Noel Akchoté:
(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.


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!


bb said...

graspy, you drop the stuff something fierce.

greg davis said...

thanks for the dean roberts.
i played a few shows with him in australia back in july. really nice guy, great live set.

Martin said...

I was curious to hear the 3/4 HadBeenEliminated albums, but the links just lead me to a blank page - I tried both with firefox and IE, but nothing seems to happen. Any idea why? Anybody else had the same problem?
Well, congratulations for the excellent blog anyway... I just bumped here a few days ago and was surprised with what I found - that is, plenty of unusual/obscure music (my favorite kind) accompanied by intelligent, substantial commentaries. I especially liked the "Polyphonies des Iles Salomons", wonderful! Thanks and keep up the great work!
PS: By the way, if you have the time, check out some of my own work at http://myspace.com/nitramz.

Nitram said...

I was curious to hear the 3/4 HadBeenEliminated albums, but the links just lead me to a blank page - I tried both with firefox and IE, but nothing seems to happen. Any idea why? Anybody else had the same problem?
Well, congratulations for the excellent blog anyway... I just bumped here a few days ago and was surprised with what I found - that is, plenty of unusual/obscure music (my favorite kind) accompanied by intelligent, substantial commentaries. I especially liked the "Polyphonies des Iles Salomons", wonderful! Thanks and keep up the great work!
PS: By the way, if you have the time, check out some of my own work at http://myspace.com/nitramz.

Nitram said...

oops, sorry about the double post - I didn't realize my blogger account had been bought by google, the faust of internet services. please disregard & delete my first post (and also this one if you wish).

grasp, release said...

Thanks for the thanks, GD, but it's hard to believe you haven't heard this yet. Also, whether somebody is nice or not doesn't mitigate them being a wildly overexposed dilletante. Also, artists work more like a clergy than a family, and the kind of collusion that makes any given artist respect any given other, when based on knowing the thought process at work, being grateful for hospitality, etc...that ends up being the warm bovine charm of blokes together, but doesn't do much for the abysmally dull scenesterism of our wretched cultural moment. I am glad that (and ready to believe that) Dean Roberts is a sweet guy in a sea of selfish tribalists, but I still think he's a hack who's music is sometimes spiced (if not made) by real talents, like O'Rourke, Dafeldecker, and Tricoli. I'd like to hear this more recent music that sounds good, because what I've heard is tepid snooze-fodder with art-school boolshit written all over it. More to the point: what do you like about his playing, live?

grasp, release said...

P.S. Whatever the unfortunate polemical tone of that last comments post of mine (erased and re-written now three times; I gotta stand by _something_), the last question is not rhetorical, settled, or an empty challenge. Anyway, nobody gets called to the rug for _liking_ something that's cool, and the art of truly insightful/inciteful _negative/critical_ evaluation has subsequently been scared into the dark, where it has atrophied into sorry shape. Anyway, I've seen you play (computer, mostly), Greg, and from the position of someone who bumps some _live_ computer shit, I want to know what you hear in Dean's playing, or better, his music. Actually, all of this might seem a little silly when I start sleeping again. But I can't upload while sleeping. (I _can_, actually, download while sleeping, hence the full 500gig drive and the panick and glee and the drugs.)

grasp, release said...

P.P.S. Thx bb! Welcome home. We are like the Church and/or Hotel California. You only think you travellin. But you _can_ check out.

grasp, release said...

P.P.S. Oh, dear. I am a crank. Very distressed...Zhao, can I sleep on your sofa so I can move to LaLaLand and cultivate a really debonair coke habit? You can have my CDs. They are scratched to shit, because I cut coke on them all.

naos said...

Hello! Thanks for 3/4, I have their second and love it sooo much, so I was happy to find here their first one. I also had the blank page problem martin/nitram talks about (tried firefox\ie in win\linux). I have a solution - put this before the link:


after the last slash just paste the whole link to the album (inclusive http://XXXXXXXXXXXXX).

It works form me (firefox in linux), so it might help. It's slow though

And yes, you can call me Guru!

Anyway - do you know something similar to 3\4? Circel's double album Miljard is bit in that vein, and Larsen is somewhat similar even though waaaaaay more normal-o. So? Thanks and bye!

naos said...

OK, one more try:


Anonymous said...

Here's some stuff I uploaded earlier for other people:

Comus - First Utterance

This Heat - Deceit

Peter Brotzmann - Machine Gun

Alexander Von Schlippenbach - Pakistani Pomade

The Congos - Heart of the Congos

Tim Buckley - Blue Afternoon

Tim Buckley - Goodbye and Hello

Tim Buckley - Happy Sad

Tim Buckley - Lorca

Morphine - Good

Terry Riley - A Rainbow in Curved Air / Poppy Nogood

Deuter - Silence is the Answer

Einsturzende Neubauten - Silence is Sexy

Glenn Branca - The Ascension

Nurse With Wound - Nurse With Wound - Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella

AMM - AMMusic

The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street

Dead C - Harsh 70s Reality

Sun Ra - Jazz in Silhouette

Parson Sound - Parson Sound

Charles Mingus - Pithecanthropus Erectus

Suicide - Suicide

Elvis Costello - This Year's Model

Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew Complete Sessions

Bark Psychosis - Hex

Black Tape for a Blue Girl - Remnants of a Deeper Purity

Captain Beefheart - Strictly Personal

Charlemagne Palestine - Strumming Music

Dadamah - This is not a Dream

Bernhard Günter - Un Peu De Neige Salie

bb said...

so, grasp, complete this:

"we are the Hotel California of______"


can we do something about the anonymous posting of tons of links? yeah there is totally totally cool stuff (bernard gunter, parson sound, holy shit high school black tape for a blue girl?) but it kinda hijacks the comments...thoughts?

zhao said...

grasp, I hate to say it, but sometimes you gotta let it go. and off to bed! OK you can smoke some weed... considering the circumstances... sigh... but I'm confiscating all smooth surfaces and small tubes (and things you can make small tubes out of, such as paper) indefinitely.

yeah greg, I seen you play too. sharp shards flying all kinds of cut-up IDM ricochet off the walls... my favorite was the solo guitar bit you ended the set with.

d. roberts... I heard that ritornel release but that's it. it was nice, but didn't last for me. will check this out and get back, get back, get back to where I once belonged...

anonymous links? I say bring it on! ain't no thang but a scrolly bang bang. err... ok I'm a hit it too.


bb said...

but scrolling is so ha-ard! pout!

zhao said...

but bb darling, remember how the first batch of commercially unavailable, super uber bad-ass spectral records fell into our hungry laps? remember? that's right. the comments section of some blog.

now with that in mind, do you really wish to discourage the random dropping of links? no? that's a good boy. ok now go wash up. you've got soccer in the morning.

grasp, release said...

thx for these links, anon...very generous, and some fine stuff too. i just listened to that gunter UN PEU DE NEIGE recently, and that has aged very nicely for me from the first time I heard...the fuss over it makes _more_ sense than it initially did, in a way...lovely and fragile...I think Jim O'Rourke was the one who called it "Morton Feldman on computers"

bb said...

coach never lets me play. mom got me these new shoes for nothing

Anonymous said...

sorry! but i had CRC error in archive "Noel Akchoté: Rien" on 10th track named "10 Rien.mp3"! can anyone re-upload this track?please!

Anonymous said...

previouse post canceled! found this track in soulseek.

zhao said...

bb you are funny! :D

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to get in a good word for Rien. I've been entralled with it since it came out. Akchoté's Simple Joseph is good, too.

The Moriyama photos are almost worth the price of admission on their own. Winter & Winter is certainly in the top tier when it comes to packaging. Check out their Jim Black Alas No Axis releases.

strangefruit said...

Oh, dear. Anonymous, should you return (or should anyone know how to contact her/him), the Sendspace links are dead, and I SO covet the Glenn Branca. I pray nightly for the renewal of these links.

it was the blue that got me said...

Uh... I don't know how to contact Anon, but here's a Branca - The Ascension link:


Danielle said...

Does anyone have a new link for Rien? or Noel's other Winter & Winter album, for that matter? I think it was called Lust Corner..?. I used to own them both, but they were stolen, along with the rest of my CD/LP collection, and I'd love to hear them again!