RISING IMPROVISORS: Regular Music is Portland’s synth trio who combine jazz, electronica and space age psychedelics. The compact disc (or CD) as a medium has very nearly become obsolete as people have evolved their listening habits towards new digital means. In defiance of current music trends, Compact Digital Audio cannot be downloaded. It only performs its function when you activate it by hand and the music plays through its tiny speaker. This format can not become obsolete, because it will never become popular.
No band in their right mind would try to release their music with an object that costs so much money and takes so long to assemble. The music has also been mangled beyond recognition to conform to the format; its sound quality crushed to fit onto an 8-bit chip, compressed from a 10 minute composition into a 30 second blast, all bass lost in the process due to the size of the speaker. All in all, it is a terrible method for any band to release their music, but all the same, we couldn’t resist. The music object can still be valid beyond its use as vessel if it can capture your imagination. Just come a little closer and take a good listen to what these guys have done in the recent past:
This is BPitch Control with a video clip by We Love – filmed inside Personal Disco (installation of Patrizio Travagli): it is a booth-shaped structure made of glass and metal, accessible to one person only. Music and light effects react and multiply the characters. There are no digital effects but it’s a mirror box! In & out between light reflections and smoke the bodies cannot see and cannot touch each other, divided by a mirror, they reflect themselves and imagine hiding one inside the other….
Here’s a demo of this astonishing new development in the listening experience.
Founded in 1998 [The User]have created a work which transforms obsolete office technology into an instrument for musical performance. It toured for two years in the late 90s and now is back as part of the emerging TodaysArt 2010 taking place in The Hague on September 24-25. The festival looks very promising and is now in its sixth running year, also including Conrad Schnitzler, Actress, Mika Vainio, Klimek, Byetone, ATOM™, and X-102 (Jeff Mills & Mike Banks) among others. Sounds like a smart roster.
Symphony #2 for dot matrix printers was co-commissioned by the Fondation Daniel Langlois and Hull Time Based Arts, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Optical Sound is hardly your average record label, they offer something for everybody who is anybody. And this month is no different as they have recently released news about something of a retrospective exhibition. Working with Paris’ Galerie Frédéric Giroux, the gallery that shows General Idea and Barbara Ess, they present Previously, curated by label head (and artist in his own right) Pierre Beloüin (along w/Peter and Oliver P. Nicolas Ledoux Huz). Straddling the boundaries between contemporary art and experimental music the show will showcase interdisciplinary projects irrespective of their makers’ categorization as musicians, artists, designers. Featuring works and editions like Eddie Ladoire‘s Enjoy the Silence, work by JG Thirlwell, Black Sifichi and Ototoï. Check it out in July.
Swiss artist Zimoun takes ordinary mechanical devices, tubes and wire, and concocts situational sound sculptures that simulate the sounds of rain, surf and the footsteps of hundreds at rush hour at Grand Central Station. Back in 2008 I had the pleasure of working with him (and his collaborator Pe Lang) as their first time presenting in the States. The works have become larger, more innovative and as stirring as ever before.
EXP is something of a glorious experiment. Sure there have been many artists who have put together collections of samples, in-betweener track collections – but none like this. Bretschneider has been at it a long time, and by combining 35 tracks with accompanying videos which can be played any which way really fend sound-bending as evolutionary. Packed with crisp clicks/cuts, waves and funky beats we hear short pieces ranging from 14 seconds to 3 minutes, all with one thing in common, ultimate flexibility of a pitter-patter beat that twists seamlessly from piece to piece. I loaded it into my iTunes, mixed things up and voila, instant newly fabricated set. Ultimately you can chose any starting point. Of course it comes with a certain signature sound, those embedded Raster-Noton frequencies. The sources here come from the cadence of actual mechanics — electricity/light and radiation. The animated visuals are activated and composed from the audio as host, dancing in time from the variant, steady electronic impulses. Imperative to be played on the largest, widest HD screen you can get hold of – sans light and let go.