Kostis Kilymis: More Noise Ahead

“Mixing board, effects, Flower Electronics Jealous Heart, microphones, four-track cassette recorder, lloopp, samples, field recordings, anticipation”—the instrumentation credits displayed on the packaging of More Noise Ahead already suggest the kind of challenging audio experience the listener should expect from Kostis Kilymis's Entr'acte release (the album title, too, obviously), whose CD arrives snugly enclosed within the label's familiar sleeve design. Kilymis also operates the Organized Music from Thessaloniki music label, which is responsible for co-releasing More Noise Ahead with Entr'acte in an edition of 200 copies.

Recorded in Milan, Oxford, and Thessaloniki, the release presents thirty-six minutes of electroacoustic provocations, live recordings, and home experiments, a good many of them brief explorations of abstract character. The ten pieces, some quiet and some loud, are less compositions than vehicles for Kilymis's experimental muse to take him where it will. Field recording details sometimes give his abstractions a grounding in reality, as when whooshing cars and street noises are woven in amongst insistent, high-pitched whistles and bass tones during “The New Fragmentation” and when similar real-world sounds (birds, people talking, etc.) dominate the closing “Old Tape Worms Direct.” Though one braces oneself for a noise blast on the basis of the title, “More Noise Ahead” turns out to be one of the album's quietest pieces; if anything, the brief setting of clicking patter and bass drone is more micro-sound exercise than detonation. “Reaction As the Afterthought,” on the other hand, flirts with noise in its feedback-laced convulsions, whereas “A Crutch,” with its wavering bass tones and warbly signals, oozes an ominous sci-fi quality. As the fidgety bluster and wobbly bass tones of “Tiny Vices, Part 1” (recorded live at Bios Cinematheque, Athens) appear, one pictures Kilymis hunched over a table-top filled with electronic devices and objects, rapidly generating one sound after another and filling the hall with sine tones and distorted samples.

February 2013