LAWRENCE ENGLISH IN TEXTURA April 30, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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In keeping with its title, A Colour For Autumn—the second in a seasons-themed series that follows the Baskaru release For Varying Degrees of Winter—is, yes, autumnal in tone and spirit. It’s also my favourite collection to date by Australian sound artist Lawrence English, as it satisfies on multiple levels. Recorded in Brazil, Marseilles, Tasmania, Japan, and Brisbane and sourced from a mixture of instruments, field recordings, and electronics, A Colour For Autumn features seven “auditory portraits” that range from tranquil ambient meditations (“The Prelude To”) to settings of brooding portent (“Galaxies of Dust”) and vaporous synthesis (“… And Clouds For Company”). An ethereal choir of voices (courtesy of Dean Roberts) augments the dense thrum of “Droplet,” part of which includes windswept field recordings gathered in Notre-Dame De La Garde in Marseilles. The peaceful “Watching It Unfold,” by comparison, strips the sound down to incrementally intensifying ambient colourations and an anchoring piano motif that repeats throughout. With Christian Fennesz aboard to add his own subtle electronics shadings, the level of textural detail naturally increases in “The Surface of Everything.” Here and elsewhere, English builds up luxuriant masses within which multiple sounds congeal into lulling wholes. Wistfulness pervades much of the material, as English distills into aural form the transitory nature of seasonal change, and specifically the melancholy that attends the annual shift from summer to fall. At the same time, contrasting impressions of autumn associated with the different recording locations emerge in the subtle contrasts of mood that differentiate one piece from another. The thirty-seven-minute running time sounds short but in fact feels just right for this kind of recording.
SEAWORTHY IN TEXTURA April 30, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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A strong sense of place permeates 1897, the sophomore 12k album from Australia-based Seaworthy (Cameron Webb, Greg Bird, Sam Shinazzi). Recorded in a 100-year-old ammunitions bunker in Newington, Australia, which originally was constructed in 1897 to store gunpowder (hence the title), and abetted by field recordings gathered from the extensive wetland and forest environments (which provide safe havens for endangered and internationally-protected wildlife) surrounding the bunker, the album enhances Webb’s ruminative guitar playing with sounds of birds, insects, and wind blowing through the trees. Because installations of field recordings played back within the bunkers were also recorded, reverb contributes significantly to the album’s overall sound too. Seaworthy spent much of 2008 shaping the six hours of 4-track cassette, minidisk, and computer recordings that resulted from the sessions into 1897′s final form.
The album’s tracks range primarily between two groupings, “Ammunitions” and “Installations,” the former largely stark guitar settings and the latter soundscapes of varying design. “Ammunition 1” weaves gossamer-like threads of electrical tones, soft electronic shadings, and field recording elements into a placid whole. By presenting Webb’s subdued electric guitar playing in untreated and natural manner, “Ammunition 2” gives the material warmth and lends the album an inviting appeal, while the ten-minute guitar meditation “Ammunition 3” is so halting and pensive, it feels time-suspending. Because looping was used during the recording process, a track such as “Ammunition 5” sounds as if two guitarists are playing together with each simultaneously soloing and supporting the explorations of the “other” musician. The closing pieces, “Ammunition 6” and “Outside,” send the listener outdoors, where the sounds of footsteps, bird calls, wind, and water dominate. While the guitar spotlights are, generally speaking, intimate in nature, “Installation 1” is a colder and rather industrial-sounding smeary drone whose ambiance suggests the large, echoing space that it was recorded within. By contrast, “Installation 2,” an almost somnambulant drone, is much softer and warmer in tone, and hence more inviting, while “Installation 3” merges the guitar playing with a shape-shifting mass of fluttering sounds.
Being understated and self-effacing by design, Seaworthy’s sound can be easy to under-appreciate, and in that regard it reminds me a little bit of Solo Andata’s Fyris Swan release (issued on Hefty in 2006). Like it, 1897 often drifts by unassumingly, content to not attract too much attention to itself. Headphones listening enhances one’s appreciation for the recording’s merits.
BOOMKAT REVIEWS WEATHER&WORN April 29, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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Marking major departures both for 12k and its owner, Taylor Deupree, this 7″ is the label’s inaugural vinyl release (the first in a forthcoming series on the format) and a clear step away from digital music for the renowned microsound exponent. These two pieces came about from pottering around on a rainy day with some loop pedals and a collection of instruments including acoustic guitar, kalimba, and bells. Deupree explains: “Pixel, one of my cats, was sleeping next to me as I began to create a warm bed of drones and small noises in an attempt to warm the room and my spirits.” As it so happens, the cat in question does actually contribute to these pieces, lending a wheezy snore to the music, immediately bringing to mind the reposeful feel of a Bagpuss episode coming to a close. Deupree’s instrumental contributions are incredibly restrained, typically focusing on the minutiae of the timbres involved, only snatching at suggestions of melody rather than going all out for conventional musical cogency. If any single constituent is the primary focal point for this music its the deep, thick atmospheric hiss that permeates every fibre of the clear vinyl onto which its pressed. You can most assuredly hear a difference between this music and Deupree’s main thread of work (for a great recent example of which you can take a listen to the new digital issue of his Sea Last composition), but almost regardless of the subject matter or content of a recording his instincts seem to be hardwired into looking beyond the surface of any sound he works with, and so it should come as no surprise that despite spurning digital tools in favour of realtime and organic means, for this vinyl outing the infinitesimally detailed musical approach remains firmly grounded within the established, beautifully abstract Taylor Deupree soundworld – and that should be regarded as a very good thing indeed. Get one while you can…
WEATHER & WORN 7″ NOW AVAILABLE AT BOOMKAT April 28, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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ONE SOUND EACH DAY: APRIL 24 April 24, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
Pound Ridge, NY, 12:00pm
while geocaching (a close shave) in the Westchester Wilderness Walk… recorded in a pool of water populated by skunk cabbage. small trickles of water, and a distant bird. it was a beautiful day.
ONE SOUND EACH DAY: APRIL 21, 22, 23 April 24, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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Pound Ridge, NY, 1:20pm
the clicking of the small plastic keys of a Korg NanoKey controller.
Pound Ridge, NY, 9:02pm
just seeing how the binaural microphones pick up the guitar when i drop them into the body of the acoustic. the guitar was still on its stand, and i just plucked with one finger for a little while.
Pound Ridge, NY, 9:45am
the same Korg NanoKey controller controlling the frequency of a feedbacking patch in Kyma, which is playing in the background.
TAYLOR DEUPREE “WEATHER & WORN” REVIEW April 21, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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very few (OK, two) copies of Weather & Worn were sent out for review. Thank you to Vital Weekly for this one.
Always in for a surprise, our Taylor Deupree. With this 7″ he announces a series of 7″ releases for 12K, and its the first vinyl on 12K ever. Perhaps your initial thought would be the same as for me: is the kind of music normally produced on 12K the kind of music that should go to vinyl? I don’t think so, but these two lovely pieces, exactly four minutes each, proof me wrong. Deupree uses here acoustic instruments and looping devices and is away from the computer. He creates two little drone pieces. The drones form the hot bed for the sounds to sleep in, be conformting and cosy. Initimate music and two pieces that fit underfully well on vinyl. Relaxing music of which the only problem might be that it is a bit short. That is the disadvantage of a vinyl of course. (FdW)
HEATHEN HARVEST REVIEW OF “MAY” (DEUPREE/KIRSCHNER) April 21, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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Here is a wonderful way to bring back to life some of the great avant-garde music that was coming out, ahead of its time, in the 30s, mostly, by geniuses such as Erik Satie, John Cage, which was part of a larger movement in general of more experimentation in many art forms: sculpture, painting, photography and film just to name a few forms that saw revolutionary steps made in their respective media in those dark years of the late 20s and 30s, which produced art, music and film that was so cutting edge, so ahead of its time that nothing like it emerged again until the late 50s and the 1960s in any major way.
Two fellows, based out of NYC, Taylor Deupree and Kenneth Kirschner, two people who bring totally unique things to the table, things that complement each other quite nicely.
Kenneth Kirschner is the hard-core classicist here, painting vivid scenes with his beautiful, minimalist piano solos, which, just by themselves are beautiful, restful and forward-looking pieces. Taylor Deupree is the Machina to Kenneth’s Deus, taking all that Kenneth has created beautifully with a grand piano and tweaking it with the needed software on a laptop which results in a sharper image, more colors that start bleeding through in parts as well as an undercurrent of beeps and humming wavelengths that give the well-crafted, clever but quiet piano solos something to “stand atop”, to coin a metaphor.
This live recording from the OFFF Music Festival in Lisbon, Portugal shows that there are a lot of new artists out there who have new and fresh ideas and want to put them out there in the marketplace, where there really are people who are starved for some good music; not just good in the talented sense, but creatively cunning, whimsical and always mixing and matching sounds. Deupree and Kirschner no doubt, created a stir at the OFFF Festival, but to hear some of the other people that played there would also be an interesting thing. Hopefully we’ll get a live snapshot of at least part of this festival, since surely it was recorded, if not in full, at least in part.
The one, 36-minute long song the duo pulls off in this performance is a mystifying snarl of piano, synth, organ, guitar, samples and whatever else they could find and it doesn’t stay in the same repetitive drone for the entirety, but evolves over the half-hour +, you begin to hear snippets of India, of Eastern Europe, of Berlin and the jungles of Southeast Asia. It’s a grand gesture and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from each of these unique artists, whether together or on their own and be sure to check out their past, separate works.
SEAWORTHY “1897″ REVIEW IN THE WIRE April 21, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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Dominated in large part by the floral guitar picking of Seaworthy’s Cameron Webb, 1897 is very much in the 12k tradition, from the gentle, sweet, drowsy drones of “Ammunition 1” to the use of a natural location – in this case the Newington Armory precinct at Sydney Olympic Park, which discreetly functions as a sort of musical instrument in its own right. On the brief interpolations “Inside” and “Inside 2” there is a suggestive echoing pingpong of acoustics which root the record in environmental reality. “Ammunition 2” and “Ammunition 4” are organic digressions in but separated from the realms of natural sound only by a little tweaking and melodic sugardusting. On “Ammunition 5” the guitars are gently strafed and merge again with the trademark throb of 12k synth. This is never startling – that’s not the point with 12k releases. It does, however, manage to evoke a combined state of tranquility and intense concentration
ONE SOUND EACH DAY: APRIL 16-20 April 20, 2009Posted by 12k in Uncategorized.
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ok, i really need to find the time to post these sounds every day or two.. instead of every 4 or 5 days… apologies.
Pound Ridge, NY between 9 and 10pm
i never get tired of the late night spring (or summer) sounds around here. as you will hear, the forest really becomes alive in as it gets closer to summer.
Pound Ridge, NY 12:40pm
turning out the exterior water pipes after a cold winter. this is the sound of spraying the hose in the yard.
Pound Ridge, NY about 5:30pm
during a youth baseball game at the town park. something really great about the natural reverb of this one.
Ridgefield, CT, 7pm
a musical toy in a public park/playground. rubber mallet on glock-type bars. some nice ringing. trying to also capture the sliding of the cable attached to the mallet. the sound around 20 seconds is a wheel filled with beans (?) that turns and makes shaker/rainstick sounds.
New York, NY, around 2:15pm
walking down Madison Ave in the pouring rain. also, after listening to this recording, the last time i will ever use the Limiter on the Tascam recorder. similar to the ocean recording from a few days ago, the limiter is anything but transparent… really kicks in horrible pumping artifacts. destroyed this recording… although, there were heavy winds which blew the levels out a lot. still, not the nicest limiter.