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Beatriz Ferreyra: GRM Works

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My next interview is with Beatriz Ferreyra who is going to talk to us about the GRM Works collection. It would truly be no exaggeration to call Beatriz responsible for some of the most groundbreaking recordings ever heard - sound recording aficionados may know her as one of the architects of musique concrète , in her days at the GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales), an organisation led by the great Pierre Schaeffer in Paris which is where Beatriz took up residence after relocating from Argentina in the early 1960s. The GRM Works collection juxtaposes two of Ms. Ferreyra's compositions from the late 60s era alongside two longer, equally remarkable pieces, produced only a decade ago. It's a tour de force through the outer limits of sound recording, not to mention a nice "symmetrical" way to look back at an extraordinary career. Now we have perhaps the ultimate way to learn more about the origins of these sounds: an interview right here at Navel-Gazers...

Fossil Aerosol Mining Project: The Day 1982 Contaminated 1971

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My next interview is with the Fossil Aerosol Mining Project, about  The Day 1982 Contaminated 1971 . I don't remember how I first stumbled on this music, and I actually don't know who it is I'm speaking to, as the participants in the project - which has existed since (I note carefully) 19 83  - have never disclosed their identities! Are you feeling - like me - a sense of temporal dislocation already, even before we've started? Welcome to the vast discography of the Fossil Aerosol Mining Project, where a recording from 1968, found at a thrift store in 1991, might materialise on a release from 2009... resurrected always from sources such as scratched celluloid, mildewed cassettes, or decomposing vinyl... using temperamental studio equipment and arcane procedures known, perhaps, only to the group. This album, released in - careful here - 20 14 , seems to me the best introduction to Fossil Aerosol Mining Project. It comes across like a microcosm of the territory they

Breaking Up In The Atmosphere: L/I/N/E

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My next interview is with Nathan Moore a.k.a. N.O. Moore a.k.a. Breaking Up In The Atmosphere who is going to talk to us about L/I/N/E . This is a recent release which caught me totally off guard. Over two years playing improvised music with Nathan, I can't say he's ever hinted at any inclination towards "electronic progressive rock", either verbally or musically... or has he? I do notice one characteristic of this music which I'd associate to Nathan: a broad palette of electronic sounds which shifts and evolves as the minutes tick by. What's so different on 'L/I/N/E' is the way these sounds are organised. It's an imposing piece of sonic architecture where there isn't much improvisation in evidence and there isn't much of Nathan's usual instrument - guitar - but again... is there? I'm reminded that even when Nathan is playing guitar, it usually doesn't sound like one, and perhaps this is a great example of how recordings dif

Bablicon: A Flat Inside A Fog, The Cat That Was A Dog

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My next interview is with "The Diminisher" (Dave McDonnell), "Blue Hawaii" (Griffin Rodriguez) and "Marta Tennae" (Jeremy Barnes) a.k.a. Bablicon who are going to talk to me about their third album A Flat Inside A Fog, The Cat That Was A Dog , released 20 years ago on  Pickled Egg  /  Misra records. Bablicon are one of those groups that I always imagine being a household name for more eccentric and adventurous music listeners, but their work remains somewhat overlooked! Perhaps it's because it was unclassifiable, inaccurately filed under "rock" at my local record store back in 2001 and yet with Bablicon there was always too much studio-craft to be "jazz", too much song-craft to be "experimental", and certainly too much anarchy and mayhem for the confines of contemporary composition, chamber music or whatever such classifications might spring to mind. As a Navel-Gazer once said, the human mind loves contrast and this i

Sharon Gal: The Garden Of Earthly Delights

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My next interview is with Sharon Gal who is going to talk to us about  The Garden Of Earthly Delights . This is one of those albums that reminds me what's so fascinating and special about the medium of sound recording, as it's truly a sound-world all of its own, constructed immaculately from selective renderings of glass, bells, birds, the great outdoors and Sharon's own voice. In contrast to many of my favourite recordings this is not one which lurks in the shadows. The rich, bright palette of sounds here is as clear as crystal. And yet mystery abounds on 'The Garden Of Earthly Delights'. With each repeated listen I seem to drift off to some unidentifiable netherworld which the sounds have conjured up... perhaps it's the "imaginary landscape" from Sharon's description. As for Sharon herself, she's quite the legend, a multidisciplinary artist active on the London scene since the 80s, and co-founder of  Resonance FM . Lots to talk a

Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman: Anosmia

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My next interview is with Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman who is going to talk to us about Anosmia . 'Anosmia' is a 43-minute piece of "Afrique Concréte" which was commissioned for a programme called Fearless Radio on Radio-1 in Austria in 2014... prior to listening, I don't know that I could imagine anything other than a somber, documentary approach to this subject matter (the Rwandan Genocide ), and yet 'Anosmia' is a work which simply crackles with spontaneity and life. Like much of Aurélie's work, the piece revolves around field recordings from Africa, which appear here alongside prepared piano, bold manipulations of analogue tape, and the permutation of the human voice - both Aurélie's own voice and those of local Rwandans whom she interviewed for the project concerning the topic at hand. I have so many questions on this one - even though the historical context and the topicality are a little more 'on the nose' than most recordings, r

(Various Artists): There Is No Music From China

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My next interview is with Zhu Wenbo, Yan Jun and Li Song who are going to talk to us about There Is No Music From China . This is new territory, for several reasons.. it's the first venture onto the Asian continent for Navel-Gazers, and I hope the first of many. It's also an email interview with three  people so bear with me collating all the responses! And it's a compilation, produced by Zhu Wenbo and Yan Jun. Zhu Wenbo is a sound artist, event organiser, and founder of the Zoomin' Night label based in Beijing. Zoomin' Night is a goldmine for anyone wondering about experimental music in China. Yan Jun is also based in Beijing - he's been described as 'the invisible glue holding together the Chinese experimental music scene' - on a side note I recommend his collaboration with Hsia Yu 7 Poems and Some Tinnitus which could be a discussion for another day. Last but not least Li Song - a contributor to the compilation - is my connection here, he