Artificial Memory Trace – Reprint

Artifical Memory Trace - Reprint

Back in 1993, Slavek Kwi, aka Artificial Memory Trace, was working in a print shop in Brussels, Belgium. During that time he recorded several of the machines as he must have been captured by their rhythm and their hidden melodies. These recordings are extremely clear and precise — the noise we here is the noise of the machine. There is some walkie-talkie squawking captured periodically which doesn’t take away from the recordings, rather it adds an unknown to the repetitions.

My first few listens through Reprint, I was not bothered that I was unaware what was creating the sounds. I assumed it was a factory of some sort, but what kind of factory, I did not know. In reading the liner notes later, I learned that this was a recording of a print shop. The liner notes also provide some specificity to what we are listening to.”Part I” is one 40-minute track, but it is broken down as such:

Part I.
1. Lift for paper 0:51
2. Air (suction) 1:13
3. Ventilation 0:25
4. Printing 26:06
5. Assembling machine I. 9:26
6. Cutting of paper 2:04
7. Photo-machine 1:10

“Part II” is eight minutes of an assembling machine.

What attracts me to Reprint is the repetition of the sounds, the rhythm of the machines. And as soon as I start grooving to a particular segment, Kwi moves me to another machine with its own metallic grind and I have to readjust. Kwi licensed Reprint so that it is available for remixes.

Artist: Artificial Memory Trace
Title: Reprint
Netlabel: LOM
Release Date: December 2015
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Download mp3: Bandcamp

Ilia Belorukov and Sergey Kostyrko – Distrust One’s Own Eyes

Review of Ilia Belorukov and Sergey Kostyrko 's "Distrust One's One Eyes" on the netlabel Amplified Music Pollution.

AMP Records aka Amplified Music Pollution, a Mexican netlabel I believe, has slowed down a bit in their releases, but we should be very thankful for Ilia Belorukov and Sergey Kostyrko’s Distrust One’s Own Eyes which came out earlier this year. Both Belorukov and Kostryko come from the St. Petersburg area and both like to make weird music. Belorukov has been releasing experimental/improvisational music and jazz for several years, while Kostryko is a relative newcomer to releasing music to the general public.

Ilia Belorukov and Sergey Kostyrko’s Distrust One’s Own Eyes opens with “Nature’s Conformity to the Law” which starts out loud and abrasive. It settles down a bit or maybe that’s just me getting use to the noise and then the sounds of a chicken pen. Distrust One’s Own Eyes has Belorukov on ppooli and field recordings with Kostyrko on synth. “Two Steps Back” starts out much quieter drone and much more calm birds this time. The glitchy static fades in and and then the stronger drones start enveloping your ears. Always, various field recordings are playing in the background and some even more to the forefont.

Slight rhythms pervade “See If We Can Quiet the Dog Down” as the track wraps up the first half of Ilia Belorukov and Sergey Kostyrko’s album. “Get Out The Business” is the closest track to ambient noise one finds on Distrust One’s Own Eyes. It’s a beautiful and humble track, if “humble” makes any sort of sense here.

“The Belief in the Matter” is full of louder glitches, though not too loud. The rhythm of the track is the fastest of all six tracks but it’s unassuming. The last track on Ilia Belorukov and Sergey Kostyrko’s Distrust One’s Own Eyes is “Non-Freedom of Will” where a screeching bird and edgy glitches begin the short track off and then a choral recording sweeps in to give an august feel to the end of the album.

There are a few must downloads throughout the year and I believe Ilia Belorukov and Sergey Kostyrko’s Distrust One’s Own Eyes is one of them. Why? Because after listening to the record several times, I’m in search of more music from these two gentlemen. Hopefully you will as well.

Artists: Ilia Belorukov and Sergey Kostyrko
Title: Distrust One’s Own Eyes
Netlabel: AMP Records
Release Date: February 2015
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Download mp3: zip

The Kiriks – Kisah Jalan Jaksa

The Kiriks - Kisah Jalan Jaksa

Literally this album comes straight from the streets of Jakarta, one street in particular, Jalan Jaksa which is one of the main streets in Central Jakarta that is filled with shops, museums, clubs, tourists, etc. The Kiriks are one-man band by Hardiat Dani Satria and he has released several albums on Ear Alert Records and other labels.

As best as I can figure out Kisha Jala Jaksa is built on field recordings which are then reprocessed along with Hardia Dani playing a synthesizer. The vocals on the First track, “Pengajian Part I”, appears to be a woman singing a religious song. These vocals dissipate half-way through the track and then one can hear the some people laughing and talking, typical banter one might hear on any city street through out the world. The synthesizer then goes off on a tangent with some wild playing by Hardia Dani. “Pengajian” translates to “Study” and “Kisah”, in the album title, translates to “Story”.

Before I get on to the second track, a word of warning. The reader should assume any facts in this post are just a reliable as a Wikipedia article on alien abductions. The only thing one should take away from review is that The Kiriks’ Kisha Jala Jaksa is a fine damn album.

“Pengajian Part II” has more than one woman signing, maybe children. This time along with Hardia Dani on synth, there is some percussion though I am unsure whether the percussion came with the vocals or was over-dubbed later.The third track is the shortest of the four with vocals, percussion and synth. Even though most of The Kiriks album is built on the same framework, the listener comes away with a different feeling based upon the playing of the synth or the melody of the singing.

The Kiriks’ Kisa Jalan Jaksa closes out with chickens, then the woman starts singing and the percussion joins in. The synth is more in the background sharing this space with people talking and the chickens. Still with the chickens. These songs on Kisa Jalan Jaksa are very delicate for a city album, but they are equally as impressive.

I cannot reiterate enough that anything I have said in this review is probably god-awfully wrong. But download it anyway as you will enjoy it.

Artist: The Kiriks
Title: Kisah Jalan Jaksa
Netlabel: Ear Alert Records
Release Date: June 2015
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Download mp3: zip

Atilio Doreste – Saline di Marsala

Atilio Doreste - Saline di Marsala

To the west on Sicily lies the city of Marsala and its waters, just beyond the sea is Tunisia. I give you this brief geography lesson to help put you in the place of Atilio Doreste’s latest work, Saline di Marsala. For most of us listening to Saline di Marsala we are in a different world, a world we have not witnessed before.

Saline di Marsala is the latest of five web exhibitions hosted by Sono Space, which makes this like no other review I’ve written before. There is no album for you to download, there is just a web page for you to go to and experience. I’ll give you a hint, it only takes about 13 minutes of your time.

Atilio Doreste uses field recordings as performance. But as a musician, Doreste doesn’t overpower the sounds he is recording, he does not become the center of attention. Instead, Doreste’s work is complimentary, no, rather, symbiotic to the world around him. I have always enjoyed his work. You can read my review of his Audiotalia release, Shifting Boundaries that also made my Interesting Albums of 2014 as well. It would be unfair to look at Atilio Doreste as only a field recorder, it would be limiting. A careful examination of this work as well as his other activity, one realizes that there is much more to Doreste’s CV than just sitting down a recorder and pressing the red btton.

Saline di Marsala is a sound and sight exhibition contains three photographs, one of which is sampled here. Though one continues track, it is made up of several different recordings. Atilio Doreste does a effortless job of changing audio scenes, I was trying to count the different soundscapes but I was always unsure if we’ve moved or not. Yes, the mood had changed, but had our physical location? Doreste has put together a wonderful recording that you should take the time to experience. Afterwards, like me, download the track for prosperity.

Artist: Atilio Doreste
Exhibition: Saline di Marsla
Exhibitor: Sono Space
Release Date: June 2015
Licensing: Unknown

Helicopter Drones

Helicopter Drones

Claudio Curciotti’s Field Abuse Volume 1: Helicopters (Impulsive Habitat) begins as many Sunday mornings begin, some jazz playing on the turntable. A track from John Patitucci’s Line by Line gently plays in the background till the helicopters arrive and the home-made bombs start exploding. Curciotti’s Helicopters ostensibly is a field recording of the European protests from last year in Barcelona and Rome. Using the helicopter sounds, Curciotti is able to paint the protests as the police state versus the people. The album fades out to the celebratory ringing of church bells, but even this gets overshadowed by the drones of the helicopters.

My one issue with this release is that it has been released under the Creative Commons No Derivative license. There are two reasons. Number one, if an artist samples another work, they should allow others to sample their work. It’s just simple courtesy. The second reason is more political. These are recordings populist protests, this type of thing is made for Creative Commons, specifially allowing derivatives. Also, Curciotti has many of these recordings available as a remixable sample pack at his website, Field Abuse. There is a fantastic soundmap of the Rome protests.

Artist: Claudio Curciotti
Title: Field Abuse Volume 1: Helicopters
Netlabel: Impulsive Habitat
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Download mp3: zip
Release Date: 13 January 2014

Auditive City

Auditive City

We as a species have a fondness for yesterday. With Juan Manuel Castrillo’s latest release, Horizontales, takes a look backward, rather, he tilts his head to the side, cups his ear and tries to listen to a by-gone era. Interestingly, there was a recent project called The Roaring Twenties that grabbed sound from a variety of sources in New York City and created a soundscape of New York in the 1920s. But back to the subject at hand.

Castrillo’s Horizontales, on Impulsive Habitat netlabel, is more of a re-imaging of what a city use to be. Castrillo writes:

Birds, covered wagons, horses and street peddler chantings with many others used to compound large cities sonic atmospheres before industrial development. Irregular fresh rhythms from human activities were plentiful. Those sounds, from centuries ago, described situations and told stories were rich in information, varied and contained many particularities as result of local conditions. The murmur of machinery with it’s buzzings, squeaks and rumblings brought with itself the line, the repetition…

Horizontales is filled with man-made drones and other ethereal sounds plucked from the our soundscape laid bare to our ears. It is wonderfully expressive and shows that recordings of our urban life can just be as beautiful and exotic as a nature recording.

Artist: Juan Manuel Castrillo
Title: Horizontales
Netlabel: Impulsive Habitat
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Download mp3: zip
Release Date: 3 January 2014

Textures of Hiroshima

Gallery Six - Hiroshima

Though long-form experimental/ambient/noise music is very much the rage these days, it is also a very difficult feat to pull of successfully. More often than not, musicans are unable to do so. However, Gallery Six aka Hidekazu Imashige, who currently lives in Hiroshima, is able to produce quite an accomplished extended composition. Gallery Six’s Hiroshima on Element Perspective netlabel engages the listener with a variety of affecting sounds, field recordings and noise, as well as fluid movement throughout the track.

Artist: Gallery Six
Title: Hiroshima
Netabel: Element Perspective
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Download mp3: zip
Release Date: 6 January 2014