'Pulled Under' CD
audiOh! Recordings # audiOh!12 Buy your copy here! ......
Play sample: 'Superchannel': [with Real Audio]
#84: SuperChannel [4:53]
#85: Rapid Xativa [5:21]
#86: Penumbral Rover [8:32]
#87: Maison a Bordeaux [8:14]
#88: Parallel Spoor [14:31]
#89: sienna [6:13]
#90: Lithospheric Shifts [6:54]
#91: Vertrek [8:22]
Running time: 63:00
Released April 29th 2002
Distributed worldwide by Cargo UK: If you'd like to bulk buy copies for your shop then contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following Above Buildings on Fat Cat Records [which was awarded
an Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica and was a CD of
the week in The Guardian newspaper] Pulled Under is released in
a deluxe digipack with vivid photography collected during Janeks recent
travels. The conception for the overall work was taken from the cover image,
a safety drawing depicting the perils of falling into the slippery rapids found
in Yosemite National Park, California. The album was produced throughout 2001
and edited on screen in tandem with Janeks evolving concert
improvisations. Through using a contact microphone and a stylus to amplify either
static or revolving physical surfaces, the result is an evocative Electroacoustic
composition, and as such is ideally suited to close listening: Foreground
Beginning with his 84th individual composition, Pulled Under forms an enveloping and dense stream of macrosonic [close focus] soundscapes. Navigating fluidly through a series of absorbing and granular abstract environments and encountering Ballards Drowned World. The raw material mostly combines modified travel recordings, live out-takes and custom made vinyl manipulations using the Twin turntable, an 8rpm Record Player for the Blind and his Tri-Phonic Turntable [which was recently entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the worlds Most Versatile Record Player !]
SuperChannel: Ringing in the hour ahead intricate activities nestle among swollen chords. Transferring from actual to imaginary spaces then finally leaving a trail of gentle tones and static debris.
Rapid Xativa: Swiftly mutating, sounds collide and collect sliding over each other and abruptly vanishing. Cyclical phrases meet throbbing chambers where sounds open and close. Bouncing tone arms drift into pulsating revolutions and descend through a Spanish atrium.
Penumbral Rover: Restructured as a travelogue encountered in close proximity, the source material was taken from an installation by Andy Gracie using radio signals from the sun recorded during a solar eclipse. This was the first track written for the album and was originally produced for the Positron Array remix CD on Iris Light [www.irislight.co.uk]. Special thanks to Andy for the invitation to compose the track.
Maison a Bordeaux: Framed by an architectural interior, disembodied guitars and slow motions animate a vacant scene. As the guitars recede, a moving floor mechanism from a structural masterpiece gently ushers you up into a serene landscape. The material was adapted from Janeks sound track for the OMA Rem Koolhaas:Living exhibition.
Parallel Spoor: is the longest track and also the most travelled. Phase 1 begins with vinyl variations recorded in a lie down Parisian concert hall. These merge into an Oval streetscape and subsequently the live work space in Holland overlooking a rail track where the track was written [Spoor is Dutch for a platform or trail]. Phase 2 overlays multiple concerts that gradually deconstruct to expose the inner particles of sound. These trail off passing through cavernous voids.
sienna: Emerging from these caverns, an Italian roomscape opens onto a pulsating corridor. While traversing the ancient Pallio square a sustained colour tone rests under a claustrophobic burnt surface.
Lithospheric Shifts: was initially written for the Sub Rosa Floating Foundation CD. This is an amended mix. Slowly building, rolling phrases gather to become indomitable in scale revealing an organic plateau. The track was made solely with the 8rpm record player for the blind.
Vertrek: is the Flemish word for Departure. Electrostatic textures adhere to one another encircling lost notes as grains of sound flicker and slip out of sight
Radio Katanga, Belgium [Kristof Debris]
"Soundscape of the year - keep track of this chap"
Naut Humon [ARS Electronica]
"--soooo fucking excellent !"
Terrorizer Magazine (UK) [Satpal Kalsi]
'Pulled Under' is an appropriate title, because to experience the organic electronica of Janek Schaefer is like being submerged in water, but water is replaced by dense washes of digital noise, rippling undertows of fluid sounds and whirlpools of sonic crackle. But that is the way Janek has always worked. Whether sounds are sourced as raw computer data or processed from analogue tape recordings or generated by his extraordinary triple arm turntable (incidently now listed in the Guiness Book Of Records as the world?fs most versatile turntable), the power lies in his ability to flow from one texture to another freely but without discordance. While not exactly ambient or meditative, because he loves his jarring moments, 'Pulled Under', as on the track 'Maison a Bordeaux' evokes an environmental response through evoking Place. Therefore, Janek's work is more architectural and impressionistic than abstract and like all impressionist work, is full of dynamic and colour. This is work that needs to be studied as much as enjoyed, though doing one is never detrimental to the other. Like his previous work, 'Above Buildings' which went the opposite way and lifted the body, 'Pulled Under' is an enigmatic exploration of sound but without real defined goals. How you respond to it and where Janek can take things further is the mystery that keeps this alive. Exquisite, opulent, cultured, but still extreme. [8.5]
Grooves Mag (USA) [John Gibson]
Whereas contemporaries such as Martin Tetreault construct violent sonic pile-ups, Janek Schaefer has always coaxed more balmy textures from his drone-based vinyl and sampling experiments. As with this record's predecessor, Above Buildings, the music on Pulled Under is true to the title, a linked series of murky soundscapes and tidal flows akin to the sounds heard from within a diving bell. As such, it's a bit low-key. But it is still eminently approachable -- more Kevin Shields than John Cage. Tellingly, it is dedicated to Schaefer's girlfriend, immediately steering it away from studied minimalism or random generative guff. For an artist working entirely with abstraction, it gives the lie to the notion that experimentalism is a cold fa?ade.
The opening track, "SuperChannel," sets the tone for the rest of the album. A dense, but paradoxically airy drone builds from nothing, blending the pops and scrapes of the stylus with this swell, which culminates in an enveloping sound wall. "Rapid Xativa" has more of a tangibly intimate hue. A space-rock bass twang melts into a religious-sounding vocal cry, which in turn is blended into a burgeoning, but gentle airplane-engine reverb. Only on "Parallel Spoor" does Schaefer return to the stormier sounds of his early days, low, reverberating rumbles crumbling out of the speakers like the early stages of a landslip, and even that gives way to a touching vapor wisp recalling Stars of the Lid. In fact, this is the best track, an eerie underwater epic sustaining an absorbing, dark tension for 13 minutes.
In all of these cases, Schaefer's key attribute is a kind of balancing act. The sounds are heavily layered, like a cross-section of a rockface, and as the record is heard more, some of the deeper elements can be teased out. Anyone familiar with Schaefer's earlier work will be well acquainted with this characteristic. Not a quantum leap, then, but Pulled Under is a definite refinement and one that will do fine for now.
SoundVision (USA) [TJ Norris]
Masterful sound constructionist, Janek Schaefer, wastes no time in drawing profound, neo-ambient conclusions in his latest effort. SuperChannel is a like a chamber orchestra strung upside down in a distant cave. The pecking, sudden flare and retraction of this army of tiny pests warns and persists as metals are sharpened and logic wavers. Drifting electrics wash in and out and right into Rapid Xativa which sounds like a darker interpretation of something Angelo Badalamenti may have composed for David Lynch while under the influence. The track bounces and blares in its idiosyncratic form. Schaefer, who trained as an architect at the Royal College of Art, also runs the audiOh! label which has released this, his first solo CD since Above Buildings (FatCat, 2000). Though he has released CDRs and compilation tracks, and has offered work as part of installation projects and other soundtracks, this is by far his stand out recording to date. The ill warbling strings and contained menace on Maison ?O Bordeaux effectively use both fore and background. Having performed alongside such diverse musical forces as St. Etienne, Burnt Friedman, Goldfrapp, Bernhard GY?Nnter and Squarepusher, Schaefer seems to be working around the clock. sienna, has the staid ambience of a locked courtroom or ancient library. Its infested with an erratic noise hive. The disc also includes the album mix of Lithospheric Shifts (formerly released on Sub Rosa) with its recombinant textures. Building on crude harmonic principles, Pulled Under is a feast for the senses, a gritty experiment in disorientation.
Muzik Magazine (UK) [Tom Mugridge]
Former architect Janek fulfills Brian Eno's original crieria for ambient music, by providing a 'space to think'. Unlike Eno however, he creates 'spaces' that you might actually want to go to. The organic sources range from radio signals culled from a solar eclipse to fied recordings of Janek's travels and manipulations of his three armed, multi-speed 'Tri-Phonic Turntable'. But technique is beside the point - this is luminous, immersive music for late-night headphone introspection. 4/5
XLR8R Magazine (USA) [Susanna Boll]
Unlike his acclaimed first album, the shimmeringly austere 'Above Buildings', this mesmerizing sophomore release by turntablist and sound artist Janek Schaefer is an immersive and enveloping (but not always comforting) work. Using field recordings and snippets from his own live performances, as well as custom vinyl manipulations (using a TWIN tonearm table, an 8 rpm 'Turntable for the Blind', and his custom-built Triphonic turntable as building blocks), Schaefer constructs a subtly textured, brooding collection that is often darkly elegiac in tone, but pleasantly narcotic in effect. Full of deep, buzzing drones, intricate fields of static, and throbbing, repetitive loops, Pulled Under is an engrossing album of deep listening.
VITAL list, [Staalplaat]
This is an excellent work. As a turntablist Janek Schaefer is responsible for the record player with three arms, but he is also active in sound composition, either solo or with Robert Hampson of Main fame in Comae. This new CD is the follow up to his debut studio CD 'Above Buildings' and consists of work recorded live, vinyl manipulations and field recordings. The overall atmosphere of all eight sound pieces is dark, mainly due to the heavy use of sound effects (reverb, delay and filtering). Things mostly rumble here, with the occassional crackle. Occassionally sounds pop up, in the form of alienated orchestra or a drenched loop of source unknown. An unlikely reference of Janek's work is that Asmus Tietchens. The denseness of the material, the sound treatments and the overall dark atmosphere make this up. And to be compared with Asmus is not a bad thing at all. (FdW)
Scaruffi.com (USA) [Pierro Scaruffi]
Based upon a novel by J.G. Ballard, Pulled Under displays Schaefer's skills at mixing his sources to produce clusters and sheets of morphing sounds that often recall the pieces of such classical composers as Penderecki, Ligeti, Part and Stockhausen. But Schaefer explores the inner nature of sound: Penumbral Rover employs radio signals from the sun recorded during a solar eclipse; Vertrek borders on silence. Maison A Bordeaux differs from the others in that it has a plot full of twists, and mostly surreal ones, worthy of Becket's absurdist theatre. His background as an architect (geometry, space, harmony) is evident in the album's centerpiece, Parallel Spoor, that takes ideas from such disparate schools as LaMonte Young, Pierre Henry and Oval and turns them into an ordered set of events.
All Music Guide. [Francois Couture]
Janek Schaefer released 'Pulled Under', his follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut 'Above Buildings', on his own label audiOh!Recordings A lot less beat-oriented, more textural and electro-acoustic (i.e. musique concrete) in nature, this CD takes the listener on a mesmerizing journey. The cover artwork pictures the silhouette of a man falling into what appears to be a rift of the Grand Canyon. The image suits the music very well: we plunge into an alternate reality, in slow motion. We have time to look at the cliffs and the morphing birds flying back as we fall - much like Lewis Carroll's character Alice falling into the rabbit hole. Schaefer still uses his self-devised turntables, but his mastery has grown to the point that one doesn't notice the tools anymore. Except for an occasional segment of surface noise or a tone arm bouncing around as in "Rapid Xativa", this could all be computer work or lo-fi electronics. Being able to 'forget' Schaefer's instrument of choice is a plus. Once you stop trying to figure out his vinyl sources or how the textures are achieved you can make it to a deeper level of the fall. Buried in the artist's resounding rooms (not unlike John Duncan's beautiful 'Palace of Mind'), we can wander about, completely lost in this world where no reference point is solid enough to hold on to. 'Parallel Spoor' and 'Sienna' are highlights, but the biggest surprise is 'Lithospheric Shifts'. On the Sub Rosa compilation 'Floating Foundation, Vol. 1', it felt weak and thin in context. This new edit, slightly remixed, finds its perfect place in the context of Pulled Under. Highly recommended, although fans of his first album will need to make a leap of faith.
Touching Extremes webzine (Italy) [Massimo Ricci]
Though Schaefer manipulates modified turntables for most anything you hear, think of him as an electroacoustic composer - such are his inventiveness and unique visual. "Pulled under" is one of the best records I have heard in 2002, much more consistent than at least two or three by "highly-reviewed-northern-English-turntablist" (heh-heh), also because Janek's sound placing and frequency explorations are so impacting and surprising, they just glance at the medium from which they generate to find their own force in a larger picture. So, I found everything I like in music today: droning, repetition, nebula, intelligent dynamics, spare noises contributing to the overall landscape...in a word: talent. You can start separating Janek Schaefer from the group of last-minute pretenders right now; I feel he won't delude.
"I definitely liked what I heard..... my overall impression is quite favourable" .... [Not bad, for Bernhard!]
Rothko [Mark Beazley]
"A solid piece of work, it's pretty much perfect. If there is any true justice, you should, by rights, have great success with it."
Dusted Magazine (US) [Michael Crumsho]
Now that Im a (metro) card carrying Brooklynite, there exists but two kinds of music in my daily life: subway and non-subway music. The former is that kind of thing (and it differs from person to person) that works you into the rhythm you need on a daily basis to ignore the fact that youre fucking broke and have a diploma that is essentially worthless in the real world, to ignore the screeching wheels and piercing air horns of the R train, and, finally, to ignore the equally dour look on every other wage slaves face as they make their way to their cubicles. The latter for me is everything aside from HipHop, Cheap Trick, and Funkadelic (a base oversimplification, I suppose, but you get the point), all those things which encourage listening and not just rhythmic interface, that allow your mind to work around metaphors, symbols, and relationships as you sit in your room staring at the walls lost in a train of thought marveling at the sheer oddity of the sounds youre hearing.
The work of British musician/sound artist Janek Schaefer is non-subway music
in the purest sense of my recently created term. This is music that doesnt
make it easy on the listener at all. The tones, moods, and contexts of the music
exist in no small part, but these are all things you have to work hard to grasp
and see as the relations between found sounds, sparse instrumentation, and a
smattering of locked grooves and other vinyl manipulations unfold carefully
and cautiously. Inspired by his travels about the world, and in particular of
danger signs that warn of straying too close to rivers in Yosemite National
Park, Pulled Under, Schaefers second solo disc is a work that deals heavily
in the notions conjured up by the falling figure pictured on the cover: the
idea of being lost in undulating waves of sound/thought/matter, spinning in
and out of comprehension and control with little to hold on to from side to
side. The disc also works as a companion/homage of sorts to J.G. Ballards
dystopian visions as espoused by the novel The Drowned World, a piece of prose
that depicts a future earth in which the ice caps have melted and left nearly
everything submerged. Schaefer expertly uses his granular abstractions and
experimental electronics to create a series of eight soundscapes that work their
way through feelings of dread and anxiety, and also the sheer dangerous joy
of losing complete control.
Leaf through the Guinness Book of World Records and youll find Janek in the pages, noted as the creator of the worlds Most Versatile Record Player. The sound of the Triphonic turntable, a three-armed beast of a machine that would undoubtedly wreak havoc all over a collection of hip hop vinyl sides, is not as prominent this time around, distancing Schaefer from comparisons to the work of turntable experimentalists like Philip Jeck and Thomas Brinkman. In its place are manipulated mini-disc field recordings and other sound oddities that lead the listener through a series of granular abstract environments. The record begins with the slowly building hums and drones of SuperChannel. The material here has been abstracted beyond the point of recognition, but the track still works towards a carefully undulating and peaking wall of sound. Rapid Xativa introduces some gentle guitar to the lush soundscape that creates the aural texture of standing on a beach watching the waves. This is all before the tide sucks you under the surf, allowing you to surface every now and again for brief snippets of unrecognizable noise from the rest of the surface world. Prenumbral Rover is even more intriguing, with this one taking source material from an Andy Gracie installation that used solar eclipse radio signals and up close and personal soundtrack to solar flares, if you will. The drones ride in and out on ominous and unsettling waves before giving way to a richer tapestry of shifting sounds and textures. The guitars return for Maison a Bordeaux, this time sounding more disembodied than ever as they warble back and forth in the mix, before being somewhat muted in favor of a more unsettling soundscape.
Parallel Spoor is the obvious centerpiece here. The tracks fourteen-plus minutes are languorously (the good meaning) stretched out, beginning with static-sounding vinyl manipulations that gradually come to encompass both the mutated sounds of streets and trains before segueing into the carefully plotted manipulations of concert recordings laid delicately on top of one other. The two distinct pieces of the track work well with each other to make for textures that carefully shift and move around each other, dropping in and out of cavernous echoes of sound. Lithospheric Shifts takes its cues from rolling waves of sound generated solely by the Library of Congress 8rpm Record Player for the Blind, working itself into undulating hums. The album closes with Vertrek, a track that mines similar aesthetic territory, although this time relying on more steady drones and electroacoustic flickers with low-end waves rolling in from the background now and again. This brilliant record closes amidst the steady din of granular textures that gracefully fade away, leaving nothing but a slowly dying hum.
Its rare that a record this experimental can at the same time exist as
an intriguing treatise on the nature of dystopia, as paralleled by the Ballard
novel mentioned earlier. Yet Schaefer accomplishes just that, skillfully blending
an almost innate knack for crazy sound manipulation and treatment with an expert
sense of composition and structure. Its also rare that a record that strives
to be such a daring piece of art can end up being so flat out listenable, too.
Provocative when it counts, and yet delicately composed when it counts even
more, Pulled Under is an excellent treasure, something that will appeal to fans
of ambient, electro-acoustic, or experimental electronics all around. The
true joy of this record is that, even after multiple listens, it doesnt
even come close to revealing all of the intricacies contained within the tracks.
This is foreground music: music to be carefully heard so as not
to miss any of the subtle beauties it has to offer the listener. It makes me
wish I was more of a morning person, as this would undoubtedly make the commute
into Manhattan a lot more interesting.
Inner Space Radio, Croatia [Vladimir Jovanovic]
"This is really an exceptional work"
IEM Mag, Russia [Dmitry Vasilyev]
Well here is the groundbreaking CD - after some decided disappointments and tons of dull stuff it make me feel like a deep breath of fresh air! Definitely the best what I heard recently at least. Janek Schaefer is new name to me, I discover his music due to the marvellous french Fear Drop zine, published one of his tracks on CD-compilation that comes with the latest issue. Janek is UK resident and owns AudiOh! studio/label. His previous works were released by such labels as Fat Cat, Sirr.ecords and others. His sound work is based upon vinyl records and extensive sampling/field recordings techniques and evolving through skillfully manipulated abstract electronica layers. Music is surprisingly expressive, even minimal parts can give you unlimited impressions. Right from the start of first track your imagination bring you into the huge house, where you can easily lose your way among endless corridors and passages. The interior is always changing, it reminds museum, cathedral or even derelict catacombs. The faint light circle runs through walls, crowded images are hiding in the dark, emerging from nowhere and dissolving into each other. At that point you'll realize that this house reflects the very inner world... maybe yours own? This thought pierce your brain like a revelation: the ceiling and walls are expanding to the infinity, all events become rambling and the memories began to fade. The gloomy clouds of dense air washes your body - there's no more familiar things around, alienation and cold atmosphere wake you up... to fall asleep again in the next split second. Janek Schaefer' musical genius is transforming your reality gently but with irresistible force, pushing you into the realm of abstractions and mysteries. The best metaphor for his music is "day-dream".
Phil Stringer [Kiosk Customer]
Thank you very much for sending me Pulled Under, Recorded Delivery and your note. Pulled Under hasn't been out of my CD player since it arrived - it's wonderful and a lot of other superlatives too... a remarkable piece of work. I'm addicted.
Romano Rigamonti [scanner.it webzine, Italy]
Un viaggio nell'arte del rumore elettroacustico, questo ? Pulled Under nuovo album di Janek Schaefer (audiOh). Seguito ideale del precedente Above Buildings, pubblicato dalla Fat Cat Records, questo Pulled Under prosegue nelle coordinate soniche puramente rumoriste, evidenziandone gli aspetti pi? evocativi e poetici. Pulled Under non ? un disco facile ed il suo canto elettroacustico non parla una lingua facilmente accessibile; dobbiamo affrontare questa avventura sonora sapendo a priori di essere in procinto di entrare in una terra straniera, ma non per questo ostile. Aritmico e rumorista Pulled Under parla con il linguaggio dei suoni della nostra societ?O post industriale, usando ad arte rumori, campioni e pura improvvisazione in una forma che riporta alla mente gli esperimenti storici di Alvin Curran e quelli pi? recenti di Microstoria e David Toop. Non abbiamo i clicks and pops tanto di moda nel rumorismo attuale, piuttosto ci ritroviamo immersi in un fluido rumoroso, dove inizialmente non si trovano punti di riferimento e ci si deve affidare esclusivamente alla sua corrente vorticosa, per scoprirne in un secondo momento la sottesa poetica. Janek Schaefer prima ci consegna la Stele di Rosetta del suo linguaggio musicale per poi dispiegare tutta la sua arte sperimentale e dOavanguardia davanti ai nostri occhi, proponendo panorami sonici che descrivendo le nostre metropoli le agghindano di una rumorosit?O carica di un pathos evocativo. Pulled Under ? una nuova sfaccettatura nelle attuali tendenze rumoriste, certamente non la pi? facile da comprendere, ma, forse, una delle pi? preziose. 8/10
U-Zine, Belgium [Patrick Vandenberghe] 3/5
Reading Guillaume Grenier's ravingly enthusiastic review of Mr. Schaefer's concert at the Mutek Festival, Montr?al, Canada, May 30th, 2002, I could easily see his point, without even having been there. Indeed, I quite liked Mr. Schaefer's "Above Buildings" - just check U0008 for proof. However, I'm less impressed with "Pulled Under". Being informed what concept lies behind the album, what the titles mean and how the tracks were made didn't make it any more fascinating a listen. "Parallel spoor" or "Lithospheric shifts [amended mix]" are two very excellent tracks indeed, though little more, and almost anything else on the album sounds too routinely for me, too devoid of emotions, as if Mr. Schaefer had been trying to imagine BC Gilbert doing "Eraserhead" whilst being distracted by the geometrics of a Russian "Il Deserto Rosso". (In actual fact, the inspirations came from other, equally complex origins.) All in all, it's just too bad Mr. Schaefer had his automatic pilot on, since he's clearly not one of those easily-satisfied opportunists which populate today's soundscaper scene. Surely the next record will once again have more to convey?
Puisant aux tr?fonds de la musique concr?te et r?p?titive, Janek Schaefer nous plonge rapidement dans un magma sonore aux trifouillis ?lectroniques, organiques et acoustiques. A la fois apaisant et inqui?tant, les longues nappes ?volutives de lOalbum sont granuleuses, distordues, grin?antes. Elles sOancrent dans le quotidien des machines qui nous entourent. Elles sO?l?vent dans le royaume des sph?res atmosph?riques. Pour encore mieux replonger dans les bas-fond des souterrains de nos cit?s. LOutilisation massive de basses fr?quences profondes se retrouve en fil rouge tout au long du disque. On ne peut que se surprendre ?O se laisser porter par elles et ?O se laisser envelopper par les superbes textures produites par Schaefer. A d?couvrir absolument sur un syst?me hi-fi de qualit? ou lors dOune session live sans aucun doute envo?tante.
Mark Farmer [Kiosk Customer]
I've been listening to this "style" of music for many years and your music is like a breath of fresh air, BRILLIANT. I am now a big fan and look forward to hearing more...
Beat People webzine, (Spain) [Jose Manuel Cisneros]
Tras "Above buildings" (Fat Cat records), Janek Schaefer vuelve a la carga con "Pulled Under", su cat?oNlogo de nuevas creaciones que ve la luz gracias a su propio sello AudiOh!. Este curioso productor (numera sus composiciones comenzando por la primera que realiz?\, en el cd empieza por la 84) , que ya present?\ parte de su trabajo en el Sonar de d?fa del pasado a?|o 2002, vuelve a basar el grueso de sus producciones en el sonido ambient y la experimentaci?\n sonora m?oNs vanguardista. F?oNnatico de los viajes, que realiza constantemente a lo largo del a?|o, su principal caracter?fstica reside en colocar micr?\fonos de ambiente en los paisajes m?oNs impactantes para m?oNs tarde en el estudio mezclarlos sabiamente con sonidos electr?\nicos y lograr as?f un resultado realmente innovador. Este cd es una buena prueba de ello.
Daryl Maffey [Kiosk Customer]
What can I say except that I had a reaction to listening to the CD, one that I've never had before - literally single words just started to popping up in my mind, things like Barren, Haunted, Occultish, Spasmified, Selflessness, and Phenomenal. I could hear wisps of replicants ereing in the background, my science fiction interpretations were creating images in my mind of a desolate landscapes, strange yet familiar. Anyway great stuff, very inspiring, look forward to hearing other material you have done.
Ampersandetc : Australia [ http://ampersandetc.virtualave.net/ampv2002_08.html ]
This follows the Fat-Cat disc Above Buildings reviewed in 2001_17 described as a 'complex combination of glitch, electroacoustic and ambience which can't be simply codified'. Schaefer continues his journey on his own label, emphasising the overall structure of his oeuvre by giving the tracks numbers from 84 to 91, indicating the relative position. Like Drawing Room, Schaefer's pieces are complex constructions, not really music as such, but sound sculptures to contemplate and enjoy. The journey metaphor is made concrete in 'SuperChannel' where a ringing and train like rumble underscore phasing voice tones and a strong shimmer, which then fades and is replaced by a deep rumble chitter and cymbal. A switch again follows, where the first part of 'Rapid Xativa' is chop-looped voice guitar click and a blood-like rumble which are manipulated, then drop to the blood and click where the echoed sound of a site recording, buzzy machine and pulsing voices takes over. 'Penumbral rover' takes us to the edge of the sun using radio signals in a soft crackling pulse that builds and fades, harsh and aggressive at times, joined by a tonal wind. Recordings inside a guitar feature in 'Maison a Bordeaux' where a buzzing shimmer and knocking is joined by a shaky notes and long resonances of the guitar. The notes become more twangy, surrounded by the buzz and resonance and more distant knocking, and a varying clatter; then pulsating echoey white noise and machiney buzzing, organ chords and crackles build to the end. Another longish excursion in 'Parallel Spoor' which rumbles and clicks (a bit like a marina), whips, distant trains and chant, rainy shimmers enter, then long chordic tones, some clatter, tones and over all a gentle move to the end. 'sienna' is dark whips and rumbles which intersect with nature samples, rhythms appearing in the depths, sample tones, machine chitters and long tones layered onto each other. The 8rpm record player used in 'Lithospheric Shifts' creates a evolution of crackles, dropping tones, a slow almost music and sine waves, then a noisy crackling, fading to a rumble and suggestive crackling. And finally 'Vertrek' with a long blowy pulse tone with all sorts of subtleties, changing volume and shifting round, the minimalist approach pulling relationships out of your listening as a rumble also come and goes. Not music, but delightful and varied audio (audiOh!) works that stretch your listening environment - You will be pulled up and then pulled in by this release.
Small Fish Records
REALLY MINIMAL BUT INCREDIBLY DEEP ALBUM OF DRIFTING SOUNDS FROM THE MAN LIKE SCHAEFER. THINK AN ORGANIC VERSION OF GAS, LOSCIL ETC, WITH MORE SUBTLE SOUNDS AND THE FEELING OF BEING IN A BIG WIDE OPEN SPACE. CRAP WRITE UP - GREAT CD THO'!E^
Live Review - Mutek Festival.
Janek Schaefer - Ex-Centris, Montreal, May 2002
Concert was an improvisation including demixed Pulled Under material.
click image to link to review