Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View
Label: Low Point - LP053 • Format: Vinyl LP, Limited Edition • Country: UK • Genre: Electronic • Style: Abstract, Experimental
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Neffe, once the 'boss' of Insane Music, at the very forefront of Belgium's electronic underground music and a vital source for great cassettes, was active in a plethora of groups, such as Pseudo Code, Bene Gesserit, Subject, or solo as I Scream.
Oh yes, and Human Flesh of course. In Human Flesh Neffe applied the techniques of the network to gather new music: people would send in their voices, synths, percussion and it could end up in a composition by Human Flesh. Or sometimes people would drop by in Nivelles and record something in the studio of Neffe, a low ceiling basement filled with equipment if I remember well from that afternoon in when I visited Alain and Nadine.
Lots of the music was released on cassette, but also lots was given away to compilations. I do remember from that afternoon that I was thrilled to see all these obscure compilation cassettes and LPs with their music. It certainly gained them some status in the scene. Of course also because their music was always quite good. Pop like even at times, but always with a fine sense of experiment and always a combination of synthesizers, rhythm machines and voices.
Here we have the Human Flesh LP, along with eleven bonus tracks, all from compilation LPs from the same period, A typical Human Flesh piece consists of the steady beat of the rhythm machine, some synth like drones Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View on a string organ, a saxophone, percussion or zither and a female voice reciting a text or singing. It's more common that the text is recited than sung, and more females than males, but Xavier S also Straciłam Twe Serce (Boston) - Sława Przybylska - Tylko Dla Zakochanych Pseudo Code has a recognizable voice, which makes the pieces sound like Pseudo Code rather than Human Flesh.
Here the sound of Neffe's various projects blend together. With their relatively easy set up, but with a lot of imagination, they created Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View then a lot of great music.
Not every track is a winner, but each piece has it's own character and it ranges from introspective to jubilant, from cheery to sad. It's not too difficult to make a relationship between that title and the music itself: So Much In Love - Sheena Easton - Take My Time what extend is this their 'own', ie how original is this?
Providing of course they are aware of this Dutch meaning. Perhaps it's all about something entirely different? We have five tracks here and to call this 'original' is hardly true. It's not. But at the same time it's also a kind of music we don't hear a lot anymore. At their hands, Favaron and Mazzon Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View 'programming, electronics and signal processing'. This is laptop music. And it's laptop music of the kind we don't hear a lot anymore.
I quite enjoyed Zbeen's first release see Vital Weekly and was less taken by their second, and this new one is along the lines of the second one rather than the more dense first release, even when this is even less drone based as 'Stasis', their previous release. There is a great sense of chaos around this music and more than before I am reminded of the whole early years of laptop Do What U Want 2 Do - Art G & DJ Medina - The Groove Project, when this was all new and exciting, the times of bands like TV Pow, C and Tu'M.
Music that is made, so I assume, by jamming together, on end, and then editing together the best bits. Sepik River - Various - Music Of New Guinea, The Australian Trust Territory: An Introduction much improvised as it is composed. The nice thing indeed that's something that is gone now, as styles develop I guess and perhaps time is there for a small revival of this kind of cracks' n cuts music, laptop impro a go-go.
Not blown away by this, but actually not too bad either. Enjoying while it lasted I guess. Like 'Shards' this is rather a short record, although much longer than that, thirty one minutes in total. It's another excursion in delicacy here, with shimmering tones on synth and cello, the soft tinkling of acoustic guitars and carefully strum glockenspiel, a wee bit of processing thereof, the thump on a bass, drums reduced to just the cymbals, and all such like.
It sometimes comes a bit close to noise take the distortion towards the end of 'Different'but even then it all stays pretty gentle and polite. There are elements of post rock Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View noted here, but then Vienna-styled: open, improvised and with a laptop never far away. Excellent stuff overall again. Entirely Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View cake here.
Perhaps this is because there is a lot of processing applied to the music? Maybe it's because it's all quite soft? The latter for sure: this is indeed all quite soft and no doubt there is a lot of processing here.
It makes that the music of Lamy is not easy to decipher. It seems there is an amount of motorized sounds, such as in 'Depot' for instance, but most of the times it's just very hard to know what is going on. The abstract level is very high here, and it results in something that is not always highly original, but it sounds altogether pretty good and pretty intense.
You have to stop doing whatever it is you're doing and listen with all your available senses to the music. You think Main here, or Kassel Jaeger, but then much softer, more pushed away and alienated, and that's mainly due to the soft spoken nature of the music.
Maybe this harks back to the time when this sort of quietness was all new and great, but for me, I wouldn't have minded to have all of this a bit louder and more present. I like to play a CD straight away and not first having to fiddle around with my EQ to get the best out of it. Improvised, electronic or modern classical, such as in the case of Mark Lorenz Kysela.
He plays saxophones and clarinet, solo but also in combination with live electronics, 'analogue enhancements' and tapes. In all six pieces we have some addition, tapes, sine waves or electronics. While I am not always an avid fan of modern compositions, this I must say sounds quite good. It might of course be the quality of the pieces, or perhaps the way Kysela plays them, or both of course, but it sounds pretty good.
Kysela sometimes uses very close miking of his instruments, so we hear all the mechanisms of the instruments, breathing, fingers and such like, but never the complete picture is lost of the piece.
Clarinet and saxophone remains what they are throughout these compositions. My favorite might be the composition by Christoph Ogiermann, with its strong dynamics and electro-acoustic approach. Maybe that returns all in other pieces, except for the Lucier piece.
This is a pretty strong release that shouldn't just appeal to those who like modern classical music, but also if electro-acoustic or improvised music is more your alley. Hatakeyama plays electric and acoustic guitars, vibraphone and piano. I am not entirely sure, but I could imagine that he plays much of this in a live setting, rather than taking it all to the computer and work on it further.
Maybe I believe so, because there is an image on the press release of the man with a guitar in his bands on stage and there is mentioning of a live performance in Australia, Blue Rondo - Grachan Moncur III - Mosaic Select (Box Set) the surroundings of Cairns Beach being the inspiration for the title piece here - one of the two pieces in total.
Maybe Hatakeyama is the sort of man to use his guitar to sing in an ambient manner, with lots of sound effects on hand and foot to stretch out this body with six strings and make it sound like a vast, immense immerse?
Maybe he is like Robert Fripp, playing his own intelligent mobile unit of guitar sounds? Whatever the case, none of that is really that interesting; it's as always the result that counts. Hatakeyama's music is very atmospheric, a bit dark, a bit melancholic, a bit Whats Going On - Cyndi Lauper - Collections and throughout perhaps also not the most Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View in the crowded field of all those who play guitar in a drone fashion.
Or, seen in a wider perspective, like so many others who play drone music. Like with IA, see elsewhere, it's perhaps more important to create something that you like very much and do it the best you can. In that sense, this new work by Chihei Hatakeyama works very well. It's well made and has great relaxing texture to it. Just the way we want it. Nothing new under the sun, but it shines nicely warm. Budhaditya Chattopadhyay uses recordings from 'various underground construction sites' in Bangalore India in that piece, but also 'retrieved audio from old reel-to-reel tapes found at the city's flea market'.
These sounds are now also extended to a fifty-five minute sound piece which is to be found on this CD. Apparently there is a lot of building going on in Bangalore, a new quite extended metro rail construction, which changes the city.
Chattopadhyay seems to be taken a political standpoint: 'this disruption occurs in anticipation of idleness quite typical of Bangalore and similar to that of other Indian cities' - any big, modern city probably, I'd like to add, and maybe of the reasons I'd Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View to stay away from big, modern cities?
I haven't been to India, so I am not sure if what I hear is indeed an 'accurate' sound picture of the city and wether the tapes really give an idea of the 'old' Bangalore. Or, actually, which is which here. It's now separated in time and space from the subject of Bangalore Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View may very well be regarded as a piece of music by itself. I must say I quite enjoyed this as a piece of music by itself.
It's a curious but interesting combination of industrial sounds, the actual construction sites, people talking, and blending all of that with some sort of strange drone like sounds, street sounds Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View more human activities.
A fascinating journey if you will trough the life in a big city. Maybe Chattopadhyay uses a bit of sound processing, but it's not a lot or so it seems to me. If you like say Justin Bennett's work, dealing with city sounds in Second Movement: Theme (Andante) & Variations 1, 2 & 3 - Lener String Quartet, Aubrey Brain, Dennis more conceptual way, then this is surely something to check out.
For one reason or another this new release is pressed on a 'real' CD, perhaps because Clinton Green, the label boss, thinks its a special work.
Many of the Shame File Music releases are Installation - Nickolas Mohanna - Parallax View quite alright, so they could think about pressing more of them on CD. On 24th September and 20th OctoberClinton Green brought his objects, percussion and turntable to the studio and met up with Andrew McIntosh who brought his objects, synth, pedal and tapes. Based on what I hear, and the lack of mentioning any editing, this is all improvised music.
Highly separated in the speaker, with one appearing on the left speaker and the other on the right, they improvise some highly curious object based improvisations. There is no sense of composition, of building up, taking things down, or something like that. They play their music in one straight line, without too much interaction it seems. Come to think of it: maybe they didn't play this together, but each recorded his own take and then they got stuck together in a sort of John Cage randomized way?
Maybe there we are couple of guidelines and that's it. Play this for so long and try not to make many variations? The sheer minimalism of this, is what appeals to me here. It's most definitely not easy listening music, but once you get into this, once you are fully open for this, it opens a great wealth of sound.
It Might As Well Be Spring - James Moody - James Moodys Moods, Aikaa On Vieläkin - Masa Mainds - Rauniotango, Bum Bum Bum (Extended Mix) - Der Master - Bum Bum Bum - Der Rhythmus Geht Herum !, The Balances - Nidingr - Greatest Of Deceivers, Les Démons De Minuit - Various - Mega 80