Laura Luna - Isolarios
2 weeks ago, 13 August 2014  ·   14 notes

Laura Luna de Castillo is a Mexican multimedia artist living in Prague. Composing tracks and working with sound are her means of bringing forth imaginary atmospheres. Laura Luna's debut record Isolarios is Baba Vanga's next release.

“I started experimenting with making sound and music about a year ago, after an experience that made me aware of sound as a powerful enhancement to memories and narratives,” she says. “First I started to pay attention around me and to record with whatever I had available those sounds that where triggering emotions or fragments of memories. Later on when i became more sensitive to the richness, tones and changes in the sounds i began to construct my own sounds to describe what I had in my imagination of certain mental scenes and stories.”

Isolarios is an immersive experience, utilising sound as an emotion activator, inviting the listener into a self-contained world where repressed or half-forgotten memories resurface blurring the border between half-conscious and dream states, a sort of somnambulist soundtrack. “The way I started making each track was always inspired by an imaginary atmosphere, after reading and seeing many kinds of media that triggered certain feelings like longing, memory, melancholy and solitude but always immersed in a foggy fantasy and mellow drowsiness,” she says. Feedback, error and accidental programming come to the forefront here, layers of swirling melodies are scattered with field recordings and voices.

Inspired by science fiction stories about lost cosmonauts and expeditions without return, magic realism and the works of Italo Calvino, Laura’s output is drenched in romanticism, but of a – sublimely - tragic kind.

You can listen to the album, which is out now on Baba Vanga on Monday, 18 August 2014 on cassette, in its entirety here:

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Selectone’s Dead Grooves
3 weeks ago, 5 August 2014  ·   4 notes

More than a year after the EP of the Foma duo, the Czech electronic label Ressonus, which usually does so on a sporadic basis though always accompanied with carefully prepared limited edition CD and download artefacts, announced a new release. Coinciding with the straightforward techno-industrial record of the American project The Agromaniac, which was inspired by Harlan Ellison’s post-apocalyptic novella “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”, is also the new material of Selectone, a project of the label head David Rambousek, whose history dates back to 2004 and the Mufonic imprint.

Rhizomatic Sounds came out as a split with Neutrino and together with the following Czech-Slovak anthology Out Of Place Artefacts vol. I could be seen as a statement against the dance scene in favour of dirty and fragmented experimenting. “I prefer working with atmospheres and emotions to stylish sounds. I try to breathe life and an inner dimension into music.(…) I like sonic impurities, lo-fi and wasteland electronics, confronted with subtle moodscapes, created on synths or acoustic instruments. I sample a lot – from purely natural and everyday sounds, to noise, old vinyl records, church organs, chants and random voices of random people.” (as mentioned in an older interview with Nika77 for Techno.cz).

Selectone's 2007 record Unearthed developed in a rhizomatic system, incorporating elements of glitch, click’n’cuts and recyclation. His latest record, Dead Grooves, extolls the circle movement: literally. Shaped by the revolution of the used shellac records and magnetic tapes as well as multiple recollections of his own, shelled recordings created in isolation. “Crucial was that I recorded it at a time when I lived in a haunting small town on the Polish border and spent most of the time being alone, which probably led to some strange mental states…” With his method – let it be, so that something alive would engender from the dead sound – Selectone somehow comes close to Czech turntablists Birds Build Nests Underground. Nevertheless, here focused finishing touches to the material and another thing, the proximity of the “locked” grooves and myths (Automaton, Solaris) with non-cyclical elements, such as guest vocals of Miriam Ingram in Dead Swan or the dub-inflected rhythmics of the space in Positive Einstellung. The fascination with side effects and micro-sonic textures, which accompanies the project from the very beginning, as if veiled the whole record with a constant membrane of rain or crackling of fire – depending on which substance is closer to your consciousness – setting another distance from the focal point of this aural anémic cinema.

by ondrej parus (red for colour blind)

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White Wigwam - Ground/Trigger
1 month ago, 23 July 2014  ·   1 note

There is a quality to live music that often is lacking from bedroom or studio recordings. The slow, meandering build up, in anticipation of the climax (or anticlimax), the getting-lost-in-music, and the consensual surrender to the sonic mind-alteration. White Wigwam is a Prague-based musician, affiliated through various projects with the collective and label KLaNGundKRaCH. Remaining in the fringes of Prague’s experimental scene by choice, the group, even though favouring the anonymity of the collective spirit, has produced a number of intriguing projects and personalities over the years of its existence. No Pavarotti, Rouilleux, Core of the Coalman or Sister Body, just to name a few. 

White Wigwam, remains one of the more mysterious projects of the collective. Sonically, it revels in droney, psychotropic passages, coated in opiated atmospheres and dark alleyways with forlorn melodies appearing from the rhythmical structures. Ground/Trigger is a limited edition tape release, out on the blog/imprint Red For Colour Blind and the aforementioned KK. Sourced from a live recording - all of the releases on his bandcamp are live recordings, actually - with this one made at the Cross Club in Prague in Spring of this year, it is a collection of three recordings, best listened to continuously. 

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Bűkko Tapes: Eastern European electronic alternative for your tapedeck
2 months ago, 30 June 2014  ·   5 notes

Brno, the second city of Czech Republic, has seen a gradual upsurge in underground sonic activities, aided by its ample student populace - both at the art and technical universities - resulting in a very interesting mix where art and technology come to each other’s service. The crew behind the DIY Arduino-based instrument Standuino is based there, now busy with the increasingly successful Bastl Instruments, who, coincidentally, also lent its support to the latest Brno electronic export - the label Bukko Tapes. Here, its owner and artist Leoš Hort, says more.

When and why was the label established?

Bűkko Tapes was founded this spring by me and with support of Bastl-Instruments. The idea is to create a platform for unsigned talented artists. It all comes from my experience of being an unknown bedroom producer. When you are producing music, and just uploading it to some music-sharing online destinations without any background, there are just friends listening to your stuff, and its really hard to pass your creations to wider audience. 

There is a certain sound that’s already obvious from the three releases on the Bandcamp, beat-driven, a lot of is 4-4 oriented. Can you tell us about the sonic direction of the label?

With Bűkko Tapes I have an idea, which I’m trying to follow. So the keywords would be: analogue techno, house, generative music, experimental dance music.. But it doesn´t mean that doors are closed for everything else. I’m opened to all sorts of stuff. But it just has to fit in there somehow. I’m also looking for some drone/ambient releases for future.

"Eastern European electronic alternative for your tapedeck," is how you describe the label. Does it mean you are geographically specific in your selection? 

Yes, i want to focus just for Eastern Europe. Because i know that this region has lots of great musicians who have lot to offer and are being totally unknown at the same time. I think that Eastern Europe is currently the best place to “fish” for new original music. When it comes to the selection itself, the main thing are always the recordings, but I’m also interested in the processes behind it, like live performing, materials or equipment used, etc.

Can you tell us something about each of the releases?

The first release, called Hrtl - Hydroxid, is an acid/dub-techno recording that I made with my solo project. It´s all recorded live with hardware synthesisers and then just polished in studio, but still kept raw and straight forward, as much as the improvised live sessions I perform as Hrtl.

The second recording is ALUPHOBIA - REVIVAL. It’s the work of the great young producer and sound-engineer Barnabas Kiss based in Hungary. It’s hard to correctly describe the genre, but you can sense pieces of house, downtempo or chillwave there. It has its own specific sound, because Aluphobia uses plenty of noises and dynamic processing to build his very own atmosphere. Working with various software platforms, and his very advanced sound-processing skills he created my most favourite recording of this year. Im very happy we have him in Bűkko.

Last comes Finfriju - Seeds. It’s a bit more complicated with this one, because the author is kept secret. And when it comes to recording, it doesn’t get any simpler. Seeds is not really a recording, its a piece of software generating that music. And since every rendering is unique, it’s impossible to specify the original. So it made me create a limited edition of numbered cassettes, containing very unique renders on each side of cassette. In fact it means that there are no duplicated tapes and every cassette has its own original audio. Online you can listen to one render which you can´t get on any of released cassettes. The author used a textcode-based sound generating software called SuperCollider, which is used amongst sound experimenting artists for creating random noises, drones and different kinds of sound effects. But Finfriju took this platform to create something more “songish”.

You are based in Brno. Can you tell us about its underground music scene as it is at the moment?

Brno is blooming like a flower now. Really, over past three years I can see young guys full of enthusiasm getting into music. For all I have to point out guys like Tom Holič, Krysí Krys, Chef3000, Misisbe Sisbert. This is the main core of hardware-based “four to the floor” electronic here in Brno.

On the other hand, there´s pretty active scene around art exhibitions and faculty of fine arts in Brno, making space for more unconventional music styles like noise/drone/ambient/experimental. For all Michael Jackson Pollock, is going to blow your mind live with their heavy-metal poses during one button solo on DIY bleep synth. A must see!

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Check Czech - a new compilation of up-and-coming electronics from Prague and beyond
3 months ago, 20 May 2014  ·   6 notes

What is a sound of a country? House, techno, folk, trap, rap, hip hop or jazz? Of course, such simplistic generalisations are superfluous, though it is still interesting to hear what a certain group of musicians from a certain geographical context might produce, influenced - either consciously or subliminally - by the surroundings (or is this plain determinism)? Of course, we are not talking about Eurovision type of national/istic trite, but genuine music created at a certain time, in a certain place.

The new compilation entitled simply and boldly as !CZECH2, presents the up-and-coming producers based in the Czech Republic (there is also a Mexican and an American artist both based in Prague included). This is already the second instalment (read more about the first one in our interview here) of this initiative and its aim is to present “contemporary local progress”. The sound focuses on electronics, experimental, dance-oriented, weird and uncanny. Some names have been around for a while - but present themselves in a new light, such as Reverend Dick or Selectone. Then there are those who have appeared on the sonic radar recently, such as the Baba Vanga-affiliated Střed Světa and Traktor , or Space Love (check out their eye-watering videos here) and Dizzcock, the last two mentioned renowned for their collaboration with Tesla Tape’s Lightning Glove.

You can download the compilation, mostly composed of exclusives, for free here.

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