Zdeněk Liška - Osada Havranů (Tarnovski mix)
2 weeks ago, 28 March 2014  ·   1 note


Zdeněk Liška is one of the most significant Czech film composers, his electronic and electro-acoustic compositions finding its visual accompaniments - for his film scores are not secondary to its filmic coupling - in the Czech New Wave or for films of Jan Švankmajer. Eerie and surreal, his sound work create an extra layer, an autonomous sonic universe, that is almost a synaesthetic radio play, dispensing with the need for images, and at the same time reinforcing them in the imagination of the listener. 

Tarnovski, an avid recontextualiser of the audiovisual history of Czech and Slovak Republics, has created a new mixtape - following in the wake of his excellent “Proč jsme se nepotkali zaživa?" - composed of reworkings of three Liška scores - Osada havranů (Settlement of Crows), Na veliké řece (At The Great River, 1977) and Volání rodu (Call of the Tribe) all of them made in 1977. “Zdeněk felt the need to banish the whole sonic realistic construction, dispensing with most of the real atmospheres and sounds, instead trying to create them from loops. This resulted in strange howling, flicking, and this he mixed together….To all of this he then composed music," recollects the director Jan Schmidt.

Tarnovski took this to the next level - recreating these “recreations” into a mixtape, that sounds profoundly current, with its rhythmic structures, disembodied traces of voices, sounds of birds and waves (faithful to its cinematic origins), repetitions, a modern musique concrete, if you wish. 

You can download the mixtape here.

Eastern Daze & Baba Vanga on Berlin Community Radio
3 weeks ago, 25 March 2014  ·   0 notes

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Meteorismo: Terrorismo
3 weeks ago, 21 March 2014  ·   0 notes

Meteorismo is a Finnish-Czech label, focusing on “weird music and sounds, lo-fi experiments, home made avantgarde, outsider music, freak out and all kinds of music which is does not fit anywhere.” And this is what you get, albeit the concept of “weirdness” is a strange one, “weirdness” is relative, and nowadays, when it has been co-opted ad nauseum, is weird still weird? Terrorismo is a result of a Federsel & Mäkelä "pretending to be experimental music curators". And it is not as weird as in inaccessible. There are the traces of various avantgarde sonic practices - the cut and paste, sampling, improvisation, plunderphonics, musique concrète. Then there is noise and the conscious use of the aesthetics of lo-fi, which usher in the 21st century.

This track by Slovak sound artists Andrej Danoczi features an absurd juxtaposition of a hilarious radio phoner of a religious zealot coupled with field recordings and various aural disturbances.

It’s not all sonic opulence though, there are sublime stripped-down songs like the one below.

A nice collection of “old-skool” practices, placed in a “new-skool” world, done without compromises, offered without pretensions.

Sister Body - Lucifer Efekt (Tesla Tapes, 2014)
4 weeks ago, 18 March 2014  ·   3 notes

Although the activities of the Prague based Klangundkrach collective seem to have been put on a halt as of late, the legacy of this post-noise label/collective, which was quite an extraordinary achievement in Central Europe (check out our podcast about this scene here), remains. From the fertile sonic soil of this relatively small group the increasingly successful Lightning Glove, now signed to Tesla Tapes, has emerged.

Sister Body is project of Head In Body and Miss Camilla, former is also active in the aforementioned Lightning Glove. The addition of Miss Camilla actually means a diversion from the sound of Lightning Glove, Sister Body now being a project strongly dependent on words, a powerful musical tool by itself. Lucifer Efekt is actually also a title of a book about a condition of human psyche when generally good people turn to evil deeds under various influences. This has been not confirmed by the band, albeit, when checking the lyrics, there are some clues or accidental hints which might give the impression of the Lucifer Efekt itself (harmony/in the worst way/soul or heart/we turn apart, in song called “Efekt”).

And what about the actual music? Miminalist drony synths with simple melodies are spell-binding, cold and cinematic in combination with the neurosis and despair oozing from the female voice. This dark, slow, wrecking and nervous minimal atmosphere owes a lot to Suicide (as proudly proclaimed by the band, they are inspired by the neurotic approach of these legendary New York pioneers ) and cold wave of the 80’s, yet it’s not just another copycat or revival band with a dark image. Personas, either real or fictional for the purposes of the project, of both band members are reflected in here deeply. The result is an extremely disturbing and negative listening experience, alluring in an anti-heroic way to all the like-minded outsiders sharing the same worldly feeling of alienation, despair and isolation. The track Crazy=Black” is the final statement questioning sanity with contradictory lyrics (They Say I’m Welcome/In This special House/They like the police in my head) reinforcing the role of the outsider even more in this increasingly normalized society consumed by its own structures.

Lucifer Efekt is not an easy listen. It requires the listener’s willingness to dive into the deeper and darker recesses of human emotions, but this can be a rewarding experience - hovering on the edges of sanity and coldness of electronic music with its raw and Spartan approach. The release makes a statement as a sonic opposition against the standards of contemporary society, giving a middle finger to the current state of affairs with its darker side of the moon, shooting a beacon to all the like minded-individuals sharing the same feelings and stances. Lucifer Efekt aims deeper to attack you as the psychological weapon against conventionality and dull joy of casual expectations of everyday life.

By b.arctor

Better be real than postmodern - Phaerentz’s III
1 month ago, 14 March 2014  ·   2 notes

Phaerentz is a solo project of Petr Ferenc, a Czech music journalist and musician, renowned mostly for his hauntological project Birds Build Nests Underground. His latest release is simply entitled III, and this descriptive minimalism is also an encapsulation of this project - no frills, the focus is placed on sound, in an almost acousmatic way. III is a sonic glance at certain - three - specific aural events. The stories about their inception are included, making me realise how nice it is actually to know the context of a sound piece, adding a layer of familiarity, aiding the imagination. 

Recorded on 21 June 2013 at the Kunsthalle in Hamburg where the floors creak so nicely. Monochrome is a subtle, gentle intro, much shorter than the other two, a prelude, a sonification of a walk which was then processed according to Monochrome Rules

Four track live recording made at the Avantgarde Festival in Schiphorst on 22 June 2013… perhaps early morning of the following day. The second track is a dense epic voyage, a master exercise in repetition, the meaning revealing itself gradually, in minor delineations and build-ups. A perpetual gradation, the apotheosis achieved, slowly, but profoundly, as a mirage that is the thing-in-itself, the being-as-in-becoming. 

'Good Morning' was planned for morning radio sessions at the same festival. However, something got “lost in translation” and the piece was finished and recorded later at home…Silence, disquietude, sound, an apparition. Différance.