David Toop * Lawrence English * John Grzinich

David Toop Entities


Contemplating a release on the Room40 label, David Toop asked Lawrence English “Why would anybody release music in the 21st century?
“He laid out his philosophy;” Toop continues, “I was convinced.”

The philosophy of Lawrence English is not further explained here and may remain a mystery, but Entities Inertias Faint Beings is an answer to the question in itself: because there are always new territories to explore…  Because there always will be new languages to come…

Toop takes his material from all over the world, from all kind of instruments and all kind of environments – from east to west, natural as well as electric and ethereal.
He then combines them into complete alternate realities, creating music that is unlike anything you heard before, music that feels like it’s not from this world at all.
It is ‘environmental’ music, in a way, assimilating the atmosphere of “the placement of stones in Japanese stone gardens, the chanting of Buddhist sutras, daylight listening in thin air, kookaburra chatter, catapult elastic, radio waves in a kettle, electric buzzers….” (and possibly everything else you can imagine).
But at the same time it isn’t – because no environment sounds as mysterious like this.

Also on Spotify

Approaching Nothing


Approaching Nothing is a very direct reference to Presque Rien (Almost Nothing)  by Luc Ferrari, one of the earliest soundscape compositions (1970) including what R. Murray Schafer defined as ‘soundmarks’ (“a sound which is unique to an area”) – “Once a Soundmark has been identified, it deserves to be protected, for soundmarks make the acoustic life of a community unique.”
And it’s not just a reference in title: for this album Lawrence English traveled to Vela Luka (Croatia) – the exact location where the original sounds for Ferrari’s ‘Presque Rien’ were recorded. So it might very well be possible that some of these soundmarks were present on the original recordings also. I guess there are: the sound of the boats is exactly the same, the only difference is in the enhanced recording techniques.

Though they are subtly edited and manipulated to complete a detailed postcard-like view of the surroundings (and sometimes not very subtly: at some moments a passing car is deliberately cut off quite radically to shift to another scene), these are the most ‘natural’ kind of environmental recordings imaginable. There is no ‘musical’ content at all – no other instruments, no musical arrangements, no enhancements or processing. There shouldn’t be, of course: if there was one thing that Luc Ferrari’s ‘Presque Rien’ demonstrated it was that music everywhere around for those who care to listen.

John Grzinich


For those interested in environmental recordings, the Corollaries series on the Crónica label is a definite must-check.
This (sixth) edition in the series is an acoustic exploration of a deserted, metal water tower about four stories high made by soundscape artist John Grzinich.

“People are pulled inward upon hearing the depth of the reverberations from within. In numerous instances time seemed to stop as we gathered around, crawling about, climbing, plucking, bowing, striking, howling, stringing and generally playing in and around the great structure.”

Two single-take recordings were made: “the first was a dialogue of sorts between three artists carried out through sporadic sounds and the second was a solo follow-up to meditate on how the various artifacts attached in the previous months were affected by the windy conditions”.

The metallic sounds – clangs, whistles, whispers and moaning – from within the tower suggest that it’s alive and breathing.
A fascinating recording of post-industrial environmental ambience, available as a Name Your Price download (as are all editions in this series).

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