Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Eric Hill, Exclaim

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008
From Holst’s The Planets to Eno’s Apollo, composers have glanced spaceward for inspiration and grandeur. Montreal’s France Jobin goes the extra step by turning outwards then inwards to explore ideas of String Theory, the title being the theoretical size of strings that make up, well, everything. Music, or purely expressed sound, is a logical art form to tackle these complex ideas, as little else exists in time and space quite the same way. The seven pieces have a scientific precision and clarity, placing each tone and texture in an aural description of nearly dimensionless particles. The vibratory interactions of these particles, or strings, stir high end frequencies that snap together like microscopic jigsaws, and waves of drone that describe a closed or looped model. Slipping just out of silence into the auditory field intensifies a reflex to lean towards the discovery of curious phenomena. Whether or not Jobin’s work inspires you to more deeply consider reality it can be enjoyed for its wonderful minimalist construction.
-Eric Hill

Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

Described by the press release as a “compelling meditation on the nature of sound in time”, this work by Canadian France Jobin was conceived by taking into account the “theoretical size of the strings that makes up the universe”. The impression is mainly one of morphing resonance, like someone manoeuvring an equalizer while a sequence of consecutive drones is unfolding. A chain of pretty static visions, some of them in fact engrossing, rarely presenting truly shocking elements yet effective, at least in spurts. Still, the compositional effort doesn’t appear extreme; this will probably determine a filing in the jam-packed folders of “good but not really memorable” near-minimalism, with the exception of “String 6” and “String 7”, whose impressive bottomless rumbles and subsonic purrs are something to be heard. Dulcis in fundo, indeed.

Touching Extremes
Massimo Ricci


Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Marcus Whale, The Silent Ballet

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

A part of the spat of new releases on Room40 over late 2008 and early 2009, this offering is produced by Montreal-based sound designer France Jobin, best known for her conceptually mind boggling sound experiments as I8U. This latest work, 10-33 cm, focuses on string theory, an attempt to adapt these tenets of quantum physics to a sound context.

Being unfortunately shackled to an intellect utterly bereft of mathematical knowledge, I have no way of interpreting the conceptual basis for the piece, but Jobin’s skill as a sound designer is undeniable. Jobin creates a seven-part, 46 minute long universe of mainly sine-tone based sound worlds that are remarkable in their focus and detail. Each track is assigned a different ‘type’ of string and the disparity between the contents of each section is marked. The most beautiful moments in the work come at the very beginning, where tiny, high frequency sounds move in and out of each other and take on a delicate form. Massive arrays of sounds subsequently provide counterpoint to this initial moment, but ultimately don’t match the atmosphere that it creates.

The most remarkable element of this release is the ability for such intellectual, difficult music to become as evocative, even on an emotional level, as much of 10-33 cm is. A criticism may be, for all of its intricacies, these experiments occasionally lapse into over-repetition, becoming reduced to its subject matter, rather than finding identity through the medium by which the concept is being expressed – sound. However, as a whole, the suite is tight and well constructed, finding moments of great intensity and poise.

Room40 are known for managing the compromise between the intellectual aesthetic of this corner of experimental music and its ability to ascertain a human reaction to it, beyond the arguably dry conceptual origins that often mark the associated releases. I8U is an example of this success; above all, a demonstration of the complexity of Jobin’s craft, an approach to sound design that is difficult to fault, in its strong intent and flawless execution.

-Marcus Whale

Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Textura

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008
Two “lower-case” recordings by Asher and I8U make natural additions to ROOM40’s discography.

i8u’s 10-33 cm is as resonant as Asher’s Landscape Studies but wholly different in timbre. Inspired by ideas associated with String Theory, Canadian sound artist France Jobin (aka i8u) creates seven crystalline webs of shimmering, glistening tones and textures. Apparently, the measure 10-33 cm represents the theoretical size of the strings that constitute the universe, and, as Jobin explains,”Resonance is the vibrational pattern which determines what kind of particle the string is, and thus the type of particle is the movement of the string and the energy associated with this movement.” Don’t worry: listening to 10-33 cm requires no degree in Physics; one can experience it as pure sound divorced from its theoretical underpinning. Broached on purely sonic terms, the recording offers a wide-ranging series of explorations into microsound textures, rhythms, and tonalities with each of the spatial re-creations pursuing different pathways associated with the originating concept. Comprised of forty-six minutes of reverberant drones, rumbling tones, faint clicks, and softly crackling static, 10-33 cm could just as easily be a Line release as one from ROOM40.

Review – 10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Guillermo Escudero, loop

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

La artista sonora de Montreal France Jobin explora en “10-33 cm” la Teoría de las Cuerdas como primera fuente sonora. Esto trata del “patrón de vibración que define el tipo de partes que compone la cuerda es y de esta forma el tipo de parte que es el movimiento de la cuerda y la energía asociada con dicho movimiento”, en palabras de esta artista.
La música está en la frontera entre el silencio, zumbido y las partes granulares del sonido. Ciertos pasajes suenan como improvisaciones con una diminuta percusión a través de errores de lectura digital, pero la mayor parte del disco son drones con emergentes sutiles melodías.

-Guillermo Escudero


Montreal’s based sound artist France Jobin explores on “10-33 cm” the String Theory as the primary source material. This deals with a “vibration pattern which defines what kind of particle the string is, and thus the type of particle is the movement of the string and the energy associated with this movement”, in her words.
The music blurs the border between silence, hum, and grainy particles of sound. Certain passages sound like improvisations with a diminutive percussion through glitches, but most of the disc are drones with emerging subtle melodies.

-Guillermo Escudero


Review -10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by BGN, WHITE LINE UK

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

Another conceptually provocative piece from Canada’s France Jobin, operating under the name “i8u”. “10.33cm” purports to be directly influenced by String Theory, a kind of Music of the Spheres for the New Age, directly associated with the relative sound frequencies of the strings that make up the physical universe. Although largely unproven, and still theoretical, the concept of String Theory has captivated the minds and imaginations of many creative types, and here, Jobin tests the theory in sound.

What materializes is a complex and densely worked set of 7 pieces, named String 1, String 2, String 3, etc. each piece corresponding to a set of parameters initiated by the artist, relating to each string type. From this somewhat ambitious point of departure, we are treated to a rangy set of works that encompass everything from the shimmering tonalities of the opening piece,(that opens with a blister of static, the sonic equivalent of the background radiation of the universe) to the glistening, expansive ambiences as exemplified on String 3, and the more sharply focussed elements of String 2 and String 6, where Jobin systematically takes the listener on a series of sonically intriguing transitions and deformations, taking in the lower end of the auditory spectrum, with rich, reverberant cascades of sound. As an attempt at realising a theoretical concept , then perhaps 10.33cm is still in the elementary stages, but with all of the theoretical gesturing aside, this is a masterfully wrought set of minimalist ambiences, deep in scope, and ambitious in its execution, a technically perfect series that you (like myself) will return to again and again. Excellent.



Review -10-33cm (ROOM40) 2008 – by Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008

We haven’t heard lately of France Jobin, who works since many years as I8U. The seven tracks on this download only release all deal with the string theory, which is one of those scientific things about the Universe which I never understood – like I never understood Stephen Hawking either, not even his public friendly book about time. Perhaps Jobin does better, and the pieces here are build from sine wave like particles that are being processed in the digital realm. It brings us seven pieces of a highly microsound origin. Buzzing bass sound, high pitched peeping sounds, but never ‘loud’ and certainly never ‘noise’. This is text book microsound material, think Richard Chartier, Bernard Gunter or Roel Meelkop, but I8U certainly a strong voice of her own. Quite modern ambient, and very nice at that.



10 -33cm on ROOM40 (2008)

10-33 cm | NET | ROOM40 | i8u

i8u’s 10-33 cm is a audio work of varied proportion and calculated shape. Based
on the ideas associated with String Theory, this latest offering from Canada’s
France Jobin is a compelling meditation on the nature of sound in time.

“10-33 cm is the theoretical size of the strings that makes up the universe.” Jobin
explains, “Resonance is the vibrational pattern, which determines what kind of
particle the string is, and thus the type of particle is the movement of the string
and the energy associated with this movement.”

With 10-33 cm, Jobin creates a shimmering mirror that reflects on our somewhat
limited understanding of these strings as they slip in and out of the dimensions
we are aware of. More so, each of the pieces suggests a visionary ‘vibration chart’,
that explores the possible resonances of these theoretic discourses.

Through sound, i8u’s explorations of String Theory are made almost tactile – a
refined bridge between rhetoric and creation.

string 1
string 2
string 3
string 4
string 5
string 6
string 7
download entire release

review of Mutek 2004 concert by Exclaim!

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

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