Review – Extract, Portrait of Soundartists(nvo) 2007 – by Tom Sekowski, gaz-eta

EXTRACT (2CD + book by Non Visual Objects)

The premise sounds simple. Vienna based Non Visual Objects imprint invited twenty-two sound artists to present a piece of work. Over time, two CDs worth of sounds were filed. What are more impressive though are the non-musical aspects each of the musicians offers in “Extract” project, which not only consists of the music, but a nearly 100 page book. As the two project leaders – Heribert Friedl and Raphael Moser – explain in the introduction, “We would like to present artists that work in different areas in this field of electroacoustic music, to cover a large spectrum even in this quite specific area. With essays, interviews, photos, drawings and other materials presented in this book, we try to look at the motivation and intention behind the sound production from different perspectives, to possibly allow for a new/extended approach to this form of music.” Though each of the artists is somehow tied in to the electro-acoustic and microsound scene, variety of artists included in the project fluctuates greatly. Taylor Deupree chooses to express himself with a variety of photos taken over three year journeys to Japan. Many of these are intensely personal and to get an inside scoop into his work is real difficult. On the other hand, his “Live in Osaka” piece is a rather pleasant, gliding, and ear-ringing glitch of soothing proportions. As many of the artists favour the question and answer interview scheme, so does sound manipulator Richard Garet. His contribution in the form of “Précis” is inundated with off-the-wall, distant crackles and glissando waves of buzzing. Bernhard Günter chooses to display some of his photos and his attached “Listen to what you see (audio sample of location of all Koblenz photos)” is a serene journey into oblique concoction of unidentifiable sound. John Hudak shares some of his drawings [which honestly remind me of Daniel Johnston’s better work], while his “Radio” piece is a glistening sound world full of cricket-like appropriations. Steve Roden’s distant-echo call of old, crackly records “Air Into Form/Voice Into Breath” is accompanied with a four pages of his working diary, which ultimately lets us peak into his thought process. Package ends on a high note with German audio-manipulator and visual artist Michael Vorfeld whose masterful percussive manipulations turn out to be as eerie as they are enlightening. In between all of these are contributions from Toshiya Tsunoda, Ubeboet, Keith Barry, I8U, Dean King, Tomas Phillips, Asmus Tietchens, Richard Chartier and a dozen others. In a nutshell, “Extract” fulfils its goal quite well. In showing the visual aspect behind many of these artists work, their music takes on an entirely new meaning. It’s true that the more you know someone, the more you’re bound to love them.
(tom sekowski, gaz-eta)