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featured review: Deupree/Willits “Listening Garden” September 30, 2007

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TOUCHING EXTREMES (IT) (by Massimo Ricci)

Let me get straight to the point: “Listening garden” is one of the best ambient music releases of the last decade. Not only because it truly respects the basic principle of what “ambient music” means, but especially in consideration of its functional stimulation of that sense of “one-in-a-million moment” that many of its gradually morphing combinations will elicit in the most sensitive listeners. That’s all the more noteworthy if we think that the CD lasts only 33 minutes (that’s right, infinite repeat is a must) and was entirely made with altered snippets of location recordings that Deupree and Willits realized during their stay at Yamaguchi’s Center for Arts and Media in 2004. There, an installation consisting of two indoor/outdoor tea spaces was prepared, the artists willing to build a “sonic bridge between the digital world of sound and the audiosphere of nature”. Sparse clouds of electronic-enhanced guitars appear and disappear like superimpositions of different states of mind; concrete sounds (announcements, children, walk-around visitors) and illusory modulations lift our being towards those rare luminous spots where a resonant chord of indefinable nature and a five-second absence of air in the lungs let us glimpse at what will happen in every single frame of our future existence, without allowing a true comprehension. I’m used to listen to this kind of material in the early hours of the afternoon, with a modicum of distant human activity penetrating my room from outside. In the right moments, even for a lone instant, one quietly vibrates in a way that can only be described as heartbreaking. Not only Deupree and Willits have managed to achieve their goal of “enhance the experience of simply sitting and enjoying one’s place in time”, they also know the way to extend that fragment of life to infinite without succumbing to the desperation of knowing that the real world doesn’t look or sound like this wonderful place at all.


Mp3 post for upcoming Ysatis/Deupree EP September 29, 2007

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an Mp3 of one of the tracks form the forthcoming cd by Savvas Ysatis & Taylor Deupree has been uploaded to the release’s page.

due in 1-2 weeks:

the MP3 is here.

Pjusk “Sart” latest review September 28, 2007

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(for all reviews of Sart, please visit the reviews page)

Sart is the debut of the Norwegian duo of Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Sagevik, otherwise known as Pjusk. Recently Taylor Deupree’s 12k label has pushed away a bit from austere minimalism toward a more organic, natural sound. Since a non-specific form of music meets such criteria, many possiblities are opened up by such a philosophy. Unbound by genre, there’s a lot of freedom for the artists imagination to roam.
Sart is therefore a little difficult to pin down. Certainly it’s for the most part electronica, but it includes some interesting additions. Analog tape is credited, as well as guitar, flutes and vocals. Currently there are quite a few artists who inject traditional instruments into their laptop recordings these days, to varying results. While The concept may not be ground breaking, Pjusk’s arrangements stand out from the pack because they are refined and meticulously crafted.

There’s a slow motion ambiance to Sart, and a modern, clean sound which is not without dramatic effect. It’s not difficult to imagine Sart as a backing track to J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island. The novel’s protagonist, trapped inside a wooded island between highways after an accident, is forced to fend for himself. The contrast of the miniature natural setting transposed against the sea of concrete and paving which represents industrialized society, strikes me as a good comparison to this music. This is because there is at once a natural feel and a futurist sterility to this music. All of that said, Sart will probably have a different impression on each listener, because it inspires the imagination to wander along with it.

On a technical level, it’s exemplary. Underneath the careful, natural flowing ambiance, there are hidden microsounds, which appear only upon close listening. They add depth and mystery to what would already be an interesting disc. The traditional instrumentation is subtle, and doesn’t clash with the electronic element, a common mistake. Nothing sounds forced. The use of Elisabeth Lahr’s vocals are particularly haunting. With the crushing release rate related to electronica in the past fifteen or so years, it takes distinctiveness and imagination to stand out from the crowd. Sart does so with class.

Objects from the Archives: 03 September 20, 2007

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ok, so not a “12k” item per-se… but this beautiful example of everyday design was from the first hotel i stayed at in tokyo on my first visit to japan. i’ve kept it in the 12k box over the years… far too cool looking to throw away.

Objects from the Archives: 02 September 20, 2007

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some of you may be old-school enough to remember these. we made rolls and rolls of tiny 12k logo stickers. the individual stickers were the size of a fingernail at best, and came on rolls of 1000. The graphic was the old 12k logo.

we’ve got some left… let us know if you want any!

In The Works: AUTISTICI “VOLUME OBJECTS” (12k1045) September 20, 2007

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i’m in the middle of mastering the new 12k cd today… the UK’s Autistici (as heard on the Blueprints compilation). the artwork is about done, as well… this time around features an 8-page booklet inserted into the digipack with some photographs. everything on the package is black and white, as well. it’s looking great.

“volume objects” is a really, really fantastic and detailed album. with just hints and whispers of melody.. it’s very very focused, yet loose at the same time. Autistici has a major talent for sound design… so many different, tiny little sounds…. repeated listening is a must..!

should be out in late october…. call it november 1st.

Giuseppe Ielasi – artist of the week @ silentballet September 12, 2007

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Giuseppe Ielasi was named Artist of the Week @ Silent Ballet.

the link here: http://thesilentballet.com/dnn/

the review:
Having already released a collaboration with Nicola Ratti on Kning Disk this year, Italian artist Giuseppe Ielasi returns with August on the 12k imprint. With over a decade of experience to his name, Ielasi is in full control of the experimental process behind the album. August is a truly understated gem that brings together his electroacoustic sounds into a ambient and sometimes melodic world. There are some artists who are able to see past instruments and notes and create a work of art that is larger than the sum of its parts and is capable of connecting with the listener on a higher, spiritual level; Ielasi proves himself to be among their ranks. What the listener experiences is an intangible piece, yet still very moving — perhaps the most captivating experimental album of the year.

Chartier/Deupree + Sawako Live: Saturday, Sept 8th – BROOKLYN September 5, 2007

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Shuttle358 live in the Netherlands September 4, 2007

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SHUTTE358 LIVE @ InterZone Festival, Utrecht, Netherlands

september 29th

Shuttle 358
Jessica bailiff

september 30th

Ahornfleder showcase (w/ Sinebag and Semuin)
Marcel Türkovksy
F.S. Blum

@ theater Kikker