I was fortunate enough to attend ErstQuake 2 in New York back in 2005, which included a dramatic performance by Ottavi and Tomas Korber. Dramatic not in musical form, as Ottavi more or less completely dominated the short set with straight forward harsh metallic noise, but rather in effect. Several minutes into the set Julien quite literally attacked his laptop with what can only be described as something approaching mock martial arts. The sounds generated were banshee-like, and generally modulated or pitched by which part of the keyboard he smashed his forearm into (he uses PureData, which was likely responsible for the interface). The result of it was a blown PA, a disgruntled Korber and a deafened audience. Music, maybe; performance art (intentional or otherwise), certainly.
Ottavi’s signature sound is on display for the first track; though it turns out to be a rather enjoyable listen, much like Maja Ratkje‘s vocals distortions. ‘Travels & Re-Generate’ has a Tuvan feel to its drone, and invokes a certain queasiness as it slowly drops in tone over 9 minutes. The remaining two tracks, ‘From Dust To Ghosts’ and ‘The Accopmlishment’, are where Ottavi is at his best. Subtle manipulations of vocal samples, parts of which I continually mistook for ambient noise of either the tape itself, or the building in which I was listening.
All works are under GnuArt License – 2011 (copyleft) / made with Free Software.
The whole series was available until quite recently, but individual cassettes are still for sale at Antifrost. An edition of 50, so get them while they last.