Bad Sector: Raw Data
A new trio of three-inch CD-Rs from the taâlem imprint includes field recordings-based soundscaping from d'incise and Final Cut and a collection of abstract vignettes from Bad Sector (Massimo Magrini). An unusual affair, the eleven tracks on the latter's Raw Data were recorded in 2006, then released as an interactive webpage in 2007, and have now been remastered and re-shaped for the taâlem release. In Magrini's own words: “The goal was to create interesting soundscapes that have no link to human manufacts/intentions: they just sound like directly recorded from sort of special, non-musical device. Only apparently cold, their macrostructure is so complex that a top-level macrostructure is totally unnecessary.” Each of the eleven pieces is precisely two minutes in length (and titled “Alpha,” “Beta,” “Gamma,” “Delta,” etc.), and each flickers and percolates for its allotted time before politely stepping aside to allow the next setting to take over. All manner of electrical combustion (“Lambda”) and whirr-and-click (“Zeta”) shows up during the release, and one track's pulsations could even pass for Cluster (“Eta”) while another's chirp and flutter suggests a wild orgy at the micro-organic level (“Epsilon”).
The work of the Geneva-based sound artist d'incise (real name Laurent Peter ) isn't new to textura—we previously reviewed his Sécheresse plantée en plein ciel (Gruenrekorder, 2010) and Rivages sur l'antipode (ini.itu, 2011) releases—so were pleased to see another outing by d'incise included in the taâlem package. arpenter's two captivating collages are at the same level of the other releases. “La demeure” is evocative in the extreme, with d'incise weaving multiple real-world elements into a rather ominous, field recordings-heavy dronescape that incorporates bells, rustlings, and footsteps sounds taken from an abandoned hospital in Chrzanow, Poland. Using field recordings captured in Lisbon, Portugal, “Aller s'étendre sur la rive” threads the hum and clatter of overhead plane and train sounds, speaking voices, bell tones, the wing flapping and cooing of pigeons, church choir singing, and subtle dabs of musical instrument sounds into its mercurial, fourteen-minute presentation. Teeming with ever-changing detail, Peter's action-packed soundscapes hold one's attention from start to finish.Final Cut, a French producer based in Belgium (and also co-curator of the 3patttes label and earsheltering net-label), used field recordings of environmental sounds collected in Belgium during January 2010 to create the two heavily processed soundscapes heard on Ballade de bruits. The title piece amounts to a rather spectral twelve minutes of crepuscular shimmer when glassy sound fields reverberate through cavernous spaces, their high-pitched peals occasionally smothered by billowing masses that swell in volume. Repeatedly attacked by dive-bombing embellishments, shuddering figures, and controlled howl, the rough-edged drone exhalations in “Radiothérapie” sound more like the product of an effects-laden electric guitar than field recordings, though it may simply be that Final Cut has modified the originating materials so drastically they sound like molten, guitar-generated slabs. Regardless, the smoldering piece makes for a stark but not unwelcome counterpoint to the title piece.