Fragmented Frequencies August 2012

With all of the back and forth recently in electronic music circles stemming from an interview given by Deadmau5 (that dude with the giant mouse head), the concept of button pushers within electronic music is again pretty controversial. The buttons we’re talking about are ‘start’ and ‘stop,’ a live show that consists of playing an ipod and getting paid half a million dollars. A Guy Called Gerald recently weighed in with a nasty ill thought out rant outing Deadmau5 as a failed record company hack before inexplicably charging him with wanting to nuke Palestine. Slightly insane yes, but it highlights the sensitivity and confusion for many in electronic music circles. With most of the work done in the studio with a mouse over many hours, it’s just not feasibile or interesting to replicate this live.

“Yeah its a tricky one these days,” offers Melbourne audio visual artist Kit Webster, who alongside Chiara Kickdrum and Bevin Campbell (host of The Blend on PBS) is starting a new live electronic night called Movement.

“Back in the 90’s you would see the artist jump from one machine to the next, each tweak you can literally see what’s going on, and you can see the intensity on their faces, then I guess you really understand the true meaning of 100% live.”

Movement doesn’t discriminate between styles or scenes, but they want facial intensity. “We want to push boundaries with sound by showcasing the best artists from sound art, electronica to dubstep, techno and drum and bass. 100% self produced music.”

Movement will be launched on Thursday August the 9th at The Order of Melbourne with the likes of Voitek, Mindbuffer, Kloke and a gaggle of cutting edge musicians and visual artists.

Back in 2000 Fragmented Films has fond memories of fronting up to a grimy Punters Club to witness an electronic artist with rudimentary electronics, a trombone and a mandolin craft these beguiling textures of sound. The artist was Nightswimmer and he self released three albums between 2000 and 2003 before promptly relocating to the UK, in pursuit of his other more shoegazey pop project The Sound Movement.  He’s recently returned to Melbourne after 8 or so years abroad with a new album The Sound of Disconnect. Whilst there is some similarity in mood and aesthetic with his earlier work, there’s a greater complexity in composition and execution. Nightswimmer gives the music plenty of time and space, allowing sounds and emotions to drift gradually into earshot, vocals whisper, guitars jangle and before you know it your transported back into his incredible world.

http://nightswimmer.bandcamp.com/album/the-sound-of-disconnect

Percussionist Will Guthrie, co founder of the Make It Up Club has been living in Nantes France for the last five years or so. A regular improvisor, he is equally adept with junk percussion and contact mics as with a full blown kit, having performed with jazz, flamenco, and African bands as well as improv troupes like Anthony Pateras’ Thymolphthalien. His new album, Sticks Stones & Breaking Bones (Antboy) sees a return to the kit. “I was a little tired and frustrated with what of I was doing with electronics,” he offers via email, “it was time to change. I also felt a need to try to bring in more ‘pulse’ elements into my music.”

It’s a remarkable album, recorded, mixed and mastered within two days, with Guthrie setting up little experiments to push himself out of his comfort zone.

“The idea for the piece ‘Breaking Bones’ was to push my physical limits, and play repeated patterns at a very high volume until the body can continue no longer, and change happens regardless of a mental decision to change. The idea is that after awhile of pushing the body the mind plays second to the body, so the results can be unexpected and different to what I would normally ‘decide’ to play. It’s almost like a chance piece, but the outside element is my own self.”

He’s launching the album at Monkey Bar on the 12th of August at 4pm.

 

Advertisements

Interview With Will Guthrie

 

Percussionist Will Guthrie, co founder of the Make It Up Club has been living in Nantes France for the last five years or so. A regular improvisor, he is equally adept with junk percussion and contact mics as with a full blown kit, having performed with jazz, flamenco, and African bands as well as improv troupes like Anthony Pateras’ Thymolphthalien.

What prompted your return to the kit?

Even when I was playing more electronics I never stopped playing the drums, but when recording I rarely used the drum kit. I was a little tired and frustrated with what of I was doing with electronics, it was time to change. I also felt a need to try to bring in more ‘pulse’ elements into my music.

And how have your percussive excursions over the last few years informed what you are doing on it now?

For me it all relates, the music I played in various settings (from African bands, to playing with guys from Stasis Duo) somehow all gets mixed up and spat out. ‘Sticks, Stones & Breaking Bones’ did not set out to do a mix of all these things, but after listening back I feel it somehow shows my different backgrounds in music, electronic, acoustic, improvisation, composition, etc …

You speak of wanting to play like a machine yet use the human physical limits as a way to influence where the music goes. Can you talk about this some more and were you surprised by the results?

Yes, the idea for the piece ‘Breaking Bones’ was to push my physical limits, and play repeated patterns at a very high volume until the body can continue no longer, and change happens regardless of a mental decision to change. The idea is that after awhile of pushing the body the mind plays second to the body, so the results can be unexpected and different to what I would normally ‘decide’ to play. It’s almost like a chance piece, but the outside element is my own self.

How did you go about recording the new album?

The new album was recorded live, no overdubs or edits, one take for the first two pieces, the last track took me a little longer, but the whole thing was recorded, mixed and mastered in 2 days.

You moved to France many years ago, how has this affected your playing and development?

I don’t know if being in Europe has affected my playing so much, but it has defiantly given me more opportunities to play in environments where my music is well accepted, and in good conditions for my music to be played in.

I saw you play with Cured Pink at the Melbourne Jazz Festival a few years back and it was one of my favourite sets of the day. Though given how unmusical the sounds he makes are I was really curious about how you’d approach it. Do remember this set and what was going through your mind?

I do remember this set well, and I enjoyed it. I felt it was real ‘improvised music’ !!! As apposed to people playing in a certain ‘style’ of improvised music, be that minimal, free jazz, whatever music, this gig had a real feeling on surprise, spontaneity about it, even danger. I really enjoyed playing with Cured Pink’s very ‘un musical’ sounds, it forced me into trying to make some sort of sense out of what was he was doing.

What should we expect for your show at monkey?

A set maybe slightly similar the new record.

WILL GUTHRIE – solo drums + percussion

MELBOURNE CD / LP LAUNCH

‘Sticks, Stones & Breaking Bones’

AUGUST 12 2012
4PM

MONKEY
181 St Georges Rd
FITZROY NTH
All ages welcome

$7 – gig
$20 – gig + CD
$25 – gig + LP

http://www.will-guthrie.com/

Fragmented Frequencies Oct 09

pica011

If your curious about sound, about texture, about frequency, without the need for overtly musical elements like melody or percussion, in finding new ways to compose and construct sound, then Melbourne is the place for you this month.

Tomorrow the World is a mini experimental sound festival at the Westspace Gallery, that’s on currently and will continue until the 1st of November. Every day of the week you can trek down to Westspace to get your fill of curious and eclectic sound and media artists doing curious and eclectic things. Whether it’s a Philip Brophy or Adrian Martin slide night, improvisor Jim Denley or Norwegian guitarist Kim Myhr discussing their practice before demonstrating it via performance, or Marco Cher-Gibard and Rosalind Hall’s amazing audio visual sax/msp performances that need to be seen to be believed, you’ll get your fill of experimentation and innovation here. Hell it even ends on a boat going down the Maribrynong with sound artist Philip Samartzis who will use the boat and surrounds to create a site responsive sound performance. Perhaps most interesting is the focus on children for some of the events, with Eamon Sprod and Dale Gorfinkel taking an instrument building workshop, or a couple of weeks later Sprod and Rod Cooper taking the kids for a walk down the Maribrynong. This doesn’t sound like your usual monotonous chin scratching sound festival, where underfed students fiddle earnestly with laptops to conjure up terrifying and hurtful sounds that no one really wants to hear anyway. But you never know. Check http://www.westspace.org.au for the full program.

Western Australian Matt Roesner has released a couple of really interesting, quite minimal electronic albums that tread the boundary between sound and music on both Room40 and Apestaartje, though his latest is a 12-inch on UK label 12×50. He’s coming to Melbourne along with Perth shoe-gazers The Ghost of 29 Megacycles, a dreamy heavily reverbed Windy and Carl meets My Bloody Valentine three piece, who’s album Love Via Paper Planes (Sound and Fury) is due anytime. What’s more TGO29M guitarist Greg Taw will play live with Roesner, offering some drum textures and guitar drones alongside Roesner’s laptop and guitars. They’re playing Horse bizarre on the 22nd of Oct, the 23rd at Glitch Bar, and the Tote on the 24th all with different local supports.

Over the last decade or so Australian born French resident percussionist Will Guthrie has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to move between jazz, rock and quite musical realms into more experimental directions using contact microphones and junk to create these incredibly articulate musique concrete sound pieces. It’s pretty clear that the guy can play almost anything. Spike-S is a 7-inch on Norwegian label Pica Disk. And it’s mental, The first side is an all out assault of kick-ass pedal to the metal kit drumming. He pummels those bastards under a noisy drony mess of raw searing noise and it feels good. Meanwhile side b becomes much more tinkery and electro acoustic, focussing more on space, a kind’ve cut and paste reworking using elements of side A. It’s inspiring stuff. Check out http://www.picadisk.com for more details.

Keeping the French/ Australian relationship going French sound artist Cedric Peyronnet (Toy Bizarre) is releasing a 3-inch cd a month over a 12 month period, each with a new 12 minute piece composition. And crazily enough they’re all based on reports made to him by an Australian about a 1 metre square patch of the Atherton Gardens. So for example “Fog, drift, quiet, a lone red vine leaf floats…falls, flurry and plummet from the golden ash,” gets us an incredibly visceral almost glacial sound piece, with bird chirping behind a sharp metallic and quite thin oscillating drone. It’s incredible work. Each disc is limited to 50. Check http://www.k216.ingeos.org for more.

Finally Fragmented Frequencies can’t go past a Sabbatical night at the Empress, Glass, Drums and Piano. It’s Lucas Abela (evil glass blowing dude), Sean Baxter (Bucketrider) and Paul Grabowsky (Melbourne jazz alumni). It sounds absolutely wild and I have no idea what to expect. It’s on the 7th of November. Also performing are James Rushford and Joe Talia, a duo who earlier in the year released the curious electro acoustic music concrete Palisades (Sabbatical). Check http://www.myspace.com/sbbtcl for more details.

Bob Baker Fish