EYELID CINEMA 1
Noel Akchoté: Rien
(Winter & Winter, released 2000)
Noël Akchoté [guitar, concept]; Erik Minkkinen [computer];
Andrew Sharpley [sampler, turntable] (of Stock, Hausen, & Walkman)
(ripped from disc to 320, I think, or Apple Lossless)
from an article on Akchoté at http://www.specialradio.net/art/011.shtml:
<<"Rien" means "nothing". It is also a movie. Music can be perceived as a soundtrack to a movie, but in fact it was meant that music itself is a movie. The movie is about a travel, motion in space and time, connection of points, strokes and landscapes in one line. Noel Akchote plays the guitar, Eric Minkkinen works with computers, Andrew Sharpley operates a sampler and a turntable. Music is a heavy vibrating booming with inclusion of metal guitar sounds. Very little is happening; we hear - or literally see - flaming aurora and peaks of some events, indistinguishable in the fog. The massive background is distorted, short nervous sound strokes and points are not hanging down like decorative bijouterie; no, the body of music shudders, unfolds, turns around and is always moving back. Maybe it looks like a glance through the window of a running night train. What do you see? You see nothing - raindrops before your nose and rare lights, which fail to build any coherent landscape. When I asked him why he plays noise, Noel smiled: "I don't play noise. I play swing.">>
I don't know anyone who heard this record and thought it was remarkable. And nothing about it indicates that my real and sustained enjoyment of it (I listened to it for the first time in five years recently, and it still sounded excellent to me) is particularly idiosyncratic: even in 2000, the sounds themselves weren't particularly novel, and the compositional use of sampler and/or computer might even be pretty hackneyed at times. But there's a blending and a non-playing that blurs the lines between each musician but still, for me, sustains the kind of vaguely claustrophobic hot-house pressure vibe that seems to be the very soil of an improvised encounter, or more broadly, a playerly audio space: in a word, it nurtures the sense of SITUATION, more specifically, the sense of there being a situation (before us, or around us, or behind us, or beneath us, etc...you get the idea). All kinds of "playing" does this: what is tragedy, for example? What happens to Oedipus in Sophocles' play? How much of the happening is to him? Inside him (i.e. a shift in consciousness, a changing or turning of knowledge)? Inside us? So: even though this record might not be a watershed moment or an apotheosis of anything in particular, for me there's an essential tension between the state of sounds as a shifting field (the anonymous, passive, "readerly" aspect), and the more active, gestural, "playerly" dimension of the music. The music seems to be, optionally, a soundtrack or accompaniment, or better, may itself be accompanied by some striking black-and-white photos by Daido Moriyama (included in the download). As with the sounds, the photos: when seen in-sequence, AS sequence, there are, perhaps, certain expectations that meet with dissonance and obstruction, but there there are certainly the unshakeable feelings of loss, both of meaning and of patience, maybe of time as well, coupled with a strange urgency that feels like longing and resignation, by turns perhaps. Anyway, whatever is being done here, it still seems special to me, and much more moving and lush than any number of musics that it seems to resemble, in passing.
DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW DW
3/4 HadBeenEliminated: A year of the aural gauge operation
(Häpna H.26, 9 tracks, 59 minutes, released 13 December 2005)
3/4 HadBeenEliminated: s/t (first record)
(all tracks composed and recorded march|november 2003, released by Bowindo)
(both downloaded at 192-256, iirc...thx to the original uploader)
I think less needs be said about these two; praise need be less qualified, that is. Aside from their mysterious name, this group makes music that straddles different ways of working with sound and with building things as a group, but often references gestures in such a way that the result is bewilderingly natural: of course musique concrete and stoner folk are continuous with one another! (And of course, they are; but I hear so few artists or groups that make the case with such non-generic alchemy.) What's more, there does seem to be some kind of storytelling unfolding through and between the events that we can hear, though I'd prefer not to muddy up your encounter with the music by speculating as to what's going on, or even how these guys build something resembling a tale in our peripheral hearing, always this fleeting and unheimliche (un)certainty. I'm including both (?) of their records to provide an occasion for contrast. The txt to AURAL GAUGE makes some passing comments about their change in work practices from the first to the second record, and that is somewhat instructive. Some of my favorite music being made right now; utterly timely, almost trend-surfingly so, but almost transcendent of anything that I could call a "type" of music, even in a cultural moment where these kinds of mutations are not only common but demanded of artists, and might be all we have available to us. (But who knows?)(And the "who knows?" is the sandbox where 3/4 Had Been Eliminated plays.)
Dean Roberts: Be Mine Tonight
Valerio Tricoli from 3/4 Had Been Eliminated played an instrumental role in the production of Dean Roberts' record BE MINE TONIGHT, which is an expansion on the concepts behind Roberts' earlier AND THE BLACK MOTHS PLAY THE GRAND CINEMA (Ritornell)--all lazy slither guitars, eerie tidal drone, and mumble--but with the feel of people in a room doing this, more of an opening-out than a closing-in. Those lyrics of Roberts' that I can discern are pretty terrible, embarrassing sometimes; I'm tempted to say that aside from, possibly, an earlier couple records (his White-Winged Moth stuff), he does not and never has had the goods, only the connections...well, I guess I did say that. Ok, well that's my hunch. I think Dean Roberts is a hack around whom good musics can tend to happen. On this record, though, which is lovely and worth hearing, Valerio Tricoli is happening all around Roberts. The recording techniques sound lo-tech but conceptually sophisticated, lending the same queasy seasick tilt-of-balance across the usually flattened or neatly subdivided tableau into which sound events are so often distributed and listening-work suffers its division in so many of the recordings we hear. (This one perspectival, if I might synaesthetize, aspect of BE MINE TONIGHT is also one interesting component of some of the Animal Collective stuff, namely CAMPFIRE SONGS, iirc.) But all this is only one of many small gestures that think were enough Tricoli's touch, and enough part of the music itself, that label press itself credited him accordingly. Furthermore, apparently this record was Tricoli's first production! I include this as a point of comparison with Tricoli own group, 3/4 had Been Eliminated, which is far more remarkable and far lower profile; but also to offer what for me, at least, is evidence of how a musician who really doesn't have a feel for anything but rock and its art brut avant-derivatives (Roberts)---but nonetheless a perfectly valid storytelling impulse and inclination that works its way into the form of his sound work and not merely the lyrics, "added on top", like a tarp or tablecloth---can join forces with a sound-thinker (Tricoli) who does have a sense for not merely the gestures of genre (let alone merely one genre) but also the slippery wondrousness of signs; such sound-thinking plunges down through the strata, even using only meagre means or light touches, and dredges up strange artifacts from miles of sediment.
*Of course, I use this term casually and probably improperly, and I have no idea where I got it from; there seems to be a film series and/or improv group by this name, but that's not where I heard it. To you, anonymous donor(s): thanks!
Posted by grasprelease at 10:16 PM