Review – physical, absent, tangible (Contour Editions) 2010 – by Sietse van Erve, EARLabs

Physical, Absent, Tangible, i8u, Christopher Delaurenti, Gil Sansón and Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli –
RATED: 8 / 10

A compilation of tracks with the theme of past spaces, memories and time. 4 acts showcase their own take on this subject. There were sound-art and music meet. It doesn’t happen very often that we receive compilations here at EARLabs. This is easy to explain because in most cases compilations are not really are not really a cohesion of tracks, though on the other hand if done well they can say a lot about the label and the involved musicians. In the last category is the collection of 12 tracks that are brought together on Physical, Absent, Tangible on the label run by Richard Garet: Contour Editions. The four acts involved are i8u, Christopher Delaurenti, Gil Sansón and collaboration between Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli.

Physical, Absent, Tangible gives a clear idea about what Contour Editions stands for. The musical pieces we find here are in the musical outsiders field of sound-art. The artists all approached the sound world here with an inspiration of gone spaces. Gaps in space and time.

The first piece is Rarefraction by i8u. A minimal piece with low sine drones and high pitched beeps. At least that’s how it starts. Gradually the piece transfers into some sort of big emptiness, while the high pitched sounds re-occur through out the whole piece the main part seems to be more ambient drone based. Soft soundscapes set a scenery of a huge empty space, while the high pitches seem more like a proof of organic happenings. As if something is trying to find its way. While at points the high pitches can sound a bit annoying still overall this is a strong piece. It is one with a lot to discover.
The next artist up is Christopher Delaurenti. His approach is from another angle. He presents two different pieces. The first, Sigil, is one based on distorted and clipping low-end noise and feedback. In the piece there are returning cycles. The soundstructures are suitable for a live setting where a surround system is used to let the music spin through the room. The different pulses could blow the audience away. For cd, though, it is a less interesting piece. It stays a bit on the same side of things.

The second piece by Delaurenti is from another level. This is much more for the home listening session. Nictating works with several layered loops. The background is filled with pulsating noise while more to the foreground clicks are slowly evolving through time. The continuous adding and removing of loops makes this an interesting piece. There is a slow transgression in the music that makes it surrounding throughout the complete room. While some of the loops keep on returning the music never becomes boring.
Next up is Gil Sansón, who delivered 8 pieces by the same name La Montaña S Ha Ido. The source for this pieces are field recordings and archived sounds which Sansón had made in the past but forgot where they came from. With these he tried to recreate situations that could have been the original setting. Throughout these pieces there doesn’t seem to be a line to connect them soundwise. Some of the pieces are more drone based, while others hang in the musique concrete side of music. Due to the way Sansón worked the pieces stay a lot on the sketch side, leaving a feeling that it could have been a bit more.

The last act is the duo Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli. They present a 14 minutes long piece called 34S56W/Temporal De Santa Rosa. The piece is based on radiomagnetic interferences that were generated dring the De Santa Rosa storm in Urugruay. They made use of radio receivers, circuit-bended apparatus and much more. The piece knows a certain progression from pure radiostatics to a rich layered structure of drones, noise and hiss, but honest enough it also shows the most “musical” sides of all pieces presented here. The duo makes use of certain melodic elements which we do not find in any of the other tracks. Besides that the development shows a lot of exciting things with both gradual and abrupt changes taking place. Due to the used instrumentation the sound is quite lo-fi. But, in this case it really adds to the character of the music. It easily fits in with the tape sounds done by Norwegian duo Bjerga/Iversen. A great composition to finish this compilation with.

Physical, Absent, Tangible is a good compilation which promises more interesting things to come from Contour Editions. Though, it is more than just a sampler, it is a nice collection with a strict theme interpreted from different sides. Recommended to check out.


PARIS 03.18.10 – 05.15.10 – EVENT HORIZON by Cédrick Eymenier | i8u

EVENT HORIZON is presented in the context of an exhibit of Cédrick Eymenier photographies and video works at Gallery Poggi | bertoux associés, 115, 117 rue La Fayette,  75010 Paris – 33 (0)95102 5188 Rez-de-chaussée, fond de cour/backyard.

[qt:/eh/event_horizon.m4v 480 240]

EVENT HORIZON Cédrick Eymenier | i8u

EVENT HORIZON is an experimental audio/visual work by i8u (audio) and
Cédrick Eymenier (visual) developed in the summer of 2009.The title of the piece was drawn from the physics term “event horizon” which is a bizarre boundary in space time which gives a black hole it’s name.  It is the proximity point in which no matter or radiation (ex.light) can escape and thereby affect an outside observer.  It is the black holes effects on its surroundings and the light that doesn’t pass the
event horizon that gives physicists their awareness that the black hole

This project involves the observation of a cityscape after nightfall. The minimal light observed over the city at night masks the flurry of activity that is obscured by
buildings and darkness.

EVENT HORIZON explores the solitary observations of events transmitted via
minimal stimuli and the understanding of the existence of incomprehensibly
massive amounts of activity that cannot affect the outside observer other
than the knowledge that it exists and it is obscured.

In short, it explores the interaction of the subject with the city and the
emotions that come with various sensory stimuli and the contemplation of
what the darkness obscures.

i8u | Cédrick Eyremier

Review – Untitled 10, The black album – by Textura

VA: Untitled 10 (The Black Album)
Untitled & After
The material on Untitled & After’s tenth release is rooted in techno but spreads its wings far beyond a strict minimal template. The inclusion of field recordings, ambient-dub textures, and a generally expansive approach gives the compilation a wide-screen character that extends its sights beyond the confines of the club. Two focal points emerge in virtually every case: the first a rhythm dimension; the second colourful ambient-electronic scene-painting. Untitled 10 (The Black Album) lists some stellar names as contributors, with Morgan Packard, Andrew Duke, Bizz Circuits, and Leyland Kirby amongst the better-known. Repeated exposure to the album brings into clear focus an interesting trajectory, as the material gradually distances itself from a rhythm-based approach until beats vanish entirely during the recording’s second half.
The album opener “Apple Pie” suggests Morgan Packard’s been soaking up the music of Robert Henke in recent times, a suspicion bolstered when a number of Monolake-like signifiers surface during its five-minute time in the spotlight: sleek and polished surfaces, atmospheric bass rumble, and a forward-thrusting minimal techno pulse. “Hovercraft,” a collaboration between Andrew Duke and i8u, rolls along with a breezy, lighter-than-air techno bump that conveys the movement of its titular transport, while an accompanying Chaircrusher remix infuses the original with a heavier industrial quality and cloaks it in a multi-layered cloud of hazy melodies and noxious atmosphere. Some tracks opt for a more purely ambient textural approach that excludes beats, as confirmed by lovely meditations by sublamp (“andamurmur”) and Robert Crouch and Yann Novak (“Santa Fe”). And sometimes there is truth in advertising, as “Big Air (Ambient Mix),” a cloudy collaborative piece by Jondi & Spesh with Brian Stillwater illustrates. Leyland Kirby takes the project out on a characteristically distinctive note when the stately “Ready To Go Down Together” evokes a mutant processional where fuzz-toned guitars serenade angelic choirs amidst billowing synthetic flourishes.
April 2010