Review: French artist Felicia Atkinson and New York-based experimentalist Jefre Cantu-Ledesma were responsible for two of the most singular albums released in 2015; the former's A Readymade Ceremony on Shelter and the latter's A Year With 13 Moons for Mexican Summer. Comme Un Seul Narcisse sees the pair collaborating to exquisite effect, drawing together some ten compositions laid down between NYC and the Alps. Issued on the increasingly intriguing Shelter Press, Comme Un Seul Narcisse represents an exercise in creativity winning over isolation; Atkinson and Cantu-Ledesma never actually met during the recording sessions and instead sent one another fragments of sound and melodies to craft a most abstract yet inviting listen.
Review: Los Angeles based producer Alex Gray aka D/P/I of CHANCEIMAG.es returns, this time on French imprint Shelter Press with more avant electronics excursions on the Composer LP. Thee seven sound collages are said to be an experiment in rhythm, where human error is introduced to basic sounds (such as a djembe or conga) via midi controllers, introducing complex processes and effects which naturally developed into compositions. Gray himself hopes his album "can act as a beacon of creativity for future generations, who are currently being completely saturated by marketing content for products and media that will do nothing but confuse and distract them.
Review: Gabor Lazar is an artist who likes to make surreal, hypernormalised music for the next millennium. If that sounds like an exaggeration, we don't care, because that's the way that this guy's sonic sketches travel; or rather, the way that they explore. We were big fans of his material for both Presto!? And The Death Of Rave, so this new LP for Shelter Press is exactly the sort of twisted, electronic mind-bending that we like to vibe out to in the January months. Although these fifteen tracks are largely genreless, and labeling them under one roof would be a mistake, they contain enough musical plasticity to be able to place them just right of leftfield, somewhere in the enlarged realms of dance music. It's abstract, strange, and utterly bonkers, but there is enough rhythm and movement throughout this sublime album to render it a pleasure to all sorts of electronic enthusiasts.
Review: Sunn 0)))) mainman and one half on KTL Stephen O'Malley is back with more of his signature darkside atmospherics, but this time focusing more on modular synthesis in a commission for the score of Paris based choreographer Gisele Vienne's performance. The haunting yet seductive soundtrack also features the efforts of Steve Moore, Daniel O'Sullivan, Peter Rehberg, Jesse Sykes, Bill Herzog & Randall Dunn. The sounds of metal tearing through ice, reverberating through the hall and accompanied by the most haunting and, quite figuratively; chilling instrumentation suited to such a concept.
Review: You might recognise Vancouver's Gabriel Mindel Saloman from his work under the Yellow Swans moniker, or perhaps even as GMS or Sade Sade. However you've come across him, the producer has been active on the experimental scene for over 15 years, and is certainly not part of the current trend of new Canadian talents that seem to surface almost daily. Thanks to releases for imprints like Miasmah, Trioniks and Not Not Fun, Saloman has racked up quite the reputation, making this new LP from France's Shelter Press label something of a special drop. Movement Building Vol.3 is a dark and cavernous piece of work which seems to get more intense with each new track; "What Belongs To Time" and "What Belongs To Bass" open the scene with subtle, echoing flurries of industrial dread, whereas "What Belongs To You" steps up a gear to unleash a grainy slew of power drums. On the flip, the same cycle unfolds, where steady drum shots and deep swells of electronics eventually evolve into sparse and dissipating walls of rhythmic noise. Heavy!
228 page book with thread-sewn softcover, produced by Shelter Press in association with INA GRM
Notes: This book has been conceived as both a prism and a manual. Following the "traditional" arc of electroacoustic composition (listen-record-compose-deploy-feel), each of the contributions collected together here focuses in on a personal aspect, a fragment of that thrilling territory that is sonic and musical experimentation.
Although the term "experimental music" may now have be understood as referring to a genre, or even a particular style, we ought to hold on to the original use of this term, which was based more on an approach than on any particular aesthetic line to be followed. The experimental is first and foremost a spirit, the spirit of the exploration of unknown territories, a spirit of invention which sees musical composition more as a voyage into uncertain territories than as a self-assured approach working safe within the bosom of fully mapped out and recognized lands.
With texts by:
Felicia Atkinson, Francois Bayle, Francois J. Bonnet, Drew Daniel, Brunhild Ferrari, Beatriz Ferreyra, Stephen O'Malley, Jim O'Rourke, Eliane Radigue, Regis Renouard Lariviere, Espen Sommer Eide, Daniel Teruggi, Chris Watson