Review – Hmmm Remix – by Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

KATHY KENNEDY – HMMM REMIX COMPILATION (CD by Le Son 666)

Perhaps it’s safe to assume that all people hum, at least every now and then. Humming to themselves, to a tune or to meditate. Kathy Kennedy, of whom I never heard, does group hummings for ‘sonic experimentation and meditation, for play and for physical well-being’. Recordings of this humming were given to a whole bunch of people in order to crank out some form of remix, which is clever thinking, me thinks, because it brings her work to a new audience. Kennedy is, I believe, from Montreal, so some of the Montreal posse are here, such as Helene Prevost, i8u but also Francisco Lopez, Kim Cascone, Thanos Chrysakis, Austici, and lesser known names, such as Doug van Nort, Magali Babin, Jonas Olesen, Margaret Schedel. Some of them use the humming of voices as a starting point to create electronic deviations of it, other use the voices as voices, and layered them, change the pitch etc. But all of the twelve remixes (the first track is a sort of documentary piece about humming and people are being interviewed) seem to be interested in creating densely, atmospheric music in which you can feel good. To create perhaps a similar effect as humming, to enter a relaxing state. Quite a nice compilation, but not always a big surprise.

Address: http://www.le-son666.com

(FdW, Vital Weekly, #614)

Extract -Portrait of Soundartists on nvo (2007)

EXTRACT-Portraits of Soundartists (book + 2 cd)
| CD | Nonvisualobjects | compilation

NVO 011 EXTRACT
EXTRACT contains interviews,
essays, photos, drawings
and 22 tracks by:

Keith Berry, Richard Chartier, Taylor Deupree, Heribert Friedl,
Richard Garet, Andy Graydon, Bernhard Günter, John Hudak, I8U,
Dean King, Dale Lloyd, Roel Meelkop, Will Montgomery, Tomas Philips,
Steve Roden, Jos Smolders, Steinbrüchel, Nao Sugimoto (aka mondii),
Asmus Tietchens, Toshiya Tsunoda, Ubeboet and Michael Vorfeld.

Review – SPELLEWAUERYNSHERDE, INTERPRETATIONS VARIOUS & SUNDRY (CDR by Trans>parent Radiation) Bresmsstrahlung – by Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

SPELLEWAUERYNSHERDE, INTERPRETATIONS VARIOUS & SUNDRY (CDR by Trans>parent Radiation)
Bresmsstrahlung is a small label which have brought us some nice releases in the past – a small but good catalogue. They also have a sub division called Trans>parent Radiation which consists of MP3s. After a while they are removed from the website and then the material is released as a CDR. The first one is a compilation of re-composed source material taken from found reel to reel recordings of Icelandic a cappella lament songs made in the late 1960s or early 1970’s. Ten composers using this material and they all seem to be from the field of microsound, but they are by no means the least in the field. Fennesz, Roden, Kit Clayton, Taylor Deupree, Takemura, Alejandra & Aeron and Stephan Mathieu – one could wonder why not release this as a real CD. The lament song part is pushed to the back in the most part. The emphasis lies more on the ancient tape hiss and crackle, although some use the faint traces of voices. Most of the time it turns out to be shimmering, humming, crackling and hissing pieces of music. The noise collage played by Nobekazu Takemura is a bit out of place here, or it’s certainly a break with the rest. Some people add their own instruments such as guitars (Fennesz and Josh Russell) but they keep in spirit with the overall sombre and melancholic tone of this release. The Takemura piece is the longest and perhaps also the one that is a bit out of place here. It perhaps breaks the mood but in this case it’s not so great. Otherwise this is a more than excellent compilation with all equally great sorrowful pieces of music, which could have as easily been on a real CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bresmsstrahlung-recordings.org

Berlin 01.20.2007 – Share global @ CTM07


SHARE GLOBAL @ CTM.07 (Berlin)
January 29 -30 2007
Program: http://www.clubtransmediale.de/index.php?id=4658

+STREAMING BROADCAST –
SHARE GLOBAL Audio Jam+

Tuesday, January 30th 2007-16:00 (Montreal time)

Montreal Performers:

Jim Bell, i8u, Evans Simard, Carl Aksynczak, Michal Seta … and others

To listen to Share from Berlin on January 30th:
Streaming page
http://www.videographe.qc.ca/share/10.htm

The two day SHARE.MOBILE during CTM.07 brings together SHARE-activists from various locations around the globe: Elsa Vieira, Daniel Vatsky, Eric Redlinger, Daniel Smith, Anton Marini and Keiko Uenishi from SHARE NYC; Marie-Hélène Parant and Katherine Liberovskaya from SHARE Montréal, Chris Noelle from SHARE Berlin (currently in its founding process), Péter Szabó and Alexandra Szeleznyeva from the SHARE group in Budapest, Chris Schuerholz from SHARE in Wiesbaden and others.

Review – Anther i8u + tomas phillips(petite sono) 2006 – by Frans de Waard, Petite Sono

I8U & TOMAS PHILLIPS – ANTHER (CD by Petite Sono)

Tomas Phillips is not a new name for me, but since his previous release with Tobias C. van Veen (see Vital Weekly 499) I learned that he has had various releases as Sea Optic, Lisbon and Eto Ami (in collaboration with Dean King) and that there is a solo release under his real name on Trente Oiseaux (which we probably missed out on). These days he works with Tobias C. van Veen, Dean King and i8u. Behind i8u is France Jobin, who had a release on Multimedia Pandora (see Vital Weekly 216), Piehead Records (Vital Weekly 325) and Bake Records (oddly not reviewed). Besides making music, she also works with installations and web art, not as separate things, but it can be seen as one big work. She has played around the world (Mutek, Transmediale), but things have been quiet for some time. Maybe the quiet time was used by her to record this album with Tomas Phillips? On the cover (housed in a larger carton box) it says ‘headphone listening suggested’ and normally that is not well-spend on me, because I like to walk around when I want when listening, or hop from chair to computer and back, but in this case it would indeed be a good suggestion to sit back, put that headphone on and have a careful listen. I8U and Tomas Phillips play a nice game of silence. Even when you crank up the volume considerably, things hoover still at the edge of silence. Sometimes a peep comes up, white static emerge from the swamp and something nothing happens at all. ‘Merge’, the final piece, seems to the one with most activity with what seems also the track with the most clear synth lines and what could be a slowed down rhythm. In terms of music, regular music, this track is the most ‘ambient’, whereas the other two are more abstract and microsound. This trio of tracks is a pretty strong collection that deserve to be listened too with headphones indeed and a good glass of wine within reach and two candles in an otherwise dark room.

(FdW) (Address: http://www.petitesono.com)

-Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

review of Mutek 2004 concert by Exclaim!

Mutek
Montreal QC – June 2 to 6, 2004
By None None

By Darren Eke, Joshua Ostroff, Lorraine Carpenter, Melissa Wheeler
Magali Babin / I8U

Floral skirts? Bare legs? Dear God, it’s women! (And one adventurous dude in the audience, actually.) Despite the estrogenic shock, watching a duo deep in concentration at their consoles wasn’t thrilling on a visual level, but their audio was refreshingly unhinged. The ladies introduced their set with a threatening ambient base, patiently building the noise and the tension until their machines screamed thunder. Digital crackles and pops emerged from the fallout as the clamour subdued and sonic order was gradually re-established. Maybe that’s what a hot-flash feels like. LC Olaf Bender From the very first beat, Olaf Bender established himself on the danceable end of the experimental spectrum. With concrete rhythms overlaid with a rapid, low key back and forth hum, and various other bleeps and bloops, he continued to subtly add and alter tones and patterns as though the music was a slowly turning kaleidoscope. As always, the melodies were played down and the visuals were played up. Backgrounding the laptopper were blazing black and white shapes that changed with the music; I’ve never been so entranced by rectangles in my life. It’s the kind of visual work that seems simple, but many aim for it and miss the mark. These images were spot on and corresponded sharply and effectively with the assertive presence of the music. MW Frank Bretschneider With a blue background and a few lines of colour, Frank Bretschneider looked like a mad scientist concentrating on his master work as he stooped to look at his computer screen. With a set that seemed more limited in its range of sounds, beats and durations than the previous acts, he used his limitations to great effect, strangely enough. Beats would cycle tightly around each other, resulting in frequent but subtle changes in the pace of the track. Rigid and organised, the terse micro abstract techno came off as highly sophisticated. This is the stuff that people aim for and seldom achieve. MW Chess Machine Conceptual sound/art pieces constantly run up against the same problem: some ideas are better left as ideas. Chess Machine fits nicely into this category. Using the strategy and turn taking framework of chess, the duo of COH (aka Ivan Pavlov) and Richard Chartier sat across from each other, each trying to goad the other into doing something – just what though wasn’t quite clear. With Pavlov in blue and Chartier in pink, and a lovely blue and pink video peacefully morphing in the background, Pavlov routinely spent his turn on forceful, assaulting bass and searing high tones with very little rhythm. Chartier began with a quieter minimal abstract style, but eventually fell prey to Pavlov’s aggressive prodding and began churning out heavy, angry and formless music. As it turns out, Pavlov’s goal was to make Chartier go agro, so Pavlov won. But Chartier wasn’t the only one Pavlov managed to aggravate into a tizzy – the performance was at times spooky, nerve-grating, and highly agitating. I have never been so angry after a set. MW Crackhaus Hometown heroes Crackhaus (aka Steven Beaupré and Deadbeat’s Scott Monteith) had just released a record on the fledgling Mutek_Rec label and one understood the organisers’ exuberance as soon as the pair took to their laptops. Dressed in overalls, red neckerchiefs and backed by tractor visuals, they produced a brilliant farm-themed set that occasionally sparked comparisons to Timbaland’s more out there Bubba Sparxxx beats but was largely their own avant-country concoction. Tech-y, trippy and oozing rural and urban energy, they finally set-off the crowd, who started spontaneously cheering in the midst of their upbeat beats and funky licks. JO Jason Forrest (aka Donna Summer) At an experimental music festival people have truckloads of patience, but somehow Donna Summer still got booed off-stage. Emerging in a white dinner jacket and an “honourable mention” ribbon, he immediately began spazzing out. “I’m here to play some rock’n’roll for you,” he yelled promisingly, but instead delivered a quickly numbing set of industrial noise, while triggering sounds, playing air guitar and dancing like an electroclash refugee on PCP. It spiced up the proceedings, for about five minutes, at which point his Andy Kaufman shtick grew tiresome. After calling out all the “techno motherfuckers in the back,” the non-responding crowd had had enough. Naturally, Forrest played an encore while the crowd continued voicing their vitriol. It’s one thing to rock out with your cock out, it another to just be a dick. JO Richie Hawtin Chuck D warned us about hype, but it was hard not to get excited about the first Plastikman show in nearly a decade, especially when it was billed as “the most ambitious and audacious audio/visual undertaking of a live set any producer has ever assembled.” Well, then. But Hawtin overreached. The crowd of cultists showed up but the promised performance collapsed when, after months of planning, the purpose-built technology went awry. Re-jigging bits and bytes of his entire discography, the minimalist music sounded amazing most of the time but the matching visuals hardly worked (though they were sufficiently trippy when they did) and there was no discernable light or smoke show. Hawtin’s intentions were admirable, but this was one multimedia spectacular that turned out to be neither. JO Herbert Hitting the tables at 5:40 a.m., Herbert (who hardly ever spins) dropped the festival’s sole DJ set, and it was possibly the most eclectic set I’ve ever heard. Beginning with Radiohead’s glitchy “Everything In Its Right Place,” he moved into extraterrestrial techno, German electro and even the rubberised bass lines of booty tech. His own work, like the better than the original remix of Moloko’s “Sing it Back,” rammed against tracks like “Wordy Rappinghood” and then he delivered a ragga encore followed by a Barry White rave-up around 7:30 a.m., when they finally tore him away from the still-chanting crowd. Matthew Herbert, get thee to thy Technics more often. JO Isolée The German star of the revered Playhouse label, Rajko Muller was the early hit of Mutek’s first all-night party. Backed by impressive visual projections of cityscapes and comets, his funky tech-house was mellow without being overly minimal, packed as it was with lots of little noises jumping about the steady beats. His live set picked up the pace partway through, propelled by more complex drum patterns marked by laser zaps, pseudo-trance-y synths and electro stabs. It began as a primer for what was to come but sounded even better in hindsight after the two subsequent acts flopped. JO Junior Boys With the sheen of disco and new romantic pop, this Toronto act joined their emotive vocal style and morose lyrical mantras with rippling synths, minimal guitars and low-key beats. The effect was somewhat tepid, significantly more soft-focus than its recorded counterpart, where the beats take precedence and the vocals don’t demand a strong stage presence, which was lacking. To their credit though, once the Junior Boys picked up the pace, they drew the night’s first dancers to the floor. LC Kpt. Michigan With a guitar strapped around his torso and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, Schneider TM sidekick Michael Beckett took this opportunity to rebel against the ‘Tek. Simulated piano and organ led some tracks through melodic pastures, while raucous guitars cemented others, each accompanied by either canned rhythm or ‘tronic gurgling, some even capped with live loops. Awkward second-language lyrics detracted from the set, which was mercifully half-instrumental, but the night-vision video amplified it; its industrial images expanding, multiplying and rippling with the size of the sound. LC Krikor French DJ/remixer Krikor made his North American debut with a dark, if decidedly dull, set. His opening “get off yer shit” samples boded well, but instead of the danceable music people were expecting – being 1:30 a.m. and all – he fixated on minimal loops and solitary beats that invoked little more than a metronome (albeit with the odd IDM flourish). It was surely the most Mutek-y set of the night, so it wasn’t entirely out-of-place, but the anxious crowd was hardly swaying, much less roiling, as the skittering beats went about their business. If the sinister vibe had been taken further, Krikor might’ve been more than a placeholder. JO Loscil With the all-night Metropolis party finishing earlier the same morning, Loscil’s set was the perfect remedy to open the festival’s fifth day and final night of performances at the SAT. The Vancouver musician didn’t waste any time constructing a relaxed atmosphere, tapping into his laptop and gently coaxing his mixer into produce some of the finest ambient pulses of the festival. Attentive audience members quickly dropped to the floor from equal parts relaxation and exhaustion, partaking in a brief applause for “Sickbay” early in Scott Morgan’s 40-minute set, which seamlessly linked together selections from all three Kranky releases. DE Chris MacNamara Starting his set with a low, treading thump and an electronic-gilded harmony that sounded like a chorus of monks piously singing with their mouths wide open, MacNamara proved himself in the same tasteful and stylish way the other Thinkbox members have. In the background, footage of an active city-centre street played slightly slowed to give it a dream-like feel. It was an appropriate visual accompaniment to the full music, which used sounds that could’ve been a large deck of metal playing cards being shuffled, and chatty compressed fuzz. MW Carsten Nicolai With sharp, crystal clear beeps and thumping bass lines, Carsten Nicolai relied largely on intricate yet low-key melodies to distinguish his minimal techno from the other performers. There was a great gap in the serious, nearly pain-inducing bass and the lighter sounds, some of which were comparable to the sound of a ring knocking a glass of water, but amplified. His gorgeous black and white visuals kept the bar high, with black and white moving rectangles corresponding to the music. MW The Rip Off Artist American minimalist the Rip Off Artist (Matt Haines, to his mama) had the crowd onside as soon as he turned his laptop on by simply playing something – anything – that could actually be boogied to. The Tigerbeat 6 recording artist pumped out a nicely tight live “minimal click tech-house” set filled with squelch-y sounds, microscopic beats and propulsive, if still somewhat staid, rhythms. But soon enough he brought in the heavy duty bass lines and abstract glitch funk, providing a nice overall balance of experimental production and dance party populism. JO Steve Roy As a louder presence, Steve Roy maintained a balance of the thick and thin. He tempered upbeat vibrations powerful enough to shake your knee caps with bright, spacious elements reminiscent of a heat mirage on a stretch of highway. For the first part of his set he kept his rhythm as a guideline, until he kicked it into high gear in the second part, coming with a full, heavy, pacing sound. Tasty and effective. MW Schneider TM This was a show in which men in white lab coats instilled the crowd with the infection, the cure and the pop lover’s Mutek highlight. On vocoder-filtered vocals, guitar and percussion, Germany’s Dirk Dresselhaus (aka Schneider TM) was joined by regular cohorts Kpt. Michigan (a wildman on the E-drums) and machine manipulator Christian Obermaier, together building exquisitely crafted beats, melodies and songs to dance and sway to. Along with tracks from Schneider’s LPs, Moist and Zoomer, the trio tackled “The Light 3000,” their sweet cover of the Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.” LC Signal As Signal, the three Raster Notonities came together to present a refreshingly danceable set, and I saw more than one “so good it hurts” face in the crowd (as well as a few spastic dancers. Woo!). From the sets each performed earlier it seemed Olaf Bender was taking the lead with the blocky bass and angular, lively melodies. The composition was dusted with subtleties native to Carsten Nicolai and Frank Bretschneider. Those sounds were nearly lost in the organised commotion, but moments when the bass ramped down gave play to the more delicate features. Once again, the visuals of morphing shapes in black and white were ridiculously captivating. It was definitely a performance worth staying until the end for. MW Skoltz Kolgen Using an obvious and refreshing visual link to the sound (the left screen connected to the left speakers, the right screen to the right speakers), Montreal duo Domique Skoltz and Herman Kolgen presented their two-screen “Fluux:/Terminal.” Using a variety of architecture-like line drawings and occasionally more grainy images, it was reassuring to hear the sound fuzz out and the image go with it as it trailed across the screen. The presentation came off as cohesive and intentional, and although the sound was sometimes too abstract to be followed, the visuals presented a magnet for wandering minds. They built their performance on the concept of bipolar personality, and it came through wonderfully. MW Smith N Hack In an eventful twist of irony, Smith N Hack provided a syrupy-thick dose of anti-pop to cap off the first event at the SAT. The Berlin duo (Errorsmith and Soundhack) immediately assaulted their gritty disco and funk samples, processing them through various filters and demolishing loops at a medley of speeds. This immediately set off some alarms: “Is this a dance party or a techno set?” By the time the two deconstructed the vocals of Ricardo Villalobos’s “Easy Lee” into helium-induced samples, it obviously didn’t matter to the crowd anymore; they pleasantly continued to start, stop and start dancing until the wee hours of the morning. DE Rob Theakston As every performer knows, no plan is completely solid, and sometimes the bottom will fall out. But the show must go on! Rob Theakston forgot to do visuals for his Mutek performance, and then his computer crashed. Shortly after opening his set with a kitschy little triumphant horn salute, he let the audience know about his predicament via text instead of those forgotten visuals. But it seemed the audience was enjoying “plan B” just as much as I was – Theakston even garnered a “hell yeah!” from the audience when he asked for one via the screens after a Bush-related comment. But maybe plan B was a little too effective – the only thing I recall about his music was its charming and fluid nature. MW Thinkbox The Detroit/Windsor collective made full use of their “carte blanche” showcase as each of the six members delivered diverse half-hour sets, pairing visual displays with a range of earthy atmospheric textures and structured beats. One of two free events at the festival, the diverse and somewhat inattentive audience finally devoted their attention to Rob Theakston’s amusing visual aspect of his performance. Delivering a Powerpoint-styled presentation to apologise for his lack of visuals, Theakston managed to balance the absurd with the serious, while also slamming the Bush administration and garnering an enthusiastic “hell yeah!” response from the crowd. DE Vitaminsforyou As heard on his debut LP, I’m Sorry For Ever and For Always, Bryce Kushnier’s incandescent pop-speckled mosaics set the tone for an evening of sweetness and light. With beats alternately atmospheric and danceable, Kushnier layered piano, synths and vocals (sampled and sung into headphones) while players added more melodic texture via guitar and squashbox. The set peaked as a lady friend joined Kushnier for a duet, a celebratory tune by local indie rock stars the Arcade Fire. LC

Berlin 02.03.2004 – Club Transmediale 04 Share Mobile

Berlin
transmediale.04
Feb 3rd 2004 – 22:00 –

Share Mobile Berlin 1
Feb 4th 2004  – 22:00 –

Share Mobile Berlin 2
Open jam for audio / video artists with portable gear.
Plug in and play.
Details and Workshop
>
[CTM EXTENDED] Share Mobile Berlin

Free entrance for active participants, if registered in advance: share@clubtransmediale.de

Livestream on: http://share.dj/clubtransmediale/
Maria am Ostbahnhof
an der Schillingbrücke / Stralauer Platz
10243 Berlin
S-BHF Ostbahnhof
U-BHF Jannowitzbrücke
bus 140 /142 / 147 / 240 / 265 / 340
night bus N44 / N

review of send + receive 2003 concert by Exclaim!

Send + Receive
Winnipeg, MB – October 17 to 25
By None None

By Jill Wilson and Rob Nay Absent Sound Capping off an evening of performances by local Winnipeg artists, Absent Sound supplied one of the festival’s more colourful concerts. The band’s two guitarists and violinist were joined by a masked stilt walker who stalked the venue, while a dancer offered inspired physical accompaniment to the music. A film projector draped the performers in a range of images as they created rising parapets of sustained melodies and looped samples. RN Adhere and Deny Winnipeg’s Adhere and Deny, an object/puppet theatre troupe, rose to the sound/art occasion in grand, compelling style. Forgoing physical performance altogether, their production of “Clouded Trousers” took place offstage, while onstage, a single red light bulb glowed. The work revolved around Russian poet Vladimir Mayacovsky, who, unlucky in love, betrayed by his country and denied a visa to travel, killed himself playing Russian roulette in 1930. The words of the revolutionary poet, said to have “the voice of a searchlight,” mingled with the voices of his friends and contemporaries. JW Duul_Drv’s Duul_Drv’s computer-based sounds featured swelling tones and subtle glitch-based noises that created a striking contrast, alternately lulling and jarring. The use of disparate elements created elaborate layers of sound. During the conclusion of his performance, Duul_Drv’s S. Arden Hill departed from the stage and delivered a spot-on handstand, adding a touch of humour and surprise to a strong ambient performance. RN Famished Amerika Famished Amerika (Toronto’s Susanna Hood and Nilan Perera) fiddled with radio receivers and sound processors to create a collage that was unique to the moment. When it all came together, there were great moments where bursts of static resolved themselves into moments of coherent sound bites, which were then further stretched, repeated and manipulated, but it often sounded like two radios being played simultaneously. Despite a few shared smiles, the two performers created no sense of a collaborative enterprise. JW Fanny As Fanny, one-time Exploited guitarist and current Winnipegger Fraser Runciman showed how far he’s strayed from his Scottish punk band’s past. Fanny’s set commenced with sounds that resembled an Alfred Hitchcock soundtrack dismantled and rebuilt into something more caustic and anxious. His set proceeded to offer a range of hectic beats and fevered samples, occasionally making transitions into subtle, sparse piano notes before resuming the restless pace once again. RN I8U Montreal’s I8U fashioned expansive electronic tones, forming spellbinding textures that resulted in a very impressive set. Frequencies gradually and adeptly reached tall crests of sound before descending to subterranean reverberations. Shifting from lulling minimalism to resonating noise, I8U sculpted sound with the utmost precision and talent. RN Philip Jeck Britain’s Philip Jeck created sublime reverberations. Using turntables, a mini-disc loaded with looped noises and an old Casio, Jeck shaped a riveting set. Hypnotic waves of sound were intermittently joined by the faint ringing of distant bells. Occasionally more discordant sounds crept into the mix, establishing a solid contrast to the sedate tones. The overall sentiment was one of mesmerising repetition in the midst of gently cascading soundscapes. RN My Kingdom for a Lullaby Featuring the Austrian artists Michaela Grill, Christof Kurzmann, Billy Roisz, and Martin Siewert, My Kingdom for a Lullaby fashioned an enchanting piece of audio/visual art. Their performance blended improvised guitar, oboe, Theremin and electronics with shadowy visuals projected on a large screen. At times, My Kingdom’s performance seemed like the broadcast of a satellite’s decaying signal, presenting flickering images and haunting sounds. RN Not Half Not Half presented a range of varying beats, shifting rhythms and constantly changing samples. As front-man for Not Half, Allan Conroy’s improvised set harnessed a range of elements, adeptly managing to fuse extensive rhythms and noises to create a continuously absorbing auditory experience. With remarkable ease, Not Half dispersed multiple samples and beats to form a highly creative juxtaposition. RN Tim Hecker Montreal’s Tim Hecker removed the performance element from the evening by dimming the lights and setting up his equipment behind the audience, who had to project their own images onto the bare walls and darkness of the gallery in front of them. His face, bathed in the glow of his laptop screen, remained perfectly serene as he created a soundtrack that was at once urgent and dreamy, industrial and pastoral, harsh and liquid, and always evocative. JW Negativland Presented concurrently with Send + Receive, VideoPool’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” seminar on copyright brought Negativland’s Mark Hosler to town. Hosler, an affable, low-key speaker, recounted the history of the California culture-jammers and presented a number of short films and songs that demonstrated the groundbreaking group’s use of mass media and its twisting of corporate sloganeering to their own ends. An eye-opening evening, it also included a performance of the infamous U2 cover “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” JW Polmo Polpo Polmo Polpo initiated the festival with extended versions of a few songs from his most recent release, along with a range of further captivating material. The live versions of songs from Like Hearts Swelling featured augmented rhythms that fused the beat-oriented textures from his early singles with the harmonious cascades from his latest recordings. The middle of Polmo Polpo’s set removed the rhythmic aspects and presented soothing, extended drones. The union of melodic soundscapes and somnolent beats supplied an excellent evening of music. RN Gert-Jans Prins Using his distinctive self-created electronic system, Amsterdam’s Gert-Jans Prins manipulated tones to create a range of disruptive and transfixing noises. A small television placed nearby cast discontinuous images of static, resembling miniature blasts of lighting. Towards the end of his performance, Gert-Jans Prins gestured strongly at the soundman for the volume to be turned up as he cajoled further resounding noises from his electronic system. RN Vitaminsforyou A former Winnipegger now living in Montreal, Bryce Kushnier provided the most accessible portion of the evening. As Vitaminsforyou, he makes laptop performance absolutely engaging, which is no easy task. His song-based compositions have sweet, piercing melodies, with Kushnier often adding his own voice to the tunes, and with their pulsing beats, they could be called IDM. JW Otomo Yoshihide Otomo Yoshihide began his set with restrained sounds; he manipulated two turntables connected to a pair of Fender Twin amps, the turntables’ needles running on upended cymbals. In the blink of an eye, Otomo wrenched piercing noise from the turntables, yanking the needles down, coaxing out wall-shaking feedback. As the set progressed, he held pitched noise until the floor almost cracked open before releasing the tension and lowering the volume. Otomo Yoshihide provided a superb, raucous conclusion to the festival on its closing night. RN

Review – 60 artists protest the war (ATAK) 2003 – by Roel Meelkop, Vital Weekly

V.A. - 60 SOUND ARTISTS PROTEST THE WAR (Compilation CD by ATAK)
Well, the title really says it all: this CD contains 60 tracks by 60
artists and they are all protesting the war (the war in question
being the invasion of Iraq by the so called allied forces), simply by
being present on this disc. The initiative for this compilation came
from Keiichiro Shibuya, himself a musician and working for the ATAK
label. Of course, it is easy for people to come up with a one minute
sound bite and yes, it has been done before, but somehow, this
sampler seems to be better than the others I have heard before. This
is probably due to the artists involved and the order in which they
are presented (even if this was decided entirely randomly). It would
go way too far to name them all, although that could be enough for
many people to order the CD at once. Let me suffice to say that
everybody that matters is on it (well, almost everybody) and that it
is a pleasure to listen to. It was my personal pleasure to listen
with the cover in my hand and try to guess who's who. At which I
failed miserably of course........All those opposing the
aforementioned war will have to buy it anyway, so all the others will
have to depend on its quality. Very well done! (MR)
Oh well, here's the list anyway: roel meelkop/shirtrax vs.
shirtrax/keith rowe + toshimaru nakamura/stephan
mathieu/pomassl/slipped disc/bernhard gunter/kim gascone/doron
sadja/yamataka eye/numb/steve roden/steinbruchel/go taneda/akira
yamamichi/tiziana bertoncini + thomas lehn/yuji takahashi/freiband/cm
von hauswolff/keiichiro shibuya/motor/stilluppsteypa/coh/mikael
stavostrand/radboud mens/miki yui/andreas tilliander/minimalistic
sweden/nao tokui + take3tsu nagano/frank bretschneider/evala/taeji
sawai/fennesz/kenneth kirschner/i8u/john hudak/aoki takamasa/mitchell
akiyama/burkhard stangl/goodiepal/hideki nakazawa/aelab/christof
kurzmann/jos smolders/masahiro miwa/janek schaefer/tv
pow/pix/kimken/saidrum/merzbow/m.behrens/maria/klon/mondii/richard di
sant/christophe charles/william basinski/carsten nicolai/yasunao tone.
Adress: http://atak.jp or info@atak.jp

Interview by artcogitans

Interview de artcogitans avec I8U

Question 1 :
A propos de votre animation Obstacle (2003)(1), vous parlez de votre “obsession” au sujet des “transitions”. Et il est manifeste que cette création rend compte de cet intérêt majeur dans votre pratique artistique, pour ce thème, à tel point que l’on pourrait dire qu’Obstacle n’est que “transitions”. Pourriez-vous nous dire d’où vous vient cette obsession? Pourquoi ce thème récurrent dans vos créations ?

A -My obsession with transitions comes from my quest for fluidity. Often we cannot say why we like a particular piece of art. We simply feel, not knowing why. Personally, I can usually discover a disparity that I fail to digest, a failed transition that can cause me not to like a piece. In my music as in my life, emotion and feelings can change and it is in the transition that one is the most vulnerable. It is perhaps a need to teach or to learn, that the transition will hold an important position in my work.

Question 2 :
Cette animation qui part d’un point pour aboutir à une construction très élaborée, excessivement structurée, n’est constituée que de “passages”. Passage d’un point à un autre, d’un ensemble de points à une ligne, d’une ligne à une autre, passage d’une couleur à une autre aussi, passage d’un son à un autre aussi ; avant de disparaître et réapparaître sous une autre forme. Et l’on sait à quel point l’élément sonore occupe une place prépondérante dans vos créations. Ne faudrait-il pas voir dans ces lignes, dans ces points de passage le désir de donner à voir l’invisible ? Ne faudrait-il pas lire votre animation comme un désir de faire réfléchir l’internaute, sur ce qui, justement, ne se donne pas à voir immédiatement, mais à saisir de manière indirecte ?

A – My intent is definitely to make the user reflect on what is not seemingly evident, I am not one to dictate to or walk someone through a work. I believe that its effectiveness lies in one’s ability to draw one’s own conclusions. I do hope the work will trigger a “réflexion” based on one’s own frame of references and what the work may evoke in that regard. As in Plato’s allegory of the cave, some see the shadow, some see the puppet and others the light from outside.

Question 3 :
Vous parlez aussi de cette création en termes de “métaphore”, expliquant qu’Obstacle représente métaphoriquement parlant “les réseaux en puissance, les liens aléatoires entre les idées, les concepts, les étants”. Est-ce à dire que votre création tente de montrer à sa manière que tout n’est que hasard ? Faut-il comprendre que pour vous le monde ne serait qu’un chaos organisé soumis finalement au seul principe d’incertitude ?

A -Art that is abstract in nature is somewhat of a paradox. The static on the TV when a station goes of the air certainly can be said to be random, uncertain and most would say it’s not art, yet my work which can be interpreted as random , uncertain and chaotic still manages to convey a feeling, a moment, a memory. A moment of TV static is not easily remembered. A moment of TV static holds the same place in my mind as any other moment of TV static. Abstract art however, tends to be sorted, dwelled upon. My work is a need to convey to the user a message for that user. Where that message originated could be debated; from the user themselves, from a memory that is invoked from watching the piece, from the music.

Question 4 :
Toujours en travaillant sur “liens aléatoires entre les idées, les concepts, les étants”, mais aussi en invitant le spectateur à réfléchir sur cette notion, est-ce que vous ne souhaitez pas mettre en évidence, ne serait-ce que de manière métaphorique que les éléments aléatoires ne se situent “pas seulement dans les choses, dans les corps matériels” (J. Baudrillard, Mots de passe, p.60), mais aussi en nous, dans la mesure où en tant que microcosme moléculaire par notre pensée même nous participons à ce phénomène, ce qui crée in fine, “l’incertitude radicale du monde” ?

A -The certainty of chaos, being that every paradigm we choose to apply ourselves, we have the knowledge that previous paradigm shifts, have shown us that we were mistaken and often they conflict. We can be certain only that there will be another paradigm shift that will reverse our thought once again with the only certainty we will continue to change our thoughts of art and ourselves.

Question 5 :
En regardant pour la première fois votre création, je n’ai pu m’empêcher de penser au travail de Vera Molnar avec l’ordinateur, précurseur en son temps. Peut-on voir une influence de cette artiste dans votre pratique artistique ? Pourriez-vous nous dire quel(le)s sont les artistes qui ont marqué votre pratique artistique, et qui continuent de l’influencer peut-être encore aujourd’hui ?

A – My biggest influences have been John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Miles Davis and many others. I have only recently been introduced to the visual art field. I am still in transition and my visual work rests on sound as its foundation. I am not familiar with Molnar’s work.

Question 6 :
Lorsque l’on fait l’expérience esthétique de votre animation Obstacle, on a l’impression d’avoir affaire à un tout très structuré, excessivement construit, organisé dans un but donné, clairement déterminé par avance. Obstacle apparaît dans son ordonnancement intrinsèque comme l’opposé de l’aléatoire. Comment expliquez-vous ce choix qui consiste à proposer à l’internaute une animation non aléatoire afin de le faire réfléchir à cette notion d’aléatoire justement ? Pourquoi ou pour quoi ce choix ?

A -There would appear to be structure from which we build the abstract, although that structure can be interpreted in different ways. Like the structure of a music piece played in minor chords tends to bring sadness, even if the chords are played randomly. It is the challenge for the interpreter (user)to build the structure themselves or to adapt it to a structure they have built previously which brings into question what is random about the piece.

Question 7 :
Est-ce pour mieux fixer l’attention de l’internaute sur les points de passage, les lignes de fuite aussi, pour lui donner la possibilité de faire l’expérience peut-être moins d’une esthétique de la participation que de celle de la “contemplation réflexive” ?

A-The non-interactive participation does help to heighten focus, and relieve the user, of the learning curve of technical understanding or discovering the interactivity of the piece. Although some user’s minds may wander, as long as the thoughts or wanderings have the piece playing a subtle role, then I feel the piece has had a desirable effect. Others may find them completely submersed in the work, especially with the technological burden lifted, contemplation is easier to achieve.

Question 8 :
Le choix musical est excessivement important dans votre pratique artistique. Vous avez d’ailleurs récemment participé à UPCOMING RELEASE(2), avec une soixantaine d’autres artistes spécialisés dans les créations sonores. Les sons occupent une place prépondérante dans vos animations. Au sujet de ISÜ présentée à l’occasion de l’exposition Ellipse, sur le site Web du Musée du Québec, ainsi que dans le Pavillon Charles-Baillairgé du Musée, le texte du catalogue d’exposition fait même mention d’un “hommage rendu aux stratégies du mouvement de musique concrète à Paris, durant les années 1950 et 1960”. Pourriez-vous nous dire pourquoi cette “passion pour l’École de Paris, pour l’art du concret ? Pourquoi une moindre attirance pour J. Cage, qui en affirmant que “tout est musique” a contribué à faire de cette attitude, avec 4’33” par exemple, un fait social et universel, historique et philosophique aussi ?

A- This passion is one of many that I draw upon to create a work. In this instance, it is the sounds that we hear and don’t listen to anymore that interests me. Sounds that surround us and that we have learned to ignore.

Question 9 :
Louis Dandrel, lors d’une récente conférence donnée à Paris dans le cadre de l’Université de tous les Savoirs, disait que “Si la musique est l’art le plus commun, elle est aussi l’art le plus réactif au milieu physique et aux humeurs de la société par sa fusion originelle avec la vie. Elle révèle, imite ou s’oppose”. Dans votre animation ISÜ, il est possible de retrouver toute “la documentation audiovisuelle, faite de photographies et d’enregistrements numériques in situ, captant les menus détails sonores et visuels dont se compose l’expérience en cellule”. Aussi, est-ce qu’en construisant votre animation de cette manière afin de faire réfléchir le public sur l’isolement, entre autres, vous pensez, un peu de la même manière que ce musicien, spécialiste sonore, que la question du son est indissociable de toute architecture, comme celle de la lumière d’ailleurs ?

A -The foundation of all my work starts with the sound, the first experience I am aware of when walking into an empty church, is the reverb. Only then, do my other senses get a chance to bring other things to my attention. My art as well, starts with the sound, this is the first ingredient to the work. So yes, it was the fusion of all the ingredients, but it was the sound that first brought the isolation to my work.

Question 10 :
Si d’une part ISÜ incite le public à reconsidérer les notions d’isolement, mais aussi de connectivité, en termes de perception, d’expérience de temps et d’espace que nous faisons sur Internet ; et si d ‘autre part Obstacle incite l’internaute à reconsidérer les notions de liens aléatoires, de frontières, de passage aussi, vos animations non interactives qui donnent à voir et à entendre, mais aussi et surtout à penser, ne participent-elles pas plus d’une esthétique de la réflexion que d’une esthétique de la contemplation ?

A-I think for most users, the thinking vs contemplative esthetic will be weighted differently, perhaps from one viewing to another. I think your questions will inspire me to further broaden my thinking esthetic and hence, the next time I view the projects, the weight will fall more on the thinking aspect.