N O   P A R T   O F   I T
Far more important than baking bread is the urge to take dough -beating to the extreme - Otto Muehl

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Illusion of Safety & Wilt now on Bandcamp / Decaycast review / New Releases / Final Distribution

Download features a bonus 23 minute "remix overview" piece set to video ( https://vimeo.com/87319213 ) by Dan Burke himself. There is also an excerpt from a live Illusion of Safety performance on WLUW's Delirious Insomniac Freeform Radio Show. In addition to that, "Surrender" was initially released with white letters on the cover, an edition of approximately 20 copies before being recalled and revised. There is a "demo version", so to speak, of the final track, "Access to Core", expanded upon by Dan Burke.

"Somewhere, an old T-shirt from Illusion Of Safety exists (the last we saw was affixed to Sigtryggur from Stillupsteypa some 10 years ago) with a deadpan/ironic catch-phrase "Illusion Of Safety gives you that soaring feeling" next to an image of a man tumbling headfirst out of a skyscraper window. Such a calculated juxtaposition of word and image was emblematic of the '80s art world (e.g. Barbara Kruger), often speaking to the underbelly of callousness, cruelty, violence and general amorality within consumerist society. 

Outside of this bold piece of iconography, Illusion Of Safety has operated within a more liminal state of mysteriousness through signifier and meaning. Even in their most placid albums of soft-focus ambience, the specter of some unknowable threat lurks in the background. 

More common in the Illusion Of Safety catalogue is an iron-fisted grasp of that sense of foreboding and dread through psychologically tense sound design. Over three decades in existence, this Chicago based project has been whittled down to its core member Dan Burke - with a few comrades-in-arms joining him occasionally - and is probably the longest running American industrial project, having produced a very impressive body of work. 

The 2014 album Surrender fits comfortably next to some of the masterpieces of the IOS back catalogue (e.g. Cancer, In Session, Historical, etc.) through the trademarked juxtaposition of noxious frequencies snaking in and out of harmonic phase patterns only to snap out of existence with a razor-cut edit into an electrical burst of tesla coil noise (for example). Disjointed rhythms, mediated collages, decontextualized field recordings, and psychoacoustic phrases map this album with incredible control and precision. Illusion Of Safety proves once again that they are one of the greats of industrial culture. Grab this album before it disappears...." - Aquarius Records

WILT is James Keeler's main project since the late 90s, and Wisconsin's best kept secret as far as I'm concerned. The feeling of rural desolation just oozes from these tracks, which maintain or expand on an industrial infused dark ambient sound nicely. There is a sense of brooding, but nothing beyond the residue of anything like a dirge exists. Masterful reverb, factory engines in the distance. Crumbling layers of synth loops being thrown off of a cliff, metallic swamp clang, utter dread and resignation. Keeler's particular take on imaginary horror soundtracks comes off like he's able to walk into an abandoned mental hospital and put all of the essence into a jar without any unnecessary bells and whistles.... or accoutrements of any kind. For those who notice the difference, this work stands alone.

There are definitely a lot of vintage synths somewhere in here, but "80s synth soundtrack" would be too lazy of a tag to place. Lots of little elements comprise a sound where no particular texture is too prominent. It's hard to tell what is a synth and what is processed field recordings of strange insects. The whole album though, could easily fit into those moments of epiphany in a horror movie, where the group of naive and sex-crazed teen day campers/life guards, in their tent in the middle of the night, realize by lantern light that they're trapped with something much stronger than them, and it's something they can't know or see, much less escape from... Moments before the axe comes down. It's hard to explain. There is an unspoken complexity in this artist's body of work. With Keeler's own "Institute for Organic Conversations" label, he's worked with subject matter expanding upon Buckminster Fuller and Lovecraftian ideas, while others are still rehashing the same emotionally stunted, serial killer bullshit. 

WILT's releases always are a complete package, as Keeler is not only an accomplished sound artist, but also a graphic artist and visionary. Every detail is attended to. Through his work with various projects; Hedorah, Astronomy, and various collaborations, he's worked with several well-accomplished labels, such as Ad Noiseam, Angle, Phage, Small Doses, Urashima, Danvers State, Chondritic Sound, Cipher, Husk, Bloodlust!, Hospital, RRRecords, Turgid Animal, the list goes on. 

Truth be told, WILT was the first noise act I saw live in 2003, and I still remember it fondly. The man did amazing things with a brick and some rusted sheet metal that he'd affixed little knobs to, while a video ran that seemed like a 16mm film that was pressed on dirty church windows. With that said, I'm extremely proud to present this new release and important part in the story of Wilt's body of work.

My friends at DECAYCAST (also behind the surrealistic costume noise acts Styrofoam Sanchez and Nerfbau) did a darling little review of Sequencer Works Volume Two on Out-of-Body Records.  Thanks fellas!

This one was released back in march of 2015 on one of our all time favorite labels here at DECAYCAST, OUT OD BODY RECORDS. This is some of the most intense / frantic offerings I’ve heard from Mr. ARVO ZYLO of Chicago, IL. ARVO has been making experimental music in multiple genres and formats for decades and their work is always dark, unnerving, at times whimsical but always unique, and “Sequencer Works, Volume 1” is no exception. According to the label description , some of these tracks are out takes from the now underground famous “333” album Arvo released several years ago, but this work breathes it’s own breath without a doubt. 

 The first track on side A, “Hypnochondria” is a spastic, arrhythmic exercise in sequenced chaos, starting off overloaded and blown out the track slowly gives way to more musical sections, funky freak downs, chaotic synth stabs and textured low end bass rumbles all sequenced in a choking, nervous fervor. Some of the sections are dialed in with intricate precision, as if Aphex Twin was taking stabs at post industrial music, or inversely, if Nocturnal Emissions covered Squarepusher . About halfway through the first side, the track begins to clarify even more, getting further reduced to just the essential rhythmic synthesizer elements. Stabby, no frills Bass elements , abridged hi hats and snare like punches and mid range rhythm exercises, ARVO has worked the sequencer inside and out. 

The a side eventually slows down and as the dust settles, the listener is left with a more ambient , atmospheric piece which continues onto the B SiDe ARVO IS NO STRANGER to creating dark , esoteric sound collages and dense, textured scrapes and the B side of “Synthesizer Works, Volume 1” is further proof of that indeed. The B side is much more reminiscent of many of the works from the “333” album we have all grown to know and love, or even his delicately crafted, masterful, yet playfully dark radio collage exercises. The B side’s two tracks really open up the scope of sonic territory on this album. Dense, decaying percussion hits, phased out static walls of distortion and arrhythmic exercises round out the album nicely. The second Side is definitely less rhythmic and structured overall but still holds a nice tension and tight compositional choices. 

This album covers a wide array of noise, synthesizer music and collage techniques glued together to create the soundtrack to your nightmare stuck inside. Dying pinball machine buried under the earth. Beautifully packaged full color artwork printed on transparent j card with an underlay, as does everything on Out Of Body Records, this tape looks and sounds fantastic! Highly recommended!

A little bird told me about this master thesis because it used an article I wrote on noise in the bibliography:
Extreme Audio Culture in the New Digital Underground By Tamatai-A-Rangi Ngarimu A thesis submitted to the Victoria University of Wellington in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Media Studies
It is 149 pages and seems to go into great detail on the various ways "urban culture" has used technology of pop culture and created something new, not to mention an extensive list of odd noise releases packaged in children's gas masks and whatnot.   Enjoy!

My split c60 with Critter Piss is ready from KaRyeEye Tapes, as is the Blood Rhythms pro CDR "Skin Flint" featuring my work with Wyatt Howland (Skin Graft).  Feel free to get in contact : kretapes at gmail dot com.  Limited to 30 copies.

The Upheaval cassette is now available from Tymbal Tapes.  It looks and sounds great in person, and comes with a download code.

Arvo Zylo's work is often the product of literal years of toil, the potent result of countless hours refining, perfecting, and focusing wild energies. Projects like his "333" and "Assembly" feel more like they've been finished in a metal refinery than a mastering house, their labyrinthine vertical layers chosen and fixed in place with firm force.

These Upheaval versions, each created in a single sitting from one block of material, act as industrial etudes, a peek behind the curtain at Zylo's unique approach to sound, space, and the art of the edit. Enjoy these fluid sessions of extemporaneous work from a master aural sculptor.

Keep up with Arvo Zylo at: nopartofit.blogspot.com


releases December 12, 2015

Production Notes:
Recorded in May 2015. Created from samples of divas holding sustained notes. Each version of Upheaval must be completed in one sitting. 

Blood Rhythms "Assembly" LP is just about sold out from NO PART OF IT HQ here.  There are two copies with covers by Ron Lessard, and that's it.  However, there are some copies that should have arrived at Malignant Records and Crucial Blast Shop by now.  They may not be on their website yet, but these are the final copies with my covers and the extra 12" anti record.  There is no skimping either, these copies are made with razor blades, plexi glass, sheet metal, sand paper, and everything else (pics here).  Feel free to inquire with these fine establishments.

ONE MORE THING:  The diligent Culture Is Not Your Friend! site is ending, but for a final hurrah, they are soliciting submissions for a Christmas compilation, and I've been told that Pigswill will be contributing a remix version of Arvo Zylo's 333.  Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for that.   

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