review – physical, absent, tangible (contour editions) – Giuseppe Angelucci, Spiritual Archives

Physical, Absent, Tangible, i8u, Christopher Delaurenti, Gil Sansón and Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli –

Thursday,  July 8th 2010

Five names selected for the first title in CD format on “Contour Editions”, relatively young label run by Richard Garet.
The catalogue also includes a section devoted to online releases and another one related to visual elaborations.
Just a year ago Richard (acclaimed sound artist who enjoys high esteem and needs no further introduction – his discography here) chose to carry out the project of a record label, a good place where to amplify his visions, a laboratory of new extensions able to represent his personal concepts of aural perception.
“Physical, Absent, Tangible” is an excellent starting point, formed by contributions which promptly succeed in materializing Garet’s ambitions.

Canadian composer i8u (see here) opens the disc: “Rarefaction” is a long, bumpy navigation constellated by short interruptions and abnormal signals which interfere with the main theme. Quite nonlinear, progressively unpredictable, it evolves into delicate shades of sound, randomly hit by sinewaves.
More density in the second half, a sinister landscape as background, some insertions, processed lines, always in a whisper. Great assemblage and stratification of layers.

Seattle based phonographer Christopher DeLaurenti provides the second and third track. “Sigil” wiggles between noise-oriented iterations and sombre tonalities; also noticeable are whirling effects, employed to emphasize the tones. Some passages are heavily affected by manipulations, some patterns deftly juxtaposed, the whole gives an idea of expansion.
A negligible gap leads to “Nictating”, whose break-in is truly disruptive: a resounding rumble and measured impulses rush in parallel, immutable, beating time, for some moments. A slight change of scenery follows, elements of variability are added, all instances become almost imperceptible, the depth of field more palpable.

The next eight tracks come from Venezuelan Gil Sansón (essayist and composer, meaningful presence in the project EA, shared with Garet, Owen, Arno, Graydon and Gonçalves). Eight movements as product of digital sequences and raw recordings, imprints of musique concrète, sketches of organic shapes. Gil uses effective techniques that transpose the listener into open-ended spaces, by (de)structuring the visible: a cinematic (re)construction of familiar places we will never visit.

A weather event (the Santa Rosa storm) as primary source for the last track. Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli (both from Uruguay) deal with/manage electromagnetic phenomena occurred on the occasion: interferences picked up by radio reception systems are connected with morse code blips, vocal registrations and looped interludes. The piece has a striking impact, passes through phases of transformation, reaches unexpected levels of outspoken melody.

Collection of works substantially in line with the strategies pursued by Garet, despite a strong and variegated personality of the contributors, which offers exciting prospects for the future of the label.

Label: Contour Editions
Cat. #: ce.cd_0001
Format: CD-R
Release date: 02/2010

01 – i8u – Rarefaction (11:31)
02 – Christopher DeLaurenti – Sigil (05:25)
03 – Christopher DeLaurenti – Nictating (11:00)
04 – Gil Sansón – La Montaña Se Ha Ido 1 (02:59)
05 – Gil Sansón – La Montaña Se Ha Ido 2 (03:41)
06 – Gil Sansón – La Montaña Se Ha Ido 3 (02:15)
07 – Gil Sansón – La Montaña Se Ha Ido 4 (04:20)
08 – Gil Sansón – La Montaña Se Ha Ido 5 (00:43)
09 – Gil Sansón – La Montaña Se Ha Ido 6 (01:26)
10 – Gil Sansón – La Montaña Se Ha Ido 7 (01:09)
11 – Gil Sansón – La Montaña Se Ha Ido 8 (02:58)
12 – Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli – 34s56w / Temporal De Santa Rosa (14:24)

review – physical, absent, tangible (contour editions) 2010 – by massimo ricci, brain dead eternity

Physical, Absent, Tangible, i8u, Christopher Delaurenti, Gil Sansón and Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli –

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Excellent materials on Richard Garet’s recently founded label, enclosed in an abundant hour of sounds suitable for concentration and active listening. i8u’s “Rarefaction” consists of a humming drone (enhanced by virtually inaudible acute frequencies) whose corporeality and intensity changes with the passage of time. Think an earth loop/ultrasonic activity kind of palette with deeply booming surrounding pulses, imprinting the membranes quite effectively without shock or surprise. Just a nice and increasingly mesmerizing piece made with intelligence and good taste, splendidly functional in this early summer Sunday afternoon replete with chirping sparrows and chattering wrens around the house. On an entirely different note, Christopher Delaurenti first subjects us to the strident ejections and electrically morphing ambiences typifying “Sigil”, then contributes to the improvement of our aural awareness in the longer “Nictating” via whooshing loops of whispered post-industrialism that repudiate colour in favour of mechanical pulse and grey mist, until a series of slowly declining electronic arcs and a few subterranean murmurs appear, ending the track on a slightly anguishing hue.

The sonic world of Gil Sansón – expressed in the eight movements of “La Montana Se Ha Ido” – is informed by subtly deployed field recordings and concrete matters rendered scarcely recognizable by the studio treatment; while certain chapters may result a little predictable, a couple of suburban soundscapes and the motionless solidity resulting from opportunely processed layers of environmental manifestations make sure that a degree of respectable acoustic artistry is maintained. Brian Mackern and Gabriel Galli close the show with a composition – “34s56w/Temporal De Santa Rosa” – containing Morse code messages, complex resonances and various kinds of unfathomable intrusion. Alarming atmospheres take shape from a rather static ground, the ensuing music more or less on the level of the best heard on the CD, enriched by a puzzling finale characterized by a vaguely familiar alien melody, transposed to progressively lower registers amidst incessant crackles and discharges.

Contour Editions

Review – physical, absent, tangible (Contour Editions) 2010 – by Adrian Dziewanski, scrapyardforecast

Physical, Absent, Tangible, i8u, Christopher Delaurenti, Gil Sansón and Brian Mackern & Gabriel Galli

Various Artists ‘Physical, Absent, Tangible’ cd-r (Contour Editions, 2010)

It’s shaping up to be a pretty damn good year for the compilation, which has sadly always sort of let me down. For what few I do actually own–label comps, musical collectives, various artists comps–I rarely go back too. Please indulge me in a very winged hypothesis that maybe the ‘compilation’ as an art form/object is just now finally coming into its own. Or, a far more likely scenario: I just haven’t been looking hard enough for the good ones. The ones that really dig their hooks into the listener.

With this said there are some giant exceptions, Elevator Bath’s A Cleansing Ascension from a couple years back was and still is very enjoyable. Recent personal discoveries like the highly anticipated and grossly delayed release of Paper & Plastic on suitcase/petri supply/incubator (March 2010), and the Patrick Mckinley (aka Murmer) curated Framework 250 (Much more info on that soon, check back at the end of the month) discs have re-sparked my faith in the potential potency of the compilation. If some of you remember or can refer back to the Not Alone 5 disc set compiled by Mark Logan of Jnana Records and Current 93’s David Tibet from 2006 then you might understand where my criticism of comps stems from.

Before you start sending me negative vibes and waving your arms around in rage… stop, and hear me out. Almost every artist on that compilation was a favourite of mine at some moment in time, and actually, I was exposed to some bands that I ended up really liking as a direct result of it. Furthermore, as a Doctors Without Borders fundraiser, you couldn’t really argue that it wasn’t for a good cause. But! those discs did lack something. Because of how eclectic all the musicians were it there lacked a fluidity and cohesiveness that other compilations have been able to achieve. I don’t blame Logan either, as it must have been hell trying to lump all those acts together. I don’t actually think it could of turned out better than it did with so much variance in musical style. So what’s my point? let’s just say that there is something to be said about the selection and attention to the congruity of musical styles when assembling such delicate documents.

Various Artists
‘Physical, Absent, Tangible’
cd-r (Contour Editions, 2010)

Physical, Absent, Tangible is kept simple, which plays out very much to its favour. The four artists found within fill their respective musical roles with a unified understanding of what those roles represent. The whole thing works very well. Canadian based i8u kicks things off with an eleven and a half minute analog synth work that juxtaposes high and low frequencies resulting in a pleasant sonic parallel. The experience is a lot like standing on a small patch of land in between two rivers. Christorpher Delauenti’s two pieces are absolutely sublime, the first, “sigil” is a short but impressive arrangement of feedback squall and tonal noise. Where as “nictating” begins as a looped low-end rumble that eventually dismantles as a simmering drone; the album’s high point. Gil Sansón provides eight short pieces that seem to represent fragments of a whole. In consideration of their brevity–and that usually this kind of off-the-grid minimalism is best represented in the long form–Sansón’s section remains very strong. The final contribution, a collaborative work by Brian Mackern and Gabriel Galli (both new to me) is a static soaked excursion into subdued tactility. What sounds like morse code thrown into the mix gives this piece a real Tracer era Omit feel–definitely a good thing. Impressive stuff. Kudos to a very tasteful ice breaker for the label Mr. Garet.

Review – physical, absent, tangible (contour editions) 2010 – by BNG, WHITE-LINE

physical, absent, tangible – Compilation (contour editions) 2010

A compilation of sorts, “Physical, Absent, Tangible” brings together the creations of five artists on a new imprint curated by none other than Richard Garet. Garet’s own works have set the benchmark for soundscaping and sound installation art over the last few years, with releases on a clutch of influential labels worldwide. No surprise then, that an ear for quality control and a talent for working with discerning and intriguing artists has brought to fruition this debut edition on Contour.

I8u’s opener crystallises an interest in auditory minutiae, exploding the almost imperceptible world of the quantum and the superstrings theory, the physical world reduced to digital noughts and ones, Brownian motion set under a sonic microscope perhaps.

De Laurenti’s winding, acousmatic inversions home in on the non-physicality of source material as the locus for a pair of emergent pieces formed from the detritus of malfunctioning equipment, and hard data manipulation and construction. The second part in particular is self destructing, slowly, entropically, like a looped tape that is slowly wiping and dissolving over time, a receding memory trace, with a heterodyne clicking permeating the background.

Sanson works on a series of eight sketchy collages that he likens to assemblages of photographs, maps, old films, a meta-narrative construction that acts like a kind of auditory scrapbook, of half remembered places and events, that even the artist cannot place in his memory. Amongst this ferment of shards, Sanson’s psyche might be revealed in a curious, Ballardian reconstruction of hazy remnants, a kind of grab-bag of activities and presences, that once collaged and re-assembled, might decode or unlock some lost or repressed memory.

Mackern and Galli’s work is based on electro-magnetic interferences from the Santa Rosa storm in Uruguay, these radio frequency elements, combined with hardware hacking, and circuit bending, serve to uncloak the formerly hidden auditory signature of radio atmospherics caused by the storm – what ancient people perceived as the hypothetical “Voice of God”. This is a crackling, fizzing work, peppered with verbal interferences and strange, atonal surges, that remind me of a Storm Chaser’s bad acid trip.

All in all , this is a fine debut from a label that promises to deliver a compelling mixture of intelligently sourced material, fused with a diverse roster of artists from around the globe, taking in elements of minimalism, installation art, field recording, and everything in between. Watch this space.

contour editions