Project started in: february 17, 2011
Release: september 20, 2011
Number of tracks: 14
Total lenght of record: 35:14
Bands involved: Hox Vox, Drn Drn, Speculativism, A.K.A. Lurholm, Agnostic Asylum, Mexicanvader, Ditzky, Res Band, Cruising the Volga, Travis Johnson, The Anchorities, Gondowanland School of Subcutaneous Noise Infraction, Toffeljagarn.
Apskaft Presents: Chinese Whispers is the 18th release by The Sound of Apskaft. This project started from an idea by SimiArbeit. On february 17, 2011 he wrote on Apskaft forum:
First participant makes a track, then sends it to the next one who makes an interpretation of it and sends the result to the next one who makes an interpretation of the interpretation. Hilarity ensues.
After a brief discussion we decided I’d have to make first and last whisper.s I accepted with pride and sent starting track on february 20. I received 13th whisper from Jomahoz and made last track on september 19. Total lenght, about 6 months.
Opening track by me, Hox Vox, is a rock in opposition meets Ennio Morricone stuff. It’s quite tight to classic pop structure, so I supposed easy to dissect and reconstruct.
Drn Drn made second track keeping tight to former (even dissonances) but threw away any symphonic layer sustituting orchestra with a Manzarek sounding keyboards and went straight for a post-rock/psychedelic environment.
Speculativism steers (almost a U-turn) keeping only last part of closing passage through a classical guitar arpeggio and changing tones while keeping a noisy background made of distorted speech (similar to the ones by Ozric Tentacles), scretchy low guitars on chirpy high pitch ones. It’s like an enormous echo for Drn Drn track.
A.K.A. Lurholm catches the loopy re-work by Speculativism and turns it into a reggae delicate passage, with a white reggae speech above.
Agnostic Asylum explodes the concept further with a juxtaposition between vocals (reminded me of Beethoven electronic covers in Orange Clockwork), drums / distorted guitars and a Pere Ubian clarinet (well, all the track is quite Cleveland 77 sounding).
Mexicanvader quit the dark atmospheres and creates a vaguely fade to gray - ish sounding solid electro anthem. It’s like a jump back in the eighties with present day tools.
Ditzky goes back to noisy/industrial/minimal electronics. His track is syncopated, harsh, dirty, relentless. At this point nothing remained of first whisper.
Res Band opens with a thundering bass and a small minimal keyboard above, and from here it’s a crescendo à la jam band til the end, adding progressively layers on layers, and expoding in a rapid fade of running away instruments.
Cruising the Volga creates a suspension in a gas chamber where sounds are liquid and float around the listeners.
Travis Johnson jump straight to non music / ambient / field, expand further Cruising the Volga’s concept, and creates a wider ambient, with ominous echoes of monsters / ghosts whispers.
The Anchorities seems on first seconds to follow former twho whispers, but it’s moer a cabaret scene played in a cave, with some tiny dinosaurs screaming in some hole. A classical guitar enters, dissolve any noise and close the track with a melancholy note.
Gondowanland School of Subcutaneous Noise Infraction works on a mouthorgan followed by an atonal radio speech and a slow breakbeat drum loop pumping all up. A delicate carillon closes unexpectedly the track.
Toffelijagarn put back things in rock/pop area, with a suffered, lo-fi, delicate post-rock song, with a hook that starts like a classical americana, but slipping to a more northern europe melody, with a strange juxtaposition. a mouthorgan at the end adds even more american taste, but everything fall in a noise delirium at the end of track.
My (ending) track starts from the point left by Toffelijagarn closing and then develope their hook in a hard techn fashion, for half track. After a while I went for a brake and faded to a first track reprise, to close the circle.
Record is solid. Despite quite anarchic (it couldn’t be anything else, as it’s an Apskaft standard) every song is short but got a strong personality, and there are no weak moments, tension remain high from first to last note.