Roel Meelkop’s “Crossmodulated” reviewed by Gonzo Circus

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Síria’s “Boa-Língua” reviewed by Neural

Boa-Língua in Portuguese literally means “good tongue”. This expression is often used in contrast to “bad tongue” that is “small talk”. For his second album Siria used structures of his former work, Cuspo. She used them as organising principle for the structure (9 songs in one sequence, the final one being a repetition) and length of the tracks, after collecting several different recordings of rehearsals. The whole result is a refined form of musicality, with the vocals in the foreground and a mix of various experiments. These might make us think of a world-music or ethnic approach, but they also display a passion for improvisation and electroacoustics. The repertoire of the album is made by different versions of traditional songs. They include a version of an Azeri song and two original versions, one in Turkish and the other in Portuguese, and two other unreleased songs where the vocal does not take the form of words. Within the catalogue of Crónica Electrónica, this production might seem atypical, but this independent media-label usually performs an elegant eclecticism. While listening, the different pieces of the puzzle come together. Later, the tracks were mastered by the specialist Miguel Carvalhais, who, along with Pedro Tudela, produced a remix of the second track, “Nos Montes”. That is not the only example of artistic convergence. “Canção do Gato” is a version of a song recorded by Tiago Pereira from A Música Portuguesa a Gostar Dela Própria. “Senhora dos Remédios” is a version of a song performed by Catarina Chitas and has a sample from Maile Colbert. “Belgian Shepherd” is a remix of a song by Rui P. Andrade from his album All Lovers Go To Heaven. “Ay Işığında” is a version of a song performed by Nərminə Məmmədova. “For Ghédalia” and “Boa-Língua” both have recordings from Los Niños Muertos, André Tasso and Bruno Humberto. Overall, this is a complex but lovable production, which a broader audience than the usual followers of electronicmusic and audio art can deeply appreciate. Aurelio Cianciotta

via Neural

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New release: Nicola Di Croce’s “Deus Sive Natura”

“Deus sive Natura” is a latin expression later used by philosopher Baruch Spinoza to reflect upon the identity of God and Nature: “Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner” (Spinoza, Ethics, pt. 1, proposition 25, corollary).

This album results from a performance by Nicola Di Croce which closed an art residency developed in Viterbo (Italy) at the “Bullicame” thermal springs. The public springs were used by Romans and later by poets, writers and popes; the same natural crater was also cited by Dante as the access to Flegetonte, namely the infernal river.

The residency aimed at sonically investigating the aquatic environment of the area, and presented the results to the public through a quadriphonic performance realized beside the natural pools. The residency was curated by Serena Achilli within the framework of Algoritmo festival in August 2019.

Nicola Di Croce is a sound artist and scholar trained as an architect and a musician. He has a PhD in Regional planning and public policies and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Università Iuav di Venezia (Italy).

His research deals with the relationship between Urban Studies and Sound Studies. In particular, he is interested in collaborative and participatory approach to urban policy analysis and design through methodologies emerging within Urban Planning and Sound Art.

Sound is central to his artistic and academic practice for he considers listening and field recording as pivotal tools to investigate urban atmospheres and social transformations. Through articles, lectures, compositions, performances, and installations he aims to foster sonic awareness and to empower institutions and local communities, exploring new potentials for local development.


Deus Sive Natura” is now available for stream or download!

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Roel Meelkop’s “Crossmodulated” reviewed by Silence and Sound

Ça commence par des frottements, peu à peu rattrapés par une forme d’énergie bourdonnante, parasitée par des ondes radio grésillantes…

Crossmodulated de Roel Meelkop est une entité sombre, un trou noir dans l’espace avalant les étoiles et le magma du temps, déversant le chaos sur le monde qui l’entoure dont il est lui même le créateur et le destructeur. 

Roel Meelkop ne nous épargne pas, nous rentre dedans pour sucer toute trace de résistance, nous prend par la moelle épinière pour nous électrifier sur place. 

Ses titres sont des déclarations de guerre, avant goût de la chute finale, rouleau compresseur caché derrière une forêt de cables, vecteurs de destruction et de soumission, roulant sur des tapis de vitalité déstabilisante, montées irrépressibles vers des cimes en tension, chargées de brillance frissonnante et d’abstraction coupante. Acéré. Roland Torres

via Silence and Sound

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New release: Roel Meelkop’s “Crossmodulated”

Roel Meelkop (1963) studied visual arts and art theory at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. During a post-graduate course at the same academy, he decided to dedicate his work to sound and music. His musical activities date back to the early eighties when he started THU20, together with Jac van Bussel, Peter Duimelinks, Jos Smolders and Guido Doesborg. THU20 have released several tapes and CDs and performed regularly in Europe. The working method of THU20 included many discussions about how to compose and why. This period was crucial in forming Meelkop’s ideas and concepts about sound and how to organise it, but it was not until the mid-nineties that he was able to fully realise these ideas. The purchase of a sampler and later a computer radically changed his possibilities of working with sound, offering infinitely more control and freedom. Since then he has worked steadily on a body of work, most of which was received enthusiastically in the small but dedicated world of sound art. His other activities include working with Kapotte Muziek, Wieman (both with Frans de Waard) and Pierdrie (with Machinefabriek and video artist Marco Douma). Recently he has worked with filmmakers Esther Urlus and André Schreuders and long-time friend and collaborator Jos Smolders (MeSm). He has also been digging into the universe of modular synthesis, the results of which are still under close scrutiny.

In the last years, Meelkop has been mainly concentrating on live work, especially in collaboration with other musical artists, such as Jos Smolders, Machinefabriek, Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, and visual artists such as Marco Douma and Esther Urlus. We has also been involved in sound design for film and video. His studio practice has been given a boost by the discovery of modular synthesis, much to the credit of Jos Smolders, who introduced him to it. In this release, Meelkop combines recordings of modular sessions with field recordings, either from his archive or newly made.

Tracklist:

1. Crossmodulated 1 (14:19)
2. Crossmodulated 2 (09:23)
3. Crossmodulated 3 (05:51)
4. Crossmodulated 4 (13:54)
5. Crossmodulated 5 (15:44)

Mastered by Jos Smolders at Earlabs. Cover art Drawing Machine Drawing #72 by Rosemary Lee.

Crossmodulated” is now available as a limited-release cassette and for download or stream.

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Øyvind Brandtsegg’s “Nancarrow Biotope” reviewed by Vital Weekly

Conlow Nancarrow “was an American-born composer who lived and worked in Mexico for most of his life. He became a Mexican citizen in 1956. Nancarrow is best remembered for his Studies for Player Piano, being one of the first composers to use auto-playing musical instruments, realizing their potential to play far beyond human performance ability. He lived most of his life in relative isolation, and did not become widely known until the 1980s.” Brandtsegg orchestrated this piece for the Pipe Organ, Disklavier and electronics. It is a combination of “mechanic instruments in combination with improvisation software”. This cassette contains two recordings of this piece, in Stavanger and Trondheim. It would be great if I could say something about the original about this version, but sadly I can’t. I have very little idea about the working of classical music, that can’t be secret I would think, and so it is not easy to review this work. The seventeen pieces are in total some seventy-five minutes of music of highly rhythmic and dense church organ sounds, perhaps more so than I would think this is a work of software. The piano is replaced by the Disklavier and it is all very modern classical music to these ears. It is probably great music, but a bit too far outside the scope of Vital Weekly. (FdW)

via Vital Weekly

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Síria’s “Boa-Língua” reviewed by The Sound Projector

Last heard Síria with her 2018 solo cassette Cuspo, and she’s here today on the same label with a new tape called Boa-Língua (CRÓNICA ELECTRONICA 155-2020). Diana Combo created this work using much the same methods as before – her own voice being the most prominent feature, along with field recordings, sampled records, and found recordings, all processed in the studio according to her design.

This time around she’s pushing the envelope a bit, and the starting point was a bunch of informal recordings of her singing and improvising, which were never intended for release. She found it a liberating experience to do this, and wanted to see if she could repurpose these off-the-cuff experiments, with all their spontaneity and mistakes, into something more structured. At the same time, she’s doing cover versions of songs – well, sort of. At least four of the nine pieces here are songs that have been previously recorded or released by others, although the names in this particular list are mostly unfamiliar to me and may mean more to those steeped in contemporary Portuguese music, especially electronica. In any case these “cover versions” are also mixed up with samples and remix elements, and disentangling the strands of these mixed threads is not only next-to-impossible, it’s really not the point of the exercise. Diana Combo has managed to inhabit each work, and make it her own; every one of these nine tracks still carries the faint aura of menace and warning.

In this work, the warning applies to “obloquy, reproach, gossip, voluntary misunderstanding, etc.” and the hundred other ways in which we humans deliberately use language to evade the truth, either attempting to deceive others or (more likely) fool ourselves. The very title of this tape Boa-Língua is significant, as it translates as “good tongue”, the direct opposite of “malingua”, which is how a Portuguese person would accuse another of telling tales out of school and speaking behind your back. At a time when “fake news” is a hashtag in every other tweet on your stream, what could be more timely? There’s a simplicity and directness to this music I do like, and I feel there’s something about Diana Combo’s outlook which I can trust, and even if some of the music feels a little unfinished, it also has a porous quality which is good. From 12th March 2020. Ed Pinsent

via The Sound Projector

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Rutger Zuydervelt & Bruno Duplant’s “L’incertitude” reviewed by Bad Alchemy

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Síria’s “Boa-Língua” reviewed by Bad Alchemy

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New release: “Deriva” compilation

Cover of the compilation "Deriva"

Deriva (Drift) [from French dérive] is the perpetuating movement that strides from the known to the unknown, to the absurd and the unplanned. This is a condition that is generated by the observers themselves and implies a distancing from historical events.

The cultural Drift, in ethnology, is a transformation induced by internal factors within the group and not influenced from the exterior. It is alike with the continuity of a tradition when there is no longer control and comparison, like a raft facing the ocean. If within this context we consider the “Universe-System” as a closed structure, the Drift is entropy. In psychology Drift is meant as a moral and ethical connotation, it is to disconfirm a prior decision before its decline, collapse.

The Drift differs consistently from the concept of Transition as it is in default of the final reference point. It embodies the unpredictable, the undefined. It could, from this point of view, be a particular type of exploration that, after everything is planned, designed, and built, is abandoned, left to itself. The abandoned landscape comes with a question that smells of drift.

VacuaMoenia suggested musicians and composers an investigation on this theme. How to represent the Drift through their medium? What practices, forms, and strategies to adopt?


Tracklist:

  1. Simone Castellan: Equilibrium is Restored (17:30)
  2. Stefano Giampietro: Inertia (16:58)
  3. Natura Wiva: Rubinetto, 2017 (05:18)
  4. Petri Kuljuntausta: Drifting Waves (16:20)
  5. Chelidon Frame: Lenient (15:08)
  6. Rinaldo Marti: System Failure! Alle Vittime del Ponte Morandi (07:00)
  7. Emanuele Costantini: Upon Mountain Ranges (19:56)
  8. Dimitrios Savva: Noise Triangle (03:14)

Simone Castellan (1991, Italy) holds a BA in electroacoustic composition from the Conservatory “A. Steffani” of Castelfranco Veneto in Italy, a MA in electroacoustic composition, and a BSc in Urban Design at IUAV University in Venice.

Stefano Giampietro (1993, Italy) studied electronic music at the Conservatory “San Pietro” in Naples. 

Natura Wiva is a project by Pietro La Rocca (1979, Italy) and Carlos Zíngaro (1948, Portugal) focused on soundscape compositions with field recordings and manipulations. 

Petri Kuljuntausta (1961, Finland) is a composer, improviser, musician, and sonic artist working with environmental sounds and live-electronics to create sound installations for galleries and museums. 

Chelidon Frame (1990, Italy) is an experimental electronic music project based in Milan. They work from field recordings, radio waves, processed instruments, and found sounds. 

Rinaldo Marti (1959, Italy) studied double bass and electronic music at the Conservatory “N. Paganini” in Genova. 

Emanuele Costantini (1975, Italy) is an award-winning director, sound engineer and sound designer based in London. 

Dimitrios Savva (1987, Cyprus) holds a BA in music composition from the Ionian University of Corfu and a MA in electroacoustic composition from the University of Manchester. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the Sheffield University under the supervision of Adrian Moore and Adam Stanovic.

VacuaMœnia (Fabio R. Lattuca and Pietro Bonanno) is a project to revolutionize the aesthetic meaning of abandoned soundscapes. Committed both on the associative and artistic fronts, on the technological as well as the philosophical one, since 2013 VacuaMœnia realizes events related to acoustic ecology and gives form of artifact to its archives and maps.


Deriva” is now available as a limited-release cassette and for download or stream.

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