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Compact Disc

Amazingly well-timed compendium of See/Hear 1 & 2, both released exactly 49 years ago this month (well, going on 50 actually, in September 1968; this one's been in the works for a few months, mainly due to the insanely effort-oriented reproduction of all of the printed ephemera present in the inner pocket of "The First See + Hear" - all recreated here in perfect 5/12 scale in the form of ten separate inserts grouped into four "folios") &, other than Bill Bissett & Th Mandan Massacre's canonic "Awake In Th Red Desert" comprise the entire discography of the label / series. Covering a who's who of the Canadian Sound Poetry & Avant-Garde figures including Bp Nichol, Jim Brown, Wayne Carr, Ross Barrett, Al Neil, Lionel Kearns, and the Australian Composer Bruce Clarke, the first half here collects a scattershot array of early work from everyone involved, dovetailed a fashion similar to "Iowa Ear Music" into a continuous mode. The second covers "Oh See Can You Say", credited solely to Brown but heavily featuring Carr & Barrett, essentially continuing in the same trajectory. It's not too far off from "Indeterminacy" in that Brown's stream-of-consciousness Sound/Poetry narratives are often interjected by Carr's abstract & frankly dynamite Psychedelic synthesizer work. Ross Barrett's solo track weaves chill sitar zones through the matrix, but it's mostly in & of the voice/electronic amalgam, with a few choice zaps straight from the cortex of the acid-damaged late 60s milieu.  SEE/HEAR is a RECORD MAGAZINE, a quarterly publication of recordings of contemporary sound arts. Contemporary sound arts are usually discussed in terms of certain categories such as electronic music, experimental acoustic music, sound poetry, projective verse, chance music, improvised forms and so on, however what should probably be recognized is that sound arts are continually evolving and to create categories only restricts the way in which we think about sound. Mixed media, combinations of sound and visual arts, or combinations of different modes of sound art, are easily seen as results of our electric environment, and are as valid as the already accepted sound forms. Comes with insert about the recordings. From the insert: A1 for Lennon and Mccartney. A4 was commissioned for the Adelaide 1968 Arts Festival by the Melbourne ISCM, fragments of poetry were chosen at random from the unpublished works of the late Ann Pickburn. A5 is a 30-minute dramatic cantata written for a Masters composition recital and performed at the University of British Columbia in the spring 1968. B4 made September 1968. --- Creel Pone, 2018

Various Artists – The First See + Hear, Oh See Can You Say

Despite the all-time top-ten C.P. GOAT title "Greek Electronic Music-1" & it's counterpart "Works of Electronic Music", the series has seen precious little Greek Early Electronic Music. Attempts to secure copies of key Nikiforos Rotas, Nikos Mamagakis, & Dragatakis Koutouki sides have been futile for some time, until one of the key C.P. cabal struck gold in the form of this epic double-LP Tape Music suite by Greek Composer Kyriakos Sfetsas, released alongside the two Roland Hollinger LPs on the French Scorpios label in early 1974.  Touted, dubiously perhaps, as "one of the first pieces written for four-channel tape in the world", Sfetsas' score for the Ballet "Smog" is a wonder of arbitrarily layered Analogue Synth patches & gated electric organ filigree, coming in somewhere between the drone-psych undertones of It's "Viaje", the raw concrète sprawl of Jean-Claude Eloy's majestic "Shanti" & "Gaku-No Michi" sets, and the burbling, modular automatons of Conrad Schnitzler, Pierre Henry's "Mise En Musique" & Carter Thomas' "Sonoma".  This is one of those pieces that, much like Dariush Dolat-Shahi's "Electronic Music, Tar, and Sehtar", combines a number of ideas that I've been working with personally for the past few years into a combination that is far more pleasing than anything I've personally been able to muster; which is both frustrating & entirely amazing - astonishing to me that this has lain dormant for so long! One of the absolute highlights of the series thus far... --- Creen Pone, 2018

Kyriakos Sfetsas – Smog, Musique Electroacoustique

This boxset compiles some of the inter-related releases that Sarah Davachi’s Late Music label put out in 2020 of her own solo work. Including the first album featuring her own vocals (Cantus, Descant), the two disc live set (Figures In Open Air) and an extended EP of sketches for these releases.  Cantus, Descant largely consists of droning organs which slowly morph over the course of several minutes. Occasionally these drones etherise into something unsettling - the ‘Passing Bell’ interlude being the most obvious example - but by and large this is a positive-sounding record. Sometimes Davachi’s tones are curious, sometimes uplifting, sometimes almost joyous, but whatever mode she’s operating in the general mood of Cantus, Descant is one of upbeat drift.  One notable evolution of Davachi’s sound here is the use of vocals, an element which hadn’t previously featured in her music. ‘Play The Ghost’, for instance, is an inviting number which plays Davachi’s gentle singing and techniques influence by Black Sabbath’s Planet Caravan against woozy organs and languid, cascading melodies. It’s a dreamworld delight, one with an ethereal feel that means it wouldn’t sound out of place in a David Lynch film. Davachi is a very productive artist who has released several albums of keyboard music over the past few years. However, Cantus, Descant is a generous offering even by the standards that Davachi has previously set - this album runs to seventeen tracks and well over an hour in length.  Figures In Open Air is described by Davachi as a ‘complement of sorts’ to her 2020 studio LP Cantus, Descant. As such, it’s no surprise that different versions of several tracks from that album can be heard here - an instrumental take on Cantus, Descant highlight ‘Canyon Walls’, for instance, spins out the etherised dream-pop of the original into almost fifteen minutes of eerie FM drones and pensive woodwind harmonies. Laurus, an extended EP previously only available on cassette is a collection of demos and sketches for these sessions. Taped in the Summer of 2017, these pieces are, in Davachi’s own words, “a more raw and improvisational representation of the composition process [for Cantus, Descant] in its early stages”. --- Late Music, 2021

Sarah Davachi – Cantus Figures Laurus

"In an old issue of a London-based porn mag, the one with Funko Geräte on the cover, an essay attempts to recast Esplendor Geometrico as a Massachusetts freak-folk band. With the appropriate dosage, anything’s possible. Probably. Maybe they changed their name and emigrated from Spain and due to a translation error ended up in Seattle. Who knows what’s real and what’s made-up with that publication. From Forrest Friends’ opening herald announcing the commencement of a marathon sweat lodge cotillion, where consensual flora gropings and various pagan engorgements run their respective courses until the inevitable dousing of the nethers with ritual electronic ooze, to the spent, post-credits vibe of a homemade horror movie, this album resembles little in the Chocolate Monk catalog. The duo’s debut release for the label was recorded by the side of the road in the middle of the night, naked but for banana-leaf loin cloths bound together with twine, crouching in the mud, staring intently at a nematomorph exiting the used-up husk that had been a typically happy-go-lucky praying mantis before the zombifying parasite took over its brain. This thirty-eight-minute disc’s high-primitive hoot coaxes spirit lizards out of a secluded northern-facing lichen shack and forces them to march on an infinity-symbol-shaped path, invoking visions of communion with First Nations spasticity. Patches of impaired fidelity, damaged by overdriven sound, smear the otherwise intimate recordings with heavy whiffs of opium cinders and Wiccan-roasted genetic structure that’s mustier than an old towel full of three-day-old phat si-io. Everybody loves the idea of a lost world. Well, here’s one with hypnotic yelping, otherworldly accordion, dreams of the pipe, and processions of re-animated wooden children invoking the great drillbit in the sky to exact vengeance on the new president of Brazil." -Seymour Glass --- Chocolate Monk, 2020

Forrest Friends – untitled

A sparse and subtle jungle comprises the pieces that make up "pietra e oggetto". It is subtle, as such it remains in the memory. Thanks to the device of silence, which is like the air in between things, it allows time for what we have heard to imprint on our acoustic sketchpad. Like closing your eyes to preserve a memory and then moving on to the next. We feel a certain privilege in listening to these undecidable environments; these composite and hybrid objects filled with synthetic biodiversity, on the threshold between nature and culture. We access this privilege thanks to the cutting operation, a coring practice that cuts out salient acoustic narratives, fished (and then triggered) from a potentially limitless flow; rooms of occurrences and dark pink rustles from the undergrowth. --- Luciano Maggiore is a Palermo-born, London-based musician whose work is characterised by the use of speakers and several analogue/digital devices (samplers, CD players, walkmans, tape recorders) and addresses the performativity of the musical act, the perception of it, and the obscurity that emanates from it. His main interests include mechanisms of sound diffusion, performance, repetition, endurance, non-humananimal languages, dance, folklore. With Louie Rice, he started NO-PA/PA-ON, a project that deals with performing score-based works, both acoustic and amplified. His works are published by Balloon & Needle, Boring Machines, Consumer Waste, Hideous Replica, Kohlhaas, Palustre, Senufo editions, 1000Füssler, TakuRoku, Triscele Registrazioni and Tulip records. --- Recorded and edited between May 2019 and May 2020. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Liner notes by Gaspare Caliri, translated by Laura Matilde Mannino. Cover drawing by Luciano Maggiore. Design by Matteo Castro.

Luciano Maggiore – pietra e oggetto

The name is new, but the four members of The Cutmen all come from such storied backgrounds that it s reasonable to call them a supergroup. M (AKA Reeve Malka), the multi-talented leader of ensemble, has his fingers in more pies than can be listed here, but a brief overview includes recordings with Jarboe (Swans) and membership in Orchestre Noir and Sol Invictus. He runs his own label Infinite Document, co-runs the Sol Invictus label Tursa Records with Tony Wakeford, and offers his mobile engineering and studio services to bands of all genres World-famous percussionist Z'EV needs no introduction. His career spans more than 30 years, 50 albums, countless performances, and collaborations with Glenn Branca, Organum, Merzbow and Psychic TV. Stephen Flinn has been playing professionally as a percussionist and drummer for more than 20 years, performing across America, Europe and Japan. He collaborated on an album with cyberpunk author Kenji Siratori, and has been written about in numerous jazz publications. Giles Leaman began his professional career 30 years ago as a member of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and has recorded with Rip Rig & Panic, Thomas Dolby, The Drones, Echo City, and a special performance of Brion Gysin s Cut-Up Poetry in London. He builds musical instruments, teaches, and performs regularly. The music of The Cutmen is made from found sounds and unconventional instruments (including several built by Giles), skillfully arranged and performed in an engaging and playful style that constantly surprises and pleases the ear, as if one was tasting a salad made of previously unknown but delicious herbs and flowers. The songs are spacious and refined, and the overall atmosphere is one of measured and deliberate restraint rather than frenetic chaos. You can't call it experimental music because it s fully realized and complete. --- Soleilmoon Records, 2011

The Cutmen – Seconds Out

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