer on Magia Potagia. The fluorescent opener, a half-hour long stirred up game of nerdy electro-soundmath called “Punani Potagia” bounces, flips, reverses, stops and starts again. It’s a big blend of swirly noise and bold fun. If I didn’t know better I would probably have checked to see if someone’s PS2 was seriously malfunctioning. It’s a hyperific, neon ringtone sonata from Mars. An air raid of fuzzy balloons and skittering feedback greet the ear on the centerpiece, “Pus pus pus.” It’s a swarm thing that just keeps circling menacingly. This lightheaded barrage may scare off some smaller insects. It’s a macro/micro duality sounding quite irritable. The sci-fi sounds of “Walpurgis” end this trio of quirky cuts. Layers of warnings, all sort of circus-like and hazy. Half way through a combo of sweet tones and sticky and syrupy movements. The collage gets denser, like the sounds of an arena event before some spectacular ice show. All in all this album is like a fallen deck of card, many pieces scattered loosely, free-fallen, random, and haphazardly organic.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Freiband/Boca Raton :: Product
  • CD :: Crónica
  • . . . . 1/2

    * Portugal :: Portugal’s Crónica once again must be acknowledged for keeping to task, and truly offering work that is challenging in the busted world of electronic music. Freiband (Frans de Waard) and Boca Raton (Martijn Tellinga) team up to release their split live recording from 04’s Earational Festival (the Netherlands). The jittery “Temptations” sways with a ridged and weighed crackle, something of a rocking ship on stormy seas complete with outdated floorboards. As the low rumble of droney hum beckons quietly into the distance a warning tone glides resonantly like a constant reminder, an alarm call. Throughout de Waard uses a low-grade vinyl hiss to play on the artist’s hand in the work, an organic earthy reminder that we all grew from an analogue world that was far less Technicolor just a few years ago. “Heaters” builds this up into a field of braided friction, as it warms up the room, literally. As the chugging motor of Boca Raton’s “Crop” (circles) begins there’s a bit of space, a breath, and some sense that activity like watching, searching and scraping is taking place. It’s an active piece that also blends lovely, yet sheer Asian tonalities that just glisten. It sounds like Tellinga has incorporated field recordings of blunt force winds, adding a natural percussive element here. As these circles evolve he adds tension with tiny gestural pieces that are a bit fidgety, and uncoordinated. These circles build like a forceful gas and wind down to a soft scratch like a rake on hardened, smooth surface. The sweet chirping of an arboretum bodes well for the sonic tones that just let go into the wilderness. It’s quite rapturous how he did that.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

  • Erik Griswold :: Altona Sketches
  • CD :: Room40
  • . . . . 1/2

    1029 image 9 :: Brisbane-based Erik Griswold’s “Imperfect Memories” checks-in with a broken and forlorn ‘lil music box. But soon “Wednesday” brightly springs-open the aural passages in a hopeful mix of many of his handmade contraptions using piano strings that are laced, stretched and otherwise prepared. Humpday never sounded so much like contemporary Japanese music, but throughout this seventeen-minute pulsating track it’s a bright testament to how you can stretch tradition to new lengths. As his days of the week run amok and land upright, passages are soothing, then rushing, then a mix of massage and a tweak of mayhem. This is ornamental collected chaos, filtered and formatted. And so goes “Thursday” and “Friday” (the stand-out track here for sure), like pages from a punctuated journal, Griswold sort of uses this improvisational format to hint at Schroederesque overtures with a humor and lots of tonal vitality. It’s playful, yet inquisitive and naive. “Pink Memories” combines a gawky toy piano with miniature click taps that act as an interval between tracks. “Clicks & Pops” is as its titled, a bit of something like a spray paint can revving. It’s a colorful collage of artful composition.

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

    Essential Links ::

  • 23five Incorporated
  • Staubgold
  • Häpna
  • Absurd
  • Gliptoteka Magdalae
  • Nexsound
  • Melektronikk
  • Mego
  • Crónica
  • Room40

  • ARCSINE (Microview Logo + Graphics)

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

    Read more Microview’s ::

  • Helicopter
  • Touch
  • www.fonik.dk
  • Mousike Lab
  • W.M.O.R.
  • Hibarimusic
  • Constellation
  • Absurd
  • Häpna
  • Mosz
    Sub Rosa

  • Forma

  • ARCSINE (Microview Logo + Graphics)

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

    Read more Microview’s ::

  • 20b, 20a, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13,
  • 12,
    11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

    ::..:::…..:..::….:::::..:::..:::::::……:::…::.:::….::::..:..:::…::…….::::

    *Note :: Graphic for this country not available at time of publication.

  • 0 Comments

    You can be the first one to leave a comment.

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.