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Ben Bertrand weaves transverse waves into otherworldly compositions. He embodies the singular motion of these melodic and harmonic forms in order to draft new sonic possibilities freed from the laws of the physical plane. Pulsating at the kernel of Ben Bertrand’s musical universe are vivid dreams generating the fabric of these tapestries.


‘Dokkaebi’ is deeply familiar yet refreshingly unknown, like a comforting whisper from your subconscious. It gently drifts into perception, glistening like the sun sparkling off a glacier gliding along the edge of your vision.

 

Deep listening to these tonal sculptures is enriching. By opening oneself to their deliberate unfolding, you will discover new principles for sound organization far afield from common modes of operation. The gradual, rhythmic progression of his compositions are ever-shifting grains, which upon thoughtful contemplation, reveal astonishing worlds. Bertrand’s music is constructed from blueprints drafted with honest intentions aspiring to bring humans closer to a sense of wonder.

Ben Bertrand welcomes each listener to discover his music anew from their own perspectives. It is infinitely in time with your time. These are the ripples in the wake of successive revolutions of universal evolution. ‘Dokkaebi’ is an example of musical expressions adapting to the contours of the human psyche through gentle reflection of multiplicity. They are sounds reshaping themselves to suit the contours of each individual’s subconscious—sonic entities projected simultaneously as molecular and holistic.

‘Dokkaebi’ is an oceanic expression softly set in motion by honest aims that echo and grow. Ben Bertrand beckons you to listen up and look in. There is great reward in this generous flow.

  • Ben Bertrand
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gerard herman & christoph heemann in residency this week at les ateliers claus - working on a collaborative album.

http://www.lesateliersclaus.com/residencies

  • gerard herman & christoph heemann
  • gerard herman & christoph heemann

If Myriam Gendron’s debut album, Not So Deep As A Well, was a surprise, her new record, Ma délire – Songs of love, lost & found, is a revelation. Stripping songs to their core and rebuilding them with a unique vision and modern edge, Gendron’s music is faultless. Her work is woven with a sharp simplicity where guitar lines are stripped to their barest, most potent form, and vocal melodies effortlessly hit like a ton of bricks. This rare combination is why her work is instantly timeless.

Ma délire – Songs of love, lost & found is out on October 1 via Feeding Tube and Les Albums Claus. It’s among the very best albums released in 2021 and will have staying power well into the years to come. Order it HERE. Myriam answered my questions throughout September.


Before getting into the new record, I want to ask, like I often do to start interviews, what some of your earliest memories of music and sound are, whether it’s a song or musician or an environmental sound – anything that has stuck with you?

I was lucky, I grew up with music. My elementary school offered a special music program: one-third of the time spent in school was dedicated to music. I still remember the songs we played and sang (from popular songs to religious hymns in Latin). My childhood musical memories are very full! If I try to go earlier than that, I think what stuck with me is one lullaby my father sang to me: the traditional song “Dans la prison de Londres”, but with the wrong melody! He was mistakenly using another traditional melody, that of “Isabeau s’y promène”. Both are very well-known traditional songs, but he mixed them up and created a new one. That’s the one I remember, and that’s the one I sing to my kids. I like that. I think it might have inspired me in my non-purist approach to the traditional material.   

There’s a seven-year gap between the first record and this one. When did you know you wanted to make a record of traditional music?

In 2016, I was invited to Le Bic, Quebec, for a one-week residency in an old mill that had been turned into a boat repair workshop. A very inspiring place. At the time, my partner and I were completely obsessed by a 1971 record he had just bought for a dollar: Ça roule by Philippe Gagnon and Dominique Tremblay, two folklorists who did very modern and experimental stuff with traditional music. On this record, we discovered the traditional tune “Au coeur de ma délire”. Their version of it is absolutely stunning. Not many people know this song here, and I thought it was so beautiful I wanted to do something with it. I tried many things and finally decided to use the sounds of my surroundings to create a musical landscape and play the song on it. It’s the same recording that you can find on Ma délire. That was the sparkle. After the residency, I knew I wanted to go further and make a record inspired by traditional music. But motherhood has been my main project since Not So Deep as a Well came out. I had two kids in the meantime and it’s been very time and energy-consuming! When my youngest one turned three, I decided it was time to go back to music. I really needed it. I applied for a grant, I got it, and I was then able to take a seven-month leave from my work and dedicate myself entirely to this new project.   

 

READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW HERE

 

photos by Fab on the Moon

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Wojciech Rusin has been making music for a few years now, but has so far slipped under the radar in Poland. His most recent album has only been noticed by Bartosz Nowicki of Gazeta Magnetofonowa.And yet Rusin has given us plenty of opportunities to appreciate what he’s been up to: the amazing Animalia released under the moniker Katapulto (Sangoplasmo, 2011), where he created five tracks in five languages about five different species of animals or the more recent Powerflex (Olde English Spelling Bee, 2015). Ever since the latter record saw the light of day, I’ve been waiting for Rusin’s next move – and this year surpassed my expectations. I do not mean to say he’s been idle in the meantime – he spent previous years making music for theatre productions and art installations. In fact, The Funnelis a direct consequence of his project prepared for Radiophrenia festival of radio dramas and sound-art. However, the record functions brilliantly as an autonomous entity – the musician skillfully juggles between various aesthetics, which he is able to originally juxtapose. The opening “Paolo’s Dream” is a true gem of autotune, which gains a dignified, choral dimension. The baritone “Salvation” is contrasted with “First Encounter”, which resembles a score to a horror movie taking place in a boiler room, and is later counterbalanced with violin parts tinged with noise. The record culminates with “Cyclops” – a fantastically planned stereo journey through sound, musical gloom, industrial, and elements of musique concrète, all of which come together to create a poignant narrative.

This is a baroque, opulent album – classical inspirations are interlaced with chamber music, dense grooves with texts alluding to the Occult and pious songs, which all end up under subsequent layers of musique concrète anyway. You can treat it like a radio drama, but the musician brilliantly combines inspirations from a number of sources to create his own imaginary version of reality. What’s most important is that instead of rehashing ideas, he marks out an entirely new path across this post-modern collage, analyzing sound with exuberant energy. Choral vocals, field recordings, folk melodies, and noisy polyphonies make for a surprisingly natural combination, and The Funnel entrances the listener like a multi-faceted (or even multi-channel) story.

Yet Rusin also has a different face: as Obsidian Teeth, he shares his electronic and mystical world from a different perspective. His album, evocatively titled Pius Rebus, is where dark dubs are fuelled with sonic experiments and medieval sounds. This is a peculiar type of futurism, where compositions gain an old-fashioned, solemn atmosphere. Compared to The Funnel, this album is more electrified, structured into songs, which makes the narrative more coherent and builds dramatic tension.This is a peculiarly occult vision of experimental club music, immersed in dub or grime (necessarily with the prefix ‘post-‘, like the amazing “Mud”). The contrasts are immersing too: medieval brass sounds juxtaposed with metallic industrial in “Tubular Body” or with synthesizer melodies and simple, synthetic beats in “Arabic Tunes”. Everything works as a whole, though – a yet another example showing how a broad palette of inspirations may produce a thought-out, multi-layered, yet thoroughly coherent result.Rusin is a down-and-out original artist, and these two albums are a tour-de-force of his compositional ideas. If you’ve not heard about him before, it’s high time to make up for that.

© noweidzieodmorza

 

Wojciech Rusin will be performing at les ateliers claus on 22nd of October 2021 tickets 

 

 

  • wojciech rusin

There are some people, like me, who consider Myriam Gendron’s Not So Deep as a Well to be one of the finest albums of the 2010s. It’s been seven long years since the Montreal artist released her luminous collection of Dorothy Parker poems set to music, but the wait has been worth it. 

Gendron’s latest project, the double album Ma délire – Songs of love, lost & found, is an even more ambitious affair than her debut. Delving deep into traditional music from Quebec, France, and the United States, she rewired segments of songs to emphasize evocative lyrics and tossed out others that she found abhorrent. Singing in French and English, with guest contributions from musicians including guitarist Bill Nace and drummer Chris Corsano, these historic songs become universal, while her tender voice maintains the soft power to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. 

Interviews with Gendron are almost as rare as her recordings or live performances, so it was a great pleasure to receive her answers to a series of questions sent via email. As she explains below, “I’m happy the Americans play on songs in French and the Québécois play on songs in English. The whole record is about building bridges!” 

Myriam Gendron: I’ve been playing guitar and singing since the age of 12 but I never really thought it was worth anything outside of my bedroom until my partner Benoît Chaput started taking my stuff seriously. That happened when I started setting the Dorothy Parker poems to music. He convinced me to take it to another level. Much to my surprise at the time, people’s reactions to Not So Deep as a Wellwere very enthusiastic. That’s probably when the “switch into seriousness” happened for me. I realized I could do some good around me with my music.

AD: Your inspiration for this album began during an artistic residency in 2016, but you write that “it took five years to find the time and mental space to actually get into it.” What else kept you busy during that time?

Myriam Gendron: Kids and work! My daughter was born two months after Not So Deep as a Well came out. In a 2014 interview, I remember saying I would use the extra free time my maternity leave gave me to write new music. That was very naive of me! There has been no free time at all. But I’m not bitter about it! I also had a son in 2017. So of course, with a full-time job and two young kids, it’s very hard to find time and mental space to be creative. My only option was to obtain a writing grant. I waited for the kids to be old enough and I applied for a grant. And I got it! That allowed me to take seven months off work and dedicate myself entirely to this new record.

READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW HERE

CHECK OUT THE ALBUM HERE

Ryuichi Sakamoto's 1985 album Esperanto is being reissued by Wewantsounds on November 19, 2021

The new edition marks the first time that the album has been made available outside Japan. It was originally produced as a soundtrack to a performance by American choreographer Molissa Fenley, and its eight tracks take in elements of ambient, early techno and more. You can listen to the opening track, 'A Wongga Dance Song', below.

Esperanto includes guest contributions from YAS-KAZ on percussion and Arto Lindsay on electric guitar. The audio has been remastered in Tokyo for Wewantsounds' reissue, and the vinyl release comes with an introduction to the album by writer Andy Beta.

BRUCE MCCLURE KEEPS A STUDIO at the northernmost tip of Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, in an industrial enclave a fair walk from the nearest subway. Overhead, the Pulaski Bridge, which connects the borough to Queens, throbs with a constant onrush of vehicles, generating a rhythm that transforms the ambient workday bustle of the surrounding blocks into something like rough background music. Inside, McClure’s studio is a nearly windowless, thick-walled bunker: a good situation for someone who experiments, as he does, with the intricacies of projected light and with elaborate patterns of machine noise not dissimilar to those outside his building.

Today, he has positioned two 16-mm film projectors—the portable, slot-loading variety that graced high school classrooms decades ago—and connected them via a cascade of multicolored cords to an array of hulking, coffee-can-size variable transformers and boxy guitar-effects pedals. The projectors aren’t loaded with full reels of film but with short loops of black emulsion dotted with occasional frames of clear base, and each is fitted out with a different-size lens. Facing the projectors is a smallish roll-down movie screen, about six by eight feet, flanked by a formidable pair of loudspeakers. This is the setup for Cong in Our Gregational Pom-Poms, 2009, one of McClure’s live “projector performances,” as they’ve often been called at the festivals and cinemas that have played host to his work in the past decade.

The room darkened, Pom-Poms starts with both projectors running, their luminance gradually increasing. The mostly opaque loops of celluloid allow only split-second blinks of light to emerge; one projector’s image—a white rectangle of light in the familiar 1.33:1 aspect ratio—is tight in the middle of the screen, the other’s so large that it far exceeds the projection surface and illuminates half the studio, flickering with a slow pom, pom quality reminiscent of an old flashbulb. Due to the projectors’ inherent variations, the recurring frames of light go in and out of sync in a hypnotically arrhythmic strobe, with still images of scratches and bits of dust lingering for milliseconds in the mind after they hit. Even more overwhelming is the audio accompaniment, produced by the loops’ passing over the projectors’ optical sound readers, the sharp alternations of light and dark creating regular intervals of analog noise enhanced by McClure’s effects pedals to resemble something between a chuffing train and a kerranging No Wave guitar riff. The total effect converts the room into an enormous reverberation chamber for both ear and eye, throbbing with mechanical thunder and lightning, eliciting numerous audiovisual illusions that erupt in the spaces between the pom-pom pulses.

The seemingly endless minutes spent in thrall to one of McClure’s performances become both profoundly materialist and transportively idealist: the former because the auditor-spectator cannot but be deeply mindful of the physical fact of the machines themselves as they relentlessly produce their affective oscillations, the latter because such an experience elicits trancelike states of time dilation and near-hallucinogenic euphoria. McClure reorganizes the sensorium across a latticework of mechanical rhythms, shaped on the fly through the manipulation of specific variables that define the named performance as such—for Pom-Poms, guitar pedals, loops with ratios of one clear to twenty-five black frames, a specific arrangement of the screen, 12.5-mm and 70-mm lenses, and the use of transformers to create shifts in brightness. Within these parameters, McClure improvises, extending or truncating the piece’s arc to suit the circumstances of a given venue and occasion.

McClure avoids terming himself an artist (“a word I tend to shy away from, as much as I can, out of some sort of infantile paralysis,” he demurs), preferring instead to be called a performer. Though he has done events in galleries and museums, he operates more in the context of experimental film and, recently, avant-garde music. His training, and former day job, was in architecture, and it was while studying the subject in college in the late ’70s that he made his first film, on Super 8, already gravitating toward abstraction: Eccentric Circles (1978), a silent five-minute animation portraying concentric colored circles of cutout paper growing and receding in the modest frame. During this period he painted in a Minimalist style, and while still a student, he made John Cage’s acquaintance; for a while, the two played chess together regularly.

Full article HERE 

Bruce McCLure will be performing at les ateliers claus on 23rd of September 2021 tickets 

 

  • Bruce McClure preparing to perform Nethergate, 2005, at the 8th International New Media Art festival, Riga, Latvia, August 26, 2006. Photo: Robin Martin.