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Orphax & Machinefabriek * Hüwels & Clay * Federico Mosconi

Weerkaatsing

Weerkaatsing

ORPHAX & MACHINEFABRIEK – WEERKAATSING

The dutch title isn’t easily translated. Reflection comes close but doesn’t quite cover it.
But the cover image reveals what this album is about: two artists interacting on each others work, bouncing the ball back to each other and creating new pieces along the process.

The starting point for this album was their mutual respect. To call it a collaboration album would not be entirely true: two (of the three) tracks on this album are a remixes of each other’s music.
Orphax (Sietse van Erve, Amsterdam) remixed Machinefabriek‘s Stofstuk into Reflectie.
Spiegeling, 
on the other hand, is Machinefabriek‘s remix of Orphax’ De Eerste Dag.
Completing this album is the title track Weerkaatsing, which is a completely new piece. Not a remix, but a ‘real’ collaborative work.

Drone-based electronics, but not the static kind of drones… there’s a lot happening in these 43 minutes. The original sound is enriched with many tweaks and twitches, adding details that weren’t there in the first place (such as the string section in Spiegeling).

Ever-changing –  yet with a consistent overall atmosphere…  Weerkaatsing is one of those collaboration projects where the whole is absolutely a lot more than the sum of its parts.
1 + 1 = 3.


Unintended Space

STIJN HÜWELS & DANNY CLAY – AN UNINTENDED SPACE

Stijn Hüwels is a Belgian musician that is not only known for his own minimalist music (created using processed guitar, loops and field recordings), but also as curator of the famous Slaapwel Records label – promoters of Sleep Music with a critically acclaimed discography of handmade CD(r)-releases.

Danny Clay (from San Francisco), on the other hand, describes himself as a Composer/General Noise Maker who’s projects “often incorporate musical games, open forms, found objects, archival media, toy instruments, classrooms of elementary schoolers, graphic notation, digital errata, cross-disciplinary research, and the everything-in-between”.

So there you are: merge Stijn’s quiet and introspective guitar and voice with Danny’s interacting (but also introspective) turntables, sine waves and celesta, and you’re in for a sonic treat.
A very calming and undisturbed treat, for most parts.
The slow-paced (14 minute) 3.25.2016 (I), for example, has a background loop that could come from a William Basinski album (but without the degradation), and is covered in warm guitar layers and gentle glockenspiel-like bell sounds.

An Unintended Space is the duo’s first collaborative project, on which they worked for a year. The tracks are titled by the dates they were considered finished (I assume): between february 2016 and march 2017.


Federico Mosconi - Colonne Di Fumo

FEDERICO MOSCONI – COLONNE DI FUMO  Also on Spotify

Eight ‘smoke columns’ created by Federico Mosconi from Verona, Italy: “undefined and changing soundscapes as the figures drawn by smoke”. 
The opening track Notturno introduces sounds of distant thunder, while the album merges field recordings with Mosconi‘s guitar playing and live recordings into a beautiful dreamy set of lush ambient soundscapes.

Creating ambient music is not the only thing Federico Mosconi does: he graduated in guitar and multimedia composition at the Conservatory of Verona and has played solo as well as in orchestras, chamber ensembles and the electroacoustic improvisation sextet Cardew Ensemble.
Colonne Di Fumo is his second full album, following Acquatinta from 2014.

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Jonathan Kawchuk; Stijn Hüwels; Frédéric D. Oberland; Thomas Ragsdale

Dear Aaucaria

North

JONATHAN KAWCHUK – NORTH
“The natural world is perfect. I go to great lengths to reflect that in my work”
Jonathan Kawchuk “has been living and recording in natural environments across Europe, North America and Asia. He has played back and re-recorded his compositions in the forests of Norway, the Pacific Northwest, and Indonesia in order to try to steal a bit of their natural beauty.”
That would suggest that that North  is full of environmental soundscapes. But in fact it isn’t. This album presents eight post-classical experimental compositions, performed on acoustic instruments. You will have to listen véry closely to hear the environment of the Jostedal National Park in which the tracks ‘were played back and rerecorded’. 
Kawchuk has previously worked with Ben Frost and Nico Muhly, as well as being an assistant sound technician for the Philip Glass Ensemble. This experience can easily be felt in these pieces, in which he avoids all too obvious choices of post-classical chamber music to present a surprisingly different set.


Six Pieces for Guitar

STIJN HÜWELS – SIX PIECES FOR GUITAR
This Japanese mAtter label release from Belgian sound artist Stijn Hüwels is available in two editions: one containing a CD and 7″ single (edition of 50), and a standard CD release.
The CD version has six untitled pieces, created using processed guitar recordings. Hüwels’ work ‘is often characterized by a profound fascination for minimalism”, and so are the pieces on this album: ‘soothing guitar waves, dreamy looping technique and ghostly sounds that might sound melancholic and meditative to the first listener, (but) might have different, even divergent associations for the next one, depending on the identity, mood, age, experience and even geographical location’.



Stijn Hüwels – Untitled IV


Peregrinus Ubique

FRÉDÉRIC D. OBERLAND – PEREGRINUS UBIQUE
‘Peregrinus’ is classical latin for ‘foreigner’, ‘ubique’ translates to ‘everywhere’.
“An
open door. An invitation to wander. Six moments to pause, to drift to travel with the soul intention of loosing oneself.”

Frédéric D. Oberland (French composer and multi-instrumentalist) presents six ‘Scenes’mixed into one continuous sequence.
With the guitar as the main instrument, his music “transcends specific genres, building an organic and cinematic voyage that can be both epic and subdued, bleak and powerful.”

The CD-set also contains a 44 page photozine with a fascinating set of black & white photos.

Dear Aaucaria

THOMAS RAGSDALE – DEAR ARAUCARIA
A short (17 minute) but very beautiful (‘bittersweet’) EP with a special dedication: it is a tribute to Reverend John Grahamaka Araucaria – a popular crossword maker for The Guardian.
Thomas Ragsdale (also known as Worriedaboutsatan) ‘became fascinated with Graham’s life and work, and especially the devotion he instilled in his followers, who were told the news of his condition through clues in his final puzzle.”
The physical version of this release is beautifully packed, and includes a crossword puzzle printed on a postcard with nostalgic clues to decipher the track titles.

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