ACHIM WOLLSCHEID & BERNHARD SCHREINER: Calibrated Contingency CD Baskaru

ACHIMWOLLSCHEIDBERNHARDSCHREINER

ACHIM WOLLSCHEID & BERNHARD SCHREINER: Calibrated Contingency CD Baskaru

‘Calibrated Contingency’ contains one long 47 minute seamless live recording of two relatively unknown experimental ‘artists’. I did exhale a sigh of despair upon this realisation, as usually these ‘experiments’ as I like to call them rarely fail to produce anything of worth.

Machines whir, grinding out a distorted static whilst winds bellow; electronics stutter and interrupt the silence. Drones and chimes, ambient rumblings, radio frequencies and noise all permeate through the speakers in a nonsensical fashion with neither form or fashion.

Once again, as with many releases of this ilk, this is lost as a release; and I am sure, makes more sense in a live environment with a visual accompaniment. Even to an avid noise fan such as myself there is little on this album that justifies a label in spending hard earned money on production, or indeed you the listener slogging your guts out for 40 hours a week, to waste it on this.

4/10

Advertisements

SAWAKO: Nu.it CD Baskaru

KARU_sawako_Jacket02

SAWAKO: Nu.it CD Baskaru

Over the last ten years Japan’s Sawako has produced many a release over a few experimental labels and has now found her home on France’s Baskaru; a label which truly fits her aesthetic.

Opening up with drizzle drench piano and airy pads, ‘Locus of Everyday Life’, provides a sparse, yet engaging introduction to this latest release that swells ever so slowly, over the course of just under 7 minutes. An acute spatial awareness is evident as subtle electronic elements are introduced, gradually overtaking the song, only to drift back to where they came from.

Follow up ‘Pass.age’ envelops the listener in a hypnotic bubble, as tube reverberated synth allows for more organic elements to evolve, leading the listener to the cold shores of ‘Nostal.noz’. What I love with ‘Nu.it’ is Sawako’s sense of story telling as the pages are turned in the seemingly never-ending haze of drifting and droning ambience.

More than a lot of this latest output owes a lot to the accomplished careers of Christian Fennesz and such like, whilst retaining Sawako’s own sense of individuality. Glitches are effective in scattering an atmosphere that can border on the oppressive, only to be teased into a sense of enlightenment and well being, as bubble gum colours of sound echo through the speakers, only to burst onto a layer of dense white clouds.

Peculiar, yet familiar; Sawako has produced an engaging release that dips its toe in momentary madness and carefully reigns in its sporadic moments into a cohesive and enjoyable album, that stands above those that are merely pretenders to the cause.

8.5/10

RUTGER ZUYDERVELT: Stay Tuned CD Baskaru

staytuned

RUTGER ZUYDERVELT: Stay Tuned CD Baskaru

One long 50 minute track, one long installation of a 153-piece ensemble with every musician sprawled across the cover art of this album; the audience is allowed to walk through the orchestra in stages with individuals tuning up playing one long A note. The press release states exactly what this album is; and whilst things like this have to be commended, they don’t always make for a great album.

The music is warm, but repetitive and somewhat annoying as a whole listening experience. Once again as with many albums of this nature the true appreciation will only come from the live audience experiencing this as it was meant to be.

A hard copy, recorded format, provides little for the casual person at home; and whilst there is an aspect of quality on this release that is sorely lacking in a lot of similar ones out there, it’s a real struggle to soak this up from start to finish, regardless of the momentary enjoyable episodes of ambient that make their way through the mix.

6.5/10

WIEMAN: The Classics Album CD Baskaru

wieman

WIEMAN: The Classics Album CD Baskaru

An album conjured up from pop music sampling doesn’t really set my heart racing on paper.   Under a whole different genre tagged as ‘Meltpop’, Wieman conjures complex structures from other works, tears them to pieces and fuses them together as a collage of sound; this is apparently trickier than a DJ set.

Altogether, the results are better than I initially expected, but arranged with more of the beat work and notes flying in backwards, which as I know isn’t that tricky at all. However, the effect is somewhat sporadic and comes across as obscure electronica, which I have to admit, is somewhat pleasing to the ear.

Track two ‘The King is Queer’, works best with an array of glitch and ambient manipulated into IDM territory. Calming yet disjointed at the same time, the only downside is the obvious lack of programming skill, which Wieman unbelievably gets away with.

Along the way, there are a variety of bastardised songs that get ripped apart, even a momentary appearance from Megadeth; which was a little too obvious as to its source for me, where I would prefer something I haven’t heard in its original format.

All in all, apart form the obvious downsides being that the tracks have been cultivated from other artists’ work; there is a lot to shout about along the way that does elevate ‘The Classics Album’ as an art form in its own right, producing some good quality Dark Ambient along the way too. The lion’s share of the release is easy to listen to and soak up with some enjoyment; but I was still left with a sour tang in my mouth, just wondering how I would have felt, should the initial source material been myself.

7.5/10

YOSHIO MACHIDA: Music From the SYNTHI CD Baskaru

yoshiomacheda

YOSHIO MACHIDA: Music From the SYNTHI CD Baskaru

Given the nature of the Baskaru label and indeed the press sheet that came with this release, there was a natural hesitancy on my part as of what to expect. With an album created purely on a SYNTHI AKS portable modular synthesizer (that appeared about around the same time as the all impressive Moog), it’s safe to say that this release was going to be a marvel, or absolutely terrible.

There are 13 tracks and none of which are titled any different other than the scale set on the AKS; and as expected thing s kick off with a few blips and whirs with the odd note hit as whining feedback occasionally comes through as an annoyance. Occasionally as the tracks go on (and indeed skipped through on more than one occasion), you feel like you are sat listening to your friends playing Pong on the telly; it’s infuriating at best.

In truth this little synthesizer did and still does produce some wonderful sounds. However, when the opportunity arises to create an album, there was nothing stopping this chap creating some actual songs; and given in to using it in conjunction with some modern programming skills (should he have any). All in all, Machida has produced an album that is a sheer waste of resources; and a disgrace to the many artists out there that worthy of release and don’t get a look in.

4/10

FRANCE JOBIN: The Illusion of Infinitesimal CD Baskaru

francejohn

FRANCE JOBIN: The Illusion of Infinitesimal CD Baskaru

Canadian sound installation expert France Jobin started her career as a Blues artist, so all in all this release under her own name is nothing but a departure from the path she started out on.

Over the course of three tracks Jobin plays on a varying degree of subtle harmonies and droning pads, the atmosphere creeping upward, approaching the ear with blissful grace and attention to detail. Understated and minimalistic, there are hidden ranges within ‘The Illusion of Infinitesimal’ that infiltrate your ears and play on your imagination, leaving you questioning the source of the sounds that filter through the speakers.

Reminiscent of the ‘live @ Synaesthsia’ 3”CD I first encountered in 2000 from Fennesz and Rosy Parlane, this approaches the listener with the same oozing warmth of Summer twilight, where the sun sits low in the sky and all is well with the world.

With a varying degree of swells and pitches, France lets her actions glide enigmatically from start to finish, over the course of just under an hour. The beauty of this creation is that time simply flies by and becomes irrelevant once everything comes to its conclusion.

9/10

LAURENT PERRIER: Plateforme #1 CD Baskaru

laurentperrierplatform1

LAURENT PERRIER: Plateforme #1   CD Baskaru

I have heard various works from this artist; usually they are a peculiar affair and more often than not, quite irritating. This latest output is once again a selection of treated field recordings that sound more electronic because of the programming involved, as far as track one goes that is.

Luckily, Perrier steps things up on track two, ‘Lawrence English’. Here he utilises a varying degree of electrostatic noise and formulates a spooky array of ambient sounds that filter through like a lighter form of Dark Ambient. Perrier, no doubt should concentrate his efforts on producing more tracks of this ilk, moving forward in the future.

Track three is ambient of a different nature; unfortunately though it is once again sourced from field recordings. I abhor the genre as a whole and it’s very rare anyone produces anything worthy of note and Laurent walks a fine line between releases that are put on the shelf to those disposed in the rubbish bin.

6/10