Category Archives: music

Sonic Radiations. A nuclear-themed playlist

Yesterday i was at Z33 in Hasselt to visit Perpetual Uncertainty, an exhibition that explores “contemporary art in the nuclear anthropocene.”

I had already read The Nuclear Culture Source Book, the publication that accompanies the research and was hoping that the show would be at least as informative and exciting as the book. It certainly delivered and i’ll get back to you with aenthusiastic report as soon as i’m back home. In the meantime, i’d like to share with you the decidedly bizarre but very enjoyable nuclear-themed playlist commissioned by Z33 to Micha Volders and Tim Geelen from Meteor Musik.


William Onyeabor, Atomic Bomb, 1978


Black Moth Super Rainbow, Radiation Society, 2016

Sonic Radiations. In search of a nuclear musicology is online for you to enjoy and scratch your head. The compilation is pretty eclectic. Among the tracks you’ll find:

Energy & The Atom, a 1976 production of the American Nuclear Society that extols the virtues of atomic power and downplays its dangers; Z_Boson by the cult Doppler Effekt; A Child’s introduction to atomic energy and outer space, an educational record from 1960; Atomic Bomb, ‘electronic sounds mixed with Nigerian afro beat grooves’ which William Onyeabor released in 1978; Radiation Society, a recording by Black Moth Super Rainbow that’s slowly being eaten away by radiation; dialogues from the 1983 scifi movie WarGames; excerpts from the original background music of Godzilla (a metaphor for nuclear weapons) composed by Masaru Sato, etc.

Bernard Fevre, Molecule Dance, 1975

Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan, The Ray Makers, 1968

A trois dans les WC, Contagion, 1978

Perpetual Uncertainty is at Z33 in Hasselt until 10 December 2017.

RAVE. Rave and Its Influence on Art and Culture

RAVE. Rave and Its Influence on Art and Culture, edited by art curator Nav Haq.

It’s on amazon UK and USA.

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black dog publishing writes: Rave: Rave and Its Influence on Art and Culture is one of the first publications to critically engage with the historical rave movement of the 1980s and 1990s as it relates to contemporary art and visual culture.

Following the death of industrial Europe, rave emerged as Europe’s last big youth movement. This book considers the social, political and economic conditions that led to the advent of rave as a ‘counterculture’ across Europe, as well as its aesthetics, ideologies and influence on contemporary art and beyond. Combining specially commissioned texts, interviews and factual material, the book represents a broad range of artistic practices, including the work of Jeremy Deller, Rineke Dijkstra, and Daniel Pflumm, amongst many others.

In addition to artistic contributions, the book features texts by Mark Fisher and Nav Haq, as well as interviews with Walter van Beirendonck, the famous Belgian fashion designer; and Renaat Vandepapeliere and Sabine Maes, who run the legendary R&S Records.

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Andreas Gursky, May Day III, 1998

Of course i was going to love this book. It features great artworks and insightful essays, it’s beautifully designed, but it also explores a cultural phenomenon i actually experienced back when i was wearing crazy fluorescent bomber jackets and unflattering combat trousers. (And there goes my pretension to write an objective review…)

Rave, that underground cultural phenomenon from the ‘80s and ‘90s, might feel incredibly distant and dated. Yet, as the publication demonstrates, much of what made and shaped the movement find echoes in today’s post 2008 crash society.

everythingiswrong
Erik Plenge Jakobsen, Everything is Wrong, 1996

First of all, rave provided an escape for those who felt lost in front of the decline of industrialism, the rise of neoliberalism and the erosion of state welfare, it gave them a sense of togetherness, of belonging to an open culture, of eluding formal structures of control.

Then of course there’s the key role played by technology. Rave music explored emerging and existing technologies, at a time when instruments became more affordable, more portable and easier to master without the need of a traditional music education. Technology also gave way to new sounds, new beats, new cut&paste and samplings and even new experiments in subverting historical sonic weapon technology in order to bring people together. Last but not least, the period saw the birth of the internet.

Unfortunately, raves were also the object of police crackdown and governmental attempts to criminalise them (making them even more appealing to young people obviously.) The Mariani Law in France, for example, linked raves to terrorism. Curator and book editor Nav Haq writes that the rave movement was not a political one. Instead, it was politicised through its criminalization by the state.

Rave-01-768x509
A Glossary of Rave, as illustrated by graphic designer Jelle Maréchal

As the editor of the book notes, rave remains a fairly under-explored youth movement (it’s been less dissected in studies, exhibitions and literature than punk, for example.) It is both familiar and a bit foreign. The chapter titled “Glossary of Rave” illustrates this point quite easily when it brings together words i wasn’t expecting to find gathered in the same chapter. Some are mainstream today, others are a bit forgotten, all have left marks on contemporary culture: Kraftwerk, Gabber, Haçienda, Belgian Hoover, KLF, Accelerationism, Relational Aethetics, Sonic Weapons, Sonic Weapons, Wolfgang Tillmans, etc.

It probably doesn’t matter whether you raved or whether your mum and dad fell in love and conceived you after yet another rave party, you’re bound to find RAVE. Rave and Its Influence on Art and Culture surprising, informative and highly entertaining.

Quick look at some of the works i discovered in the publication:

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Irene de Andrés, FESTIVAL CLUB. Where Nothing Happens, 2013

Festival Club was an unsuccessful big entertainment complex with two stages in Ibiza. After it officially closed, the site was used for clandestine raves in the 80s and early 90s. In 2013, Irene de Andrés went back to Festival Club, found only weeds and rumble and invited one of the most famous DJs of Ibiza’s 1980s nightlife to perform a set of balearic and house with only the decaying structure as his audience.

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Cory Arcangel, The AUDMCRS Underground Dance Music Collection of Recorded Sound, 2011-12

From 2011 to 2012, Cory Arcangel’s studio archived almost 900 trance LPs that had been purchased from a 1990s trance DJ. Visitors can listen to the LPS in The AUDMCRS Underground Dance Music Collection of Recorded Sound and read through a booklet containing all relevant data (format, size, speed, generation, etc.) about each record. The project underlines the personal obsession often involved with collecting, as well as Arcangel’s own interest in preserving a cultural history that relates to his work and life. “It is said that the music we hear as teenagers is, and will always be, the most important music for the rest of our lives. For me, this music is techno – the cheap, voiceless, machine-age disco that became popular in the clubs of Chicago in the late 1980s and from there quickly spread throughout the globe” (Arcangel, 2011).

Acid Brass_ 5
Jeremy Deller, Acid Brass, 1997. Band members warming up on the South Bank, London

The Williams Fairey Band, Acid Brass – What Time Is Love

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Jeremy Deller, The History of the World, 1997 (image)

“I drew this diagram about the social, political and musical connections between house music and brass bands – it shows a thought process in action,’ said Jeremy Deller. “It was also about Britain and British history in the twentieth century and how the country had changed from being industrial to post-industrial. It was the visual justification for Acid Brass. Without this diagram, the musical project Acid Brass would not have a conceptual backbone.”

Denicolai & Provoost, Nothing, 2005

In 2005, Denicolai & Provoost arranged for police vehicles, fire engines and ambulances to drive around the SMAK museum in Ghent, all siren blasting. The artists were inside the museum, organizing a rave party ‘providing the sense of an illicit event whilst surrounded by the sound of the authorities.’


Mark Leckey, Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, 1999

Matt_Stokes_MASS_exhibition_view_De_Hallen_Haarlem_2011_Photographer_Gert_van_Rooij
Matt Stokes, MASS, Exhibition View at De Hallen, Haarlem, 2011, Photo Gert van Rooij, M HKA Archive

MASS is a sound system that grows in size thanks to donations of speakers and other components from the public. The work is reconfigured differently whenever it is exhibited, acting as a sculptural metaphor for the people brought together in congregation.

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Walter Van Beirendonck, Hard Beat collection, 1989-1990 (Exhibition view.) Photo M HKA

Walter Van Beirendonck‘s Hard Beat collection from Autumn/Winter 1989 took inspiration from the Belgian new beat phenomenon and made use of innovative industrial fabrics from the worlds of sport and safety, such as reflective material. Some of the designs in the collection incorporate the Sony Walkman, the 80s symbol of mobile music.

RAVE. Rave and Its Influence on Art and Culture is the catalogue of ENERGY FLASH. The Rave Movement, an exhibition on view at M HKA in Antwerp until 25 September 2016.

I’ve been shouting my love for Walter Van Beirendonck before: Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the world awake, The Art of Fashion: Installing Allusions (Part 2).

Sounds from bridges, ventilation systems and other industrial spaces. An interview with Jonas Gruska

ventilacia
Jonáš Gruska, Vzduchotechnika

Jonas-Gruska-by-Gabriela-Zigova
Jonáš Gruska. Photo by Gabriela Zigova

When Jonáš Gruska is not busy giving workshops on urban sonification, creating his own recording instruments, rehearsing with orchestras, making electromagnetic fields audible, producing compositions for an unused metallic door, or organizing a solar-powered (experimental) music festival called SVUK, you’ll find him under bridges, inside bridges, in ventilation systems or near oil refineries exploring the surprising psychoacoustic properties of spaces and materials we might otherwise ignore.

If all these activities and achievements were not enough, the artist has also set up LOM, a music label for East/Central European experimental art and music.

priezor_photo by jonas gruska
Prototype instrument developed by the artist. Photo by Jonáš Gruska

Gruska was born in Czechoslovakia, he studied at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague and at the Music Academy in Kraków. This year, he is one of the super talented artists supported by SHAPE, a European platform that aims to promote innovative musicians and interdisciplinary artists with an interest in sound. I caught up with him over email a few days ago:

Hi Jonas! Your bio page says that one of your main focus are chaotic rhythms. These two terms are not often put together. Could you tell us what you mean by chaotic rhythms and also give some examples of it?

We’re surrounded by rhythms all the time – banging of the rain on the metallic roof, repetitive dripping of liquids in the fridge mechanism or just simple footsteps of a person in the apartment above. None of these rhythms can be defined in the terms of classic tempo notation, but we still sometimes feel their groove and they can strike our imagination or musical taste/ pattern recognition in interesting ways. The unpredictability is chaos, yet the time separated serie of “clicks” is a rhythm.

a0048075020_10
Site Specific Resonances V.

Site Specific Resonances V., a site-specific sound installation located in an abandoned post office building in Vienna, used a ventilation system as if it were a speaker. Could you describe us how you manage to ‘extract’ so many different sounds from something that looks as ‘boring’ and simple as a ventilation system?

Metallic constructions are fascinating to me because they resonate a lot, in many interesting ways. It is usually the weak points of the construction which moan and squeal the most. I love finding and exploiting these imperfections – I compose for them on the spot, treating them as very special instruments. Usually it is enough to play pure, simple sine wave through the system at very exact frequency and the whole thing starts to rattle and click, resonate. Basic input, beautifully complex output.

Jonáš Gruska, Kolokoly, 2013. Performance for bells at Kamenné square, Bratislava, Slovakia

You’ve created several works for specific places and each of them seems to either highlight or even modify the atmosphere of the places you engaged with. How do you select these places?

These places usually select me. I am being invited to create works and so far I have been very lucky and always found a way to interact with the site. I carry my custom “sound installation suitcase” assembled over last few years and it allows me to be very flexible with what I create.
Generally I believe it is next to impossible to make sound installations without caring about the site, since there is no standard of a sonic “white wall gallery”. I personally cannot imagine creating a installation which is not site-specific.

in the bridge_photo by angakok thoth
Inside a bridge in Bradislava. Photo by Angakok Thoth

And are there any dream locations you’d like to get access to in order to create new sound installations/recordings?

Recently I’ve been blessed with a permit to record inside one of the old soviet bridges in Bratislava, Slovakia. The recordings will be part of my “bridge” album which I am assembling.
One of my dreams is to record various slovak caves, but it is quite hard to get there alone and in silence (since every little noise gets drastically amplified, it is quite difficult to achieve good recording conditions in nonsolitary groups).

vzduchotechnika_photo by jonas gruska
Vzduchotechnika. Photo by Jonas Gruska

Jonáš Gruska, Vzduchotechnika (teaser)

I like “Vzduchotechnika” a lot. The series of field recordings was taken from publicly inaccessible ventilation system machinery. How did you get access to it? Does the history of the place translates into the recordings?

At the time I was preparing a site-specific performance using the outer part of the ventilation – huge tubes at the side of the building, similar to the ones next to Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The facilitators of the whole thing pointed out that the “innards” might be just as interesting… So I packed my recording gear and spent several hours surrounded by huge ventilation machinery. At the first glance it sounded quite dull, but upon closer examination I discovered that the place is full of small rhythms, squeals and squeaks. And I really love those. I wouldn’t say there is anything more behind it – it is just a collection of very cute and peculiar sounds, from a seemingly boring place.

I’m also curious about the sound recordings and the way you work with them. How do you decide how/when you need to modify the existing sound and when you need to keep them raw?

Generally most of my public field recording works are 90 to 100% raw, I rarely do any heavy equalization or compression. I generally try to record only when I am really happy with the sound already on the spot and don’t think about postprocessing. Obviously, it involves a lot of trying and listening, and usually takes a lot of time.

Something i noticed is that you seem to select places that are also visually interesting. Is this deliberate? Is the visual component of a space an important element of each work?

It is mostly accidental… I was lucky. My primary focus is sound.

testing a prototype device_photo by acidmilk
Testing a prototype device. Photo by Acidmilk

You also make your own music instruments and microphones. Why did you feel there was a need to develop more instruments and microphones? What do they enable you to achieve that you wouldn’t be able to achieve with already existing instruments?

In the beginning it was mostly about limited resources. I was working on a budget, yet had a nerdy desire to do recordings with as little noise as possible and high fidelity. So I looked into DIY solutions for field recordists, and realized it can be actually quite interesting.

Since I was able to make affordable, good sounding mics, I was also less afraid to experiment. Like when I found a hole in the ground, I wasn’t afraid to drop my mic in it, even though I had no idea what sort of environement will it be confronted with.
Having a replacable mic helps a lot when you feel like trying new things. I even did a short piece where the mic is hidden in a croissant and it is being “uncovered” by pigeons – I would be quite scared to do that with expensive microphone.

Jonáš Gruska, Holuby, 2015. How it sounds to be eaten when you are a bread roll

Secondly, the market is surprisingly still quite limited when it comes to the field recording I am after. And the same goes for instruments, none of the available solutions didn’t really satisfy me or match my style of work. For my musical performances, I program my own synthesizers in languages such as Supercollider or Max, because there is nothing ready-made I could use. It is a lot of work, but liberating. And somewhat more satisfying.

rury_photo by jonas gruska
Rúry, 2014. Photo by Jonas Gruska

Jonáš Gruska, Rúry, 2014

Rúry seemed to draw in a crowd of fascinated and curious passersby. Could you tell us about the reaction of the public to this piece and to your site-specific work in general?

Rúry is actually piece from the other side of Vzduchotechnika – the tubes are the other end of the ventillation machinery I was recording.

Generally the audience is full of people which know what they are up for, or at least they can guess. People are generally perplexed by the new context created… sometimes annoyed as well. The other day I did a live performance in a trolleybus in Bratislava. It consisted of me carrying a huge speakers on my back and doing live sonification of the trolleybus electromagnetic fields. The sounds were quite intense and there were moments when I confronted unsuspicious audience – some of the people were shocked, some were laughing, some were complaining but generally people loved it. It just broke their usual perception of the vehicle and how a sound performance can be done. And I love breaking stereotypes and creating new, challenging situations.

Do you feel that people understand and appreciate sound art as much as visual art?

I think it is slowly coming there. There is a slight overlap with the people appreciating visual art, but generally it seems like a completely different world.
I quite like the raise of ASMR art on youtube. It isn’t exactly good art (in my opinion), but bring a lot of focus on sound, time and sound quality. It feels refreshing.

I don’t know much about the contemporary art scene in Slovakia unfortunately. Are there artists and musicians whose work you’d recommend us to look at? Whether they work with computers and electronics like you or not.

I would recommend checking labels such as Exitab and Proto sites. Some interesting stuff going on there, slightly less experimental then the label I am involved with, LOM (which is obviously also worth checking out!). My most favorite Slovak band is probably Amen Tma, which is an incredible psychedelic polyrhythmic techno.

Any upcoming project, field of research or event you could share with us?

Currently I am on a residency in Czech Republic, recording sounds of contemporary village. With all the noise pollution there is. Later this year I will be finishing a field recording album of the Bratislava’s bridges and my music album “Spevy”. In the meantime probably developing some new electromagnetic devices… Lot of plans!

Thanks Jonas!

Check out this other interview with a SHAPE artist: Tanks, drones, rockets and other sound machines. An interview with Nik Nowak.

Sounds from bridges, ventilation systems and other industrial spaces. An interview with Jonas Gruska

ventilacia
Jonáš Gruska, Vzduchotechnika

Jonas-Gruska-by-Gabriela-Zigova
Jonáš Gruska. Photo by Gabriela Zigova

When Jonáš Gruska is not busy giving workshops on urban sonification, creating his own recording instruments, rehearsing with orchestras, making electromagnetic fields audible, producing compositions for an unused metallic door, or organizing a solar-powered (experimental) music festival called SVUK, you’ll find him under bridges, inside bridges, in ventilation systems or near oil refineries exploring the surprising psychoacoustic properties of spaces and materials we might otherwise ignore.

If all these activities and achievements were not enough, the artist has also set up LOM, a music label for East/Central European experimental art and music.

priezor_photo by jonas gruska
Prototype instrument developed by the artist. Photo by Jonáš Gruska

Gruska was born in Czechoslovakia, he studied at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague and at the Music Academy in Kraków. This year, he is one of the super talented artists supported by SHAPE, a European platform that aims to promote innovative musicians and interdisciplinary artists with an interest in sound. I caught up with him over email a few days ago:

Hi Jonas! Your bio page says that one of your main focus are chaotic rhythms. These two terms are not often put together. Could you tell us what you mean by chaotic rhythms and also give some examples of it?

We’re surrounded by rhythms all the time – banging of the rain on the metallic roof, repetitive dripping of liquids in the fridge mechanism or just simple footsteps of a person in the apartment above. None of these rhythms can be defined in the terms of classic tempo notation, but we still sometimes feel their groove and they can strike our imagination or musical taste/ pattern recognition in interesting ways. The unpredictability is chaos, yet the time separated serie of “clicks” is a rhythm.

a0048075020_10
Site Specific Resonances V.

Site Specific Resonances V., a site-specific sound installation located in an abandoned post office building in Vienna, used a ventilation system as if it were a speaker. Could you describe us how you manage to ‘extract’ so many different sounds from something that looks as ‘boring’ and simple as a ventilation system?

Metallic constructions are fascinating to me because they resonate a lot, in many interesting ways. It is usually the weak points of the construction which moan and squeal the most. I love finding and exploiting these imperfections – I compose for them on the spot, treating them as very special instruments. Usually it is enough to play pure, simple sine wave through the system at very exact frequency and the whole thing starts to rattle and click, resonate. Basic input, beautifully complex output.

Jonáš Gruska, Kolokoly, 2013. Performance for bells at Kamenné square, Bratislava, Slovakia

You’ve created several works for specific places and each of them seems to either highlight or even modify the atmosphere of the places you engaged with. How do you select these places?

These places usually select me. I am being invited to create works and so far I have been very lucky and always found a way to interact with the site. I carry my custom “sound installation suitcase” assembled over last few years and it allows me to be very flexible with what I create.
Generally I believe it is next to impossible to make sound installations without caring about the site, since there is no standard of a sonic “white wall gallery”. I personally cannot imagine creating a installation which is not site-specific.

in the bridge_photo by angakok thoth
Inside a bridge in Bradislava. Photo by Angakok Thoth

And are there any dream locations you’d like to get access to in order to create new sound installations/recordings?

Recently I’ve been blessed with a permit to record inside one of the old soviet bridges in Bratislava, Slovakia. The recordings will be part of my “bridge” album which I am assembling.
One of my dreams is to record various slovak caves, but it is quite hard to get there alone and in silence (since every little noise gets drastically amplified, it is quite difficult to achieve good recording conditions in nonsolitary groups).

vzduchotechnika_photo by jonas gruska
Vzduchotechnika. Photo by Jonas Gruska

Jonáš Gruska, Vzduchotechnika (teaser)

I like “Vzduchotechnika” a lot. The series of field recordings was taken from publicly inaccessible ventilation system machinery. How did you get access to it? Does the history of the place translates into the recordings?

At the time I was preparing a site-specific performance using the outer part of the ventilation – huge tubes at the side of the building, similar to the ones next to Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The facilitators of the whole thing pointed out that the “innards” might be just as interesting… So I packed my recording gear and spent several hours surrounded by huge ventilation machinery. At the first glance it sounded quite dull, but upon closer examination I discovered that the place is full of small rhythms, squeals and squeaks. And I really love those. I wouldn’t say there is anything more behind it – it is just a collection of very cute and peculiar sounds, from a seemingly boring place.

I’m also curious about the sound recordings and the way you work with them. How do you decide how/when you need to modify the existing sound and when you need to keep them raw?

Generally most of my public field recording works are 90 to 100% raw, I rarely do any heavy equalization or compression. I generally try to record only when I am really happy with the sound already on the spot and don’t think about postprocessing. Obviously, it involves a lot of trying and listening, and usually takes a lot of time.

Something i noticed is that you seem to select places that are also visually interesting. Is this deliberate? Is the visual component of a space an important element of each work?

It is mostly accidental… I was lucky. My primary focus is sound.

testing a prototype device_photo by acidmilk
Testing a prototype device. Photo by Acidmilk

You also make your own music instruments and microphones. Why did you feel there was a need to develop more instruments and microphones? What do they enable you to achieve that you wouldn’t be able to achieve with already existing instruments?

In the beginning it was mostly about limited resources. I was working on a budget, yet had a nerdy desire to do recordings with as little noise as possible and high fidelity. So I looked into DIY solutions for field recordists, and realized it can be actually quite interesting.

Since I was able to make affordable, good sounding mics, I was also less afraid to experiment. Like when I found a hole in the ground, I wasn’t afraid to drop my mic in it, even though I had no idea what sort of environement will it be confronted with.
Having a replacable mic helps a lot when you feel like trying new things. I even did a short piece where the mic is hidden in a croissant and it is being “uncovered” by pigeons – I would be quite scared to do that with expensive microphone.

Jonáš Gruska, Holuby, 2015. How it sounds to be eaten when you are a bread roll

Secondly, the market is surprisingly still quite limited when it comes to the field recording I am after. And the same goes for instruments, none of the available solutions didn’t really satisfy me or match my style of work. For my musical performances, I program my own synthesizers in languages such as Supercollider or Max, because there is nothing ready-made I could use. It is a lot of work, but liberating. And somewhat more satisfying.

rury_photo by jonas gruska
Rúry, 2014. Photo by Jonas Gruska

Jonáš Gruska, Rúry, 2014

Rúry seemed to draw in a crowd of fascinated and curious passersby. Could you tell us about the reaction of the public to this piece and to your site-specific work in general?

Rúry is actually piece from the other side of Vzduchotechnika – the tubes are the other end of the ventillation machinery I was recording.

Generally the audience is full of people which know what they are up for, or at least they can guess. People are generally perplexed by the new context created… sometimes annoyed as well. The other day I did a live performance in a trolleybus in Bratislava. It consisted of me carrying a huge speakers on my back and doing live sonification of the trolleybus electromagnetic fields. The sounds were quite intense and there were moments when I confronted unsuspicious audience – some of the people were shocked, some were laughing, some were complaining but generally people loved it. It just broke their usual perception of the vehicle and how a sound performance can be done. And I love breaking stereotypes and creating new, challenging situations.

Do you feel that people understand and appreciate sound art as much as visual art?

I think it is slowly coming there. There is a slight overlap with the people appreciating visual art, but generally it seems like a completely different world.
I quite like the raise of ASMR art on youtube. It isn’t exactly good art (in my opinion), but bring a lot of focus on sound, time and sound quality. It feels refreshing.

I don’t know much about the contemporary art scene in Slovakia unfortunately. Are there artists and musicians whose work you’d recommend us to look at? Whether they work with computers and electronics like you or not.

I would recommend checking labels such as Exitab and Proto sites. Some interesting stuff going on there, slightly less experimental then the label I am involved with, LOM (which is obviously also worth checking out!). My most favorite Slovak band is probably Amen Tma, which is an incredible psychedelic polyrhythmic techno.

Any upcoming project, field of research or event you could share with us?

Currently I am on a residency in Czech Republic, recording sounds of contemporary village. With all the noise pollution there is. Later this year I will be finishing a field recording album of the Bratislava’s bridges and my music album “Spevy”. In the meantime probably developing some new electromagnetic devices… Lot of plans!

Thanks Jonas!

Check out this other interview with a SHAPE artist: Tanks, drones, rockets and other sound machines. An interview with Nik Nowak.

Krewe Coumbite & Muthi Reed

Peace! … I want you to know about new work. Your insight and any references you suggest I explore, are invaluable to my process of planning and actualization. Thank you in advance.

Krewe Coumbite is a sonic instrument of study in Black and Indigenous Diasporas ecology and vernacular rhythms documented from 1940s til current. The work focuses specifically on vernacular of cultural musings expressed in: noise, chants, stories, lullabies, narratives around naming, Cultural sayings/proverbs/recipes, and in working-class rituals such as public transit, migration, service work, and in community gatherings.

Startup support/funding for the work comes in partnership with Turbulence.org to create an interactive web portal. And with Harvestworks to research, document, and archive this idea of Black Sound. Some conceptual elements i am including are: GIS mapping, audiovisual gaming, algorithmic patterns, literary worldbuilding, sound remixing, and live performance.

Your Help…

My aim with this work is to produce a signature sound that carries the resonance of Black and Indigenous transcontinental movement and activism. Using the oral/aural algorithms of “passing it on” and “repetition is the mother of learning” as tools. I’m working with both original sound recordings, and stuff i’ve scavenged from the internet of sound produced from public marches, rallies, speeches, and viral videos. With remixing, I want this work to embody the cultural wisdoms of the Indigenous and Black Diasporas. Of particular interest to me are the articulations of Black and Brown working class individuals, community groups, and multi dialect/multi lingual freedom fighters.

Who should i talk with?

What archives(public & private) should i visit?

Are there historical and contemporary sonic nuances you feel must be included to contextualize th Black Sound and/or Cultural Wisdom?

Thank You!

Muthi Reed

Black is not a color. Black is an attitude – James Brown.

Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. The term “world building” appeared as early as 1965 in science fiction criticism, and is used in relation to science-fiction or fantasy stories and games. The resulting world may be called a constructed world. Developing an imaginary setting with coherent qualities such as a history, geography, and ecology is a key task for many science fiction or fantasy writers. Worldbuilding often involves the creation of maps, a backstory, and people for the world. Constructed worlds can enrich the backstory and history of fictional works, and it is not uncommon for authors to revise their constructed worlds while completing its associated work. Constructed worlds can be created for personal amusement and mental exercise, or for specific creative endeavors such as novels, video games, or role-playing games.

An informal definition for Algorithm could be “a set of rules that precisely defines a sequence of operations.”