Monday, September 27, 2010


With curious noise burst motifs from my VTOL Corvax, this improv came together quickly after recording a loop made with my Oberheim OB-1. Filled with somewhat eastern modalities, this loop provides the under-pinnings for the improv. The Dark Energy provides the percussive attack and the Serges supply the rest.


Coupled with my Serge Creature, the Seq A
is simply an amazing device filled with sonic
potential to create endless variation that can
be both disturbing or comforting, or both.

SAMPLE & HOLD : zoviet france / popular soviet songs and youth music

Though I prefer other Zoviet France efforts, Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music, packaged in two slices of grey felt reminicient of Joseph Buey's tossed felt pieces from the late 60's, continues the earlier Zoviet France practice of packaging their work utilizing non-traditional materials-tin foil, wood, ceramics, roofing shingles, masonite and much more...Held together with a soviet military pin, the music on this 3-cd set made by these Newcastle, England noise dronologists is both contemporary and seemingly the result of some arcane alchemical ethnic ritual with titles that suggest the present day titular practices of Autechre...but I am amazed by the art-object packaging that is both collectable and a visual anomaly that my eye and cerebral cortex can feast upon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SAMPLE & HOLD : section 25 / the key of dreams

With drones, chants, and purposeful ambiguity filled with guitar noise and synth bursts, Section 25's The Key of Dreams(1982) seems a project aimed at the future through a lens from the past. Unlike their first Martin Hannett produced album, The Key of Dreams is on first listen an enigma. Gone are the Joy Division imitations. In their place are skeletal electronics, creative minimal guitar figures, extended Jefferson Airplane "After Bathing at Baxters" freak-out explorations and gone in a blink of the eye miniatures. Vocals are compellingly pained(some may say painful!) when they are present at all. "Always Now," clocking in at 1:50 minutes, acts as a prelude as to what there is to come-loosely played drone guitar couched in what seems to be electronics, a simple lyric/message, and echoed whispers. "Sutra" and "The Beast" are protracted explorations; "Sakura" suggests the electro-sequences of 1984's "From the Hip." What is compelling about The Key of Dreams is its total lack of commercial concern. Guitar noise and noisy electronic tid-bits make for an unqualified success none the less, much like a Cy Twombly sketch.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

SAMPLE & HOLD : Another Merzbow Records

With the pin-matrix of the EMS Putney as the idea fixe of this recording's cover art, Another Merzbow Records presents us with an historical overview of the master's analogue and digital excessive sound sweeps. Perhaps the road of excess does indeed lead to the palace of wisdom with overdriven feedback, distressed analogue synths, and horrifying frequency stabs allowing for a hyper-transgressive sonic storm bent on asserting its dissonant power and ultimate glory. Masimi Akita, who has experimented with analogue, as well a digital devices, laptops, and home-made noise contraptions, has virtually defined the noise genre with an endless discography. I looked forward to bathing in his sea of physical electronic tumult at last year's NO FUN FESTIVAL in Brooklyn; sadly swine flu fears kept him home according to an email from him to my brother. Another Merzbow Records' 3-discs offers rare cuts that never fail to satisfy my thirst for noise and with so many cuts, never outstay their welcome...a non-stop noise party for the whole family!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The Foktek Bug is quite a wonderful device, filled with insectoid chatter, bassy howls, and smeared frequency paint dabs. This primal sound, like nothing else, evolves over time taking on the character of mysterious distant mammalian conflict to a nightmare chatter, bleak stabs of alien pulse-life, and brooding microscopic swamp grit, toothy and
menacing. This one was custom-made for me by
Ben of Folktek. See Folktek Arts for more.

Monday, September 20, 2010

SAMPLE & HOLD : M.B bacterie

Maurizio Bianchi began to produce electronic music in 1979, creating his art in the lo-fi world of underground cassette culture. Complete with wordy arcane liner notes that delight in "agoraphobic atomicity" and "altruistic bacterial sickness," for example, Bianchi explores decay
and the human condition armed with concrete sounds, schizoid frequencies, neural effects, eccentric sounds, and archaic loops. Released in 2006, bacterie presents us with some of his most compelling work-slabs of sonic detrius, sludgy deposits, and chilly cracked ambience, all wrapped in a definitive M.B. frequency painting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This improv uses the percussive potential of the Serge Creature when coupled with the Seq A to produce a bed of drum-like sounds against which sound is splattered, morphed and twisted.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


With a wonderfully mechano-organic cover by the Quay Brothers, the trio
of B.C. Gilbert, G. Lewis, and Daniel Miller, here in their Duet Emmo form,
unleash a torrent of dystopian noise and a few electro-pop nuggets. While
some have opined this effort uneven, my estimation differs, seeing it as an
early and beautifully realized noise genre time capsule that offers glimpses
into the future from 1982. "Or So It Seems" is achingly heartfelt, Lewis'
voice filled with regret negotiating regular stabs of synth and synth noise.
The album's opener "Hill of Men" moves along like the cover's machine-
filled organic monster. "The First Person" echoes work by Gilbert and Lewis' Dome project. This album may be a "half-formed kiss" in some res-
pects, but it warrants a listen by anyone interested in the early days of the
now common noise genre...Carlos Giffoni, give it a listen...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The Serge Creature coupled with the Serge Seq A presents almost endless sonic possibilities. The percussive sound is created with a Doepfer Dark Energy/Tenori-on combination in this video along with a little delay from a EH MemoryMan. I really like this improv!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010


Keith Fullerton Whitman's Multiples cd, subtitled stereo music for acoustic, electric and electronic
instruments, presents a compelling array of pieces for said instruments. Whitman's analogue
workouts, especially the pieces for a Serge Modular Prototype, the product of compulsive
knob-turning and patching(the Serge is a mighty
challenge; banana cable inputs/outputs serving
multiple functions depending on the patch!), are
particularly beautiful. A piece for Farfisa Compact Duo Deluxe Organ and drum suggest a busy take on Tery Riley. An acoustic guitar makes an appearance; the Buchla Music Box 100 makes memorable noises, and a Hewlett Packard Oscillator continues the analogue parade. Whitman's performances here are warm, smart
and beautifully rewarding.(see Keith Moline's
"Unstable Modules" in THE WIRE September
2010, for more info on Whitman and analogue

Monday, September 6, 2010


To any fan of analogue synthesis, Totally Wired-A Film About Schneiders Buero, is quite a godsend. In an office block in East Berlin Mr. Schneider carries the mantle of old and new school analogue synthesis in the form of a boutique that caters to analogue freaks who want the newest incarnations of oscillator worship. Interviews with Daniel Miller, Dieter Doepfer, Jessica Ryland, and Ricardo Villalobos praise the work of Andreas Schneider and his continued passionate offering of the wares of maverick instrument builders...TVOD of the best kind!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Film-noir analogue fetishism presented in compelling form!...Rolands, Arps, Korgs and all sorts of retro-analogue toys argue for the defiant primacy of analogue synthesis...While the sound is not new, there is a reward to be had by giving yourself up to going back to the future.