P_Lab :: Times Square Webcam 3 (Care Not Care)

 With its noir cast, the quartet create a kind of meta-narrative, in which the city—and the city being watched—is the main character.

P_LAB is a group of two, three or four musicians dedicated to improvised drone and ambient noise. Oddly for a group whose music is made with synthesizers and laptops, it has very modest net presence. On Bandcamp, the two digital releases available are described as “mmmmmmmmingmmmmmmmoingmmm” and “pfffffffffffffssssssssssssssssssst,” respectively.

The band’s physical discography has hitherto only comprised of P_LAB + Kasper T. Toeplitz + Z, Live: Ce soir là, in which the band meet composer and “bass computer noise master” Toeplitz and Z (Emmanuel Zwenger, who actually only appears for the last minute and a half), in Caen, France, in March of 2012. Massive walls of drone noise being built up and torn back down reveal the rumble beneath the rubble and beneath that the beach, slowly blowing away to reveal unexpectedly stately archeological remains.

With Times Square Webcam 3, Paul Collins, Lukas Richarz, Adrien Lefebvre and Blandine Barthelemy gather round noon in their studio in Caen and tune in to a webcam across the Atlantic, aimed at downtown New York, improvising a kind of audio counterpart to Andy Warhol´s silent, static-camera film of the Empire State Building. Human presence was understandably at its minimum – a police patrol crept by, the odd clubber crept home. P_Lab´s thirty-two minute score exaggerates the muscular machinery beneath the tarmac and inside the buildings that keep the city’s infrastructure humming and blinking. With its noir cast, the quartet create a kind of meta-narrative, in which the city—and the city being watched—is the main character.

Times Square Webcam 3 is available on Care Not Care.

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