Crackles and shapeless tones waft across each other in slow-mo digital drift, motherboard reveries transmitted deep from a hard disk on standby. There’s a satisfying sense of algorithmic self-determination at times here, yet the fact that these two pieces are actually edits of live, human performances in no way detracts from their terse machine anomie. Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2016 – a triumph of public service broadcasting! – the first cut, there will be no miracles here, sees Maguire alternating the scuffle and buzz of his software with abrupt snatches of found sound. The disjunction between the two is deliberate, the disembodied voices of Maguire’s samples, possibly clips of old adverts and public information films, bursting out from the dusty blur as if trying to escape from an archive prison.
Perfect for the wintertime, Alicia Merz’ Birds of Passage project comes from another world, separate from our own. This is an world similar to ours, but everything is just slightly off. A constant overcast sky, filled with birds drifting through these skies leaving long trails of gold and blue ribbons. It’s a fantastic and ethereal plane.
Originally released individually, Bible & Henry’s Marker and Magnet are two complimentary volumes in a set that covers quite a bit of ground, and covers it quite masterfully. The duo’s work here is mostly in the area of electroacoustic improvisation and musique concrète. Jeremy and Jason manage to utilize the tiny musical space they’ve allotted themselves and stretch it out to a length of over two hours. Typically I’d say this is an accident waiting to happen, but these fellows have pulled it off with class to spare. Never does anything sound recycled or looped, never is there a moment where the music returns to a point. It is always winnowing, sifting, threshing through waves of electronic abstractions and obscured acousmatic sounds. The result is a confounding experience in which I find myself searching for some familiarity and finding little. There are moments of potential clarity, but those are seldom and surprising when they arrive. The rest of these compositions are steeped in mystery and endless engagement. This is not background music; please listen with care.
The third album of the NQ / Teamforest collaboration: limited tape edition of 100…
Recorded in a makeshift lakeside studio, Beth Kleist’s Drei is the sometimes psychedelic, sometimes pastoral third album from Nils Quak and Philipp Bückle. The album haunts and teases its way through mostly guitar, percussion, and electronics without settling long into an idiom before leaping headlong into a new idea.
Lovers of kraut rock, post-spectral drone, twee electronica, and especially postrock in all of its shifting facets will find pockets of bliss in Drei.
Limited edition of 125 copies: white c67 cassette with black imprinting // full colour single panel J-cards // plastic norelco cases with shrinkwrapping // artwork & layout by Amanda Boutourline and D.S. Ciarán…