Sunday, October 25, 2009
xxxxx - Is-land (Free Software Series)
Apparently Martin Howse, if it matters. The lengthy second cut is essentially a broad wash of white noise, shifting in volume and density every so often, some dimly perceived pops buried in the static bed. The third track (there are tracks, though the sound is continuous) ups the volume significantly and, as well, one hears more human interaction in an improv kind of sense, someone back there manipulating pedals or knobs; it begins to sound like a noise performance. Subsequent cuts (nine in all) vary a good bit, quiet down, incorporate recorded voices from bad connections in one fine piece, eddy back to the static. By the end, I found myself enjoying it well enough; it's uncompromising nature comes to the fore, nothing prettified, all sounds kind of "as is", if remote. Worth a listen.
Taku Unami - Malignitat 2 (Free Software Series)
...wherein Unami picks up more or less where xxxxx left off, a strong field of white noise in one's face. It lasts only a bit over a minute though, eventually (after some silence) followed by what sounds like a recording of rushing water, meted out in a kind of staggered rhythmic pattern, long/short bursts. More silence, then wind. The cliched nature of the sound sources is presumably intentional; you start ignoring their programmatic content and just consider their placement, the odd irregular clockwork way Unami has of distributing his stuff. Tap--silence--tap--wind--silence....sudden flutter. White noise patches, audience (?). It sounds uniquely Unami and that's enough for me; I like it.
Loïc Blairon - x/0 (w.m.o/r)
And then we have Loïc Blairon's "x/0". A half hour during which, every so often, one hears a sharp plink, something like a guitar string plucked below the bridge with no sustain though, in that Blairon's a bassist, perhaps it's from that instrument. (Richard has written in greater detail on all three of these releases in recent weeks, btw. I find, looking back, we make many of the same points) Several minutes of silence often pass between audible sound, making "x/0" eminently forgettable even as it's playing. Not a bad thing, necessarily, though I felt little tension in the waiting, unlike quasi-similar efforts from, say, Taku Sugimoto, who most will think of while listening to this. Plinks and silence, far more of the latter.
The Free Software releases can be downloaded from its site. Normally, the same should be true of the Blairon, though the w.m.o/r site doesn't appear to have been recently updated.
Remember the Rowe/Wright performance that was released on three discs, recorded from three vantages? I got a good deal out of that by playing them simultaneously. Thought I might do the same here.....let's see....
Not bad at all! Did a 1/2 hour stint, that being the length of the shortest of the three, "x/0", balanced the sound...the xxxxx and Unami went together particularly well (the former got through three tracks and the loud third one coincided with one of the more high-volume portions of the latter), with the plinks from Blairon adding their pithy commentary every now and then. Cool.