reviews of Copeland, Bouhalassa and Subotnick

Subject: reviews of Copeland, Bouhalassa and Subotnick
From: Anomalous Records (
Date: Wed Feb 03 1999 - 12:35:25 EST

>From: Vital <>
>Subject: Vital Weekly 160
> \ / | ----- /\ | \ / |== |== | / | \ / Week 5
> \ / | | / \ | \ /\ / | | |/ | \ / Number 160
> \/ | | / \ |--- \/ \/ |__ |__ |\ |__ |
>DARREN COPELAND - RENDU VISIBLE (CD by Empreintes Digitalis)
>NED BOUHALASSA - AEROSOL (CD by Empreintes Digitalis)
>ANNEA LOCKWOOD - THE GLASS WORLD (CD by ?What Next?/Nonsequitur)
>(Both CD's on Empreintes Digitalis)
>I first heard Darren Copeland's music on the 'Storm Of Drones' a triple CD
>released by Asphodel in 1995 - he contributed two excellent tracks, which
>captured his unique sound. (The first of these three CD's was dedicated to
>pieces previously released on Empreintes Digitalis, and exposed this label
>and it's music to a wider audience.) The pieces on this new release,
>another in the series of 'CD's of short duration for half the price' by
>Empreintes Digitalis are of a similar ilk. (Empreintes Digitalis, if you've
>just tuned in, are one of my favourite labels, and consistently release
>amazing music. By now, it could probably be considered the foremost label
>of electroacoustic discoveries.)
>Copeland works exclusively with recordings of environmental sounds, and is
>a true sound-ecologist (along with, amongst others, Hildegard Westerkamp -
>one of my heroes - listen to the full-length CD 'Transformations' on this
>same label).
>Back to Darren - 'Rendu Visible' contains 3 tracks composed between 1993
>and 1996. All of them consist of carefully blended, sometimes heavily
>processed environmental sounds. However the original sources remain quite
>recognisable - all part of Copeland's intention to stimulate visual
>Most of us have been to a beach and listened to the sea, but where in the
>head are the shores we hear in his music ? The gulls are confined in a huge
>reverberant shell, the human voices swirl as if spinning on a silent
>The terrain shifts and shakes continually like a slow, jittery film shot
>through the shuddering heatwaves rising off a hot road, which weaves
>through a strange land. Twisted, asthmatic animals loom large, then recede,
>only appearing to quicken the pulse. Space creases the speakers and buffets
>the room. Doors open and reveal long corridors where lights flicker
>staccato and suggest weird, familiar forms - dream apparitions trailing
>luminous gossamer veils.
>Ned Bouhalassa's work is far more angular; sounds are sourced from a much
>wider palette than Copeland's and are combined in volatile, unpredictable
>compositions. This CD is also a release in the 'short duration' series and
>is a reverse-order retrospective (1998-1990) of some of his work. He also
>had tracks included on the '...of Drones' series and is himself closely
>connected to San Francisco's Sound Traffic Control, 'a media arts
>assemblage that features a unique real time matrixed spatial audio system
>through which musicians, engineers, conductors, DJ's, and sound sculpture
>form an interwoven surround sound orchestra' (Phew ! Their definition -
>wotta mouthful! I think it means something like: They've got a hifi and
>maybe a working mixer !)).
>'Aerosol' opens with his latest work titled 'Jets' and is based on movement
>away from... Some sounds scurry off, darting and casting nervous, uneasy
>glances, others hurl themselves violently towards the edges of the audio
>field. Also included is the track 'Move 1', which appeared in another,
>shorter version on 'The Swarm Of Drones' 2CD compilation released in 1995
>(Asphodel, again). This piece is 'based on an idea of representing
>animal/human movement through sound, and explores the possibilities of
>generating rich evolving textures from single samples'. Headphones
>recommended !
>The track 'Constamment (Autoportrait)' dating from 1997 contains sound
>elements which represent various aspects of Ned's past and present, and
>includes several nods and a wink in the direction of what has come to be
>known amongst the young and frivolous as 'techno music' - y'know; racy
>drums which boom, boom for a while and then there's a whoosh, maybe a girl
>yells something about shakin' yer booty and then boom, boom one mo' 'gain.
>These CD's have been created by two inspired and highly innovative young
>composers of electroacoustic music. If you've not got anything released on
>this peerless Canadian label, then this is an excellent place to start. If
>you're already familiar with their releases, then these two CD's with
>surely augment your collection. Absolutely brilliant. (MP)
>PS. More Empreintes Digitalis next week - watch this space ...
>I stumbled across this while looking for some excellently trite Easy Tunes
>Soundtracks the other day. I've been a proud owner of both of these records
>(released on Nonesuch, I do believe) for almost twenty years, and as I am
>not an avid browser of Wergo Catalogues, I missed out on this re-release of
>In many ways, this music is a collaboration between Morton Subotnick -
>composer, Don Buchla - instrument designer and Ramon Sender - whohe?. It
>was created on some of the earliest custom-made modular synthesisers way
>back in 1967/68.
>'Silver Apples Of The Moon' takes it's title from a poem by Rosicrucian and
>probable O.T.O. member Francis Yeats. It starts with a dense cloud of sound
>which gradually distils into a sound garden filled with chirping, warbling
>birds, sweeping glissandi winds and random particle collisions. There is a
>mad, sequenced moment in Part 2 of this composition which will surely
>remain timeless because of it's unrestrained joy.
>'The Wild Bull' is more sombre and serious, opening with a deep lowing
>sound, a cross between a moan and human breath. It's title was inspired by
>a Sumerian poem dating from approximately 1700BC (that's 3700 years before
>the millenium, ya neurot !). 'The Wild Bull' was probably born out of
>'Silver Apples...'. Hand-tuned gestures colour the sound - there is less
>attention paid to tempo and polyphony, and more to the way individual
>sonorities develop. Beautiful !
>I did not listen to my vinyl copies of these pieces much anymore , they are
>badly scratched from excessive use, and nearly silent passages almost
>obliterated by the clicks and bumps. Part of it, I hear some of you cry.
>Not so, I must insist. This music was made in silence, to be heard in
>silence. It is itself a definition of space and will remain classics of the
>genre. Thank goodness, the lads at Wergo saw fit to release it on a digital
>Finding this CD made my day, and I almost forgot about picking up a copy of
>the soundtrack to "Valley Of The Dolls'. (MP)</x-rich>
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>All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), The Square Root Of Sub (MP),
>Ching-Chong Jing-Jong (CP), Radboud Mens (RM), Sister Clika (RTH),
>BAraka[H], (BAR), Howard Stelzer (HS), Heimir Bjorgulfsson (HB), Dolf
>Mulder (DM), Meelkop Roel (MR)
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Eric Lanzillotta

Anomalous Records
P.O. Box 22195, Seattle, WA 98122-0195, USA
telephone: (206) 328-9339 fax: (206) 328-9408

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