TONEWHEELS in the Netherlands

Posted in Announcement on February 14th, 2008 by admin

I’m off to Amsterdam tomorrow for a two week residency at STEIM to work on the TONEWHEELS project. On Monday 18 Feb Sara Kolster and I will do an informal, “performative installation” version of the project at DNK, and on Wednesday 20 Feb you can catch the full performance plus maybe a little lecture at STEIM. See you there!

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ABOMINATIONS live at CTM [photos, video]

Posted in Documentation on February 10th, 2008 by admin

ABOMINATIONS played as part of the Dark Alloy evening at Club Transmediale in Berlin on 30 January 2008, along with Utarm, Ives no. 1, Shit and Shine and Wolves in the Throne Room.

From the CTM catalog text:

This program draws parallels between various approaches to playing Noise and Metal. Although distorted riffs and guitar feedback play a major role in Metal, it is not generally in search of the chaotic sound signatures of Noise. The latter tend only to provide background in Metal, against which compositional rigor and the players’ precision can stand out all the more dramatically. This is quite different from Noise where the chaotic overlaying of the greatest possible amount of interference, feedback, distortion, buzzing, crackle, drone and their often unpredictable permutations is the actual material of the music. Despite this, since the advent of Black Metal’s preference for rich overtones in the high-frequencies, noise has become increasingly important in Metal – doubtless the fundamental reason why the marriage of Noise and Metal is currently producing so many exciting projects. Yet other influences are also helping catalyze new developments: the tendency to abstraction for example, or the transmutability of Jazz, or narrative elements taken from Folk and Gothic.

Differences notwithstanding, Noise and Metal are driven by many similarities: the physical sensation of sound intensity taken to the highest extreme, complete immersion in sound, aggressively confronting the audience with a massive wall of sound. The extreme tension between amorphous chaos and rigorous control, between eruptive noise and precise composition, between devotion and control fantasies, creates the special experience of both genres, in terms the sound and the absorbing dramaturgy. Above all, Metal and Noise musicians love to stage themselves as tamers of the destructive, dark forces embodied in sound.

If sound is conceived as fluid and malleable, Noise musicians embrace it unconditionally, wrestling to give it form, never resting and yet never quite able to – and not willing to – completely win the upper hand. The struggle is everything. In contrast, the Metal musician, draws slightly more authority by maintaining a degree of distance. As in a necromantic legend, the fluid forms into matter before him, writhing, spitting and spraying while he plunges violently into its innards.

Metal and Noise: each is in search of an ecstatic catharsis, of purification by sound.

¡Muchos gracias a Pablo Sanz por las fotografías y video!

Abominations [AR/US/NL]
Uploaded by pablosanz

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Sten Ove ToftLit De Parade (Roggbiff Records)

About a week before CTM, Sten Ove Toft sent me his latest disc, Lit De Parade in the mail, ahead of his appearance as half of Utarm‘s live set in Berlin. Sten joked that this was his “pop” record, as it appears to diverge from his heavier, full-on live sets which mingle elements of noise, experimental and metal in favor of impressionist scribbles of sound and deep moods hanging in the background. He told me that Lit De Parade was based on scraps of material gathered over the years which didn’t seem to fit into his other works. The CD come across as deceptively simple, and even though I was supposed to be doing about five other things that week, I put it on several times to listen, and each listening exposed new details which crept out of the mix. A fine work, and deserving of one’s attention.

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