\ / | ----- /\ | \ / |== |== | / | \ / Week 5

\ / | | / \ | \ /\ / | | |/ | \ / Number 160

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DARREN COPELAND - RENDU VISIBLE (CD by Empreintes Digitalis)

NED BOUHALASSA - AEROSOL (CD by Empreintes Digitalis)

ANNEA LOCKWOOD - THE GLASS WORLD (CD by ?What Next?/Nonsequitur)





Somehow I missed out on Stokes' debut CD and now I regret that. Building
his own electronics and still being able to create a sonically fascinating
world is something not many people can do. Yes, listeners... if the word
'world' comes around, it's ambient time again and I stated it before and
here again: Hypnos are a strong label to release this music. Stokes is no
different: a great talent of creating outerworld, outerlimit sounds that is
dark. In comparision to the other recent Hypnos CD's, Stokes uses rhythms,
not in a techno fashion, but much more in a machine like humming way.
Spacey, yet down to earth. Highlights for me are the cosmic 'First Jump'
and the laid back 'Fast Creatures'. But the other five are top too! (FdW)

Address: <<mgriffin@hypnos.com>



Probably as unlikely as you can imagine: the inventor of 'industrial music'
and the guy who made noise acceptable to a big audience. Five long tracks
of electronics that only Merzbow can do, and wordings by Genesis -Orridge.
I must admit, I am not at all into Genesis, his lyrics or the way he is
reciting them. But then again, I must admit I don't like vocals very much.
I glanced at the tetxts (printed inside the booklet) and judged them as
'very Genesis like'. The disc starts rather weak: too much Genesis, and not
enough Merzbow. In track three (no title - some 26 minutes) things go wild
- lucky for us. Much feedback, filtered noises and voice processing. This
is what I like. Another feature here are the sampled drums (as in track 4),
which is not very commonly found on Merzbow's albums. It's hard to see who
does what here (did Merzbow do all the music, and Genesis just the vocals?
Or...?). Anyway worth getting for the long track 3 and 5 - and of course
Merzbow fans should not miss out anyway. (FdW)

Address: <<coldspring@thenet.co.uk>




(Both CD's on Empreintes Digitalis)

I first heard Darren Copeland's music on the 'Storm Of Drones' a triple CD
released by Asphodel in 1995 - he contributed two excellent tracks, which
captured his unique sound. (The first of these three CD's was dedicated to
pieces previously released on Empreintes Digitalis, and exposed this label
and it's music to a wider audience.) The pieces on this new release,
another in the series of 'CD's of short duration for half the price' by
Empreintes Digitalis are of a similar ilk. (Empreintes Digitalis, if you've
just tuned in, are one of my favourite labels, and consistently release
amazing music. By now, it could probably be considered the foremost label
of electroacoustic discoveries.)

Copeland works exclusively with recordings of environmental sounds, and is
a true sound-ecologist (along with, amongst others, Hildegard Westerkamp -
one of my heroes - listen to the full-length CD 'Transformations' on this
same label).

Back to Darren - 'Rendu Visible' contains 3 tracks composed between 1993
and 1996. All of them consist of carefully blended, sometimes heavily
processed environmental sounds. However the original sources remain quite
recognisable - all part of Copeland's intention to stimulate visual

Most of us have been to a beach and listened to the sea, but where in the
head are the shores we hear in his music ? The gulls are confined in a huge
reverberant shell, the human voices swirl as if spinning on a silent

The terrain shifts and shakes continually like a slow, jittery film shot
through the shuddering heatwaves rising off a hot road, which weaves
through a strange land. Twisted, asthmatic animals loom large, then recede,
only appearing to quicken the pulse. Space creases the speakers and buffets
the room. Doors open and reveal long corridors where lights flicker
staccato and suggest weird, familiar forms - dream apparitions trailing
luminous gossamer veils.

Ned Bouhalassa's work is far more angular; sounds are sourced from a much
wider palette than Copeland's and are combined in volatile, unpredictable
compositions. This CD is also a release in the 'short duration' series and
is a reverse-order retrospective (1998-1990) of some of his work. He also
had tracks included on the '...of Drones' series and is himself closely
connected to San Francisco's Sound Traffic Control, 'a media arts
assemblage that features a unique real time matrixed spatial audio system
through which musicians, engineers, conductors, DJ's, and sound sculpture
form an interwoven surround sound orchestra' (Phew ! Their definition -
wotta mouthful! I think it means something like: They've got a hifi and
maybe a working mixer !)).

'Aerosol' opens with his latest work titled 'Jets' and is based on movement
away from... Some sounds scurry off, darting and casting nervous, uneasy
glances, others hurl themselves violently towards the edges of the audio
field. Also included is the track 'Move 1', which appeared in another,
shorter version on 'The Swarm Of Drones' 2CD compilation released in 1995
(Asphodel, again). This piece is 'based on an idea of representing
animal/human movement through sound, and explores the possibilities of
generating rich evolving textures from single samples'. Headphones
recommended !

The track 'Constamment (Autoportrait)' dating from 1997 contains sound
elements which represent various aspects of Ned's past and present, and
includes several nods and a wink in the direction of what has come to be
known amongst the young and frivolous as 'techno music' - y'know; racy
drums which boom, boom for a while and then there's a whoosh, maybe a girl
yells something about shakin' yer booty and then boom, boom one mo' 'gain.

These CD's have been created by two inspired and highly innovative young
composers of electroacoustic music. If you've not got anything released on
this peerless Canadian label, then this is an excellent place to start. If
you're already familiar with their releases, then these two CD's with
surely augment your collection. Absolutely brilliant. (MP)

PS. More Empreintes Digitalis next week - watch this space ...


ANNEA LOCKWOOD - THE GLASS WORLD (CD on ?What Next? Recordings)

Annea Lockwood performed 'The Glass Concert' as a two hour performance
several times between 1966 and 1973. This CD is a re-issue of a record
first released by Tangent Records. Lockwood's most famous work is probably
"A Soundmap Of The Hudson River' derived from an installation of the same
name which consists of recordings made at various locations along the banks
of the Hudson River, starting at the source with a slow massaging trickle,
traverses torrents and waterfalls and ends at the mouth, where ships' horns
and faint human clamour colour the scape.

The music on 'The Glass World' is 'an exploration into the complexity of
sounds drwan exclusively from glass'. Track titles clearly indicate
sources; 'micro glass shaken', 'wine glass', 'dialogue: bottles & jars',
'bottle tree showered with fragments' and so on. Different shapes and kinds
of glass are used, either individually or in dialogues, to produce the
sounds. No special preparation was involved - glass discs were rubbed
together, thin glass rods were scraped across panes like bows, panes struck
become gongs.

This is a truly living, classical work, the raw material is not bent and
twisted out of shape, or put through overdriven, plastic effect- units
which add feedback and brittle harmonics. Rather, it's an exercise in
listening - there is so much depth, clarity and purity - it's a cleansing
session for ears and mind alike. (MP)



I stumbled across this while looking for some excellently trite Easy Tunes
Soundtracks the other day. I've been a proud owner of both of these records
(released on Nonesuch, I do believe) for almost twenty years, and as I am
not an avid browser of Wergo Catalogues, I missed out on this re-release of

In many ways, this music is a collaboration between Morton Subotnick -
composer, Don Buchla - instrument designer and Ramon Sender - whohe?. It
was created on some of the earliest custom-made modular synthesisers way
back in 1967/68.

'Silver Apples Of The Moon' takes it's title from a poem by Rosicrucian and
probable O.T.O. member Francis Yeats. It starts with a dense cloud of sound
which gradually distils into a sound garden filled with chirping, warbling
birds, sweeping glissandi winds and random particle collisions. There is a
mad, sequenced moment in Part 2 of this composition which will surely
remain timeless because of it's unrestrained joy.

'The Wild Bull' is more sombre and serious, opening with a deep lowing
sound, a cross between a moan and human breath. It's title was inspired by
a Sumerian poem dating from approximately 1700BC (that's 3700 years before
the millenium, ya neurot !). 'The Wild Bull' was probably born out of
'Silver Apples...'. Hand-tuned gestures colour the sound - there is less
attention paid to tempo and polyphony, and more to the way individual
sonorities develop. Beautiful !

I did not listen to my vinyl copies of these pieces much anymore , they are
badly scratched from excessive use, and nearly silent passages almost
obliterated by the clicks and bumps. Part of it, I hear some of you cry.
Not so, I must insist. This music was made in silence, to be heard in
silence. It is itself a definition of space and will remain classics of the
genre. Thank goodness, the lads at Wergo saw fit to release it on a digital

Finding this CD made my day, and I almost forgot about picking up a copy of
the soundtrack to "Valley Of The Dolls'. (MP)</x-rich>