“Juryo: Durée de la vie de l’ainsi-venu” reviewed by Aural Aggravation


The title of the latest album by the super-prolific experimental composer and student of film and musique concrete, Emmanuel Mieville, comes from the Japanese translation of the Sanskrit word and alludes to a chapter of the Lotus Sutra, a renowned text from Māhāyana Buddhism. Apparently. It’s hardly my field of expertise. And so the inevitable question arises: what’s my point of entry?

Juryo is by no means an accessible album and its four longform tracks, which span between nine and eighteen minutes don’t readily lend themselves to lengthy debates about Buddhism and the path to enlightenment. Similarly, that the album consists of four compositions shows no obvious correlation with the twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra. As such, it’s fair to surmise that the allusion which connects the title to the contents is in largely an oblique one, beyond the fact that the album features field recordings captured in Asia.

This is swampy, abstract, murky noise. On the surface, it’s a formless conglomeration of noise, grating, grinding scrapes and bumps. Woozy rippling bubbles flit and floom over tidal waves of surging extranea, which may or may not be the swash of actual water rippling over rocks: it could equally be an aural illusion, or an intentional simulacrum.

Top-end whistles sustain for an eternity and aggravate not only the aural receptors but the mind on ‘Nyorai’, although in the mix are recordings of Tibetan nuns and FM radio from Hong Kong. These manifests as chants and clattering chimes and finger cymbals which emerge around the midpoint of the seventeen-minute sonic journey. According to the liner notes, ‘Murasaki’ means ‘purple’ in Japanese, but the spinning, swirling sonic discombobulations which eddy and swirl present a kaleidoscopic vista.

In the sleeve notes, Mieville explains that ‘Taisi Funeral’ (the fourth and final track) is a ‘recording of Buddhist chanting for a deceased person recorded in a small village in Taiwan, mingled with my own synthetic sounds. Tanit Astarté is a quotation from Antonin Artaud’s book Héliogabale and refers to the moon goddess, as described in Phoenician myths’. It’s certainly the most overtly musical and rhythmic of the four compositions, but as a rising surge of amorphous sound rises to wash away the voices and the rhythm peters out, it transforms to an altogether more ambient soundscape. Morever, while still linking back to the overarching theme of the Lotus Sutra, we can see that Meiville’s sphere of reference is considerably broader than may first appear.

Juryo is subtly complex and had both range and depth. It doesn’t readily conform to any one genre, but to lazily slot it into the broad space occupied by ‘experimental / avant-garde’ is to fail to recognise the spectrum of stylistic elements it incorporates. Christopher Nosnibor

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Futurónica 197


Episode 197 of Futurónica, a broadcast in Rádio Manobras (91.5 MHz in Porto, 18h30) and Rádio Zero (21h GMT, repeating on Tuesday at 01h) airs tomorrow, July 21st.

The playlist of Futurónica 197 is:

  1. Farmers Manual, Fsck (1997, Tray)

You can follow Rádio Zero’s broadcasts at radiozero.pt/ouvir and Rádio Manobras at radiomanobras.pt.

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“Intuited Architectures” reviewed by Blow Up


Nel greco classico ci sono due parole per indicare il tempo. “Cronos” indica il tempo che scorre uguale e può essere misurato (per cui parliamo di “cronologia” o “cronometro”), “kairos” indica invece un tempo speciale, una occasione particolare (la prima volta che sono stato a un concerto, ad esempio, o il giorno del matrimonio) o una durate particolare (se sto con la mia fidanzata il tempo corre mentre se mancano due minuti al novantesimo e la Juva sta vincendo 1-0 ma è sotto assedio, per il nostro direttore questi 120 secondi sembrano ore). Une etichetta che abbia come nome “Crónica” ha di sicuro a che fare con il tempo. Nell’ultimo paio d’anni, mi sono ritrovato più volte ad ascoltare e recensire dischi e cassette dell’etichetta portoghese e devo dire che, nonostante la varietà di musicisti coinvolti, il tenore musicale è sorprendentemente omogeneo, sia come atmosfere che come qualità. Spesso, inoltre, altro tratto comune, i musicisti operano in ambito accademico, attraverso manifestazioni, concorsi e festival che promuovono nuove produzioni. Da questo punto di vista, il lavoro del musicista scozzese è una buona occaione per ffare il punto della situazione. Truslove è impegnato fell’Università di Glasgow oltre che in varie manifestazioni internazionali. “Intuited Architectures” reccoglie composizioni già presentate in contesti diversi. Alcune richiamamno le sonorità di @c, che non a caso sono i boss della label (“Suite II, Convergence”, “Suite II, Divergent Dialogues” e na finale “Strata”). In altre, la deriva elettronica si combina a cinguetti (“Elements”) e gracidare misto a um basso pulsante (“Concrètisations X”). Lo spettro sonoro à comunque caratterizzato ora da cigoli e brussi, ora da un tappeto sonico che sembra transportato da un vento elettronico. Si parte, quindi, con il rombo ventodo di “Suite II, Portals” attraversato di incursioni elettroacustiche, tutto un susseguirsi di vuoto e pieni un po’ fracassone. Segue “Suite II, Convergence” più lirica, sospesa ed emozionale, meno variegata ma anche meno monotona, con i suoi riflessi cangianti come onde marine su una spiaggia urbana. “Suite II, Divergent Dialogues” mette in fila sghemba, come farebbe un bambino, una serie di suoni come ciottoli in un giardino zen. Dal vuoto di questo pezzo si passa al pieno di “Elements”, un muro di rasoiate elettroacustiche che lentamente si rischiara lasciando spazio a cinguetti digitali che si dilenguano prendendo il volo. “Concrètisations X” sembra un gracidade distorto in ruggiti e singulti sincopati che vanno ad incontrare altre sonorità come paesaggi eterogenei da esplorare, guardinghi e curiosi, in cui il cammino si fa attenzione oltre che tensione. Concludono in venti minuti di “Strata” che partono e ripartono da suggestioni di “Ab OVO” degli @c, in cui grumi sonori si sciolgono e distendono per poi rotolare di nouvo, pensosi, su se stessi. Il titolo del disco parla di “architetture intuite”. Potrebbero essere un corrispettivo architettonico del sculture di Calder, delle sculture “sonore”, che nello spazio vibrano e, giocando, il movimento dispiegato nel tempo crea dei suoni. La composizione à così una organizzazione dinamica, vibratile, dello spazio vibrano e, giocando, il movimento dispiegato nel tempo crea dei suoni. La composizione è così una organizzazione dinamica, vibratile, dello spazio nel tempo, una “scultura di tempo” o — forse meglio ancora — riprendendo l’immagine architettonica, una urbanistica kairologica, in cui ogni momento si dischiude a una sorpresa, nel gioco tra ordito e trama. In realtà più che di architetture potremmo parlare di paesaggi, in modo particolare quelli urbani segnati da rovine e luoghi dismessi. Qualcosa che porta impressa l’usura del tempo, da cui à inciso e screpolato, ma ancora solido, in una alternanza di spazi vuoti e pieni, pareti intere e parete crollate. Finestre diroccate, scorci, macerie: ecco l’immaginario poetico che la Crónica sta liricamente computando, con pazienza e metodo. (8) Girolamo Dal Maso

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“Stikhiya” reviewed by Blow Up


Il titolo è uma parola russa che indica un contatto e una immersione immediata, quase magica, con la natura, senza mediazioni intellettualistiche, usata dai poeti nell’800 (Tolstoj e Blok i riferimenti letterari). Ecco allora un’immersione panica che Sakellariou, comositore elettroacustico greco, appronta con una sensibilitè da entusiasta (nel senso mistico greco). Nonostante sia musica urbvana decadente (proprio per questo), sarebbe una colonna sonora ideale per um meriggio estivo ai templi di Paestum, ma anche Tarkovskij non avrebbe disprezzato. (7/8) Girolamo Dal Maso

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“Intuited Architectures” reviewed by Nitestylez


Put on the circuit in early May, 2k17 via the Portuguese Cronica-imprint is “Intuited Architectures”, the new longplay effort by Glasgow-based and multi-awarded composer Graeme Truslove who on this piece deals with the possibilities of real time interaction with micro-level production techniques. Opening with “Suite II, Portals” Graeme Truslove opens up a world of a weirdly shifting, moving palette of highly digital quality which cause a feel of dizzyness and relative unease when consumed via headphones, “Suite II, Convergence” comes in on a softer, yet very experimental Ambient-related tip, combining simmering tones with sparse, improvised guitars that provide a slightly Post-PostRock related feel whilst “Suite II, Divergent Dialogues” amalgamates both hyperabstract Electronica and repetetive Electroacoustic Improvisation to a highly scientific sounding effect before turning into a radio transmission from a future beyond our imagination. In “Elements” we see the artist explore electronic buzzes which evoke far away memories of Muslimgauze’s work on the former Audio.NL imprint, that is before they’re building up into a screaming wall of sound and turn into tweeting digital birds later onwards. Furthermore “Concretisations X” weigh in quite a lot of morphed scraping sounds and what seems to be altered Field Recordings of micro-acoustic events accompanied by additional guitar manipulation over the curse of the tunes approx. 15 minutes runtime and the final, 20 minutes spanning cut named “Strata” leads us through the full spectrum of Graeme Truslove’s work from full-on guitar improv to droning Ambient sequences and beyond. Abstract, yet interesting for those digging the far out spheres of electronic music.

via Nitestylez

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“Shadows and Reflections” reviewed by Vital


The music on this cassette was composed for an audio-visual collaboration Adkins did with painter Andy Fullalove in the Bradford Cathedral in 2016. It was a “response to the newly restored altarpiece by William Morris as well as the priceless stained glass windows in the cathedral by Morris’ company”, and Adkins was inspired by the “layering and textures of Fullalove’s paintings”. He wanted to create music “to induce a sense of meditation, contemplation and reflection” and used sounds from the church organ. Both sides have one piece of music, entirely in the spirit of the two albums I heard of Adkins previously (Vital Weekly 768 and 825), especially the later, which I noted for bridging the gap between Niblock and Mathieu. These two pieces are definitely more Stephan Mathieu, and less Niblock, with its slow flowing minimal drone settings. Both of these pieces, ‘Sounds Of The Shadows’ and ‘Sounds Of The Sun’ are very similar in how they were made and how they sound. Deep organ like sounds, no doubt in some way transformed by computer technology (slowed down, looped, that sort of thing) and coming to you in a variety of layers, slowly making away for each other, pushing one up, taking another one down and then going back to the first, and this for whatever the duration is of this cassette; I must admit I was kind of lost when it came to that, reading a more complex book on musical history at the same time. This music worked best if played at a considerable softer volume and let it flow gently through whatever space you are in to hear this. Headphones, I would say, could work but you miss out on the spatial character of the music, which I guess is an all-important feature of this music. (FdW)

via Neural

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Now on preorder, Monty Adkins’s “Shadows and Reflections”


“Shadows and Reflections”, Monty Adkins’s upcoming release in Crónica is due out in early September and now available for preorder!

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Futurónica 196


Episode 196 of Futurónica, a broadcast in Rádio Manobras (91.5 MHz in Porto, 18h30) and Rádio Zero (21h GMT, repeating on Tuesday at 01h) airs tomorrow, July 7th.

The playlist of Futurónica 196 is:

  1. Vitor Joaquim, LX Dolce Vita (2017, Archives from Other Spaces #02)
  2. Vitor Joaquim, Sunset Boulevard (2017, Archives from Other Spaces #02)
  3. Vitor Joaquim, The Devil is in the Detail (2017, Archives from Other Spaces #02)
  4. Vitor Joaquim, Voices over Water (2017, Archives from Other Spaces #02)
  5. Vitor Joaquim, Different Worlds (2017, Archives from Other Spaces #02)
  6. Vitor Joaquim, Bliss over Hell (2017, Archives from Other Spaces #02)
  7. Vitor Joaquim, Freakshow (VJ remix) (2017, Archives from Other Spaces #02)

You can follow Rádio Zero’s broadcasts at radiozero.pt/ouvir and Rádio Manobras at radiomanobras.pt.

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“Product 02” reviewed by Data.Wave


Internet is a giant sound supermarket, with music labels supplying products and Ran Slavin is a master chef of the high quality music. Product 02 record offers an exquisite dish of sound design with a desert of music
metamorphosis. This is quite a light record with a distinct therapeutic effect. I went through a lot of records in my life and have to say that this is one of the rare examples of drifting, atmospheric sounds that will remain in your memory for a long time. The sound of the Product 02 is always in motion, it transforms from one shape to another, flows and changes its state. Such dynamic approach makes Ran’s music very different to the music of many other artists, which use more traditional, static sound approach.

Slavin’s sound design is always on the go, it is a permanent consistency inside ongoing changes. Every track is a sketch, music story or a fantasy tale. The author has a unique and often surprising approach, his experiments and numerous improvisations make you feel at ease and free.

Ran Slavin has started as a guitar player and you are reminded of this throughout the whole record. You can describe every track one by one, but this album is much better to be consumed in one piece. Such an unusual music treat brings guaranteed satisfaction to most demanding fans and experimental music aficionados. Product 02 is another great release of Crónica label, recommended to all those tired of junk food tracks flooding today’s music market with its bland pap. Krib

via Data.Wave

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“Intuited Architectures” reviewed by Bad Alchemy


GRAEME TRUSLOVE Intuited Architectures (Crónca 130~2017): Truslove ist Composer-Performer & Audiobaumeister in Glasgow mit einem Ph.D. in Music Composition. Ihn interessieren die Übergänge von Unfestem zu Festem, von Probiertem und Improvisiertem zu skulptural oder konstruktiv Montiertem und Fixiertem. ‘Portals’ ist als weiche Plastik ein Prachtstück, hochgradig plastisch, nie fassbar in seiner knurpsigen und dröhnenden, kommenden und gehenden Beweghtheit mit drahtigem Innenskelett. Gitarre und laptop gehören zum Handwerkszeug. Bei ‘Convergence’ kullerpoltern Moleküle über bebenden Saitenklang, die Gitarre als Spurenelement zur Mikrosteinschlagillusion. ‘Divergent Dialogues’ behält die poltrige Bewegung bei, Bällchen springen und kaskadieren als hoppelige Percussion, bis sirrender Betrieb einsetzt zu wummrigen und flattrig kauenden Lauten. ‘Elements’ ist ganz brummige Motorik und erst schnell fluktuierende, dann dröhnend changierende Bewegtheit, dazu zwitschern flasche Vögel, die sich quecksilbrig verflüssigen, stottrig auf Blech niedergehen und im Dunkeln vergehen. Mit rauem Arr… arr… arr hebt ‘Concrètisation X’ an, kakophon, kratzig, impulsiv, prasselnd zu dumpfer, hohler Artikulation. Metallkram rollt, laut und leise schwanken, es beginnt fein zu prickeln, dann auch wieder gitarristische Laute, zerfallend, verhallend, perkussiv tockelnd, krackelig, hypernervös und brodelprasselig rumorend. Protagonist beim 20 1/2-min. ‘Strata’ ist der Kontrabass des im März 2016 verstorbenen George Lyle (Burt/MacDonald, GIO), den Truslove als plonkendes und dröhnendes Layer Cake-Troja schichtet und verdichtet. Unterspült von einer homerisch raunenden Quelle, überfunkelt mit Pizzikato, beknarrt mit Acrostrichen, von Bogenschlägen beflirrt. Unter Spiccatohagel spinnt Truslove Legatofäden, Tenutoströme, bis hin zu einem final schrillenden Flageolett.

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