December 3, 2014 – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot


Jason Kahn - Noema

Mixed bag tonight – but to my credit I spared you a holiday themed consumerist extravaganza with carols played on tuned resampled cash registers (although, maybe that should be posted anyhow?).

1 – Charlemagne Palestine – ‘SchlingenCassettenBlängen’ – SchlingenCassettenBlängen – United States, 1977 [2014]

A previously unreleased version of Charlemagne Palestine’s composition, the first appearance of which only came 11 years later in 1988. This version is published in its original, unmastered and unedited form, leading to all kinds of character-building audio artifacts that make the otherwise pretty, slowly-unfolding and straightforward drones more prickly and interesting. Just released on Nathan Cook’s Close/Far imprint with artwork by Palestine himself.

2 – Bernard Parmegiani – ‘Dedans Dehors’ – Dedans Dehors – France, 1979

After a month full of addressing a slew of truly mediocre contemporary acousmatic music from Montréal (a city with much better music than is under the purview of its own particularly stodgy brand of academia), I decided to include this piece from the height of the movement (which is, you’ll note, 35 years old).

3 – Guillaume Cliche – ‘Fiction Couleur’ – Espèce Modèle – Canada, 2014

Music tangentially related to the scene mentioned above, only much better (in my humble opinion).

4 – Jason Kahn – ‘Enryaku-ji’ – Noema – Switzerland, 2014

A fascinating release on Kahn’s own label, Editions. Full of rather abstract and overt processing of raw fields, it seems something of a departure from much of his other field-recording based work. With no single piece exceeding 2:30, abrupt transitions from harmony to noise, and sounding  simultaneously off-the-cuff and intimate, it reminds me a bit of the pseudo-audio-diaries of the excellent Kona Kai by Ypa (reviewed here at Cut And Run last year). Occasionally suffering from a derivative exoticism, and often a bit murky, it still stands out as a unique set of recordings in his oeuvre. Good to know that Kahn, with hundreds of releases and credits to his name, can still surprise.

5 – Absolute Value of Noise, Anna Friz & Glenn Gear – ‘Sea Monster’ – Somewhere A Voice Is Calling – Canada, 2014

A different tack from Absolute Value of Noise’s traditional forays into, well . . . noise . . . The album treads dangerously close to ambience, but manages to find some interesting ground in electromagnetic frequency exploration occasionally complemented by more traditional instrumentation.

6 – Eleh – ‘Circle Three: Full Moon at 35hz’ – Circle Three: Full Moon at 35hz – United States, 2014

I’ve traditionally avoided playing much Eleh on Soundscape for a variety of reasons. Their tracks often last longer than half of our show, and don’t particularly lend themselves well to excerpts; Eleh releases have been subject to a slightly undeserved cult of appeal, including serious after-market over-pricing; lastly, I actually feel like it does get a fair amount of airplay, both on our show and others. Having stopped paying attention to Eleh for the last couple years (nothing like retrospectives and compilations to scare me away), I was extremely happy to stumble upon this, their newest single-sided release.

The dynamism (by drone standards) of this single piece is greater than a sizable swath of their catalogue taken as a whole. It also manages this without sacrificing the almost puritanical minimalism or elegance rightly associated with their work. As important as ever to listen to on the best system the listener can manage to find, but developing across numerous facets beyond just those for the audiophile. Recommended.

7 – Enrico Malatesta – ‘Aliossi’ – Aliossi – Italy, 2014

A full review of this work is published here on Cut and Run.

8 – Thomas Barriere – ‘Crossroads’ – Primaire – France, 2014

Funnily enough, my initial reaction to Cassauna’s newest releases was one of curiosity at the inclusion of much more song-based instrumental work – forgetting, of course, that much of Important’s catalogue consists of avant-rock and folk. At any rate, alongside Ashley Paul‘s White Night, a turn by Cassauna I look forward to hearing more of.

Get the full show as a stream or download here.

vehscle Written by:

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