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ku001

sampladelic hashashins

bodysong e.p.

not available

archived


ku002

mashimi

manifesto 1

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archived


ku003

sarabande cubiste

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archived

(new edition here)


ku004

sarabande cubiste ambient

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archived

(new edition here)


ku005

ma shi mi

the oldham loop

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archived


ku006

ma shi mi

filho da puta

not available

archived


ku007

bibliotecha obscura

this digital special edition

includes

ku009

a muse's noise

not available

archived


ku008

karl wolf

onanist works

not available

archived


001D

protyv

available on DL store



 

 ku010

un jardin ambulant

cph321 + eerohz

not available

archived






cata26

harliner:

phirnis

 

geräuschmusik: music derived from noise

 

 

 

 

 

KAI: i'm well aware of the fact that noise music in general is quite an acquired taste and some people tend to think it doesn't even qualify as music. i think it does, of course, even though i can perfectly relate to the sentiment of noise music being very harsh (and sometimes perhaps a bit too harsh) to the ears. while i personally have quite an eclectic taste in music (listening to some wonderful 80s-era disco tunes as i type), for some reason that's hard to explain noise seems to be the most appropriate way when it comes to expressing myself through music. it feels just very natural to me.

in 2000 or 2001 i first developed an interest in electronic noise music and i got exposed to some of the work by the genre's most extravagant protagonists, whose music at that point in time seemed to me like the uttermost extreme sound art ever put to tape. i found myself marvelling at the sheer ferocity of the sound and i still treasure the memory of that particular sense of excitement. for me, that's the quintessential noise experience and in one way or another i wanted to become an active part of it too.

i'm well aware of the fact that there's more to phirnis than the actual noise element. in short, the music doesn't sound like an incapacitants record, it's far from being purely harsh or aggressive, yet somehow noise has always been the one thing that tied it all together when it came to expressing my own ideas through music, no matter how sublime some of the ambient textures.

now of course i tend to think about the past in one way or another, but to be entirely honest i'm not that concerned about it, even though i'm sure it does play a major role in a way that doesn't even have to be intentional. bare in mind that for seven years i hadn't shared my own compositions with anyone except for a very small number of friends, so i never felt the actual need to place this music of mine within a larger context such as a certain musical genre's history. personally, i think it's nice to not care too much about any "musical heroes" while you're set to explore a certain idea through sound art. the resultant music may still be testament to the influences at play, but it's not a mere tribute, it's not focused on another person's artistic agenda. i really hope it's going to stay that way!

 

 hyeronimus bosch: the temptation of saint anton of egypt (photos: benjamin silva-pereira)

 

BEN: when i say noise, i write it down in small letters. when you say Noise, there is a capital 'n', therefore we have a confusing conversation. noise and Noise, for me, are different, completely. noise for me is the extractor in the kitchen that gives me headaches and stress me out. my mistake for not putting these matters more clear. Noise, and also for me, as a music genre (i hate these labels) is not necessarily noise. noise is upsetting, Noise can be utterly rhythmical and enjoyable, even if there are those who disagree. and there is a gracious differentiation and a point to make. i hate the noise of airplanes, i love it when it is used in a composition (musical or not, i am or i have not problems with 'bruitage', a term i prefer much better.)

bruitage is your (and mine) Noise. bruitage uses noise but in a certain way, in a 'constructed' way, a manipulated way. let's get out of sounds. 'guernica', for me, is a cry, a shout, an offense, a crime, a noise that really upsets me. everything involving 'guernica' makes me shiver and hate humankind, and a special kind of humans. but, the point is: the noise NOISE Noise of picasso's 'guernica', even if unpleasant and atrocious, is beautiful, lyrical, a monument to a certain kind of feelings, a reall work of art (political or not, beautiful or not!) what intrigues me in Noise is this differentiation. the futurists (italians and especially the russians, soviets, used noise, Noise and NOISE and matéria prima, matéria bruta, material to work with, to be inspired and used by! so the past is to be there, and i agree it must be studied (the art of noises, a futurist manifesto, is a work of art per se, as a piece of ideas and literature, should be taught in every school in the world, and it was written in the 1910's!!!

a century ago - this to say that i agree the past is the past and one should not worry too much about it, yes, you are soooo right - on the other side, hey! we are repercussions, sons and daughters of these crazy people that no one knows about) is this pertinent? i think so. i am not worried about my heritage and inheritance because i couldn't care less, it is not that much... but as a human being, living sentient person, i am curious, i crave for these things. and that is the reason why we are having these conversations, that pleases me so very much!!!

Noise doesn't have a big audience, but because of the above and my little experience, i am sooo curious. your demo track, for me, wasn't noise. it was Noise. and maybe not only Noise (rhythm involved or not) - it is a question, a kind of intrigue, a surprise, and the demo is very haunting, spacious, leaves you space to be. and it is only one minute? that's why i like you compositions. they are short, concise, 'compressed' but they are capricious, cocky, awesomely beautiful and intriguing. actually i don't think there is a better compliment!

 

  hyeronimus bosch: the temptation of saint anton of egypt (photos: benjamin silva-pereira)

 

KAI: the distinction between everyday noise (such as the noise made by airplanes) and the more artistic use of noise is very interesting indeed as it poses the question why the latter can be so incredibly enjoyable whereas the former can basically drive you nuts within a very short period of time. currently there's a huge construction site across the street from where i live and i can tell you i hate being exposed to the sounds emerging from that site. it's unpleasant. funny thing is, i will close the window and work out some really harsh and loud electronic sounds, which for some reason is a different experience altogether, as these sounds are not being forced upon me and i am basically in charge of shaping them. so yes, they're part of a composition and that's probably what makes the difference.

 

 

to me noise just happens to be the most appropriate tool in order to get a certain point across. if i wanted to tell the world about meeting girls or having a drink i'd choose something entirely different in order to express that...

noise doesn't have a big audience indeed. in fact i think it might be one of the very few musical genres that never made it to the mainstream market in one form or another. a couple of years ago i really felt like wolf eyes were going to make it big when they did that record for the sub pop label (it was called "human animal" if i remember correctly). that would've been interesting to say the very least.

not really sure if it would've been good or bad, though...

i have to admit i've never even read that particular futurist manifesto you're referring to... maybe i should give it a try!

i'm well aware of being descended from former generations and unfortunately there's not much you can do about that. joking aside, i'm not oblivious to the music of the past and i'm as much a fan of it as anyone. i do feel, however, that throughout the process of assembling your own music looking up to other people's work can be unnecessarily distracting and i'm convinced that sometimes, in order to find your own voice in terms of musical expression, you need to get rid of the notion of being an actual part of any such historical context.

by the way, thank you so much for pointing out you don't mind the individual pieces being relatively short. back when i used to share my music with only a small number of people some of them kept telling me that while they enjoyed what they got to hear they still thought that most of the individual compositions were "too short". personally i never felt that way and today i'm glad i never gave in to my friends' complaints.

 

  hyeronimus bosch: the temptation of saint anton of egypt (photos: benjamin silva-pereira)

 

BEN: i just gave myself for my birthday an edition of 'manafon' by david sylvian (ok, you can laugh, i am a kind of fan...) and on it there is a dvd/documentary called 'amplified gesture', about and concerning the musicians that played along the years to produce 'manafon' (a long process that took 6 years to finish.) they are new and 'old' experimentalists that play instruments (old and new too) in different ways from the norm. sine waves, turntables, electric guitars, saxophone, piano, et al, but with the distinction that they explore the noise and the the tones/figments of unadultered/adultured notes and sounds them, the intruments, ejaculate in a process that it is beautiful as it is intriguing, at least for me. they are all true musicians, some with decades of experience. the difference is that they improvise, they use unconventional methods of playing and recording, the are what i call 'experimentalists'. the noises they capture, or free, depending on your point of view, are amazing, and it doesn't matter if it is melodic or not. the fact is that sylvian, after closeing himself in studios and going through a process of editing and selection, took out the improvisation to compose/cut-up a true brilliant album (i hated the first times i listened to it!!!)

i, above all, that i cannot read or play music, must agree with you, in part, when you say 'in order to find your own voice in terms of musical expression, you need to get rid of the notion of being an actual part of any such historical context' - yes, you are right. on the other side, the knowledge of the noise/experiments/explorations of the past may bring from those discourses a new language and a new attitude. i can tell you that i've been immersed in the last three weeks in the electronic works of past composers and non-musicians and my biggest surprise and delight is that the majority of the 'sound-sculptors', 'performing artists' or contemporary composers are but repeating themselves based on that past. as you said, it can be counterproductive, in the utmost pure sense of the word. again, on the other side, i've been learning that the 'process' is as important as the final result of a 'piece'. (yes, i am being ironic and arrogant - but it is very commendable and understandable: i just bought an lbum by alva noto {etx... something}, and we know he is the creme de la creme, apparently, of the new electronic music - bah - i think his stuff is cute and nice, but nothing more than that; he lacks substance and inspiration - something that i think doesn't in your work, or c.cu's or even on the pieces by disphilarmonia we can find for free on soundcloud.)

as you can see i am very curious, but i do have a problem with modern 'pieces'. rejecting the past, to me, is rejecting the foundations of oneself, a mask, and not a clever one. i say this because of what these 'new artists', alva noto included, pretend to know and build. it will be very difficult for alva noto to be considered a mark or an important contributor to modern music. but hey! it's only me talking, and who am i?

 

  hyeronimus bosch: the temptation of saint anton of egypt (photos: benjamin silva-pereira)

 

did you ever listen to franck smith and his algorhythmic music? the tracks are twenty seconds, one minute and a half long. minimalist in extremis, but i find his 'simplistic' approach utterly charming and endearing (maybe because reminds me of a hyper de-construction of kraftwerk samples...) i am telling you this because i've been investigating the best i can - and that means that i am absorbing immensily your work and others around soundcloud (i keep quiet about it), and of other places and people and i've been doing little/long pieces of compositional daring, and it is the first time i say i am 'composing' something.

as you say, you may discard the past, and that is glorious and utterly right, but for a person like me (that lacks time and minimal skills), the past and present is a fountain of discoveries and pleasure. noise is becoming more 'normal' to me, i find it less and less irritating and more poetic and interesting. because i don't have any viable technology to recording and 'compose' my stuff i just adore to listen to other's material. the thing is that, at the same time, these new 'compositions', of which you know two or three (an-men) are becoming involving and spacious... how to explain? i am using the basic windows' music editors only, but basic as that can be, the results that i produce are phenomenal. mainly because i use little samples or recordings of a piano note, or of a car passing down on the road (i live on the second floor of a busy street) and that basic technology permits me to change it and construct, if not a melodic piece of sound, at least to have a sense of realisation and beauty > from a diminute noise or sound one can create another universe.

KAI: in order to expand on the topic of other people's work having an impact on one's own music, let me tell you that a couple of years ago i went through a heavy phase of exploring the work of some of the most acclaimed modern composers and sound artists of the 20th century, the usual suspects such as alvin lucier and robert ashley. in late 2007 i did an album (which, as you may remember, still remains unreleased to this day) with a friend of mine and i remember the two of us discussing conceptual pieces such as lucier's "i am sitting in a room" during recording sessions. at that particular point in time it was important for me to reflect on existing concepts and maybe adopt some of them in ways that went beyond the original ideas, which i think is only natural considering some of these concepts were about abandoning common perceptions of music in the first place and so they're prone to being used and transformed in an unorthodox fashion. perhaps one wouldn't even recognise the influence by merely listening to the music but back then it gave us a bit of a backdrop to work on. for me, that was one way of making use of past accomplishments without that being counterproductive.

so of course the music i know is part of the musical language i use. the rest, however, may be mostly down to real-life experiences and ongoing fascinations of mine. i'll give you an example: when the chernobyl disaster occurred in 1986 i was a young kid and of course i was living in germany, so it didn't affect me too directly. still i remember being very disturbed by what my parents would tell me about what had happened. when you would turn on the radio, however, you'd still hear lots of mostly synth-based pop music as if nothing had happened and so today this particular kind of music never fails to bring back certain memories, like having to keep away from sandboxes all of a sudden, or my parents buying huge bags of powdered milk while virtually no one would openly talk about that certain sense of danger that everyone seemed to share. now many years later i was thinking about doing a piece of music that would capture these memories of mine to a certain extent and so i decided to cut a basic track of music being very reminiscent of eighties pop music in order to later treat it and deconstruct it in a way that would make it possible to include some of the musical elements in a sound piece i was working on. it ended up as "alpha 3", by the way, which of course is available at soundcloud.

 

   hyeronimus bosch: the temptation of saint anton of egypt (photos: benjamin silva-pereira)

 

when it comes to current developments in the field of experimental music i have to admit i'm a bit out of the loop these days. i used to write a column on noise music for one of germany's leading music magazines and when that came to an end i decided to take a break from extensively listening to newly released music and i hadn't even heard about franck smith before you mentioned the guy's work in your most recent message. i found some of his music at his myspace site, however, and i'm amazed to find out he cites 'pygmy music' as an important influence on the sound art he makes. this very sort of music continues to intrigue me as well, especially the incredibly eerie vocal music by the aka pygmies of central africa. for me one of the most inspiring aspects of electronic music has always been the fact that you don't even have to emulate the music you like in order for it to have a very profound influence on your own work. it's much more abstract than that and to me that really adds to the notion of good experimental music being mysterious and very personal all at once.

KAI: does music have to have an idea, a message, an originality to announce?

that's a tough one. i guess it depends. a couple of years ago i once sat through an entire concert of sachiko m slowly modifying some very basic sine waves from a tone generator. most people wouldn't call this stuff music even if they were fans of some of the quintessential minimalist composers. there was very little musical content at work and still it was quite an experience, mostly due to the frequencies being both painful and soothing all at once. personally i loved the whole thing and one of the most thrilling aspects about it was the sight of people leaving the room mid-concert because they couldn't take it anymore. we're talking about very artsy and self-controlled people here, so i think this was quite remarkable. to be entirely honest i have to admit that once or twice i was thinking about leaving too. in the end, however, the music itself was just as interesting as it was clearly unpleasant and leaving early probably would have felt like dropping out of a truly unique experience. so did the music convey an actual idea or even an actual message that night? frankly, for me it's hard to tell and i'm not even sure if i'm particularly fond of sachiko m's music, but here i am, still talking about this concert four years after the fact, so i guess either way it didn't leave me cold at all and that's probably what really counts.

writing my own column on noise music for spex really used to be a labour of love for me, so it's nice to know you took your time in order to explore some of my writing. they pulled the plug on it in early 2009 but it's amazing that they even allowed me to write about this kind of music in the first place considering spex is essentially an indie rock magazine these days. funny you should mention tangerine dream because i remember the album i wrote about really wasn't up to the group's overall standards. i'm a huge fan, however. "rubycon" is probably among my top 5 favourite albums ever. the other night i put this record on while reading a book consisting of self-advertising interviews with austrian filmmaker michael haneke and after a couple of minutes i had to put the book aside in order to just listen. i've known this record for years and it's never lost any of its magic.

 

   hyeronimus bosch: the temptation of saint anton of egypt (photos: benjamin silva-pereira)