Thursday, November 29, 2018


now that's how to do a cover version - steamroller your sound over it

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Unseen Worlds on Unseen Worlds

new (or rather soon to be released:Jan 2019) reissue from Unseen Worlds -  the Laurie Spiegel album that supplied the label with its name

release rationale

Laurie Spiegel’s second full-length album, Unseen Worlds, arrived just over ten years after her debut album. Having realized the pieces found on The Expanding Universe (1980) on an instrument no longer available to her, the GROOVE System at Bell Laboratories, Spiegel moved on to composing and developing for the Alles Machine, alphaSyntauri, McLeyvier and various other instruments before creating an instrument entirely her own. Spiegel created “Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument” on a Macintosh 512k so that she could have an instrument that was not general purpose but a small, specialized, and well defined musical instrument for and by her that she did not have to compromise on or risk losing access to it. While it was a very personal instrument for Spiegel, demand among friends and colleagues nevertheless grew until “Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument” became a commercial product for the Macintosh, Amiga, and Atari personal computers with a devoted popular following that continues to this day, despite the obsoletion of those platforms. At the time of her Unseen Worlds album’s original release in 1991, the issuing record label turned out to be going out of business, dissolved and disappeared, sending the album immediately into obscurity. Outside of a private CD edition issued by Spiegel on her own Aesthetic Engineering label in 1994, this new edition represents the first proper commercial release of Unseen Worlds. 
“Unseen Worlds is not so much based on melody and rhythm as it is on textures, pulses, and sonic environments. Sometimes dark, sometimes light, its drama pulls in the adventurous listener who wants to take a musical journey. Using computer software she wrote in order to implement a unique musical vision, Unseen Worlds blends the artistic and the technical, the cerebral and the sensual, and revives the virtually abandoned tradition of electronic music. Unseen Worlds is the work of a sonic explorer whose music can both challenge and caress. Those looking for other worlds of sound can put on headphones and find them here.” - Craig Anderton 


releases January 18, 2019 

chimescape #211

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Mundmusik (stratosphärisches Jodeln)

der Jodlerkönig!

bonus yodeling bird (+ family)

you must nearly pass out with the exertion / ecstasy of generating these sounds from your own body!

it certainly is!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

mouth music (yodel-ay-eee yodel-oh-oh-OH)

you have to admire Laibach's persistence

surprised in a way it's taken them so long to get around to yodelling

release rationale:

LAIBACH have shared the video for ‘The Lonely Goatherd’, the latest track to be taken from their forthcoming album, The Sound of Music, which features reinterpretations of the famous soundtrack, including ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘My Favorite Things’ - out on Mute on 23 November on limited edition gold vinyl, CD bookpack and digitally.

The new video, directed by Sašo Podgoršek, features Milan Fras as the lonely goatherd, guest vocalist Boris Benko as the hunter and a synchronised dance routine that’s certain to capture the imagination. ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ tells the whimsical story of a goatherd whose yodelling is heard from far away, and who falls in love with a girl with a pale-pink coat, with her mother joining in the yodelling. Laibach’s video, naturally, offers the possibility for a slightly or maybe even totally different interpretation... 

The Sound of Music was conceived when Laibach were infamously invited to perform in North Korea in 2015. The band performed several songs from the 1965 film’s soundtrack at the concert in Pyongyang, chosen by Laibach as it’s a well-known and beloved film in the DPRK and often used by schoolchildren to learn English. The album gives the Laibach treatment to tracks such as ‘My Favorite Things’, ‘Edelweiss’, ‘Do-Re-Mi’ and ‘Maria’, here reworked as ‘Maria / Korea’ (“How do you solve a problem like Maria / Korea?”). [hahahaha to that one!]

While the majority of the tracks on the album are from the film, the band also included ‘Arirang’, an interpretation of a traditional Korean folk song considered the unofficial national anthem of both North and South Korea (and released recently to mark the historic summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un), as well as the workout of the Gayageum, a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument, performed by students from the Kum Song Music School in Pyongyang and a recording of the band’s “welcome” speech to Korea from Mr. Ryu, an employee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Committee for Cultural Relations.

Laibach’s performance in North Korea was documented by director, artist and cultural diplomat, Morten Traavik in the film Liberation Day (described by MOJO as “a humorous, disturbing, illuminating and sometimes moving immersion into an anomalous communist mirror-world …”) which is out now via ITunes following its screening for Storyville on BBC4.

The album was recorded and produced in Ljubljana, Slovenia and in Pyongyang, DPRK and represents another successful collaboration between Laibach and Silence (Primož Hladnik and Boris Benko), who previously co-produced Laibach’s 2006 Volk album.

The Sound of Music
Climb Ev'ry Mountain
Favorite Things
The Lonely Goatherd
Sixteen Going On Seventeen
So Long, Farewell
Maria / Korea
The Sound of Gayageum
Welcome Speech

Monday, November 19, 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

chimescape #43 / invented instruments #697

Mario Bertoncini ‎– Arpe Eolie (Die Schachtel, 2007)

release rationale: 

One of the most adventurous composers and performers of the Italian avant garde scene, member of the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, great performer of the music of John Cage, Bertoncini started in the early ‘70s to design spectacular and visually fascinating “sound sculptures”, based on the aeolian sound principle.

Amongst his more spectacular installations: Vele, a massive aeolian harps (more than 7 metres high); Venti (winds), for 20 aeolian sound generators and 40 performers; and Chanson pour Instruments à Vent, an “assemblage” for aeolian harps, aeolian gongs, and one performer.

His self-built harps and gongs are excited by blows of compressed air, or by the composer's own breath, and the resulting sound is amplified through contact microphones. If at superficial level they may sound like electronic music (long drones and swooshes of otherwordly sounds), at a close listening they reveal the intensity of a the pure and "mercurial" sound of air, far removed from any artificial or measurable principle. The CD presents the complete selection of his compositions for aeolian objects, from 1973 to more recent days.

The accompanying 196-pages book, in English and Italian and rich with photos, is a rather profound dissertation not only on the Aeolian harps, their generation and meaning, but also on experimental sound and music in general. Written by the composer in the form of a Platonic dialogue (between an old and bitter master and his young enthusiastic pupil), the book conveys not only a wealth of information on its subject matter, but also renders perfectly the voice full of wit of one of the most personal and uncompromising composers of the present times.

Chanson pour instruments à vent (1974) for harp and gongs operated by compressed air, conceived in 1973/74, the work includes an assembly of mechanical/electronic sound generators based on the principle of aeolian tones (a "sound sculpture") electronically amplified and excited in real time by only one player using his breathing and by utilizing four nozzles of compressed air of a discrete capacity (up to 1.5 bar). The use of the expression "sound sculpture" is nothing but a metaphoric image, as far as pitch, tone-colour and attack-mode are concerned (including the degree of limitation imposed on the instruments at the moment of their construction). This should never be confused with any visual or plastic installation in the proper sense of the word. In order to understand the piece correctly, I would suggest listening to it without any formalistic or dialectic preconceptions (for example, those related to rhythmical articulation); I would rather stress an appropriate concentration related to the subtle variations of colour connected with the modulation of the harmonic formants. The piece performed is exclusively due to the direct action of the interpreter over the above mentioned aeolian generators and, apart from electronic amplification, it does not make use of any electronic or digital manipulation.



Composer, pianist, musical constructivist Mario Bertoncini is a leading ficure of contemporary avant-garde music. He was born in Rome in 1932. From 1951 to 1961 he dedicated himself to classical and musical studies: composition with G. Petrassi and piano with R. Caporali in Rome; electronic music with G.M. Koenig in Utrecht. From 1956 he performs widely as concert pianist in Europe, as a soloist with orchestra (Bruno Maderna, Daniele Paris, Mario Rossi, Paul Hupperts, Roelof Krol and others) and in recitals. In 1962 he wins prize Nicola d'Atri (S. Cecilia National Academy) for SEI PEZZI PER ORCHESTRA and soon after he starts his first experiments with invented/prepared instruments (QUODLIBET, CIFRE, TUNE, SCRATCH-A-MATIC). And for QUODLIBET in 1965 he gains the prize of the Fondation europeènne de la Culture. From 1965 to 1973 he is one member of the Improvisation Group Nuova Consonanza and from '67 to '73 Music Theatre professor, working on functional interaction of sound and gestures (SPAZIO-TEMPO, ›Note per un teatro della realtà‹). In 1968 he works on EPITAFFIO: correspondence between the action of drawing and writing a text and its sonorous. While the world première of SPAZIO-TEMPO is held at Venice Biennale in 1970, while he is committed to the construction of his first sound objects on the principle of the Aeolian harp. From 1970 to '72 he is elected President of the contemporary music society Nuova Consonanza, and in 1974 he is invited to Berlin as »artist in residence« of the DAAD art program, where he realizes the first ambitious project of open air kinetic sound-sculptures (VELE, Berliner Festwochen).

In 1975-76 he gains associate professorship at the McGill University, Montréal where he helds an experimental composition course called ›Musical Design Course‹ and became founder of the MUD group, later known as SONDE. From 1980 (to 1997) he becomes professor at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. In 1986 he co-founded the theater group VIE with Matina Schaak and Roberto Capanna. In the same period, he invents an interactive system for the transformation of dance-gestures in optical and acoustic signals called ›Choreophon‹, while in 1992-93 he develops the ›Stabdämpfer‹ (bar mute), a special device for the preparation of stringed instruments and combines compositional work with performing activities as a pianist (works by Scarlatti, Schönberg, Stravinsky, Satie, Messiaen, Scelsi, John Cage, Terry Riley, Morton Feldman etc. and own arrangement: Earle Brown 4 SYSTEMS; Cage CARTRIDGE MUSIC). He is now back in Italy, but still really active with Concert/Lectures activities in Italy, but also Germany, USA, Canada, Europe, Korea, Israel…

Thursday, November 15, 2018

mouth music (yazoo? who knew?)

[via Bruce Levenstein]

this was tomorrow

chimescape #411 / invented instruments #243

"Pierre Bastien - Air de Style Exquis A track from the album "Eggs Air Sister Steel". Released on the In-Poly-Sons label (IPS 10-94) in France in 1996. Composed and mixed by Pierre Bastien. This piece included the use of the Mecanium. "This is one of the inventions of the composer Pierre Bastien - a sixty-pieces orchestra made of Meccano parts, electro-motors and acoustic instruments from all over the world. According to the type of instrument that is included, each automaton plays a short melody, a rhythm or some harmony repeated in a loop."

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

chimescape #76 / invented instruments # 97

"Gnashing, thrashing and teeming with enchanting microtones – Machine Guitars is the definitive recorded work of Remko Scha, although the late Dutch artist didn't play a single note himself. Rather, Scha arranged a motorized, rotating wire brush and saber saw in front of suspended electric guitars and let these metallic torrents flow.
Scha was a linguist and generative artist, enamored of computers' capacity for algorithmic creativity. A leading researcher at the University of Amsterdam, he also cofounded the famed arts-space Het Apollohuis in a former cigar-factory in 1980. This haven for intellectuals and underground autodidacts served as the recording studio for most of Machine Guitars (as well as Ellen Fullman's brilliant The Long String Instrument), which originally appeared in 1982 on the small Dutch label Kremlin.
Machine Guitars, as the critic Byron Coley has noted, ranks among the best of the era's minimalist-inspired, avant-garde guitar statements by Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham. The semiautonomous sound-making sculptures also evoke contemporaneous work by Christian Marclay. Scha's work falls somewhere between conceptual art and avant-garde music – a total revelation for minimalists and No Wave fans alike."

Monday, November 12, 2018

mouth music (stutterspasm)

release rationale:

Colin Self’s Siblings is a proposal for interdependence, critical joy, and an expansive sense of being. As the lyrics beam, “I used to live as an anomaly... no explanation biologically,” so siblings share hidden language, lore, and identity. On Siblings, ecstatic voices and sound knot to form new ideals of kinship, emerging as horizontal relations for multi-species flourishing. Limited edition vinyl includes multi-format digital download.

from FACT magazine:

"Experimental musician and performance artist Colin Self has announced the release of Siblings, the sixth and final segment of the artist’s opera series Elation. Siblings – which is described by RVNG as a “sound scrapbook” – sees Self combine snatches of conversation with recordings of vocalists from Xhoir, a “non-utilitarian vocal workshop” led by the artist. The opera centres around a loose narrative that challenges gender binaries and explores unconventional familial dynamics. Inspired by the work of theorist Donna Haraway, author of A Cyborg Manifesto, the opera tells the story of a non-biological family as they “generate ways of collectively coming together on a damaged planet”, featuring a cast that includes experimental musician Michael Beharie, percussionist Greg Fox and The Mivos Quartet.

Colin Self is perhaps best known as one third of Holly Herndon’s live band and has also collaborated with Amnesia Scanner. The Siblings live show which combines experimental theatre and vocal performance, premiered last year at Donaufestival in Austria."

Thursday, November 8, 2018

suuhun musiikkia ( pilkottu laulaa jauhautunut nykiminen)

release rationale:

"The most striking detail of ‘Another Life' is Amnesia Scanner's use of both human and inhuman voices. The latter is provided by the latest addition to the production unit, a disembodied voice called Oracle, which represents the sentience that has emerged from Amnesia Scanner. Oracle's vocal performance ranges from exuberant mania to anxious dread and beyond. Coupled with the pop song structures that Amnesia Scanner employs for the first time, the avant-EDM productions  of ‘Another Life’ evocatively explore a schizophrenic present marked by narratives of a slow apocalypse or salvation via technology. Indeed, the lullaby of 'AS Another Life' swings between trill hope and casual 
threat, lending a precarious gait to the song's staggering rhythm. The album's first single, 'AS Chaos', is its most powerfully direct track, with Pan Daijing’s English and Mandarin vocals taking over for Oracle. At its peak intensity, as in ‘AS Faceless’, Amnesia Scanner's doombahton overheats into nu-metal-gabba. "

from the Dazed interview with Amnesia Scanner by Lewis Gordon:

Ville Haimala: .... On the new record, we wanted to create a voice for the project – what we call ‘Oracle’. It’s not a sentient being, but a stack of software, and the end product coming out of it is this voice. Perhaps it’s got a little bit of its own will as well.

Martti Kalliala: This isn’t actually automation, but another important factor in what we’re doing is using platforms such as Fiverr to commission sound work. We’ve outsourced a lot of small things here and there.

What have you outsourced?

Martti Kalliala: Voice work, for example. For a long time, the question was, ‘How do we bring a voice into this, but avoid that dynamic of the beat producer and the vocalist? Whose voice is it, and how do we frame that voice?’ The way to do it was to somehow anonymise the voice. We could just buy these disembodied voices from the other side of the world and start to do things with them.

How has Oracle and the use of its voice impacted the record?

Ville Haimala: A lot of the things that Oracle does on the record is almost kind of mimicking pop tropes or gestures. Increasingly, pop music is built around memes. These hooks turn into memes, and artists apply their memetic hooks over and over again. Everyone’s happy with it. When we started the album, it was also about studying song structure and what happens if we package our very intense sonic world more traditionally."

Monday, November 5, 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018

James & Janes

gorgeous tune, and unlike any other I can think of, off the top of my head - in  the gait of its groove and the way the vocals soar and hover.

Rick James's finest moment?

He had some moments

This is sort of awful yet undeniable

so jumpy, so full of beans - so kitschily in yer face

Somehow I have never actually gotten around to listening to Street Songs, or indeed any Rick James album apart from the LP that this is the title track of

whole LP is excellent and was written up at the time by Barney Hoskyns as a case of Rick beating Prince at his own game i.e. synth-ified funk with a New Wave tinge

Thursday, November 1, 2018

mouth music (crumbly croaky swallowed)

an early one that's not that mouth-music-y but a pretty video using an effect that i'm surprised no one thought of before