The most that Chris Phillips – the man behind Squim – will reveal about this new track is that it was “an attempt at a compilation submission.” I don’t know who the lucky label is that will get a hold of this gem of a song, but they are in luck. “Ev” is a lovely understated bit of looping rumbles intertwined with alien transmissions from beyond the stratosphere. This is the sound I imagine Felix Baumgartner heard through his helmet as he was descending to Earth. If it wasn’t, we need someone to concoct a dramatic reenactment of that space jump with this as the soundtrack.
Here’s a bright shining spot of news for your Monday afternoon: the mighty Smegma are gracing the world with some new music. The deliriously playful long-running project is set to release Ever and Anon via Ultramarine Records in November. And to add more sweetness to this delicious bit of information, they’ve left a small fragment of the full album online: this Link Wray by way of Brion Gysin wormhole of sound. Fire up your dreammachines and let the sparks fly.
The latest missive from SunFalls is a singularly terrifying piece of music. The description puts it as “an exploration in granular piston driven sounds,” but it comes across to me like a horror movie soundtrack snippet. Right down to the little music box-like melody that wafts in towards the end of the track. *shudder* If anyone needs me, I’ll be hiding in my closet for a while.
I had occasion to sit down with Charlie Salas-Humara, one-third of the dreamy outfit known as Regular Music on Tuesday. And during our chat he discussed the interplay between himself and Marius Libman and Eric Mast, how the key to their sound was their willingness to listen to one another, and find the right instances to add something to the improvised compositions they are creating. I can think of no better example of that idea than this track, taken from the group’s forthcoming split cassette release w/ The Cats’ Orchestra on Field Hymns. You can almost see the three, hunkered down over their synthesizers, ears and hearts open as they raise the stakes even higher with each melody, drone, and squiggle. And right towards the end, you get a small taste of the future of this project, which now includes Papi Fimbres and John Rau playing drums. It’s one hit, but like a good drug, it will leave you desperate for your next fix.
Word just came down from the forest that B’ee currently resides in that the fine German imprint Merlin’s Nose Records is going to be reissuing his 1999 masterwork Abend The Knurled Stitch O’er the Glinting Spade. Which gave them and us the chance to preview a track from this album, the devastating “Two Wax Dolls”. An acoustic lament that dissolves at the halfway mark into the sounds of scrabbling and pinging before the full medieval backing band takes over. There and back again the track goes until it disappears completely. Sip some tea and stare into the grey skies while this one plays, friends. Enlightenment awaits.
These two musical masterminds apparently spent some time last year in Pseudo Studios here in town, taking little bits of audio ephemera and slapping them up against the wall to see how well they stick together. Very well indeed it turns out. This is sadly only a nearly two minute chunk of their collaborative effort. But hopefully enough people will take a listen to it here and via the Textural Sounds SoundCloud page, and that will encourage Wiese and Brant to let the entire thing see the light of day.
You’ve likely already seen this video a few times by this point, but who are we to stand on ceremony? It’s on the Internet, it’s embeddable, and now it’s here in all its “Summer Breeze”-referencing and ’80s video game style glory. The track comes from Eternal Tapestry’s forthcoming A World Out Of Time LP, a disc that finds that band further embracing the stoner rock vibe that has always been bouncing around their addled brains. And as much as I love the space-psych shit the quintet has done in years past, I’m seriously loving this Crazy Horse/Hawkwind-vibe so much more.
Not entirely sure how to classify this one. It’s not really a concert and it’s not really a talk show, but rather some weird hybrid of the two. But as far as celebrations of John Cage’s 100th birthday, I can think of no finer representation of what made the late composer/theorist’s work so endlessly fascinating. I’ll let the people behind The Late Now do the explaining:
October 20, 2012
TLN John Cage Centenary Special
Pacific Northwest College of Art
The Late Now celebrates John Cage’s 100th birthday with a chance-driven show featuring a Cagean circus of performance/happenings by a great variety of guests, plus aleatoric interviews and a participatory grand finale for custom-made balloons and electronics by Charles Buckingham and Alex Norman.
Featuring a Cast of Thousands (ish) ►
★ Jaap Blonk (Netherlands), the legendary avant-garde composer and performance artist Jaap Blonk skypecasts Cage’s Solo for Voice #64(1970). 日々是好日!
★ The Quadraphonnes saxophone quartet (PDX) perform Cage’s Four5(1991). Saxophonists Mary-Sue Tobin, Chelsea Luker, Michelle Medler, and Mieke Bruggeman play an incredible range of music and styles.
★ Owen F. Smith (U. Maine, Bangor) is an art historian, curator, artist, writer and teacher whose interest lies in the exploration of the cultural gap between art and life. The author of Fluxus, a History of an Attitude, Owen presents 8 Transitions, a suite of short videos structured according to Cage prepared piano pieces.
★ Charles Buckingham & Alex Norman (PDX), have devised Untitled, an ambitious participatory performance with custom-made balloons and electronics specifically for the grand finale of this TLN.
★ Theriault, Smith, and Green (PDX) perform Cage’s Cartridge Music(1960). Portland’s new avant-supergroup comprises sound artists Dann Green, Justin Smith, and Doug Theriault.
★ Zack Kosta, Reese Kruse, Adam Updyke & Ryan Zachary (PDX) perform “Your body is 33 inches away from 4 foot strings” on a custom-built “dissected piano sculpture” which they then offer up for audience experimentation.
★ Doug Nufer (Seattle) is a poet, novelist and performer who favors “formal constraints” à la Oulipo. He presents a pair of Cagean “made for TV poem-traps,” “What Was Was” and “Novel Double/ Double Novel.”
★ Dora Gaskill (PDX), contemporary choreographer, premieresTransportation Public, an aleatoric movement piece drawing on John Cage and Vito Acconci. Dora and performers Jennifer Hackworth, James Yeary, and Libby Cozza use “secret codes” to interact across the space.
★ Derek Ecklund (PDX) performs A Dip In The Columbia, a quadraphonic sound environment inspired by Cage’s “A Dip In The Lake,” using field recordings Derek has made along the Columbia River over the past 5 years.
★ Bas Schevers (Brussels) presents Flutist (2009), a Cage-inspired video. A graduate of the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium, Bas works in a zone of expectation between what is happening and what is supposed to take place.
★ Koen Dijkman (Tilburg), TLN’s official Dutch correspondent presents25 and 37,5+28, two short videos of life-as-chance-as-art on the streets of Tilburg.
★ David Abel (PDX), poet, editor, teacher, bookseller, and curator, performs “Sound”, an original poem-performance piece.
★ Linda Austin (PDX), contemporary choreographer, actualizes poet Jackson Mac Low’s dance score, The Pronouns.
★ Joel Ford & Becca Stuhlbarg (PDX), composer/saxophonist and soprano/violinist duo perform Cage’s “The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs” and original works, including participatory, aleatoric pieces.
★ Keyon Gaskin (PDX), performer-dancer, performs “a cage study in parts” and interprets Cage’s 4’33” as a dance piece.
★ Richard Schemmerer (PDX), artist/poet/social engineer, performs Air Walk, inspired by Cage’s Water Walk (1959) and presents an original video, Out of the Cage.
★ James Yeary (PDX) reads selections from Jackson Mac Low’sConverging Stanzas. A TLN regular, James is a poet-performer-publisher, and the man behind the Calendar of Catabolic Guilt.
This isn’t an Experimental Portland sponsored show, but it is one that needs to be more widely publicized than it has been.
Jaap Blonk is probably the premier interpreter of Dada-ist texts and sound art, having spent the past 40 years touring the world and bringing to vibrant life the work of artists like Kurt Schwitters, Antonin Artaud, Hugo Ball, and Tristan Tzara. His voice and approach to sound is versatile enough that he’s been able to meld it into the well-defined sound of fellow far-reaching artists like The Ex and Mats Gustafsson.
He is currently on a tour of Canada and is apparently making a quick stop here in Portland this coming Sunday to read and perform at the new poetry/art book store Division Leap. This is a rare and beautiful thing and should not be missed. More details reside below the video.
Spare Room and Division Leap present
a solo performance by the unsurpassable
Dutch avant-garde composer and sound-poet
Sunday, October 21
$5-15 sliding scale; no one turned away
We can only hope you’re as still excited about the work of Pete Swanson as we are here at Experimental Portland. Especially because Type Records just dropped all the tracks for his latest EP online today. The disc is called Pro Style, and it is a giddy exploration of techno memes as viewed through the fuzzy, prismatic lens of a natural experimentalist. There’s little to say about this other than: LISTEN UP AND LISTEN LOUD.