Tag Archives: cae-sur-a

[Preview 2.6.13]

Plenty of new stuff to play tonight on The Upstate Soundscape including tracks from Grouper, The North Sea, Hair Police,and Colin Stetson.

 

Also have new tapes from the cae-sur-a and House of Alchemy labels. Show starts at 8pm on 91.3FM WBNY. Stream at WBNY.org.

 


[Preview: The Upstate Soundscape Returns]

Tonight, after taking a few weeks off, the Upstate Soundscape radio show returns. Tune in to hear new material from both the House of Alchemy and cae-sur-a labels, a new song from awesome Buffalo duo Chapels, and a boat load of new records that Needles picked up while on a trip in New Orleans.

The Weirdness will hit your airwaves at 8pm on 91.3FM WBNY. Stream at WBNY.org.


[2012 in Review: Needles Numark, host of the Upstate Soundscape]

Needles is the host The Upstate Soundscape radio show. Here are 10 releases that he dug from 2012.

 

 

Sax Tape, S/T 

 

This insane 60-minute romp came from Guelph’s Bry Webb. An unbelievable collage of looped beats, sonic twirls, and honking saxes. Funky, twisted, and psychedelic, this one hit all the right notes for me.

 

 

 

Alfred Brown, Music for Moving in Slow Motion (Asthmatic Kitty)

 

Probably one of the most graceful records of 2012. It could easily serve as the score for one of Terrence Malick’s majestic films.

 

 

 

Cinnamon Aluminum, We Ate the Wrong Crab Spirit (Level 4 Activated)

 

This Buffalo trio (now a four piece) perfectly straddles the line between experimental and pop. The songs on this album are as catchy as they are whacked out.

 

 

Venn Rain, Bioharmonics (House of Alchemy)

 

It’s hard to put my finger on what exactly I like about this cassette, but I just found it totally compelling. Four very simple recordings, all of which are mesmerizing.

 

 

M. Mucci, Days Blur Together

 

60 minutes of true drone bliss from Guelph-based M. Mucci. One of the most patient and refined pieces I have ever heard. Very few pieces present listeners with this type of challenge and subsequent reward for committing to it. Basinski-esque.

 

 

Phillips-Borden, System Vandross

 

A really discombobulating listen. Following the intersection of Borden’s crazed cello and Phillips’s turntable manipulation is like trying to walk on shifting ground in the dark.

 

 

Tony Conrad and HangedUp, Transit of Venus (Constellation)

 

Such a simple formula. Big sloppy drums combined with thick vibrating drones. The result is what I always imagined the Theater of Eternal Music would have sounded like. Great for both sitting in a chair and zoning out to or flailing around the room and breaking shit.

 

 

Damian Valles, Non-Parallel (in Four Movements) (Experimedia)

 

I am a sucker for any sample-based drone. Valles’s re-use of classical avant-garde sounds from the Nonesuch label is a fantastic example of the possible directions sample-based sounds might go in the future (even if they don’t sound at like sample-based works).

 

 

Thoughts on Air, Random Tandem (Old Frontiers)

 

I had the pleasure of hanging out with Scott Johnson (ToA) one night in Hamilton this past summer. We traded some tapes, and this was one he gave me. The art work immediately blew me away but it wasn’t until driving home the next day hung over with the window’s down and music blasting that I actually heard this amazing double cassette. The graceful tones poured out my windows down the QEW. Then I got stuck in traffic on top of the Rainbow bridge in 90 degree heat with no air conditioning. A faint mist from the falls blew over me ever so often. I just sat there listening in a sweat induced trance. This tape will always run through my mind whenever I cross that bridge.

 

 

Loud and Sad, Fales Intimacy (cae-sur-a)

 

At times, there is so little going on in this cassette, which is what I love about it. You can really only absorb this by listening with all your might.

 


[2012 in Review: Jen + Cory of cae-sur-a]

Jen Marquart and Cory E. Card run the //cae-sur-a// label and record as the duo Stone Baby. They are based in Rochester, NY. Below are 10 releases that they enjoyed from 2012.

Hexvessel, No Holier Temple (Svarte Records, 2LP/CD/DL)

 

Tuurd, I Wish my Wife was this Dirty LP/DL (Carbon Records, LP/DL)

 

Tidal/RambutanSplit (Aguirre, LP)

FWY!, Hesperia (Brave Mysteries, C40)

Wreathes, s/t (Peasanta, LP/ Brave Mysteries CD)

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsFgZakHOVc%5D

Annette Peacock, I’m the One (Reissue, Future Days Recording/Light in the Attic LP/CD)

Tor Lundvall, The Shipyard (Dais Records LP)

Andy Stott, Luxury Problems  (Modern Love LP/CD)

Least Carpet/Pretty Lightning/Jon Collin/KarnakTemples, Cycle of the Seasons 4-way split (SicSic, C56)

 

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_s1U_X7D_g%5D
Julian Cope, Psychedelic Revolution (Head Heritage CD)


[Preview: Ay Fast, Tony Conrad/Genesis P-Orridige Collab, New Scott Walker and more]

Ay Fast- Nice Arps

Tune in tonight to The Upstate Soundscape to hear lots of great experimental music and sound from Buffalo, the Upstate region, and beyond. Got new and semi-new stuff from Buffalo’s House of Alchemy and Rochester’s cae-sur-a labels, the Rust Belt’s resident electronic weirdo Ay Fast, and a collaboration that Tony Conrad did with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.

Oh, yeah….and some new music from the one and only Scott Walker and his new album Bish Bosch. 

Tons of other good stuff on tap, too, so don’t miss it. Show starts at 8pm on 91.3FM WBNY. Stream at WBNY.org.


[Review: Loud & Sad, ‘False Intimacy’]

The liner notes found within Loud & Sad’s handmade, silk screened, numbered matchbox case cassette False Intimacy list the five slow unspooling sonic sketches as “Example 1-5.” Apparently, these aptly titled “examples” are nothing more than solo pieces of processed piano, which the liner notes seem to imply were created with only the use of the black keys. You probably wouldn’t assume as much after listening to False Intimacy, which was recorded by long-time collaborators Joe Hupert (Dust in the Light) and Nathan McLaughlin (the Blanket Fort) and released by the cae-sur-a label out of Rochester. There is a richness of sound here despite the minimal tones that the duo make use of. But the point being made seems to be that less is more. This stands in very stark contrast to the many noise/sound artists that self-consciously fill up space with unnecessary knob twiddling. Here, instead, patience is demonstrated with an austere reserve that seems determined to let sounds exist and morph through evolution, as opposed to intervention.

At times, in almost all of the pieces, there is a sense that the machines or software or whatever is creating or manipulating these sounds are just left on to breathe in and out of sync with one another, like two people lying asleep next to one another.

There is a particularly daring passage that comes at the midway point of Side A that lasts roughly five minutes (I believe its “Example 2,” but is hard to discern exactly when one track begins and one ends). Anyway, this passage consists of little more than a rhythmic buzzing sound that flickers along in the background. Eventually–and I mean eventually–a distant filtered noise begins to gently chip at the top of the audio panorama. A little clicking here, a little tape hiss there, and what you get is the sonic sweep of a desolate landscape cloaked in a nuclear winter. The piano motif is gone, while any tones or notes are also expelled. After multiple listens, this passage begins to stand out not as the barest, but as the starkest. It’s almost as ballsy as John Cage sitting at a piano doing nothing. Here the duo retreat from their instruments and simply leave them be, letting (or perhaps forcing) the listener to really sit with these sounds. It really is a compelling section for its starkness and refusal to compromise by adding even the simplest of flourishes that might hint to the listener that this seemingly static scene is in fact a movement that is slowly unfolding to something grander. No, instead the listener is given no other option but to take it as it is and deal with it.

Moving to Side B, both “Example 4” and “Example 5” contain stunning piano moments that sound as if they are reverberating while covered in analog dust (imagery reminiscent of the title of Hupert’s solo project, Dust in the Light). It is here, especially in “Example 5,”that the loneliness trope –discussed in the liner notes and explored in a more amelodic manner on Side A—really comes to the forefront.

Then for a moment, right toward the end of the cassette, the piano playing emerges uninhibited by processing and it dances gracefully as if it were the score to melancholy documentary compiled of lost footage from film’s most glorious era. The cassette then ends on a somber, but resolute note.

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Review by Taylor Waite


[Preview 11.7.12: Alfred Brown, Megrez, Cave and more]

Nite Lite – Megrez (Desire Path Recordings)

Lots of new stuff to get to tonight on The Upstate Soundscape, including a song from the upcoming album The Seagull – A Song Cycle by Buffalo artists Alfred Brown and a track from Nite Lite’s Megrez, which is due out soon on Buffalo label Desire Path Recordings.

New stuff as well from Buffalo’s Ay Fast, the cae-sur-a label out of Rochester, and a collaboration between Ithaca sax player Keir Neuringer and Toronto vocalist Paul Dutton.

We’ll also preview a couple of interesting shows going on in the region, including Rochester-born Lydia Lunch in Hamilton, nu-kraut band Cave in Buffalo, and Steven Severin’s live film score to Blood of the Poet  scheduled for this Sunday at the Market Arcade.

Show starts at 8pm. Tune in to 91.3FM WBNY or stream at WBNY.org


[Review: April in the Orange, ‘In the Mirror Under the Moon’]

It’s difficult to place a label on exactly what this latest cassette offering from Rochester’s Cae-sur-a label is. April in the Orange’s In the Mirror Under the Moon, at first, comes across as something within the so-called ‘freak-folk’ vein. It certainly has the trace elements, such as simple song structures with lazily strummed, easy chord progressions backed by spacier, meditative soundscapes. But to apply that label to this Michigan duo would unfortunately lump them in with a certain group of artists that shall not be named and are currently popular on the college rock radio stations; the inappropriately named ‘indie’ bands that sleepwalk their way through their own songs. Those types of bands are much too sweet, much too polished, much too… palatable.

Which isn’t to say that Samantha Linn and Andrew Barrett’s dual-guitar and duet vocals are unpalatable; in fact, they’re overall sounds is much more enjoyable than other contemporary acts of their ilk. This group tends to be quite a bit darker; even when most popular indie bands these days get ‘dark,’ they’ve still been polished so much that they’re positively sparkling. Not so here; songs like “To a Lost Family” are truly unsettling in a subtle yet noticeable way. The dissonance in the articulation of the acoustic guitar comes and goes in a way that you can anticipate exactly when it will be coming back. Yet, it still feels haunting and slightly nerve-wracking each time.

“Same Old Mystery” is one of the more propulsive tracks; the guitar, while still relatively mellow, stomps along, underpinning a yearning for love. A fuzzy guitar punctuates the phrases with little fills that are ever-so-slightly metrically off, demonstrating that despite the simple declarations of desire within the song, there is something deeper and darker going on underneath. These desires have disinterred more complex and perhaps darker emotions as well, emotions that are brought to the surface by the distant droning of some primal energy in the song’s bridge.

“Outsideinsideeverywherenowhere” starts off in perhaps the most placid way possible; by mimicking a slow, tremolo-laden phrase that sounds like it came off a doo-wop record from the ‘50s. It slowly picks up, little by little, adding short, jagged stabs of a second guitar. The pace quickens, ethereal, seemingly wordless backing vocals enter as the chorus is repeated infinitely like the mantra of a cult waiting for the apocalypse. A third guitar enters, this one more violent than before. The vocals become more and more disheveled, the guitar solo more dissonant and frantic until the whole thing sputters out, leaving one final, less perturbed recitation.

The final track, “Morning Never Came,” is an epic thirteen-minute recording that perfectly closes out the cassette. The beginning of the song is much like the other, with a quiet folk arrangement of guitar and gentle keyboards. It introduces a few more keyboards, swooping and bubbling underneath the guitar, slowly coming up in the mix before receding as the vocals reenter. This pattern repeats a few times before the vocals and acoustic guitar suddenly drop out for good and a mix of swirling, effects-laden instruments step in to pick up the slack. Tiny little melodies can be picked out here and there, and the overall effect is one of serenity. Slowly and steadily, bits and pieces of dissonance are pulled in and out. Just as things seem to be at their most calm and reserved–when the listener has been able to settle into a nice, tranquil lull of comfort–another guitar enters, this time angry. Whereas the other instances throughout the album were merely disturbing, this one is truly frightening, like the destructive buzzing of a mechanical wasp’s wings. It gets louder and louder as the listener gets more and more claustrophobic. But it carries on for several full minutes until the tension is almost unbearable. Finally, the tension breaks with a single strum of a resolving chord, and the album is over.

So for those of you who want something in a similar vein to all of those other indiefolk bands that are, underneath the surface, just kids getting high on cough syrup, give this a spin. Judging by just how bleak things can get without even rising above a whisper, this duo is on something else entirely.

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Review by Liam McManus


[Archive 08.15.12]

1) Rambutan and Parashi, “Halogen 5,” Lesser Halogens (Sicsic Tapes)
2) Fossils from the Sun, “Blood 01,” Blood 08 (cae-sur-a)
3) Pauline Oliveros, “Part 2,” Primordial/Lift (Taiga)
4) Grasshopper, “I Sang a Sad Song Today,” Miles in the Sky (House of Alchemy)
5) Conrad Schnitzler, “Wild Space 2”
6) Sax Tape, “Part 1,” Sax Tape
7) FORMA, “Live on WBAR # 3”
8) Pulse Emitter, Meditative Music 3 (Expansive Music)
9) Phillips-Borden, “Fall of Icarus,” System Vandross 
10) C. Spencer Yeh and DJ Sniff, “04/02/12”
11) Matmos, “Very Large Green Triangles (edit),” The Ganzfield EP (Thrill Jockey)
12) Anna Friz and Eric Leonardson, “Waltz of the Parking Meters,” Excerpt from the suite of pieces “Dancing Walls Stir the Prairie”, Created at the free103point9.org Wave Farm, 2007.