Review – Untitled 10, The black album – by Textura

VA: Untitled 10 (The Black Album)
Untitled & After
The material on Untitled & After’s tenth release is rooted in techno but spreads its wings far beyond a strict minimal template. The inclusion of field recordings, ambient-dub textures, and a generally expansive approach gives the compilation a wide-screen character that extends its sights beyond the confines of the club. Two focal points emerge in virtually every case: the first a rhythm dimension; the second colourful ambient-electronic scene-painting. Untitled 10 (The Black Album) lists some stellar names as contributors, with Morgan Packard, Andrew Duke, Bizz Circuits, and Leyland Kirby amongst the better-known. Repeated exposure to the album brings into clear focus an interesting trajectory, as the material gradually distances itself from a rhythm-based approach until beats vanish entirely during the recording’s second half.
The album opener “Apple Pie” suggests Morgan Packard’s been soaking up the music of Robert Henke in recent times, a suspicion bolstered when a number of Monolake-like signifiers surface during its five-minute time in the spotlight: sleek and polished surfaces, atmospheric bass rumble, and a forward-thrusting minimal techno pulse. “Hovercraft,” a collaboration between Andrew Duke and i8u, rolls along with a breezy, lighter-than-air techno bump that conveys the movement of its titular transport, while an accompanying Chaircrusher remix infuses the original with a heavier industrial quality and cloaks it in a multi-layered cloud of hazy melodies and noxious atmosphere. Some tracks opt for a more purely ambient textural approach that excludes beats, as confirmed by lovely meditations by sublamp (“andamurmur”) and Robert Crouch and Yann Novak (“Santa Fe”). And sometimes there is truth in advertising, as “Big Air (Ambient Mix),” a cloudy collaborative piece by Jondi & Spesh with Brian Stillwater illustrates. Leyland Kirby takes the project out on a characteristically distinctive note when the stately “Ready To Go Down Together” evokes a mutant processional where fuzz-toned guitars serenade angelic choirs amidst billowing synthetic flourishes.
April 2010

Album – Comp – Untitled 10 – Various Artists on Untitled & After (2010)

| CD | UntitledandAfter | compilation

Various artists – Untitled 10


Morgan Packard – Apple Pie
Robert Crouch – 5th of July
Andrew Duke + i8u – Hovercraft
Andrew Duke + i8u – Hovercraft (Chaircrusher Remix)
Birdcage – When Dream and Day Unite
Bizz Circuits – mouvement aérien
sublamp – andamurmur
Jondi & Spesh with Brian Stillwater – Big Air (Ambient Mix)
Robert Crouch / Yann Novak – Santa Fe
Leyland Kirby – Ready To Go Down Together
Artwork by Marc Kate


For its tenth release, Untitled & After issues a compilation of music that seeks solace in the outer reaches of electronic music. Akin to Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series, Untitled 10 (The Black Album) pulls away from the structures of techno into more expansive terrain.
Collected from artists as diverse as Bizz Circuits and Morgan Packard, from locations as distant as Sapporo, Los Angeles and Berlin, Untitled 10 (The Black Album) is a meditation on the tension between force and fragility. An extension of the beat driven roots of Untitled & After, this compilation revels in the paranoid spaciousness of dub, the personal documents of field recordings and the otherworldliness of soft synthesis. Here, ambient is not a genre, but a timeless, spaceless moment. Untitled 10 (The Black Album) attempts the impossible by documenting something so fleeting.

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

Review – physical, absent, tangible (contour editions) 2010 – by Brian Olewnick, Just Oustide

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

Good news: Richard Garet has started his own label, Contour Editions, and the first release is a compilation of five artists, once again–as has been the case quite often recently–all new to me.

OK, anyone who knows me knows how short my patience is for noms and can imagine what it took for me to get past a piece from someone going by the moniker, i8u (count to ten, Brian) but damn if this isn’t a wonderful work. She (France Jobin) has been around for a while, actually, I’ve simply never encountered her that I can recall. “Rarefaction” is a drone piece but one containing exceptional warmth and wit. After several minutes, she introduces this luscious seesaw between a soft high hum and a super-low loud one, the relationship between the pitches sounding oddly familiar as though extracted and mutated from some pop standard. Very nice. Christopher Delaurent’s two works are darker, airy rumbles spiced with poppage, that convey a fine, slate-like texture. Not bad, though maybe a bit similar to much other music in this area.

Gil Sansón presents a suite of eight shortish pieces that mix field recordings with electronics, some of which are very lovely on their own while others drift a bit aimlessly. Their relatedness, as well (perhaps intentionally) seems tenuous, though they’re the kind of work that I feel I’d enjoy far, far more in situ, in a sizable room, rather than over speakers. The final track, by Brian Mackern and Gabriel Galli closes the disc out in excellent fashion. 14 minutes of Morse Code-infused, gritty hum, whine, whistle and assorted noise that is absolutely convincing and corporeal. Even the warped music box-y cum Jarrett-on-Fender-Rhodes-with-Miles sound emerges some ten minutes in manages to work. Good stuff, want to hear more from this pair.

By Brian Olewnick
Just Outside

contour editions

flowers on DER (2010)

January 1.10

Various Artists | Flowers: Dragon’s Eye Fourth Anniversary
de6006 | 56:32 | MP3 | Open Edition


1. Shinkei – Wu (for Luigi)
2. i8u – Gallowalking
3. Pierre Gerard – Lines/Lignes
4. Tomas Phillips – Tablature I
5. Yann Novak – Shortwaves to Longwaves
6. Celer – A Lifetime of Wasted Breaths
7. Wyndel Hunt – Rotation

Over the past 4 years, Dragon’s Eye Recordings has come to be a trusted resource where listeners can be exposed to emerging and mid-carrier artists in the field of contemporary electronic music and sound art. Named one of Textura’s ‘Top Ten Favorite Labels of 2009,’ Dragon’s Eye is kicking off 2010 with a free downloadable compilation.

Flowers are the traditional gift for a fourth anniversary and Flowers is Dragon’s Eye Recordings fourth anniversary compilation. On Flowers, Dragon’s Eye presents new and unreleased works by the upcoming 2010 roster of artists. The 2010 roster represents both newcomers and veterans of the label that are at the forefront of contemporary electronic music and sound art.

About The Artists

David Sani (Shinkei) was born in 1968 in the heart of Tuscany, Siena. In 2000 he started Microsuoni, mail-order and distribution of sound-art, focused mainly on minimalism in all its forms. After the encounter with composer Luigi Turra in 2008, they founded the Koyuki label, devoted to publish lowercase and minimal sound compositions in limited edition cds or digital downloads.

The debut of the label coincided with the first Shinkei cd release “Binaural Beats” a split with canadian artist Philip Lemieux. Other recent works are “Biostatics” for the Transparent Radiation series on Bremsstrahlung, “Hidamari|Metrics” a split release with FOURM, and the first collaboration with Turra, YU for the austrian NonVisualObjects label.

France Jobin aka i8u (b. 1958) is a sound / installation / web artist residing in Montreal, Canada. i8u’s audio art can be qualified as “sound-sculpture”. It reveals powerful, opaque and complex sound environments where analog and digital meet. Her installation/web art can be said to follow a parallel path, incorporating both musical and visual elements.

i8u has created solo recordings for ROOM40 (Australia), bake/staalplaat (Netherlands), as well as many collaborations notably with Goem, Martin Tétreault, David Kristian and recently the album “ligne” with Tomas Phillips, on the Japanese label, ATAK. She produced compilations tracks for ATAK (Japan), bremsstrahlung (USA), Mutek (Canada) and Extract,Portraits of Soundartists (book + 2 cd) on the label nonvisualobjects (Austria).

She has participated in various music and new technology festivals Canada, Europe and the United States such as such as Silophone (Montréal, 2000), Mutek (Montréal, 2001, 2004, 2005,2007, 2008, 2009), Le Festival de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (2002), Ver Uit de Maat (Rotterdam, 2002), SEND + RECEIVE (Winnipeg, 2003, 2005), Les Digitales (Bruxelles, 2004 ), Club Transmediale (Berlin, 2004), V’elak (Vienna, 2008), Shut up and Listen (Vienna 2009) as well as a soundtrack by Bubblyfish and i8u for the movie Swordswoman of Huangjiang / Huangjiang Nuxia presented at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater Festival : Heroic Grace : The Chinese Martial Arts Film.

She collaborates with New York visual artist CHiKA, “Infinity”, an audio/video piece was performed live at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and a screening was shown at the San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall, both events were curated by VOLUME. A façade projection also showcased this work at the MenschMeerMedien in Nordwolle, Germany. A recent new collaboration with artist and musician Cédrick Eymenier (France), has produced the work “event horizon”.

i8u’s web work/installations have been shown at Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Toronto’s Images independent film festival at MIVEAM 06. The AIR Artist-In- Residence program in Krems Austria enabled her to create “und transit”, a sound installation set in the cloister of MinoritenKirche in Stein, Austria.

Her work continues to evolve as technologies enable her to create in new environments.

Pierre Gerard (b.1966)
High School of Art (1985-1989), studied in particular the drawing and the engraving on copper and zinc.
(1995) A great interest for contemporary art, initially making research in figurative painting.
(1998) Abstract research in sculpture with materials of daily life.
(2000) Interest in the video and furniture.
(2003) After long research, I am finally able to approach my desire to make music,
a new step towards work without palpable matter, firstly with objects and field recording.
Since (2006) I returned to my first research by using the instruments.
In october (2009), began a new research work on abstract painting.

Tomas Phillips (b. 1969) is a composer, novelist, and teacher whose sound work focuses on improvisational performance and minimalist through-composition. He began composing electronic music in the early 1990s, releasing limited edition cd-rs, most notably under the moniker Eto Ami (with Dean King), and has since created music for installations and collaborations in dance and theatre. Labels to release his music include Trente Oiseaux, Line, Non Visual Objects, and Koyuki. Tomas has taught in the disciplines of literature and fine arts at various universities in the US, Québec, and Finland. Having completed an interdisciplinary PhD at Concordia University in Montréal, he currently lives in the US, where he teaches literature at North Carolina State University.

Yann Novak (b. 1979 Madison, WI) is a sound artist, composer and designer based in Los Angeles. His compositions have been published by Dragon’s Eye Recordings (US), Dulcett Records (US), The Henry Art Gallery (US), Infrequency (CA), Mandorla (MX) and smlEditions (US). His work utilizes different forms of digital documentation as a point of departure. Through the digital manipulation of these sound and image files, his works serve as a translation from documents of personal experiences into new compositions fueled by the original experience.

Novak’s installations and performances have been presented internationally at prestigious events and venues including American Academy in Rome (Rome, Italy), Blim (Vancouver, BC), Decibel Festival (WA), Ersta Konsthall (Stokholm, Sweden), Fiske Planitarium (CO), Henry Art Gallery (WA), Hit Art Space (Gothenburg, Sweden), Kasini House (VT), Las Cienegas Project (CA), Lawrimore Project (WA), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (CA), Mutek Festival (Montreal, QB), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (WA), Soundwalk (CA), Suyama Space (WA), TBA Festival (OR) and Western Bridge (WA).

As a result of these endeavors, Novak had been invited to numerous Residencies including Environmental Aesthetics Residency (WA), Espy Foundation Residency (WA), and Kasini House Studio A Residency (VT).

In 2005, Novak re-launched his father’s Dragon’s Eye Recordings imprint with a new focus on limited edition releases by emerging and mid-carrier sound artists, composers and producers. Since its re-launch, Dragon’s Eye Recordings has published over 25 releases and has received critical acclaim.

In recent years Novak has collaborated through select installation, performance and recorded work with Gretchen Bennett, Brittle Stars, Crispin Spaeth Dance Group, Jamie Drouin, Marc Manning, Brian Murphy, Alex Schweder and Tiny Vipers.

Celer is the sound, visual, literary, and artistic endeavor of the husband and wife duo of Will Long and Danielle Baquet-Long. Danielle was a teacher of special education and music therapy, a seasoned and published writer of poetry and prose, a painter, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist, also recording as Chubby Wolf. She had an extensive background in Gender Studies, Education, Basque History, Photography, and Tibetan Studies, as well as having lived in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the United States. She passed away on July 8, 2009 of heart failure.

Will is a published writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, having studied English, History, Creative Writing, Philosophy, and Literature, with a basic background in music. Will and Dani met each other in 2001, and remained close friends until 2006, when they became a couple. At this time they also began Celer, which had been up until this time a constant exchange of letters, music, and love. They were married in March of 2007.

In Will and Dani’s time together, they produced numerous custom, handmade self-releases, sound for installations and art exhibitions, as well as creating works for independent labels in North America, Japan, and Europe. Their intent was producing works that reflect the sincere nature and importance of love, the impermanence of life, and the spirit of togetherness, through a relative and absolute symposium of expression.

As of July 2009, all production of new works is ended. However, works completed before this time will continued to be published, as of which there are many, and will appear on many labels worldwide, as well as some to be self-published in the future. While an end to new production of works was not wished, it was necessary, as Celer was, and will always be Dani and Will.

Wyndel Hunt integrates melody and noise using electronics, acoustic instruments, field recordings, and the occasional piece of amplified trash. His recent work focuses on conceiving narrative, painting, and sculpture as analogues for structuring composition and shaping sound. Since 2005 he has presented his work in galleries, public spaces, and live venues alone and in collaboration with visual artists. He currently lives in Seattle.

About Dragon’s Eye Recordings

Dragon’s Eye Recordings is the imprint run by sound artist Yann Novak. Focusing on limited edition releases by emerging and mid-carrier sound artists, composers and producers, Dragon’s Eye’s goal is to foster personal and artistic relationships with its artists and to function as a meeting ground for its artists to further develop relationships with one another. The curation of the imprint by Novak is done primarily through real world relationships, with some virtual exceptions. By focusing on human interactions and talent, rather than style or genre, Dragon’s Eye’s catalogue has slowly become a melting pot of sounds, processes and practices.

Dragon’s Eye values interconnectedness and encourages it by offering its artists a chance to showcase their own visual concepts, commission artists they have worked with, or recruit Dragon’s Eye’s partners to help create the visual representations for their releases. Through these practices, Dragon’s Eye offers a more personal presentation of its artists for their audience and creates a catalogue that is diverse yet bonded through human collaboration.

Dragon’s Eye Recordings was originally founded by Paul Novak, (Yann Novak’s father), in 1989 as the audio/visual arm of Only Connect…Publications.  Paul was and still is a bread baker and avid record collector. Only Connect…Publications was his first venture to self-publish his bread recipes. Through his new publishing company, Paul designed his book on a Apple Plus computer, commissioned a friend and artist to create the painting for the cover, and recruited a musician to compose an original work to accompany bread making.  Due to his love and passion for both music and record collecting, Paul created Dragon’s Eye Recordings to compliment his publishing company. All of these pursuits had a strong impact on his son who would later relaunch the label in 2005 and try to stay true to these communal values endowed in the label.

Send+Receive 10 years of sounds (2009)

send + receive’s 10th Anniversary audio + video DVD set,
featuring select performances from the past ten years of  send + receive’s remarkable history, extensive liner notes by festival founder Steve Bates, and a feature-length documentary about the festival by Winnipeg filmmaker/writer Caelum Vatnsdal.

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