Review – unter den linden – und transit (NVO) 2010 – by Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

unter den linden – Christophe Charles | und transit – i8u on NVO

The second new release is also a split one, this time between I8U and Christophe Charles. He opens up with a piece called ‘Unter Den Linden’ and it uses various sounds of airplanes, telephone bells, a silo and a Spanish garbage truck. It lasts thirty minutes and it takes a while before it unfolds. The processing seems to be minimal here, but you’re never sure then about these sort of things. Its an alright piece of music based on field recordings, but also the best I ever heard in this field. Canada’s I8U has five pieces, which she recorded while doing a 3 months artist residency in Krems, Austria. While walking to the studio, she noticed some particular passageway at the Minoritenplatz, which seemed ‘lonely’, ignored by those who used it. She collected field recordings around the small city of Krems and did a four channel installation based on the emptiness of the passageway. These five pieces are typical of the current interests of I8U: high pitched sine waves, but not high involume, and down on the ground there are bits of low end sound. Field recordings are hard to recognize here, if at all. Here too I have the idea that I am listening to something that is actually quite good, but also not very surprising. It might be due to the fact that I8U uses a too similar approach to treating her sounds. The outcome, in both cases is however nice enough.

(FdW) Vital Weekly


Review – physical, absent, tangible (Contour Editions) 2010 – by Adrian Dziewanski, scrapyardforecast

Physical, Absent, Tangible, i8u, Christopher Delaurenti, Gil Sansón and Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli

Various Artists ‘Physical, Absent, Tangible’ cd-r (Contour Editions, 2010)

It’s shaping up to be a pretty damn good year for the compilation, which has sadly always sort of let me down. For what few I do actually own–label comps, musical collectives, various artists comps–I rarely go back too. Please indulge me in a very winged hypothesis that maybe the ‘compilation’ as an art form/object is just now finally coming into its own. Or, a far more likely scenario: I just haven’t been looking hard enough for the good ones. The ones that really dig their hooks into the listener.

With this said there are some giant exceptions, Elevator Bath’s A Cleansing Ascension from a couple years back was and still is very enjoyable. Recent personal discoveries like the highly anticipated and grossly delayed release of Paper & Plastic on suitcase/petri supply/incubator (March 2010), and the Patrick Mckinley (aka Murmer) curated Framework 250 (Much more info on that soon, check back at the end of the month) discs have re-sparked my faith in the potential potency of the compilation. If some of you remember or can refer back to the Not Alone 5 disc set compiled by Mark Logan of Jnana Records and Current 93’s David Tibet from 2006 then you might understand where my criticism of comps stems from.

Before you start sending me negative vibes and waving your arms around in rage… stop, and hear me out. Almost every artist on that compilation was a favourite of mine at some moment in time, and actually, I was exposed to some bands that I ended up really liking as a direct result of it. Furthermore, as a Doctors Without Borders fundraiser, you couldn’t really argue that it wasn’t for a good cause. But! those discs did lack something. Because of how eclectic all the musicians were it there lacked a fluidity and cohesiveness that other compilations have been able to achieve. I don’t blame Logan either, as it must have been hell trying to lump all those acts together. I don’t actually think it could of turned out better than it did with so much variance in musical style. So what’s my point? let’s just say that there is something to be said about the selection and attention to the congruity of musical styles when assembling such delicate documents.

Various Artists
‘Physical, Absent, Tangible’
cd-r (Contour Editions, 2010)

Physical, Absent, Tangible is kept simple, which plays out very much to its favour. The four artists found within fill their respective musical roles with a unified understanding of what those roles represent. The whole thing works very well. Canadian based i8u kicks things off with an eleven and a half minute analog synth work that juxtaposes high and low frequencies resulting in a pleasant sonic parallel. The experience is a lot like standing on a small patch of land in between two rivers. Christorpher Delauenti’s two pieces are absolutely sublime, the first, “sigil” is a short but impressive arrangement of feedback squall and tonal noise. Where as “nictating” begins as a looped low-end rumble that eventually dismantles as a simmering drone; the album’s high point. Gil Sansón provides eight short pieces that seem to represent fragments of a whole. In consideration of their brevity–and that usually this kind of off-the-grid minimalism is best represented in the long form–Sansón’s section remains very strong. The final contribution, a collaborative work by Brian Mackern and Gabriel Galli (both new to me) is a static soaked excursion into subdued tactility. What sounds like morse code thrown into the mix gives this piece a real Tracer era Omit feel–definitely a good thing. Impressive stuff. Kudos to a very tasteful ice breaker for the label Mr. Garet.

und transit on NVO 022 (2010)

NVO 022 christophe charles / i8u
unter den linden / und transit
on nonvisuelobjects

unter den linden

The “Grundton” of this 30-minute composition is the recording of the concert given at SND STUDIOS SHEFFIELD (UK) in March 2009, entitled “Why is there something rather than nothing?” by Mark Fell and powered with d&b speakers by Tony Myatt (MRC, University of York). The sounds of planes have been recorded in Mallorca (Spain) in 1987, and in Pilat (France) in 2009. This music comes after HCDC, composed in November 2008 after the death of Daniel Charles – his last days were darkened by breathing difficulties, hence the overall presence of the “wind”. The last five minutes were composed in 1987 with telephone bells, a silo and a Spanish garbage truck, under the name “unter den linden”. The piece is not related with Berlin, but with Jules Massenet’s “Sous les tilleuls” (from “Scenes alsaciennes” where bells are heard in a distance and thus modified by the wind), and evokes a peaceful atmosphere just before the bombs begin to fall.

Christophe Charles, September 2009

This world of ours is one relative world. Any number of other possible or actual worlds are conceivable. Each such world is able to reflect all the others without ceasing
to be the real world that it is of itself.

Nishitani Keiji

und transit

The conceptual framework of “und transit” was conceived while taking part in a 3 months artist residency in Krems, Austria (2008/09). While in transit (daily walks) to my studio, I was inspired by a particular passageway in Minoritenplatz.
Like most passageways, which are a means to an end – and are rarely treated as an end in itself – I was immediately struck by the loneliness and practicality of this space as well as the capacity of the users to ignore it on a daily basis. During the course of my residency I collected a number of field recordings in and around Krems, in order to create a series of soundscapes based on Minoritenplatz’s sound of emptiness through the means of a quadraphonic installation.
These compositions represent some of the pieces composed for “und transit”.

i8u (France Jobin)

Follow your bliss.

Joseph Campell


NVO 021
Tim Blechmann / Seijiro Murayama
NVO 023
asher / fourm
selected passages / set.grey