Review – Extract, Portrait of Soundartists(nvo) 2007 – by Massimo Ricci, touching extremes

EXTRACT (2CD + book by Non Visual Objects)

The thought of having passed a whole life transferring tapes to CD and DVD only to clutch at flies at the end is enough to think of myself as a cretin but hey, one has to find something to “enjoy the passage of time”, as James Taylor would have it. Seriously, once upon a time I could only have dreamed about a honest publication containing news and pictures about artists whose music I follow and mostly respect, and that in this case are sonically represented by two CDs containing tracks that they recorded for this special occasion.
The names in question are 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 Phillips, Steve Roden, Jos Smolders, Steinbrüchel, Nao Sugimoto, Asmus Tietchens, Toshiya Tsunoda, Ubeboet, Michael Vorfeld.

Every chapter presents an interview or some personal considerations by the artist about his own work and his/her relationships with other members of the same community. Most of them describe their approach and influences, others let drawings and photographs do the speaking while only a few – like Keith Berry, whose splendid track opens the first disc – report about the intimate sensations that unconsciously introduced them to certain types of withdrawn awareness. It is of course very interesting to know how these people have reached goals while still struggling to develop new means to synthesize determinate conclusions, but it’s equally nice reading about a man like Asmus Tietchens, who distances himself from most everything while being capable of producing music whose level of efficacy on the perceptive system is portentous to say the least.

The discs contain a lot of great moments, the perfect means to complement a very useful reading, and there is no actual sense in defining a “best of”. But, since you asked, Berry, Deupree, Lloyd, Roden, Tietchens and Ubeboet are the tracks that I liked in particular, and it was not an easy choice. What I really suggest is using both the book and the CDs like a breviary: open your windows, turn the volume up, let the sounds mix and read a few pages. Everything will make sense then.
(massimo ricci, touching extremes)