Private Session

Plenty of delicate shades of low noise from Miguel A García on his Choirs (COPY FOR YOUR RECORDS CFYR022) – including ominous hissing, radio static crackle, humming machines, and fridge motors coming to life in the next room. Above all there’s the recurring sound of what could be mistaken for a mechanical breathing apparatus situated in a hospital room, suggesting that the patient is on his last legs and his dying breath is to be taken for the voice of these “Choirs”. Five long compositions, many of which are heavily punctuated by spaces of silence or near-silence, a compositional device which used to be favoured by Bernhard Günter, Rolf Wehowsky and Francisco López. In the hands of García, the device is not purely aesthetic and tends to add to the menace of these creeping, minimal atmospheres. A nice one, although you may find the unvarying slow pace of the album rather solemn and unrewarding, and it’s somehow lacking in the purposeful “bite” I normally associate with García’s work. Jean-Luc Guionnet, the French sound artist and improviser, did the nondescript cover drawings. Arrived 11 August 2014.


Also from Miguel, the Moscow Sessions part 1 & 2 tape (GALP-9), a summit conference of international noise and laptop buzzers at which he assisted. Actually it’s more accurately characterised as a private discussion or a seminar held in camera. Alexei Borisov, who (along with Ilia Belorukov and Kurt Liedwart) is the go-to guy when you’re talking weird anti-social noise on The Steppes, organised this meeting in June 2013 at Prospekt Vernadskogo and has now released same on tape. Present were García, Borisov, Jelena Glazova (the Latvian visual artist, sound artist and poetess), Xavier Lopez (electronicist from Paris), Kiwanoid (curator and lecturer from the Estonian Academy of the Arts), and Vitaly Elektronoizov. Together the massed equipment of these creators brings forth a fairly enticing brew of fizz, throbbage, wild bleeping, and all the attendant digital-process marmalade that spills endlessly from the contemporary vat of soundfile generation. With six heads in the room, little remains by way of fresh oxygen for the listener, and it’s a case of either pay attention and listen or suffocate to death. No space remains unfilled, as surely as if we were dealing with six over-zealous building contractors in a roomful of cracks, and one large tub of Polyfilla between them. It’s a rich fug of noise, but I was hoping for something with a little more solidity to it. From 11 August 2014.