I’m going to hazard a guess that the electronic project known as Mons Jacet and the experimental musician and visual artist Martin Rach are one in the same. Mons Jacet’s Alcoholics Go Melachonic (Clinical Archives) was one of my favorite netlabel releases back in 2008. So we fast forward several years and I should not be surprised that I’m a fast becoming a big fan of Rach’s experimental work. I quite enjoyed last year’s Trash Piano (Modisti) — read the review — and I am equally enjoying two new releases by Rach: To Flame the Light of Love (Modisti) and Year of the Goat (Editora do Porto).
As Rach’s recent work is very different from his work as Mons Jacet, these two releases are also vastly different. Year of the Goat is buy Martin Rach and his Imaginary Band. This Editora do Porto release is drunken orgy of jazz and other musical idiosyncrasies which shows the capability/incapability of score a band on a laptop as the music travels in a chaotic improvisational manner. (Incapability in the being used in the context of experimental music is always a positive, well, for me at least.)
[mp3j flip=”y” track=”Ex Minotaur@http://www.archive.org/download/edp046/3_Ex_Minotaur.mp3″]
The Modisti release, To Flame the Light of Love, alternates between two instruments — a piano and a tenor saxophone — played on different tracks though each combined with various other sound objects/software such a aluminum foil, glass, and speakers. To Flame the Light of Love is in its essence a true experimental work. Rach is not only pushing our limits as an audience, one can tell that Rach is pushing his own limits as well.
[mp3j flip=”y” track=”Sleepless Sonography@http://www.archive.org/download/modisti_34/modisti_34_2.Sleepless_Sonography.mp3″]
The image above is a detail of a visual artwork by Martin Rach. I believe this painting is called Virus.
As anyone who has read this blog carefully would know I am a big fan of field recordings and their innate musicality. There aren’t many of use who feel that way, but there are a few. Two different labels, both of which happen to originate from Portugal, last month set out to show the “tunefulness” of field recordings. Both releases — Humeka’s m-area (Editora do Porto) and Christopher McFall / David Vélez’ Credence (Impulsive Habitat) — take field recordings apart – almost to their atomic level – and then piece them back together in to music. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard that before.
Humeka’s “Mum Phoned Me Tonight” (mp3)
The track above by the French DJ Humeka, processed his beats and glitches through various communication devices (cell phones, answering machines, etc.) to make these sounds come alive in a most interesting way. As the liner notes state, “From the streets of Paris to the private messages, this is a very sophisticated and tasteful way of putting technology to good use.”
McFall / Vélez’ “Credence” (mp3)
While Humeka put his sounds together in a more traditional musical format, McFall and Vélez, both of whom are accomplished field recorders (or phonographers), process their recordings and then build a 30+ minute ambient piece of music. It’s a graceful track and one that the listener would not be able to tell came mainly from field recordings.
Editora do Porto curator João Ricardo aka ocp has two new releases out. The first is a long drone piece, Drone to the Bone (Editora do Porto), and the second is 30-minute 13-track experimental work, A variar (MiMi). Drone to the Bone exemplifies for me the difference between Space Music and Drones: though drones may be a bit spacey, it is in the nature of the drones that the composition is tethered to a single idea; Space Music not so much. Meanwhile A variar seems to come from a completely opposite direction than ocp’s drone piece — noodling. A variar gives us a glimpse into the mind and workings of ocp as we listen from one track to another whether it be drones, field recordings, IDM or whatever you want to label the next type of music.
Title: Drone to the Bone
Netlabel: Editora do Porto
Release Date: 21 July 2010
Download mp3: zip
Tracks: 01. Drone to the Bone (mp3)
Title: A variar
Release Date: 01 August 2010
Download mp3: zip
Tracks: 01. Selvagem (mp3), 02. Fantasia (mp3), 03. Chato (mp3), 04. Bom Dia (mp3), 05. 80’s (mp3), 06. Intimidades (mp3), 07. Explosivo (mp3), 08. Ao Luar (mp3), 09. A Corda (mp3), 10 Antigamente (mp3), 11. Queimado (mp3), 12. Data (mp3), and 13. Cassino (mp3).