Soon in Crónica: µo’s “.appnd”

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“Nowhere: Exercises in Modular Synthesis and Field Recording” reviewed by Chain DLK


The “Nowhere” in the title is initially a barren place, the first three minutes of the opening track little more than faint geiger-counter-like glitches, before being crashed into by industrial electronics and barely discernible vocal declarations that form a jolting chaos for a couple of minutes, before disappearing as abruptly as they arrived, leaving only a radiophonic workshop-esque scenario of meandering tones.

This largely sets the tone for the entire work, which is substantially improvised, in Smolders own words “letting things flow and interfering only when necessary”, “I have left the idea of a preconceived/designed composition”, “there is only a vague idea before I start recording”. Large expanses of gentle scientific, sometimes sci-fi ambience are occasionally gatecrashed by sudden and acrid assaults of white or discordant noise so abrupt they ought to carry a health warning; five minutes into third track “For Rudy Carrera” being a prime example. “Song For Maya Deren” is like REM sleep briefly troubled by monsters, before the sleep of “Up Up And Back To 1982” mixes distant hums with vinyl crackle sounds akin to rain on a window before, once again, the nightmares return around the six minute mark. This evaporates, warm bottle-music arpeggios arrive, but these in turn are crushed into lo-fi, 8-bit 4-bit and beyond. It’s a pattern that repeats unpredictably and it’s certainly not always pleasant.

Were it not for the rather petulant sudden storms that whip up irregularly, I would be full of praise for the confidently sparse, measured soundscapes that are created here, a form of contemporary digital remodelling of music concrete that forms the larger part of the work. And while I certainly wouldn’t want to suggest that music should be anaemic or palliative, in this case it’s the furious interludes that don’t complement the whole, and a more measured temper throughout could have left this as a very elegant album, and it’s the cacophony-free pieces such as track 2 “NowHere” and track 6 “NoWhere” (do you see what they did there?) that are the strongest. Stuart Bruce

via Chain DLK

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Futurónica 185


Episode 185 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, February 3rd.

The playlist of Futurónica 185 is:

  1. Eliane Radigue, L’île Re-Sonante (2005, L’île Re-Sonante, Shiiin)
  2. Eliane Radigue, Onward 9,5 (2009, Vice Versa, Etc.…, Important)

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

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“Nowhere: Exercises in Modular Synthesis and Field Recording” reviewed by Westzeit


Der Name sagt alles. Streng experimenteller, suchharter Stoff aus Modulen. Knacken-Sille Knacken. Kakophonie & Exotik. *****

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Soon in Crónica: Gintas K’s “Under My Skin”

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Soon in Crónica: µo’s “.appnd”

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“Urban Dialog” reviewed by Ambient Blog

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If your association with ‘Field Recordings’ and ‘Environmental Music’ is that it are recordings from the environment presented in the most authentic way possible, preferrably without alteration of any kind, then this 50 minute soundscape is an obligatory listen. And doing so is without financial risk, since it’s a Name Your Pice download.

TamTam is a Berlin duo of sound artists Sam Auinger (electronics, field recordings) and Hannes Strobl (electric bass, field recordings).
‘Sonic thinkers’, whose music is situated at the exact spot “where the sound environment becomes the instrument, and the instrument becomes the sound environment.”

The environmental sound recordings are taken from different urban situations, restructured and merged with a set of bass sounds and playing techniques.
“The piece is considered finished at the moment it can be performed in one take”.

Urban Dialog is an environmental symphony, a soundscape where there is no difference between music and sound. It simply is both at the same time.
The hectic soundscapes of everyday city life are transformed into an pleasurable urban symphony.

via Ambient Blog

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“Nowhere: Exercises in Modular Synthesis and Field Recording” reviewed by Revue & Corrigée


Il est d’ailleurs un instrument on ne peut plus électronique qui dit aujourd’hui ce paradoxe apparent, celui de jouer — non, d’utiliser — un instrument sans viser uns musique particulière, juste le simple plaisir de produire du son, comme à son insu: le synthétiseur modulaire, dont c’est actuellement l´âge d’or (alors qu’on le penserait quelque part dans les années 1975), et qui est devenu, plus que la guitare peut-être, cet instrument que l’on branche sans visée musicale, juste pour voir ce que ça va faire. On laisse tourner les sons, on modifie tel paramètre, on touche ci et ça, mais souvent les machines tournent sur elles-mêmes en de prétendues compositions algorithmiques qui ne sont que plaisir de voir les choses se faire comme par elles-mêmes, et en fait rares sont ceux qui plient cet instrument à la production d’une musique précise, détachée de la voie dans laquelle l’instrument nous entraine. Jos Smolders est de ceux-là, et son CD, Nowhere, avec à l’intérieur une photo d’une partie de son instrument (oui, il a et les modules Make Noise et 4ms et Doepfer, Vermona, et d’autres aussi): sa musique est ciselée et précise, on sent qu’elle est dirigée de bout en bout, synthétiseur modulaire ou pas. KTT

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Soon in Crónica: Gintas K’s “Under My Skin”

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Futurónica 184


Episode 184 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, January 20th.

The playlist of Futurónica 184 is:

  1. Jos Smolders, Incident at Ras Oumlil (revised 2016) (2017, Nowhere: Exercises in Modular Synthesis and Field Recording, Crónica)
  2. Jos Smolders, For Rudy Carrera (revised 2016) (2017, Nowhere: Exercises in Modular Synthesis and Field Recording, Crónica)
  3. Jos Smolders, Song for Maya Deren (2017, Nowhere: Exercises in Modular Synthesis and Field Recording, Crónica)
  4. Jos Smolders, Up. Up and Back to 1982 (2017, Nowhere: Exercises in Modular Synthesis and Field Recording, Crónica)
  5. Jos Smolders, NoWhere (2017, Nowhere: Exercises in Modular Synthesis and Field Recording, Crónica)

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

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