Friday, October 23, 2009

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

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Gregor Tresher – The Life Wire (Break New Soil)

Posted: 22 Oct 2009 10:21 PM PDT

The techno long player is a notoriously difficult thing to pull off, increasingly so with the ceaseless bounty of free sets on the interweb. Techno is a singles market, a world of tracks, best served pieced together by DJs able to select from the entire history of recorded music, rather than a collection of the best bits from an artist’s personal harddrive. The album format provides the opportunity to play with coherence, continuity, and experiment with new styles, but the best tracks will invariably show up as singles, and sound best in the set of a good DJ.

Gregor Tresher’s ‘The Life Wire’ for Break New Soil puts in a good show but, like most techno LPs, suffers from excessive duration and lack of variety. That’s more an innate criticism of the medium than of Tresher, as there are plenty of strong moments here. With previous releases on Cocoon and Datapunk Tresher favours the sizzling, electro side of tech-house, with most of ‘The Life Wire’ devoted to tight, synthetic, floor-friendly tracks, informed by minimal but not overly constrained by its codes. ‘The Very End’ features vocals by Giuseppe Cottone, and there are two forgettable breakbeat excursions, but mostly Treshor sticks to what he knows: perfectly functional, perfectly forgettable, anonymous dance tracks.

Yet there are moments here where real personality shines through. ‘Nothing for Granted’ updates the industrial skitter of Oliver Haacke, rhythms built from the sharpening of knives, and ‘The Heartbeat Orchestra’ stretches long and dark, like the deep ‘headfuck’ techno Donato Dozzy favours. Best of all is ‘Plutonian Shores’, where ice cubes dally with fierce, menacingly off-kilter synth whoomps, hinting at the grand disorienting sounds of Audion’s ‘Full of Blinding Light’. More tracks like these and Tresher’s got himself a great album.

Joshua Meggitt

Gregor Tresher – The Life Wire (Break New Soil) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.

Dario Buccino – Corpo Nostro (Extreme)

Posted: 22 Oct 2009 10:18 PM PDT

dario buccino

Italian composer Dario Buccino is obsessed with an incredibly strange and unique tool to make music/ sound from. Steel. It’s an obsession that more than likely stems from hearing the sounds of thunder from radio plays or theatre performances during childhood and he creates the music on this one DVD, one cd set by beating large thin sheets of steel. What’s interesting is the range of tones he can obtain, based on where he hits it, how he hits it or what implement or part of the body he uses. With only one instrument you’d think that the cd, without the visual context would face the danger of being too similar, yet he’s achieved such mastery over this unique instrument that he’s able for example to isolate and reduce the attack on the lower end frequencies or make each hit reverberate emphasising the mids. Whatever he likes. It’s most effective such as on III where he begins softly with the low end rumbling before increasing in volume and frequency to a crescendo only to dip away again. It’s like an intense evil monster was coming for you and only veered away, narrowly missing you at the last minute. The audio pieces are obscure sound pieces, quite experimental, non musical, at times a series of abrupt gestures which even include voice. In fact the suite is a composition for steel sheets, voices and plasterboard walls and some of the things he does with his voice is truly remarkable, these non verbal wails sounding like nothing I’ve ever heard before. It’s also quite composed despite some degree of improvisation. Buccino having developed a notion system for this curious device. He’s even given instructions on how to best listen to his music. In short he suggests to listen to it on a very high volume, even using the 7th track as a means of determining whether the album is being played the way Buccino intended.

On the accompanying DVD disc during an interview he speaks of wanting to create "hypnotic excitement and numbness," two states of being that he views integral in altering consciousness. The disc also contains a busking session where he encourages volunteers to have a crack themselves, and excerpts from some live performances, demonstrating his virtuosic range on this peculiar instrument. "It's very odd how he disregards harmony," comments an excited percussionist, as we go behind the scenes to view how this extraordinary work was put together.

This is the kind of single minded, maybe slightly insane dedication to his craft that we want our composers to possess, with Buccino earnestly devoting himself to one of the most curious and bizarre sound practices I’ve seen in a while and becoming something of a virtuoso in the process.

Bob Baker Fish

Dario Buccino – Corpo Nostro (Extreme) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.