A Closer Listen
Zbeen‘s music has always been about pattern, whether created or perceived: the mapping of vectors, linear and algebraic. Although the output of Gianluca Favaron and Ennio Mazzon may be based on mathematics, it sounds more like science, a theme explored in last year’s review of K-frame. Specifically, the duo’s work brings to mind the popping and beeping of miniature circuits and the gurgling of test tubes. A more nature-minded listener might envision expanding ice or the germination of seeds. Each of these impressions, none entirely accurate on their own, shares one common denominator: the impression of movement. Zbeen’s music seems self-generative, the product of a petri dish experiment gone awry or an artificial consciousness. It’s hard to imagine the duo as responsible for every last note; one pictures instead an interplay of instinct.
Consider for example the flutter at the end of “Soundness.” This sound, like that of a small sparrow bathing, may have been generated by a random sequence of algorithms, or it may have been planned. Either way, its repetition is intentional, the evidence of a hand behind the controls. A louder flutter in the following track (more like that of an unspooling film reel or a Large and Frightening Mutant Bird) demonstrates the duo’s propensity for volume control. Some aspects are purposely soft, but the loud aspects are the ones that draw the attention. It’s no surprise that “(ε, δ)” is the most effective piece, by title dealing with error and distance and the definition of limit; the piece pushes against multiple boundaries at once, including that of rhythm (in the playful opening segment) as well as the expected pattern and flow. At what point does one stop perceiving melodic intent? How much can abrasion be used until it no longer sounds abrasive? Is the sudden structure of the fifth minute really structure, or the mind’s projection of structure in proximity to seeming randomness? Is that a bass?
Eigen becomes quieter as it proceeds, but retains its level of activity. ”[1k; 0 1] yields a series of carbonate grinds in its opening minutes, but eventually topples into a dark drone with a pulse like that of an amplified clock – one that occasionally adds a tick. ”U+222B” is percussive, but not beat-oriented; in fact, it seems to be built upon a template of beats that have been erased and replaced by a more interesting variety of noises. A faint musical loop sputters in at 2:12 and out at 2:42, as if visiting from a neighboring satellite. One begins to wonder, “why do drummers always hit the same variety of drums?” But then one remembers the cold, hard truth: for some, the definition of limit is closer to earth than it is for others.
The opening track of Italian duo Zbeen’s album “Eigen” hits with all the chaos and confusion of the inner city, a barrage from all directions of synthesised traffic and sirens and construction noise, a distracting and disorienting clamour. Turn a corner, and the noise subsides, only to return gradually as your path brings you back to the main street. A layering of multiple independent patterns leads to the impression of no pattern at all; not really chaos, then, but more a dense complexity. There is no conspiracy, no concerted attack against the senses; the sounds respond to hearing with indifference rather than malice. The interest would seem to be in what the sounds do, rather than in their manipulation into coherent forms for the entertainment of the listener.
The rest of the album is calmer and more subdued, though occasionally something harsh and brittle threatens to erupt. There are quiet passages reminiscent of a deserted laboratory, the idle chatter of machines as they crunch data or analyse proteins. One imagines an artificial ecosystem of devices, each going about their separate tasks. What if a human performer saw him- or herself as a participant in such an ecosystem, rather than its caretaker? What if he or she stopped viewing the devices as tools to be utilised, as transparent means to an end, and instead started listening in on their conversations, occasionally adding a word or two? Lab technician, or turologist? (‘Turology’ — the study of machine behaviour as apparently autonomous and intentional). Zbeen think hard about when to let the program run, and when, and how, to intervene.
“Eigen” is Gianluca Favaron and Ennio Mazzon’s third collaborative album, following releases on Entr’acte and Ripples Recordings. In combining programming and improvisation, not as polar opposites, but as complimentary approaches with sometimes indistinguishable results, they propose an attitude to computer-based music that looks beyond button-pushing to something more dialogical. There are links here, perhaps, with the work of other Italian musicians and “sonic researchers”, for example with Andrea Valle and Dario Sanfilippo’s investigation of feedback systems (see Gianmarco Delre’s interview with Sanfilippo for these very pages). When the music heard in bars and supermarkets seems so lifeless (would Justin Bieber pass the Turing test?), perhaps listening more closely to the sonic behaviour of machines can lead to something a bit more intelligent, even emotively affective. “Eigen” certainly seems to suggest so.
Dispiace un po’ dover ricorrere alle forbici per accedere all’ascolto di questo cd, fermamente sigillato dentro un algido packaging simil industriale che rimanda all’estetica della label raster noton. Ma tant’è, un taglio netto, preciso, e via. Chirurgia dell’accesso che del resto ben si sposa con l’estetica proposta dal duo Gianluca Favaron ed Ennio Mazzon, alle prese con field recordings e manipolazione digitale, coadiuvati in fase di mastering dall’attento Giuseppe Ielasi. Le note della label, riassumendo a base di campi vettoriali e particelle sonore piazzate al loro interno, può apparire viziata da un eccesso di concettualizzazione e astrazione matematica, quasi a volere tracciare una decisa linea di separazione tra l’umanità dei musicisti e le loro apparecchiature elettroniche che assemblano e scompongono bit plasmandoli in suoni. Tuttavia a dispetto di tali premesse e della stasi annunciata dal titolo, il cd brulica di vita, di forme in divenire, di colori (sia pure desaturati sino a diventare toni di grigio) e di inattese aperture quasi melodiche che non riescono a trattenersi dall’arrancare tra fredde e desolate rovine digitali. Un bug nella programmazione che lascia filtrare residui di emozioni che il pulsare dei circuiti e degli algoritmi non possono arrestare.
Due soli i brani di ‘Stasis’, con i quasi 30 minuti del primo, Skyr Stillheten, ad occupare i due terzi del cd. Introdotto da fosche nebbie digitali e da lunghe strisce di suoni che si allungano verso l’alto come i fumi di pire lasciate a morire su distese di nulla, a poco a poco emergono suoni scricchiolanti, echi di voci abbandonate, imperturbabili mormorii in bassa frequenza e impetuose maree grigie ed avvelenate. Non riesco a togliermi dalle orecchie l’immagine di una qualche strana forma di paesaggio tra l’organico e il meccanico, in lenta e continua mutazione, con la musica come a circumnavigare e zoomare su alcuni dettagli per poi lasciarli disintegrare. Ad un certo punto gli eventi sonori diventano più concitati, interferenze, disturbi, bleeps, flickering dei sensi, strutture che iniziano a sfaldarsi. Il piccolo miracolo avviene alla fine con una quasi impercettibile melodia che inizia a scavare ed emergere. Nasce come un organo, cresce come un malnutrito Fennesz in slow motion e muore con struggente dolcezza quasi acustica. Incessanti pulsazioni, luccichii digitali, rombi lontani per Flytende Stillheten, più accessibile nella sua relativa brevità, ma leggermente meno suggestiva. Consiglio vivamente l’ascolto in cuffia per apprezzare al meglio i, per citare Bernhard Günter , détails agrandis contenuti in ‘Stasis’.
I was hit with mild heartbreak as I took scissors to my copy of Stasis, which arrived at ATTN:HQ in a vacuum-sealed silver plastic pack. Ultimately I’m glad that I did it, as such an action broke my preconceptions of the music that resided within based on visual aesthetic alone; Zbeen’s latest EP is far from the sterile, bleeping circuit board of sonic calculus that it I imagined it to be, and in fact, it actually feels just open to the experiential unknowing of the physical world as previous EP K-Frame.
It’s like a sonic laboratory: electric whistles quiver gently like agitated molecules under microscope slides, stutters of computer processes churn out real-time analysis and error codes, reverberant howls and distant high-pitched drones hint towards the reactive experiments occurring in neighbouring rooms. Yet rather than shut itself exclusively within clinical white spaces and painstakingly controlled modes of behaviour, the release is full of excursions into the outdoors: traffic noise, shoes crunching on dry rubble. In fact, the extent to which the duo explore both abstraction and a rich, multi-sensory tangibility is quite remarkable, with the bubbles and scrapes 26 minutes into “Skyr Stillheten” (for which reference points are difficult pick out, other than the amplified sound of an insect eating) demonstrating the release at its most earthly and animalistic.
Where the first half approaches moments of volume-induced instability via turbulent swells of low frequency, “Flytende Stillheten” takes a tense tightrope walk between silence and audibility. It sounds like the capturing of micro-processes – tiny, tiny indications of life and activity, slithering across empty space and forever feeling prone to fall into it. Silence and death loom large, and I’m left anxiously awaiting the moment at which that miniscule ripple of frequency eventually flatlines, slipping into the stasis of nothing.
Jedną z wartości działalności Entr’acte jest pasja do odszukiwania artystów stosunkowo nieznanych. „Stasis” to długogrający debiut włoskiego duetu w składzie Gianluca Favaron i Ennio Mazzon. Choć obu twórców interesuje zastosowanie matematyki w muzycznej kompozycji, album nie odstrasza chłodem i brakiem emocji. Przeciwnie, jak na elektroakustyczny projekt zainspirowany reakcją cząstek w polu wektorowym, sporo tu klasycznie brzmiących harmonii a nawet melodii. Szczególnie w syntezatorowym wstępie, kojarzącym się ze współczesnymi wersjami kosmische musik. W dalszej części kompozycje odbijają w stronę zaszumionych, pulsujących abstrakcji, podszytych field recordingiem z trzewi skorupy ziemskiej. Propozycja Zbeen zbliża się do ambientu spod znaku Thomasa Könera. Ewokuje odczucie izolacji, wyobcowania i zagubienia podczas podróży w nieznane.
Oltre il Suono
“Stasis” è il primo CD “stampato” pubblicato da Zbeen, progetto condiviso di Gianluca Favaron ed Ennio Mazzon, che segue il già promettente “K-Frame”, un EP in CD-R rilasciato dalla Ripples. Chi già conosce Gianluca Favaron, e in particolare l’altro suo progetto Under the Snow condiviso con Stefano Gentile, troverà nel presente “Stasis” molti elementi in comune, seppure la differenza sostanziale tra i due progetti è data dalla scelta assoluta e incondizionata di utilizzare esclusivamente suoni di origine elettronica e digitale (salvo qualche rara eccezione…), ambito in cui evidentemente anche Ennio Mazzon si trova perfettamente a suo agio. Le progressioni sono sempre lente, “discrete”, con qualche momento di maggiore “enfasi” costruita attraverso “accumuli” di maggiori quantità di “strati sonori” in forma di “crescendo”… Il suono è sempre e comunque evidentemente freddo, sintetico, perennemente “scricchiolante”, seppure fondi sonori basati su frequenze basse attenuano spesso le “spigolosità elettroniche” restituendo un più “caldo” ed emotivamente “avvolgente” risultato sonoro… La melodia in senso stretto è pressochè del tutto assente, seppure alcuni brevi, accennati, quasi “subliminali” suoni d’impronta più vagamente “musicale” arricchiscono qua e là le glaciali trame sonore… “Stasis” è un album che sicuramente potrà apparire un po’ “ostico” a chi ricerchi emozioni “forti” e contenuti sonori d’impronta più “drammatica” e “toccanti” dal punto di vista prettamente emotivo; ma riuscirà invece ad essere sicuramente apprezzato da chi abbia maggiore “dimestichezza” con sonorità più estreme prettamente elettroniche e digitali, grazie anche ad una forma compositiva ben “ponderata” e finemente articolata che, unitamente ad una buona qualità tecnica del suono, rende comunque estremamente “fruibile” e di piacevole ascolto l’intero CD.
The New Noise
Di Zbeen abbiamo già parlato, così come di altri progetti di Gianluca Favaron (Under The Snow) ed Ennio Mazzon (Ripples Recordings). La validissima Entr’Acte si è accorta di loro e produce questo Stasis, lavoro basato – come tradizione per l’etichetta inglese – sulla manipolazione più o meno spinta di field recordings. Dei due pezzi di questo disco il mio preferito è il secondo, “Flytende Stillheten”, perché di durata inferiore e più omogeneo e focalizzato: si tratta di una traccia astratta (le sorgenti sonore sono spesso irriconoscibili), che possiede una sorta di violenza chirurgica, fredda, circoscritta, ma molto cupa e dolorosa. Il problema è soggettivo, nel senso che se i field recordings restano “puri”, per me occorre davvero avere una bella storia da raccontare, altrimenti, col diluvio di uscite – specie su web – incentrate su questo modo di fare sound art, è praticamente impossibile catturare l’attenzione. Gianluca ed Ennio, consciamente o meno (e come già nel precedente ep), fanno in modo di arrivare all’ascoltatore senza costringerlo a ulteriori sforzi d’attenzione, quando già si muovono in un contesto nel quale il fruitore dell’opera non è mai casuale, bensì un appassionato che sin da subito sa di doversi approcciare in un certo modo al disco. Per questi motivi il primo brano, che ha una natura più ambient, su 32 minuti qualche colpo finisce per perderlo e farlo perdere, nonostante diversi suoi frangenti siano molto buoni (lo smarrimento iniziale, qualche sprazzo più “musicale” e malinconico, la capacità di scendere nel profondo). A parte questo, Zbeen quest’anno s’è guadagnato meritatamente attenzione. Vedremo se saprà affermarsi per bene in futuro.
‘Stasis’ is a human/digital hybrid. Here the sound appears to be rather dark. Melody appears throughout these enigmatic pieces. Tiny snippets of humanity burst form from the calm. Large periods of calm are broken up by these few events. At times it appears reminiscent of something approximating field recordings. Clearly elements of a natural world can be heard coming from far away. Yet the focus is on the human aspect of things from a digital perspective. In other words there is a great deal of distance Zbeen puts between the sound and the natural environment. Neither one is entirely comfortable in the situation. And the sudden impulses are reminders of this tension-fueled sound.
Zbeen begins with a wistful melody. ‘Skyr Stillheten’ hovers around. The sound is metallic. At first it resembles a drill. Eventually Zbeen takes this noise and transforms it into an almost extended-carousel tune. In spite of the obvious intense exploration of sound there is playfulness behind it. It is perhaps the closest one can get to a digitally realized inner child. From there Zbeen transforms into ghostly broadcasts. Radio pieces break through the crystal clear surface. Elements of real life break through. Water or an approximation of water weaves its way through. Towards the end it gets particularly harsh in nature. For the closer ‘Flytende Stillheten’ things are much more concentrated. Unlike the opener there is little illusion of a natural world. Rather a take on ONYKO is explored. Behind the harsh tone are atmospheric noises keeping the environment surprising active. While less immediately understood than the first track upon repeated listens it begins to come together.
Both pieces require a large degree of deep listening. Multiple listens can result in greater understanding not only of the sound but of one’s environment. Stasis teems with life.
Releases on Entr’acte from the UK appear with great regularity, in small editions and perhaps because of that hardly land on this desk for review. Too bad I think. But sometimes they reach us because the artist mails it to us, like Ennio Mazzon here, in duo with Gianluca Favaron. They already had a release together as Zbeen, ‘K-Frame’ (reviewed in Vital Weekly 818), which I quite liked a lot. Among them they use programming, digital signal processing and field recordings. Here we have two quite long pieces, one of thirty-two minutes and one of sixteen minutes and it seems to me that these pieces are more or less improvised in the studio. It seems, this time around, a bit less dense than on ‘K-Frame’ and the website says “Stasis elaborates the mathematical metaphor but shifts the attention from the geo-metric theme of ‘the frame’ towards a more physical approach to structures such as vector fields and particularly examining the response of the particles placed within them. The basic premise is that the sonic behavior exhibited by the source particle will depend on the shape of the fields. Specifically, the scope of Stasis is essentially the definition of the potential field of a hypothetical acoustic behaviour.” Which is a bit too much mumbo jumbo for me, I think. I am not sure if I like this over ‘K-Frame’… something tells me I liked that one more. The whole music here is perhaps too fragmented, too chaotic, perhaps too much improvised and in need of some more editing. What I liked about ‘K-Frame’, the shorter, more uniform sense of a ‘piece’ (composition if you will) is something that I miss out here, certainly in ‘Sky Stillheten’, the longest of the two. The other one, ‘Flytende Stillheten’ is more alike it, but then perhaps a bit long in it single minded use of drones. While still a most enjoyable album, not as good as its predecessor.
The New Noise
Non è un caso che il prossimo disco di Zbeen esca per Entr’Acte, etichetta che tra Helena Gough, Esther Venrooy e altri predilige la sperimentazione elettronica, specie quella sui field recordings. K-Frame, del cui mastering si è occupato Giuseppe Ielasi (pure lui sul catalogo Entr’Acte), è disponibile sulla net-label di Ennio Mazzon (Ripples), titolare di questo progetto assieme a Gianluca Favaron, che conosciamo anche per Under The Snow, altra sua collaborazione, questa volta assieme a Stefano Gentile di Silentes. I suoni di partenza qui diventano un qualcosa che di volta in volta si sposta lungo la linea ambient-glitch-rumore. K-Frame, in sintesi, è un ep spesso tagliente e teso, che – oltre ai dischi dell’etichetta inglese alla quale s’accennava all’inizio – ricorda nei suoni più aggressivi e “insettosi” lo stile di illustri esponenti del noise. Colpisce soprattutto la seconda metà di questi venti minuti: “Enhet Lengde” è una morte gelida e terrificante, mentre “Retning” è per lunghi un cupissimo assalto di suoni digitalizzati. Non stiamo parlando di roba che sposta confini, ma nemmeno della solita riproposizione noiosa e indiscriminata di mille suoni raccolti col Minidisc.
Cuffie consigliate: si fa sempre più interessante questo Veneto elettronico.
Just when K-Frame begins to sound like the babbling operations desk of a spacecraft, the recurrent mixture of bubbles and sloshes starts to rise up through the middle and uproot the atmospheric basis in the artificial. As the project members (Gianluca Favaron, Ennio Mazzon) state in the quote above, the release preoccupies itself with the abstract concepts of space and energy rather than the objects that bring these concepts into being; thus it is appropriate that K-Frame toes an indistinct line between the organic and the mechanical, harnessing all sorts of hums, beeps, slurps and static bursts in its observation of sonic physics.
Favaron and Mazzon clearly understand the evocation of “dimension” well enough to make best use of it; the release is stacked full of intricate detail that always resounds with clarity, regardless of how densely populated the pieces become. Sheets of white noise hang before electronic beeps without muffling their timbre, while the scrapes and crumbles of earthly material (evoking frictional motion against concrete and rock) emanates beautifully from the centre. However, one aspect that feels under-explored – for this reviewer anyway – is that of sonic reaction and interrelation: sound impacting on other sounds, changes in tone, velocity and pitch that create a notable transformation in the surrounding texture, demonstrating the energy interchange that brings the concept of “force” into existence. But in terms of the other qualities of its construction, K-Frame is otherwise impressive.
Progetto nato dietro alle menti di Ennio Mazzon e Gianluca Favaron, esso si identifica in una geometrica, scientifica visione del suono e della sua massa dimensionale.
Sequenze e combinazioni si amplificano in quattro passaggi sonori, nei quali assistiamo a un’ordinata evoluzione di complessità. La sovrapposizione e accumulazione di elementi converge a un intreccio organico, creando una visione ambigua, che tracima nel minimale, in una bassa tensione elettrica. In parallelo è tenuta aperta la finestra su una struttura più ampia e dilatata, sebbene dalle tinte offuscate. Quasi ci si trovasse in mezzo ad una microscopica parte del divenire.
Se la mente trova un riferimento nobile in certe soluzioni del disco all’attitudine della Raster Norton, l’affinità rimane più concettuale che strumentale. Il parallelo con le produzioni di Alva Noto poggia chiaramente nell’ossessivo desiderio di analisi matematica e scientifica della realtà e del suono; qui però si cerca di svilupparlo in una maniera concreta, che cerca nelle field recordings, oltre che nell’elettronica, un forte elemento strutturale.
Un dualismo, quest’ultimo, che prende forza lungo tutta l’opera: se “Sentrert Dot” e “Enhet Lengde” mostrano un’atmosfera ambient saturata da toni acuti e metallici, in cui si innestano gorgoglii naturali e piccoli granuli sonori, la conclusiva “B Retning” mostra il raggiungimento del cosiddetto “K -Frame”, ovvero un insieme ordinato di vettori indipendenti. Tra loop e campionamenti facciamo l’esperienza di un ambiente panico in pieno svolgimento. Dalle apparenze materiali e organiche, la realtà si mostra apparentemente cacofonico, ma attentamente costruito in ogni sua linea teorica.
Un esperimento in laboratorio. Tra formule e ingredienti sezionati, un’opera da studiare sin dalle sue basi concettuali.
“Grunnlag”, the opening track of the acoustic/electronic noise collaboration between Gianluca Favaron and Ennio Mazzon begins with a winning combination: blips, scratches, and a oscillating pulse that eventually mimics the listeners heartbeat, soothing them. It sure as hell worked on “Welcome To The Machine”, except this time the descent into the machine is not a metaphor for some Orwellian fantasy, but literally going inside a machine. K-Frame is surprisingly concise and well held-together. Themes do not become too strung out and boring. In the description for the release, ZBEEN provides us with a novel observation, based in science, that alternately confuses and describes the music perfectly:
“Sounds act as vectors and they can be regarded as the representation of quantities like force and velocity which are defined by magnitude and direction.”
With this kept in mind, it appears that ZBEEN decided to push outwards with their music, crafted pieces that shine in a delicate, warm natural light. They are they coated with a myriad of well constructed field recordings that seem to have been made in a fantasy warehouse full of more odds-and-ends than the Mythbusters lab. Then things get really wild on “Enhet Lengde”. I’m not normally one who has electro-acoustic field recordings in regular rotation, but this is the point where I started to regard ZBEEN less as a scientific experimental entity and more as a group of artists creating art. Throughout the remainder of the release I imagined myself aboard a spacecraft, peering out into the vast emptiness, embracing the tranquility as subtle machines worked in the background, purring.
Zbeen is the digitalization of nature. ‘K Frame’ consists of field recordings made into electronic artifacts. It’s strange. Beyond strange I’d say. What is on here could have easily fit onto the Ritornell label. Yes, the abstraction of nature is rather fascinating. I’m reminded of a more active version of Asmus Tietchens’ work. It is that removed from anything normal or possibly distinguishable. As soon as something sounds nearly human, it disappears under so many ongoing layers of sound.
‘Grunnlag’ introduces you to this strange world. A random ‘ping’ keeps on coming on, like an elevator bringing you to your destination. But this music doesn’t have a specific location, or even a melody. This is mysterious mood music. Half the joy of this song is trying to figure out when humanity got involved.
This happens throughout the disc. One wonders ‘Where are the humans, lifeforms, etc.’? A lot of this gets rather aggressive as well. After the first track the low bass frequencies take on a very harsh temperament. ‘Sentrert Dot’ makes these low frequencies nearly punishing. ‘B Retning’ is physically punishing. Besides mere bass frequencies, it employs a harsh static to wipe any chance at melodies. It’s also the closer and an appropriate closer given its active sonic environment.
‘K Frame’ sounds like panicked machines. It sounds extremely tense. At no point throughout the disc does this aural pain let up. This is some extraordinarily strange sound art. It challenges the listener to find its method as it spirals out of control.
Zbeen is the project of Ennio Mazzon and Gianluca Favaron and K-frame their first work together. Described as vectors to define space, K-Frame is a densely populated record that lives on the experimental side of electronic music.
K-frame is like sitting in at the middle of an electro magnetic field. Electrically buzzing signals move from left to right, intertwine with needle sharp high frequency tones and narrow field recordings. As much as it is not possible to focus on one element directly, the tension grows and the impression of swarms of electricity set into acoustic motion grows. This sounds like a messy version of Raster Noton or Ritornell releases. Messy not in a bad sense, but because Zbeen does not have the clinical strictness of the former mentioned. What they share is the way how they amplify structure.T he individual pieces have a nearly microscopic focus on detail, which show the fuzziness, the unschärfe of the elements. While Alva Noto and the likes rely on a very structured grid, with Zbeen sound seems to move rather by association; Permuting permanently, expanding at the seam and contracting more fluidly. At some points this reminds of early electronic forays of the Forbidden Planet variety, but with a strong computer based leaning. I’d love to hear this in 5.1 with all those rapidly moving sounds transmutating in the room around me. Just as with all Ripples Recordings releases, this is really good stuff and shouldn’t be missed out.
A Closer Listen
K-frame is a chemical experiment that takes place under loose supervision. The “k-frame” is the framework in which the sonics develop: the programming of Ennio Mazzon, the electronics of Gianluca Favaron and the field recordings of each. Force, magnitude, velocity and direction are all listed as elements in the lab. While they have been combined with iron tongs, each may still be extracted for identification and perusal.
Force: The sheer power of the set: the beat-free bludgeoning of raw and processed sound that provides the four pieces with their visceral punch. The volatility of these sounds demand that they be handled with care. Insulated gloves are recommended.
Magnitude: The proceedings are large and loud, whether watery sample, pinged tone or rising sonic rush. Whenever the sound levels rise, the heart races faster in response. Lab assistants should practice breathing techniques in order to prevent arrhythmia.
Velocity: Developments unfold much faster than expected, despite the presence of looped elements. While the speed is not rapid, the energy is high, like that of excited protons. Alert lab partners are recommended, as a moment’s lack of concentration could mean the difference between life and death.
Direction: Each track seems stuck in forward, like a car with no reverse gear or rear-view mirror. This strange propulsion is achieved via accumulation. The more weight, the heavier each piece becomes, until it begins to move on its own. For this reason, no one is allowed to leave the lab until all pieces have been locked down for the evening.
Viscosity: A fifth element created through drone, tone, and drop-in sound. In this case, the substance is thick, but not hardened, a dense mass that still manages to flow. These elements may operate within the k-frame, but they threaten to break its wooden barriers like a captured beast from a cracked crate. Please remember that these sounds are not domesticated, and that if damages occur, they will be the full responsibility of the people on duty at the time of the incident.
A duo of Ripples label boss Ennio Mazzon (programming, signal processing, field recordings) and Gianluca Favaron (microphones, field recordings, loops, electronics), who work with a continuously rotating sounds based on loops culled from static sounds, acoustic sounds and electronics. Five pieces in total, just over twenty three minutes, which doesn’t make it too easy to pin this down. There is a certain density about these recordings which I liked. Sounds keep popping up, play around for a while and then disappear, but pieces never collapse when things are removed. It has some fine textures here, moody and microscopic, filling out my space quite nicely. Maybe it has to do with the mastering of the CD (by Giuseppe Ielasi) that brought out more of the music, but it has a great vibrancy and liveliness to it. I wish it was all a bit longer with two or three more tracks. Very nice one, one of the best which involves Mazzon.