Steve Roden – Lines & Sp Aces

Something of a story behind this one. I ordered a copy from a distributor in France a few years back (where the only copies available for purchase were left), only to find the double single-sided LP had two pieces of same vinyl. Asking the distributor if he had somehow misplaced one of the records and sent someone else the other pair, we eventually discovered that it was a mistake across (at least to our knowledge) the whole pressing. I contacted Steve Roden himself on the matter, and over the span of several friendly e-mails really only managed to conclude that it was amazing the problem hadn’t been discovered yet. There were initially hopes of a repress to address the problem, but for now we have only the line notes, or the space notes.

Something of a double misfortune, as the work was actually comprised of three parts – Side A, Side C and the two played together simultaneously. Steve is his usual refined self here with simple panning keys backed by elegant tones. Occasional snatches of the ambiance of the original recording (for example, the hammers creaking on the strings of the piano) heighten the introverted nature of the piece.

From the notes:

“Lines & Sp Aces began as a project to be installed in a music archive/library. To create a piece that could remain in the archive, to be used by visitors whenever they wished. LPs as a kind of secret installation. Starting with grammar school teachings the notes on the line = Every Good Boy Does Fine, the notes on the spaces = F A C E, I recorded these notes on a piano, creating two separate works that could also be played together – library users could use the turntables in the space and listen to one or the other or both one sided LPs as once. So now you have a portable installation to hear two pieces you need one turntable. To hear one piece (the third piece) you need two turntables. Along with piano, I also added some guitar/ebow tones. You can also hear a little bit of the noise from my cousin’s house where I recorded the piano.”

– Steve Roden

Get it here.