Art is in the parts, the process and the totality.
Set the levels, walk away.
Let the machines gear down into the teeth of the inanimate – coursing blood through wire and capacitors, finding biology, compressing life from levers.
Step back into the intelligence, oversee, observe, finalize the program with unique touch.
Minimalism, the trail from the flames of the ones and zeros. Defined truly by the simplicity of what we’re hearing. One sound. Two sounds. Heavy, undulating repetition to mimic the movement of life and time. Seconds fused together in our universe’s incremental differences, yet exactly the same. Frozen patterns.
Linearity fired-up, we tell the creation what to do. We tell it to repeat itself, it screams cold, sometimes harsh, always reticent, a near-perfect unfeeling. We control it though. We push aside the bloodless for humane interpretation. It’s what we’re good at: overwriting sequence in our purpose.
Our ears attempt to distinguish the tonal colours from the air conditioner’s hum. We can guess it’s musical when the din is confined to a performer’s ritual. The rig and improvisation set it apart. The performance sets it apart. The individual is in place, in charge, in time. The photograph is moving.
A Souvenir, with certain context:
“… the first collected works taken from live and improvised recordings which I made between the fall of 2001 and the summer of 2002 (before I made the switch to software). The equipment used was sparse, and included a Kawai drum machine, a Yamaha FX processor (both of which were given to me from a former roommate before he left to tree plant in B.C.), a Tascam 4-Track (courtesy of my father), and a Korg digital synthesizer (which was also a gift from a friend) …”
If you can give it time, let the long form material cascade from levels-set getting-in-trouble almost-techno-thrash into a more delicate live electronics dub-as-you-go minimalism on the fly. There are rewards at the end of the concrete haunt.
Ears were tuning and manipulating what is heard, it is documentary lo-fi simplicity and psychedelia in black and white. The 4-Track was the camera hand-held moving through the room. There is no eye contact.
Audio tape has a glorious past, and I see this as history-luck, specifically, a found object not quite properly hidden. Uncovered from almost fifteen years ago, done cheaply (pretty much free) with an immense attention to detail throughout. Hours of love (and labour) and heady time-control.
Destination: a box of tapes with its own hand-written numbered system denoting that time’s capsulized memory. To slip quietly to the background.
An electronic rainstorm picking up the wind.
I had just met Ian around this time and we had started to play music together. I always knew he had this robotic life up his sleeve and heard bits and pieces along the way in the years of knowing him. He never released anything from this particular prolific spell, just filled tape, then numbered and arranged them elegantly, stacking them rotely in his suitcase. A collection of jams and artifacts that followed his nomadic transports across London and beyond. They always sat perfectly assembled, as is, like before, like they were put away for a future time, for a future collector.
For the humans in the shadow.
Now uncovered and sliced apart, we brushed them off, netted up the intriguing pieces, and will re-attach them to a proper mastered magnetic form. Tapes meet this tape. Years meet this year.
Sometimes things need to breathe a bit, or age. Noise and techno continue to have their lights spotted in this household and many alike, especially when the two overlap and melt together. And we’re over the moon.
Lucky for us, we get a (near lost at sea) home-recorded, bedroom-style mindfuck where performance meets taste and chance application. Limited to 50 tapes, coming very soon.
Hope you enjoy!
Thanks for reading and listening!