Fat Cat Series Split 12" with Pan American 1998
Janek Schaefer/Pan American
Fat Cat Records 12FAT023
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...Play sample: To Dai For: [with Real Audio]
Track Listing: side 5: Janek Schaefer
1. Beyond Zero Point
2. To Dai For
3. Foreground Blink
4. Wach Bag Razor
5. Startle Bather
Track listing: side 6: Pan American
1. Both Ends Fixed
Janek Schaefer is a practising architect and former student of the RCA. This Split 12" marks his first full-scale release to date.
Mixed/performed live in a collage technique of stereo sampling manipulation. The vinyl source material is processed through Schaefer's custom-built Tri-Phonic Turntable, cheap repetition boxes and effects. Track 4 is generated entirely from a live exploration of a stereo phono-jack.
Split Series curated by Dave Howell.
The third in Fat Cat's eclectic and out-there series sees La Bradfords Pan American come head to head with Janek Schaefer - a previously unreleased turntable activist. Schaefer's tracks [based around his custom built three-armed deck] crackle and fuzz with shimmering chords, shifting loops and random blasts of noise. Utterly georgeous.
Pan-American is the solo project of Labradford's Mark Nelson and this rather gorgeous mixture of Fender Rhodes, drum machine and effects is easily the best thing he's ever done. For all his immersive ambitions, Nelson has created a track that floats like a butterfly and stings like Yo Yo Ma. Architect janek Schaefer sounds like Nelson's evil twin. His tracks are sound washes as well, but they are dark and droning and created with a custom-built Tri-phonic Turntable that picks up every last speck of dust on a record and magnifies them into Satan's own percussion orchestra.
Despite a history of waxploitation, only with this third installment of Fat Cat's split series does Tri-Phonic turntablist Janek Schaefer loose his vinyl virginity. Eschewing the jagged dynamism of experimentalist Christain Marclay and the five-rounds-rapid-motion of the US turntablist tag-teams, Schaefer's Musique Concrete logic randomises scratchadelia along artcore lines. Taking the fire out of turntablism's needleburn. Schaefer lifts serene clouds of static off his discs with an unexpectedly fierce beauty. With his specially constructed triple-arm decks, Schaefer has customised the role of the DJ. The flip side allows La Bradford's Mark Nelson to dilate and amplify thenarcodelic dub of his eponymous Pan American album, gently stoking it into the amber glow of Angelo Badalementi's incidental music for Twin Peaks.
Next and possibly best in Fat Cat's always diverting and hard to categorise series of split singles. Janek Schaefer provides layers of dark avant ambience, but the gem here is the Pan American epic. God knows what you'd call it, let's just say deftly crafted, beautiful miusc. A future 7AM classic.