Thursday, May 02, 2013

BOT - Compositions Continuums des Machines (fibrr)

If I understand correctly--something always in doubt--BOT is a program more or less designed by/under control of Julien Ottavi which takes as input multiple sources ranging from mics planted at various locations in and around Nantes to specific inputs from individuals then, using its own internal algorithms, transforms them into an output at its own discretion. I don't know whether the program undergoes any kind of "evolutionary" enhancements, if it learns from previous work (or reactions to same) or whether it simply sits there, processing and regurgitating, 48 minutes of which, sampled from September 2012 through January 2013 is offered here.

I doubtless would have taken this for an intentionally processed field recording if I didn't know otherwise, the shards of recognizable sounds (birds, insects, sirens, etc.) sliced and diced with electronics and, presumably, sounds rendered into shapes at a great remove from their source. And it would be a pretty good one. Everything's thick, sinewy and variegated, everything flows. There are the occasional semi-cliched electronic squiggles and the sounds themselves aren't especially unusual, but the stew is tasty. Is this partially because of a lack of human (routine) choices being made in the work's construction? I'm tempted to think so but again, I'm not clear on exactly how much, if any, flesh and blood interaction there is. Better to just relax and enjoy and BOT, whether neuronal or circuitry, does a pretty decent job of it.

(Various) - Nantes Is Noise (fibrr)

Fourteen tracks curated by Julien Ottavi to document, in part, the noise/improvised music scene in Nantes. Interesting for this writer in that I was only familiar with 6-7 of the names involved so, at worst, I'd get a fuller picture of what's occurring there. Happily, "noise", herein,
is not automatically taken as the equivalent of "loud onslaught", not by a long shot.

Some highlights:

--a short piece by Keith Rowe, "W-O", opening the disc, quiet, intense, scrabbling.
--Formanex (Anthony Taillard Emmanuel Leduc and Ottavi) offer another soft-edged work, with eerie moans and faint static over sharper slices and low hums. Not sure from when this derives, but good to hear the group is still functioning and producing strong work.
--a fluttering work by Jerome Joy that sounds like a combination of electronics and insectile field recordings.
--a lovely, gently wavering drone from Taillard
--Jenny Pickett's field recordings ("In the clearing") which seem to include activity that may not be far afield from a Rowe/Lambkinesque documentation of otherwise non-aurally centered activity
--Ottavi's "Noise serie: Mouvement allegro", beginning with the intense mesh of sound one might expect before abruptly shifting to nighttime insect life, near silence, then a final burst of ultra-harsh static.

(btw, Clinch's piece sounds remarkably like a further sped up veriosn of the sped up sections of Zappa's "Lumpy Gravy")

As with almost any compilation, a mixed bag but a reasonably sold one and a good snapshot of a scene that's not otherwise well documented.

apo-33 (home of fibrr)

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