Review – Ligne i8u | Tomas Phillips (ATAK) 2009 – by Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

i8u – Tomas Phillips ligne (CD by ATAK) 2009

Things have been quiet for Japanese Atak, as of May,  they make a return with an album by Canada’s I8U and Tomas Philips. Both are perhaps known for their work in the field of microsound and together they have been working since 2005. They work out of improvisation while being inspired by one thing or another. A film by Sergio Leone or a piano for instance. These improvisations have been revised, reworked, added or subtracted. Perhaps that might be hard to believe, since if you hear this CD, you’ll be listening to some very minimal music. A few static lines, some click like sound, deep bass, sine waves and such like. Like the vague images on the cover, this music is more like an environment, surrounding you. The flickering of shadow on the wall, this music is also altering your perception. Carefully, slow, meditative, delicate and precious. All of these words are appropriate for this album. Label boss Keiichiro Shibuya’s remix of the title track at the end brings the material in a slightly different terrain: its more present than the other three pieces and more firmly rooted in somewhat louder laptop music, but it fits well in this release, providing a nice counterpoint. (FdW)

Label: Atak
Cat. #: ATAK013
Format: CD
Release date: 2009

01 – Ligne (18:23)
02 – Point (08:38)
03 – Donnée (19:15)
04 – Ligne (10:10)

-Vital Weekly-
Frans de Waard


Review Ligne i8u | Tomas Phillips (ATAK) 2009 – by Giuseppe Angelucci, Spiritual Archives

i8u – Tomas Phillips ligne (CD by ATAK) 2009

Atak is a Japanese label born in 2002, founded by Keiichiro Shibuya and maria, a duo also known as “Slipped Disk”. Its catalogue comprises fifteen releases so far, including Shibuya’s newest work (“For Maria”). All published albums have electronics as predominant factor, although managed from different viewpoints, primarily dealing with experimentation fields and sound art aspects.

”Ligne”, out two months ago, marks a collaboration (a new synergy after “Anther” in 2006) between France Jobin, Canadian sound-sculpture artist (i8u) and Tomas Phillips, American composer as well as literature teacher.i8u creates, since more than a decade, acclaimed works, live performances and installations, Phillips’ sound is usually associated to reference labels like Trente Oiseaux, and/OAR, Non Visual Objects, Line, and, recently, Koyuki.

”Ligne” could be read as a report of visions, feelings and aesthetic attitudes, reflecting the intellectual background of its authors, whose abilities, combined together, produce an astounding result beyond expectation.

Four tracks here: two “lines” (which open and close the work) as boundary for a point and a data (names given to the other pieces), about a hour of encoded information, a persistent stream from the start-up to the last pulse, unpredictable sound sceneries proposed.
Environmental recordings are present, of course, but it is also possible to notice compositional moments, forceful changes of state, harmonic structures which tangle up.
Dilated, extended soundscapes burst on the scene, fade away and revitalize themselves after a while.

The first drawing is built on cracklings, glitches, interferences which intersect resounding patterns, melodic (in rare moments) or (more often) soaked with a hypnotic vein.
This scheme is kept for the first half of the track, then new, different perturbations on a more minimal ground and a new mutation around the thirteenth minute: electronic pulses meet repeated, manipulated piano tones.
In the second piece there’s a prevalence of subtle frequencies and defective insertions, what causes a granular effect in pure microsound style.
“Donnée”, the third track, is also the longest and the most fascinating: it starts with rustles, scattered noises, rumblings placed in continuum, then evolves in suave patches put on abrasive surfaces.
Lastly, “Ligne”, once more an immersion into profound sounds, exploded with more violence, sharp-pointed projections which afterwards dissolve into more peaceful states, almost meditative.
Excellent interaction between the two protagonists, intelligent use of (re)sources, spent for a very complex work, really expressive…or, to be precise, visual.

Label: Atak
Cat. #: ATAK013
Format: CD
Release date: 2009


01 – Ligne (18:23)
02 – Point (08:38)
03 – Donnée (19:15)
04 – Ligne (10:10)

-Spiritual Archives.

Giuseppe Angelucci


Ligne on Atak (2009)

ligne | CD | ATAK | i8u | Tomas Phillips

Tomas and i8u have been working together since the later part of 2005. For this release, the sessions were improvised with a compositional structure in mind, they were then edited further. The compositions of i8u and Tomas Phillips belie their designation as such. Constructed from improvisation first and foremost, each track reflects a particular moment of time and dialogue. Materials range from numerous electronic and acoustic sources, whilst inspiration derives from a similar diversity; in one instance, a film by Sergio Leone, in another, a wooden object, a piano. The conversation then extends to a period of revision, adjustments, subtractions, reflecting a fascination with minimal sound environments as well as the mutual inspiration of a warm friendship.

text by Tomas Phillips

donnée (edited and arranged by Keiichiro Shibuya)
ligne (remix by Keiichiro Shibuya)

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

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: or

60 Sound Artists Protest the War (2003)

60 Sound Artists Protest the War | CD | ATAK | compilation

This project was created in reaction to the attack on Iraq.
60 sound artists from around the world participated,
providing 60 second sound files.
These 60 sound files are sound protests, not words or music.

On sale June 15th, 2003
Price: ¥1700 (tax excluded)


aelab / akira yamamichi / andreas tilliander aoki takamasa / bernhard guenter /burkhard stangl carsten nicolai / christof kurzmann christophe charles / carl michael von hausswolff coh / doron sadja / evala / fennesz frank bretschneider / franz pomassl / freiband Jgo taneda / goodiepal / hideki nakazawa i8u / janek schaefer / john hudak / jos smolders keiichiro shibuya / keith rowe + toshimaru nakamura kenneth kirschner / kim cascone / kimken / klon maria / masahiro miwa / masami akita(merzbow) /m.behrens mikael stavostrand / miki yui minimalistic sweden / mitchell akiyama / mondii motor / nao tokui+take3tsu nagano / numb / pix radboud mens / richard di santo / roel meelkop saidrum / shirtrax vs. shirtrax / slipped disk steinbruchel / stephan mathieu / steve roden stilluppsteypa / taeji sawai / thomas lehn tv pow / william basinski / yamataka-eye yasunao tone / yuji takahashi

More info: