Janek Schaefer
K-raa-K3 Records K3017
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Play sample: Construction Eight : [with Real Audio]

Track Listing:
1.Construction Eight
2. Construction Five

Running time: 61:21
Released Nov 1999

Press Release:

Janek Schaefer is an architect. This might explain his vision on his music. A good building closes up into people memory without you even noticing it. The same goes for Janek Schaefer's soundsculptures. Clearly structured soundloops baffling their way into people perception. You can use his music in art-galleries, train-stations, living-rooms: anywhere really. Each time/place conducts his work to a different perception. Even a high volume or low volume defines another way in the listening experience which unfolds upon your ears. Janek Schaefer is one of the leading persons in the Turntable Terrorist wave nowadays. He only work[ed] with one sound-source namely The Triphonic turntable, which he invented. The manipulations that he causes, create a spectacular result, sounds coincidence, clash together and fade away. This cd collects two liveconcerts: one during the Fatcat evening in Zaal Belgi, Hasselt and one performance recorded during a session in a nuclear bunker in Scotland fused with the same composition performed in Germany. But ! Schaefer doesn't see those two long pieces as just two live pieces : it's more than that. It are his two best performances, he cares about them. And it is the only recording that he wants to release to represent his public live work to date. So this cd doesn't belongs at all in the compartment of cheap live recordings pushed by the fucking music industry. The two sound-spheres are at the razor's edge, and very enjoyable to listen to. No doubt that Janek Schaefer will/is one off those notorious composers who contributes to musical history. A history we're proud to be part off. K-raa-K3 Records.

....This is the 'Score' I used in the 'Construction 8' performances.


The Wire
With music that really articulates a sense of environmental space, its no surprise too learn that Janek Schaefer is an architect. He's one of a number of turntablists to leave the tics and reflexes of HipHop behind and reconnect to an earlier musique concrete tradition. A locked groove collaboration with fellow turntablist Philip Jeck is forthcoming. Accounting for half this 60 min disc, "Construction Eight" opens with pops, crackles and the sounds of rocks crumbling in tectonic readjustment, before windy drones suggest the blackness of some subterranean void. Radio signals and an unhappy choir join the mix all at a restrained snails pace, before transforming into the sounds of night insects. "Construction Five" takes things into outer space, with a liberal salting of 50's electronic bleeps and whistles added to the vinyl pops and gurgles. Schaefer's careful, organic approach to the slowly evolving material ensures that its never too far away from the sort of trippy kosmische electronica beloved of the 70's. Nonetheless, the rhythmic stuck grooves and occasionally gaseous noise reconnect to more recent illbient and experimental sampling genres. If towards the end it occasionally gets a little overwrought, Schaefer generally deserves congratulation for his admirable sense of sonic architecture. Brian Duguid march 2000.

Chicago Reader: Critics Choice
You can tell by the pops, clicks, and whirs that Janek Schaefer is manipulating a vinyl record on his 1999 CD 'Out', but good luck trying to figure out what record, or even what kind of record it might be. The English experimentalist made the disc using the Tri-Phonic, a turntable of his own design with three tone arms that, depending on how theyÕre placed, can pick up the signal forward or backward or both [sorry but thatÕs not possible!]. The source recording is pretty much irrelevant anyway: For Schaefer everything is raw material waiting to be transformed into something new. In the case of the first piece on 'Out', 'Construction Eight', the end result is a spacey, slightly unsettling ambient drift, delivered from New Age nothingness by an unstable undercurrent of sonic details Š sudden high frequency swoops, richocheting pings and blasts of white noise. The second and only other piece, 'Construction Five' is considerably noisier and more active, marbled with viscous swooshes and house-of-mirrors clicks. Peter Margasak, August 2001

Vital List / Staalplaat
Janek Schaeffer might be a DJ [I am not], but one who takes things a step further (and that in itself is a good thing!). With his turntable with three arms he plays records, but I don't seem to recognize a lot of it (of course my knowledge of records might not be that good). Two long tracks, both live (although one is an edit of two performances) of slowly developing music. He plays very abstract stuff, rather then techno or plunderphonica. Almost ambient like material with slow curves, with quite some tension underneath that totally captured me. Rather then a DJ to a crowd, Schaeffer is a DJ for the mind, and without attending the concerts were this was recorded, I can say: it works excellent at home. Frans de Ward

Sonic Arts Network
I want to end with one last example of current practice which in a way brings us back to John Cage and David Tudor. Janek Schaefer has developed a system which has the feedback potential of Tudor's network of electronic devices coupled with a turntable and records as sound source a la Cage. This is no ordinary turntable. Schaefer calls it a Tri-phonic Turntable and describes it as a three arm, ultra-varispeed, reversible play turntable. With this system he produces what many of us would recognise as acousmatic music (Schaefer likes to perform in the dark) yet the sense of the live performance is tangible. When I heard him a few weeks ago he was performing from a 'score' [OUT] and the sonic and compositional clarity was astonoshing and in a way seemed to make the distinction between acousmatic composition and live performance almost redundant. Andrew Deakin.

Atre Records web site review
Janek Schaefer is by trade an architect, a profession which is not as far removed from that of composition as one might expect. The ability to combine and mould forms, to perceive an overall structure and to integrate new ideas into an evolving work is as important to good music as to good building. Schaefer clearly knows how to develop an idea, without rushing, introducing new elements at just the 'right' point to maintain the tension of the piece. And this is the main factor that distinguishes the minority of true electronic composers from the hoards of Drum'n'Bass electro-dabblers, whose work appears superficially identical, but which lacks the formal cohesion of say, Kohn's untitled pieces, or Stockhausen's pioneering work 'Gesang der Junglinge'. The two performances that comprise Schaefer's album 'Out' were recorded at different locations, one from the Zaal België, Hasselt, and the other from a nuclear bunker in Scotland. Recorded using only one sound-source, the 'Triphonic Turntable' (which Schaefer himself invented), 'Out' is a perfect demonstration of how the electronic manipulation of sound can create new musical forms. Considering also, that 'Out' was mastered from live performances, the sound quality is excellent - the merest subtleties of sound are conveyed with an almost sterile definition, but this does not detract from the music which develops and unfolds in a kaleidoscope of sonic textures and colours.