Month: February 2015

BLIND DATE #14

Name: Bartek CHACIŃSKI
Nationality: Polish
On the front line: Since 1993.
Activities: A valued modern music writer and popularizer, active in the Polish mainstream media (radio and press).
Contact: http://www.polifonia.blog.polityka.pl

My ‘date’ receives anonymous 6 compositions picked by me at random. He/She is supposed to discuss their artistic merits, including strengths and weaknesses of applied means of bruitist expression, structure and composing techniques.

1. MACHINEFABRIEK / Stephen VITIELLO  Chocolate Sprinkles, Tape, Egg Cutter, Rice, Plastic Bag 

from “Box Music” (12k 2008) CD

Builds just as a nicely executed composition in three parts. Beginning with a simple sine waves (or prepared instrument harmonics) paired with some delicate bells or wind chimes – quite minimalist, even meditative – then some background noises appear slowly, conducting the piece into short musique concrète interlude. Finishing with a quite harmonious more bass-driven drone. Harmonics from the first part return and noises transform their nature into more organic one. Builds some tension and – after short yet elegant and very pleasant culmination – finally melts into a kind of burble. It actually tells a story and stays adventurous at the same time. Masterfully written and full of finesse, clean idea well executed, liked it a lot.

2. AURAL HOLOGRAMS  Before The Great Stone

from “Vol. 1” (Aural Hypnox 2007) CD

Cassette recording, judging from the sound characteristics and higher frequencies being cut off. Or is it prepared as a modern lo-fi form? I doubt it and would point the 80s experimental scene as the place and the moment. Solid drone base with some layered synth/organ motifs meanders here, altogether creating something rather chaotic in nature. This distorted piece shows some improvisational skills, but is a bit too static for me, even if quite rewarding in creating a mood of unease at the same time. Also seems familiar to me, I think Jim O’Rourke’s early tapes would sound a bit similar.

3. PSYCHOPHYSICIST  s17.2 helical formations

from “Psychophysicist” (Side Effects 1996) CD

I don’t feel like being an expert in this domain, but this track seems to exploit some classic noise music techniques in an elaborated way. Analogue sound editing, some looping, with rather short samples, probably non-16bit – or expertly emulated. This piece made me wonder a lot about its authorship, but I’m unable to guess. It’s quite complex as a whole, has a multi-layered sound facture constructed upon a flanging chord with a lot of dynamics and emotion, but some performer’s gestures and rapid changes still give me the idea of this being a one-man project. And makes me want listen to some more of this material.

4. BRUME  Part 1

from “The Sun” (Old Europa Café 1990/2008) CD

Heavy tribal drumming welcomes us to a cold and distorted sound area with drums gradually building some melodic patterns. Think talking drums going industrial, which makes it somewhere in the realm of William Bennett’s music. Sounds like a devastated piece of percussion-driven minimal music which basically is a strong idea, but seems a little worked out and exhausted in the middle of  this piece. Or maybe it’s just not my cup of tea at the moment.

5. OMIT  Section Two, Part Two

from “Alienation” (Deepskin Conceptual Mindmusic 1990) cassette

Monstrous and hypnotic analogue synthesizer and tape work in the vein of classic experimental studios’ recordings, falling somewhere between bubbling of early krautrock in the vein of Conrad Schnitzler, Otto Luening’s pioneering pieces and more contemporary energy of Maurizio Bianchi. Lots of pitch changes and tape sound effects (fantastic tape echo) in the mood of late 60s. It could be even the early Jason Lescalleet or other synth/noise experimenting artists. Names are given here to classify this recording, as it’s a long, but very abstract form. Once again, I’ll only be surprised if that’s something brand new. Very interesting track anyway.

6. APHASIA  Wrhs6mx

from “Aphasia_Sr Dissections Mx” (Bake Records 1999) CD-R

All in all, it seems like a good collection for my taste in music, given that the last track is once again very nicely composed. It’s an eclectic collage of traditional/acoustic (piano in the central role of rhythm purveyor) and electronic/prepared sounds, which could be made presently by many artists from the field of experimental electronics, but the composer gesture, once again very clear and precise, seems to have more of an academic background. Returning motifs build culmination by condensing and then finally releasing into a nice ambience. This one is probably quite new, and to be honest there’s a good chance I’ve already heard it. Anyway, I feel intrigued once more and eager to know who this is.

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