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Drone / Ambient
Contemporary label run by Andrea Zarza of the British Library and Matthew Kent of Blowing Up The Workshop.
Rain, spit, ice, neon, mercury, arcing electricity, plants, steam, soil, and dust; this is dream music from Sa Pa. Following up on his 2015 debut 風物詩 [Fuubutsushi], In A Landscape provides rich content for fantasy and the fertile imagination, establishing a rich terrain of visual, poetic, and abstract sound that draws on techno and dub ambient.
Somewhere between pastoral impressionism and cyber-noir, its surface evokes the tensions of a fluctuating, fizzing atmosphere, pictures emerging and dissolving in the mind’s eye. Thick layers of field recording - some salvaged from a recorder lost in Bassiani during the police raid last year and recovered in January - flood tracks fabricated from erratic, oddly distanced rhythm.
The sensation whilst listening is not unlike hearing the world from a place within the body; swimming in the bloodstream, cutting through the turbulent landscape secure in a metal tube.
Or being over-exposed to lushly textured environments with the anatomy far receded; an out-of-body experience where subtler senses are heightened and the landscape begins to take on surreal qualities.
Sa Pa – In A Landscape
"First commissioned by the French Government in 1981, the LP Rose Des Vents Action Musicale evolved out of a six year project by Swiss composer Pierre Mariétan to document and musicalise the sound environment of urban landscapes within France, creating an inter-geographical auditory map of cities and townships located in the suburban reaches of Paris, including Bezons, Herblay, Montmagny and l’Isle Adam. Through a mix of field recording, interviews, vegetable market catcalls, braying animals and urban hubbub, Mariétan paints a broad, psycho-acoustically vivid and decentralised profile of metropolitan life from the period; carried to the ear through a coupling with musical studio performance and serialist compositional technique. Over an hour and forty minutes, the recording provides an intersectional and ambient passage through environmental and urban narratives, the radiophonic voice of Ana de Carvalho offering fleeting, poetic orientation with announcements of each titled scene, divining and evoking the sonorous qualities of each landscape as it comes into focus. Each scene tangible yet non-specific, the artist arranging and signalling the possibility of civic and pastoral space as a musical container for spontaneous, sonorous interactions. Mariétan’s profile is of a rigorous yet open and exploratory composer, utilising principles of chance and curiosity in organising found sound and often negotiating or encouraging encounters with improvisatory gesture or incidental and occurring sound. In 1966 he established the outfit GERM, grouping composers and musicians dedicated to developing new meeting points between composition and improvisation. Members assist in contributing recordings and performances throughout Rose Des Vents, including musical passages on piano, synthesizer, horn and saxophone. These studio pieces, played on saxophone by Daniel Kientzy or piano by Gerard Fremy, recall and redeploy techniques developed over the lifespan of the project, where site- specific actions and concerts were performed within each of the towns. In many ways, the album is a folding of each facet of the author’s life and work into a single representative culmination. A sympathy towards radiophonic or documentary production values is recognisable—Mariétan produced two iterations of Rose Des Vents. Action Musicale for Alain Trutat and Jean Tardieu’s ground-breaking Atelier De Création Radiophonique on Radio France Culture ahead of this LP release—alongside the influence of his work in urban acoustics and research into forms of sound ecology. So too is the obvious pleasure taken in introducing the sweetness of music to children, with notable samples from his educational workshops and sound installations helping to internalise and evoke a sense of inquisitive delight. It’s these components, combined with themes and concerns about the acoustic environment that resonate 30 years later and establish Rose Des Vents as such an approachable, listenable and lovely piece of experimental sound art. The conjuration of an emotional or psychological plane through musical and metaphorical synthesis allows the listener to situate themselves within the montage in a near cinematic manner, discovering an underlying sonority embedded in the psychic atmospheres of communal life."
Pierre Mariétan – Rose des vents
"Gamelan and capoeira in dub. The collective behind this doesn’t like to talk much but their music is beautifully conversational. De Leon is the most organic and percussive of their shifting identities, developed on their Aught project in small-run, clear-shell cassette tape releases over the last few years. They've appreciated a cult interest for their takes on outernational rhythm, field recording, and the tension and relief on the knife-edge of dance music; all delivered with an impressive commitment to anonymity and clarity of vision through cut-and-dried aesthetic minimalism. These six pieces of music seem formed from wood, metal, air. Dramatic, balletic flourishes and tightly woven interlocking patterns are embedded in slowly changing and "live" atmospheres. The shadow of a hand over the mixing desk makes gradual adjustments to alter the pressure and dimension of the space. A number of tracks first appeared on De Leon's set for Blowing Up The Workshop in February 2016."
De Leon – De Leon
"Alternatively banging and evasive, exhausted and unglued. Stepping along the rim of the silver screen. Diptera takes a near electro-acoustic approach to the DNA, texture and pressure of UK Garage with a debut release on Mana.
Its four tracks teeming with material detail, the duo's musical collaboration operates like a relay. Initial tracks made by Activist DJ — short sharp affairs focused on swung drums and darkside — are passed on to Wesley to be broken apart, tinkered with, and slowly refigured into more anxious and impressionistic musical forms, etched with intricacies and mixed fidelity. The result is a distinctive and resourceful excavation of hardcore at its most agile.
A fly on the wall may face some adversity, so if you imagine a human hand in basic swatting motion, maybe you will also couple the image with an evasive manoeuvre of some sort; usually there is a moment of hesitation where the human is unsure whether their aim was true. "Did I catch it?""
Diptera – 001 [Antenna]
"Wild soundscapes from Benedict Drew, an artist splitting his time between installation art and music that hums and spills over with vivid material encounters; sounds are slurpy, runny, fizzy, spongy, hard as rock. Following digital releases, a tape for patten’s Kaleidoscope label, a musical score to accompany his De Re Touch video art project commissioned by Transport for London’s Art on the Underground, and many active years in London’s experimental music scene through work with the London Musicians’ Collective, as a solo performer, and via live collaborations with artists including Rhodri Davies, Chris Watson and Sachiko M; ‘Crawling Through Tory Slime’ is Drew’s debut long-playing record. Music on each of the record’s faces bleeds together continuously, recalling long improvisational sets, floor-sucking dub-wise, psychedelia, plunderphonics, and tight GRM-era electronic sound design pieced together with drum machines, cloudy synthesiser, bits n’ bobs. There’s a certain English charm, humour and taste for cheap science fiction and cobbled-together escape routes out of reality that follows a lineage set out by artists like Jeff Keen or Bruce Lacey, reset for the exciting horrors and delights of contemporary life. Benedict Drew’s solo exhibition The Trickle Down Syndrome runs from June to September at the Whitechapel Gallery, designed over the same period as the LP and "drawing on wide-ranging references, from the stage sets of classic Hollywood cinematographer Busby Berkeley to the Surrealist worlds of artist Max Ernst"."
Benedict Drew – Crawling Through Tory Slime