Soon in Crónica: Ifs’s “Manifold Basketball”

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Tarab + Artificial Memory Trace’s “Obex” reviewed by Chain DLK


Sonic experimenters Slavek Kwi (Artificial Memory Trance) and Tarab have engaged in a kind of cultural exchange whereby they provided objects and activity sounds to one another, irregularly transforming them into amended sonic products that would then be recycled into other noises. The result is a hard-edged, heavily-processed hour long collection of processed noises, often metallic, hard, percussive and deep, sprinkled with glitches, crackles and breathing noises.

Many of the 14 tracks are just short interludes that sound like messing around with a sound effects library, but there are three much longer pieces that give this cassette a solidity. “Entimorf 3”, at 17 minutes long, is a piece of many stages, a dynamic collection of rumbles and industrial surprises that at times opens up into hollow spaces with rolling lava-like rumbles, where metallic bends and stretches are morphed into something that almost sounds like pining wolves.

“Transform 1” seems to revel in harshly counterpointing two environments, one akin to a forest where trees are being felled distantly, the other a heavy industrial space with overwhelming pneumatic power.

Final track “Lampsh” follows a slightly more trodden noise path with reverberent tones and deep EQ’ing giving everything an underground feeling, with sharp and rapidly cut hits and bangs giving a sense of panic and claustrophobia.

Some of the shorter pieces are not quite so short, “Transform 2” for example a slightly more sci-fi five-minute development of “Transform 1”, “Transform 2B” four more minutes of the same material sources rustling tighter and closer..

Overall “Obex” has a raw, gritty quality to it that’s reminiscent of some of the darker sonic experiments of the 60’s and 70’s, delighting in its own avantgarde harshness. It’s a release that will particularly appeal to experimental enjoyers of sounds with a more distinct physical pedigree. Stuart Bruce

via Chain DLK

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Tarab + Artificial Memory Trace’s “Obex” reviewed by Aural Aggravation


There’s something seriously awry with my promo download of the album. The tracks won’t play any audio, and instead flit by as if scrolling, searching through a menu on fast-forward. It’s a disorientating experience, and frustrating. But my curiosity I piqued, and so I feel compelled to piece together a review from the sources I can access, starting with the album’s BandCamp page on the label website.

The genesis and evolution of this collaborate project is described in the most factual of terms in the accompanying blurb.

To start AMT and Tarab exchanged materials and objects. AMT exchanged a single sound sculpture for Tarab’s collection of small objects. This material exchange led to activity. AMT manually manipulated, Tarab also, but more often than not he placed the sculpture in situations and let them work on it. Once again exchanges took place, this time of audio material. Elements where then selected and arranged and further rearranged; some left untouched and some where [sic] transformed.

I know little about either act, beyond the sketchy bios which accompany the release. On the evidence of the contents of this curious split album, Artificial Memory Trace – a project by Slavek Kwi, a sound-artist, composer and researcher interested in the phenomena of perception as the fundamental determinant of relations with reality – create fragments of sound, with seemingly random bumps and scrapes and whistles and near-mic distortions and whatever snippets come to hand tossed together to make bumpy, jumpy sonic rides. Very brief, bumpy, jumpy sonic rides at that: the seven AMT contributions to this release are under the minute mark, but what they lack in duration is countered by their intensity. They don’t make for easy or smooth listening.

Tarab’s seven pieces are lengthier and present a very different approach to composition and arrangement. Scuffling shuffling scrapes and thumps congeal to render soundscapes that couldn’t possibly sit within the ‘ambient’ bracket. It’s altogether too jarring, the intrusions unexpected and sometimes surprising. You can’t settle to this, you can’t mellow out or relax. If fact, this is a sonic experience that provokes twitchy, tetchy reactions. It’s not music to ‘like’ but to appreciate artistically. Its challenge is its strength.

None of this is to pitch one act against the other as being more ‘evolved’: if anything, their contrasting styles and near-duality is integral to the appreciation of this release.

How seriously should it be taken? Probably quite seriously. Nothing about Obex intimates an explicitly light-hearted release, an album geared towards ‘fun’. And yet amidst the dark, ponderous clanks and rumbles, something about Obex suggests an entertaining aspect, and also hints that this is art for the love of art over and above any grander narrative. And, context / no context, this is an interesting, textured work, rich in texture and dynamics. Christopher Nosnibor

via Aural Aggravation

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Emmanuel Mieville’s “Juryo: Durée de la vie de l’ainsi-venu” reviewed by Liability


Après un Ethers de bonne facture, paru chez le non moins excellent label Baskaru, Emmanuel Mieville nous revient cette fois chez Cronica, autre structure d’excellence en ce qui concerne les musiques électroniques expérimentales. Mieville poursuit ici son exploration du monde à travers sa musique et les sons qu’il a pu collecter. Avec cet album c’est l’Asie et le monde bouddhiste que Mieville met en lumière. Du Népal à Hong Kong en passant par le Japon et Taïwan, ce disque apparaît comme une mosaïque sonore qui fait sens quand on parvient à s’imprégner pleinement de ses textures. Si Tanit Astarté, le premier morceau, est inspiré par Antonin Artaud et son livre Heliogabale, il coïncide, dans sa forme et dans l’esprit, aux trois autres compositions. Dans chacun d’entre eux, il y a quelque chose de mystique, proche du rêve éveillé où les retournements de situations et les divagations sont nombreuses. On ne sait trop si l’homme est revenu transformé de ses voyages mais à travers ses disques il tente clairement de nous faire changer notre perception de ce monde. Parce qu’il est multiple et qu’il ne saurait être formaté, ce même monde offre autant de visages que de mode de penser. Ce disque d’Emmanuel Mieville ne saurait être exhaustif dans ce que l’Asie a à montrer mais, indéniablement, il ouvre quelques portes. Juryo ne saurait qu’un disque introspectif de plus. De par son dynamisme, son sens du mouvement et sa narration onirique, la musique d’Emmanuel Mieville évite d’être démonstrative. Elle montre également que le field recordings a encore des marges de manœuvre et qu’il peut toujours construire des paysages originaux. En un sens, même si elle continue de s’adresser à un auditoire averti, elle parvient à renouveler le genre avec une certaine souplesse. Certes, Mieville n’est pas un révolutionnaire mais il apporte une évolution dans son utilisation de la matière et dans sa manière à lui donner un sens avec le vivant. On ne peut plus intéressant donc. Fabien

via Liability

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Mathias Delpanque’s “Témoins” reviewed by Vital


Following a number of releases some time ago by Mathias Delplanque it became quiet or perhaps not all of his releases reached me. Here we have a new work from him, his third on Cronica Electronica. Delplanque, born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1973, works very much with digital means, either under his own or as Bidlo, Lena, Stensil or with groups as Keda, PLY and The Missing Ensemble. His work involves collaboration with other musicians, but also filmmakers, dance, or can be seen in art galleries. On Temoins’ he has two works that were commissioned and both deal with a specific location. “The sites were used as recording studios for creating multi-layered compositions with minimal to none post-production. All instruments were played on site”, as said on the cover. There is one piece per side (site?), plus an extra one in the download version. The first side is ‘Roz’ recorded in Roz-sur-Couesnon in April-May 2014, which was commissioned by a gallery but was also a workshop with schools. It is very hard to tell what these instruments were that were supposedly played on site, as it consists mainly of field recordings; lots of bird sounds, a bit of water. Very occasionally there are the sound of bell (so it seems) from cows (again: so it seems), and it sounds like it’s a documentation of some kind of action, but what this action is doesn’t become very clear. It’s mysterious but it sounds pretty good. On the other side we have ‘Bruz’, recorded in t the Faculté des Métiers (IFA) de Bruz (Rennes) and mixed later on (just like the other side, implying, perhaps, there is some kind of mixing/editing and it’s not a strict documentation). Here we have entered a classroom and xylophone is waiting for you, or perhaps played in some automated fashion. Like on the other side there is quite a bit of rumble going on here, later on a bit of (mouth-) organ and in general I am as clueless as what this is all supposed to mean. If of course it means anything at all. Like the other side, it surely sounds fascinating, even when you are totally clueless. It is somewhere in between the registration of action(s), performance and field recordings, and adds another meaning to the word of composition, I guess. (FdW)

via Vital

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Tarab + Artificial Memory Trace’s “Obex” reviewed by Vital

The other new Cronica Electronica release is a collaboration between Tarab from Australia and Artificial Memory Trace from Ireland. From both of them we reviewed quite some work, even when Tarab is not as active as Artificial Memory Trace. Both of them use a lot of field recordings. The latter reworks these extensively on his computer, while retaining some of the original and Tarab “explores re-contextualised collected sounds and tactile gestures formed into dynamic, psycho-geographical compositions inspired by discarded things, found things, crawling around in the dirt, junk, the ground, rocks, dust, wind, walking aimlessly, scratchy things, decay and most if not all the things he hears and sees” (I couldn’t have said it better). Together they exchanged “materials and objects’, rather than a bunch of sounds. Artificial Memory Trace sends a sound sculpture down while Tarab send up a collection of small objects. Things were manually manipulated, recorded and transformed, all noted on the cover, but maybe also adding to the mystery of it. And mysterious it surely is. I quickly lost my way here, already on the first side of this cassette. I had no clue which piece I was hearing, or who did what. The Bandcamp version only shows a limited amount of pieces, so hardly any help. There is lots of obscure rumble of objects, and equally a lot of processing without any telling what these objects are. It could as easily be one piece per side anyway and for some obscure fun it is listed as a bunch of pieces. It is a fascinating listening experience, and unlike Delplanque’s work, it is clearer defined as a composition. I would think there are strings attached to these objects, that they are used in a percussive way and sometimes it sounds like they are destroyed. It is very acoustic yet also electrical. Sometimes small drone sounds are formed and then sometimes it builds, but as easily seems to be falling apart making this quite odd but thoroughly captivating stuff. (FdW)

via Vital

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Graeme Truslove’s “Intuited Architectures” reviewed by Neural


Graeme Truslove from Glasgow, is in the spotlight for his Crónica Electrónica and his album Intuited Architectures, which is divided into six different mainly electronic and electroacoustic tracks. The limits and the fusion between these two different approaches is at the very basis of the author’s research. He is prone to audio-visual compositions and uses his laptop to take part in collaborative projects and participations. All the presented compositions display a double performative-algorithmic action together with a constant attention to the succession of sounds and synthetic timbres which are integrated in complex and well-supported time passages. What is important, apart from the tonal scales are also the intervals, the time gaps, the grainy mellowness of a lot of treatments, the contractions, the restarts, the ruckus and the concise angularities. All the electroacoustic equipment is thus included, together with digital sound pads and ultra-contemporary lyricism and spaces. The tendency is dynamic and the use of different sound sources makes the range of the presented compositions pleasant and airy. These should not be new to his followers from contests, cultural exhibitions and experimental festivals. The dissonances the organic and electronic sounds, the scraping modulations and the whole original manipulative processes have given birth to a range of expressive possibilities and unmeant combinations. At the same time the meticulous positioning of single sound impulses is altogether part of continues sequences, active settings and coherent plots. Intuited Architectures represents for Truslove a kind of closing up, the chasing of two extremes that in “Strata”, which is the final and longest track in the album, add delicate and nervous guitar chords. The guitar is the instrument of which Truslove is the master and its sounds are free from mobile and liquid sequences that don’t lack energetic passion and well codified correspondent features and performative style.

Via Neural

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New release: Tarab + Artificial Memory Trace’s “Obex”


Crónica is very happy to present its first release in 2018, Tarab & Artificial Memory Trace’s collaboration “Obex”.

To start AMT and Tarab exchanged materials and objects. AMT exchanged a single sound sculpture for Tarab’s collection of small objects. This material exchange led to activity. AMT manually manipulated, Tarab also, but more often than not he placed the sculpture in situations and let them work on it. Once again exchanges took place, this time of audio material. Elements where then selected and arranged and further rearranged; some left untouched and some where transformed.

Tarab explores re-contextualised collected sounds and tactile gestures formed into dynamic, psycho-geographical compositions inspired by discarded things, found things, crawling around in the dirt, junk, the ground, rocks, dust, wind, walking aimlessly, scratchy things, decay and most if not all the things he hears and sees. More than simply documenting a given site, Tarab is interested in a direct engagement with our surrounds, teasing out half narratives, visceral sensation, false leads and heightened awareness.

Artificial Memory Trace is a project by Slavek Kwi, a sound-artist, composer and researcher interested in the phenomena of perception as the fundamental determinant of relations with reality. He has a longstanding fascination with sound-environments, developing what he terms “electroacoustic sound-paintings”, that oscillate between sound-only works and interdisciplinary works exploring social, spatial and temporal processes.

(O)bject (A)activity (E)xchange (T)ransformation

1, 3, 5: Tarab (O) AMT (A)
2, 4, 6: Tarab (O) AMT (A/T)
7, 9, 11, 13: AMT(O) Tarab (A)
8: AMT (O) Tarab (A/T)
10, 12: Tarab (O) AMT (A/E) Tarab (T)
14: AMT (O) Tarab (A/E) AMT (T)

Obex is available as a limited-release tape and as a digital download.

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Soon in Crónica: Ifs’s “Manifold Basketball”

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Soon in Crónica: Mathias Delplanque’s “Témoins”

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