► APSKAFT PRESENTS: MUSIQUE CONCRÈTE
Project started in: August 13, 2011
Release: December 14, 2011
Number of tracks: 15
Total lenght of record: 55:21
► BANDS INVOLVED:
TEAM A: Travis_Johnson • Jomahoz • The Anchorites • Nick Blessing • archangelfilms • billcarson • Hold_The_Gun
TEAM B: SimiArbeit • Ditzky • Speculativism • The Acousmatics • Res Band • silverlage • JackTehRipper.
► RECORD CONCEPT
The idea for the Apskaft Presents: Musique Concrete album was to create a collaborative musique concrète album. Musique Concrète is taking mostly “found sounds”, or recorded sounds, and mixing them through experimental methods. Most of the time in musique concrete the artist does not have a clear idea of what the song will become until, through experimentation, it is discovered.
The album was created by separating everyone into two different teams. The first team, Team A, recorded their own sounds and then sent them off to Team B. Team B also recorded their own sounds and sent them over to Team A. Using the other team’s sound files, each team member constructed their own musique concrete track from sounds they themselves did not create. This collaborative mayhem allowed for an interesting and altogether apskaftian creation.
► RECORD PIECES
01. “Vuzöolut” by Travis Johnson
This piece is an interesting little intro to the album.
It sets the stage with an air of doom.
While the track is somewhat jarring, it also has a feeling of serenity.
02. “Third Mesa Circa 2100” by The Anchorites
The “Third Mesa Circa 2100” immediately transports you to a futuristic tribal gathering. The sounds of flutes get distorted by bleeps and bloops.
It is a fusion of future and past, in a way that conjures up images of befallen spacecraft and enlightened tribal chiefs.
03. “March of Mush” by Nick Blessing
This dismal march brings together a sad shrieking bird-like sound with sound of wind chimes.
It truly feels like you are marching through a thick and exhausting bog, without much hope.
04. “Massacre Concrete” by Nick Blessing
This piece is a lot similar to a classical Musique concrete piece, but maybe with a little extra pinch of catastrophe. Sounds of machinery clash with talking and chanting in a disorderly but beautiful way.
05. “Musique Concrete” by billcarson
“Musique Concrete” is a very ambient and tranquil piece. Distorted sounds create a post-apocalyptic ambience.
It conjures up imagery of passing through a desolate wasteland, by some observer. Maybe the spacecraft from the third mesa.
06. “musique concrete” by Hold_The_Gun
A very musical rendition of musique concrete, makes this piece quite different. It still makes use of odd and “found sounds” but in a very rhythmic and oriented way. To me this track symbolizes a path of hope in this overly distracting world.
07. “Ehdoton Dub” by Pariton
This piece is a chill adventure. It moves from odd sounds through a sort of grace, to create a seamless adventure. Towards the end it seems to open up, bringing a calmness and completeness to the adventure.
08. “Dinghy and Squall” by Ditzky
This track heavily utilizes speeding up and slowing down all the sounds to create a simple image. It starts with a small dinghy just sitting in the ocean. Then the skies open up a chaotic and frightening experience.
09. “Transmissions of Consciousness” by Ditzky
This piece starts with little snippets from later in the song. As the song goes on you hear each of these samples in full. Each part of the song is to be like a thought, at first it just seems to drift. Then, the more one thinks about it thought the more understandable it becomes.
10. “Muse Call Come Crete” by Speculativism
An ambient pulsing with protruding machinery and burps makes for an interesting combination. It creates a vision of an almost astral place. The title gives rise to a series of questions, pertaining to where do artists get their muse.
11. “Musical Concrete1” by Speculativism
An interesting journey guided by some bilingual tour guides. This journey takes us through many different sounds by slowly moving scenes.
These scenes come together with the help of the tour guides telling us to “amp up.” Maybe a comment to keep our head up through all this dark doom-filled music.
12. “Gentle (Terror) on My Mind” by Speculativism
As the title suggest a terror is created in this song, but in a very gentle and almost serene way.
At some point it sounds like you arrive at volcano, but luckily it is a gentle one, no Krakatoa.
13. “Dinosaur Excavation Worksong” by The Acousmatics
This song sticks out from the rest of the album, in that it actually sounds happy.
I mean, who can resist the vision of cute little T-Rex sporting mining caps and mining some precious metal.
Then again it does seem almost like it is using this happy picture to disguise a hidden danger at points.
14. “Mysterious Underground Engine” by The Acousmatics
The underground engine chugs along underneath the dinosaurs working hard to mine the precious ore. Carrying with it all the troubles of associated with mining. This piece seems to be the dark side of the excavation worksong, showing something mysterious lies beneath.
15. “Concrete” by Res Band
Mixed and shattered pieces come together to form a rocking concreteness. A picture of a battle-ridden robot comes to mind, as he staggers and fights to stand. This piece leaves us right back where we started, with shattered raw fragments waiting to be refined.
This album shows that even though we may all have different ways of expressing and mixing the sounds, they tied together in an interesting way. Many of the sounds were matched similarly, as some of the sounds just seem to fit in an obvious manner. But overall, each artist brought their style into it to create new and original pieces.
In comparison to real musique concrète this album has some striking differences. For one, most artists seemed to have an idea how to fit the sounds together, rather than just experimentation. Also, most songs were very rhythmic and ambient, when musique concrète is usually striking and random. Not to say that there weren’t any musique concrète sections, “Massacre Concrete” and “Musical Concrete1” seemed to be the most true to the musique concrète form. Also most songs had a sense of phrases, or at least identifiable “chunks” of the song. Pierre Henry once said:
“musique concrète was not a study of timbre, it is focused on envelopes, forms. It must be presented by means of non-traditional characteristics, you see … one might say that the origin of this music is also found in the interest in ‘plastifying’ music, of rendering it plastic like sculpture…musique concrète, in my opinion … led to a manner of composing, indeed, a new mental framework of composing”.
So did we break down and ‘plastify’ the music into a sculpture? Maybe not in the same way Pierre Henry or Pierre Schaeffer did, through a minimalist collage, but through a delightful cacophony of sound.
[Article by John Ditzky]
released 14 December 2011
Cover art by Gianluca Missero
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