video(s): Sunsetcorp

December 8, 2010

Music: Oneohtrix Point Never

Video: “Nobody Here”

Video: “Angel”

Video: “Demerol”

Check out: Sunsetcorp, OPN

If the intersection of audio vs. visuals and/or math vs. music floats your boat like it does ours,  can we recommend  Theo Burt‘s Colour Projections?  Maybe you were lucky enough to check out the installation at Brooklyn’s Diapason Gallery in March   We’ll just have to continue to be transfixed by our CD-ROM.

Image: Arjan Scherpennisse,

Colour Projections, in the words of Mr. Burt:

Colour Projections is a computer-based audio and video work creating precise relationships between sound and geometry.  Through a progression of geometric systems, rules are established and shapes are created, intersected, combined and destroyed. Each resulting shape is both drawn and sonified — a shape’s outline is directly transformed to an audio waveform.

Although the systems use only fixed, stateless geometric operations, through certain coincidences there is a tendency to attribute identity to individual shapes and perceive a level of causality within the systems. We are reminded that these  perceptions are illusive when the geometric behaviour diverges from our expectations, causing shifts in plurality and  ambiguities of identity.

One of our favorite of Theo’s endeavors was 2006’s 10-minute sound/video film Gridlife, which was inspired by Conway’s Game Of Life.  Prepare to be entranced:

Or you can grab the higher-resolution 200 MB video at ResPower in a variety of formats.

video: “Banana Jam”

September 20, 2010

Video: Wasiem Mansour & Heidi Petty

Music: “Banana Jam, Pt. 1” by Julian Lynch

Octis (Mick Barr)

September 1, 2010

To suggest that Octis’ Uppragan Srilimia Ixioor Ocrilim Nollfithes Mrithixyl – two pill-shaped CDs packed with 72 tracks in a whirlwind 30 minutes – was an oddball in Mick Barr’s discography would be somewhat disingenuous.

Since its release, he’s put out albums as both the 1 track, 45-minute opus OV and the 99-track, 13-minute,  synapse overload Asristir Vieldrioux under the Orthrelm name (with drummer Josh Blair).  Not to mention the  7-part, 75-minute onslaught of frenetic solo guitar riffs  of Annwn released as Ocrilim.  To name but a few.

Regardless of the recording guise (Orthrelm, Ocrilim or Octis), there are at least several constants:  punishing speed, microscopic compositional detail and a singular logic:

Released back in 2001,  Uppragan Srilimia Ixioor Ocrilim Nollfithes Mrithixyl stands is one of Barr’s first releases under his various letter “O” guises and holds a place near and dear to the heart and mind of the The Bankrupt Museum.   Blistering, lo-fi riff attacks with drum machine accompaniment, the 72 tracks are divided into six suites of 12 songs each, each with its own illustration.    Whether the hieroglyphic-like drawings give any code to the onslaught of information is up to you to decide.


Octis: “Srilimia-Laiks” (2001, 0:24)


Octis: “Nrithdr-Mirx” (2001, 0:23)


Octis: “Fridrigxa Axalt” (2001, 0:21)


Octis: “Bexiliate-Iav” (2001, 0:22)


Octis: “Nollrith Soulr” (2001, 0:33)


Octis: “Asris-Abtirx” (2001, 0:20)

Could never endure the lifetime of struggles with incarceration in mental institutions, hallucinogenics and being haunted by angels, demons, vampires, two-headed dogs, etc., but I can envy the ability to conjure simple, haunting, elemental truths.   Recorded in the back seat of a moving car in 1984, which you can watch below:

Roky Erickson – “Right Track Now” (1984, 2:50)

“In this city marches an army whose motto is…(car honk)…(car honk)…(car honk)”

And so begins the plunderphonic masterpiece that is Arthur Lipsett’s “Very Nice, Very Nice”, a smirking shot across the social and political landscape of the early 1960s:

“People who have made no attempt to educate themselves live in a kind of dissolving phantasmagoria of the world…that is they completely forget what happened last Tuesday. A politician can promise them anything and they will not remember later what he has promised.”

Composed in 1961 while under the employ of the National Film Board of Canada, the montage invokes a dizzying array of analysts, politicians, philosophers, scientists and crackpots spliced among a circus of found sounds, street scenes, marching bands, jazzy interludes and player piano.

Arthur Lipsett – “Very Nice, Very Nice” (1961, 6:52)

Lipsett of course earned the bulk of his reputation as a filmmaker, when he expanded his sound collages by editing images to the pieces.  “Very Nice, Very Nice” – his first film – earned him an Academy Award nomination at the age of 25.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Both Stanley Kubrick and George Lucas have cited Lipsett as inspiration: Kubrick described “Very Nice, Very Nice” as “one of the most imaginative and brilliant uses of the movie screen and soundtrack that I have ever seen” and invited Lipsett to create a trailer for Dr. Strangelove (he declined); Lipsett’s “21-87” is rumored to be the inspiration for the phrase “the Force” in Lucas’ Star Wars films, with subtle tributes to this film appearing throughout, including Princess Leia’s holding cell on the Death Star being “Cell 2187

Some great overviews.

Mark Clifford

August 8, 2010

The contrast in Seefeel album covers between 1993’s Quique and 1995’s Succour almost tells a story in itself:

It’s hard to find a review of Quique that isn’t suggestive of its glowing blue hue:  “ethereal”, “dream-like”, “dream pop”, “shoegaze”.   Succour is a different animal altogether –the deep maroon and the fractured, periodic table-style song titles allude to the more sinister and sparse sounds contained within.

An interviewer once imparted to Mark Clifford:  “not to sound morbid — but a song like “Ruby-Ha” seems like a really good track to die to

Seefeel – “Ruby-Ha” (1995, 6:08)

The video for Fracture (directed by Seefeel, 1994) is equally anxious and unsettling:

Ten years removed from his work on Succour, Mark Clifford was engaged in a collaboration with Simon Kealoha on Running Taper.   A gurgling wrestling match of abstract rhythms and deconstructed sounds,  the result unfurls like a twisted audio sculpture, slowly revealing it’s own unique, hypnotic logic.

Mark Clifford & Simon Kealoha – “Forming Take” (2005, 5:53)

Daphne Oram was founder (with Desmond Briscoe) of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop in 1958.   She left a year after its opening to focus on composition, including designing and building her own studio equipment.  While best know for her design of her “Oramics” system which transformed graph paper drawings into sound (“drawn sound”), her most prolific period pre-dates the late 1960’s implementation of the system.   It is not clear how much of her recorded material utilizes this technique (conceived as early as 1962), as composing work for radio, TV commercials, peformance, film and contemporary ballet and theater helped fund and keep her independent studio afloat.

Made for Rayant Films in 1967, “Rotolock” is dizzying space-age carousel ride:

Daphne Oram – “Rotolock” (1967, 1:31)

1963’s “Snow” was the soundtrack to a prize-winning documentary film directed by Geoffrey Jones for British Transport Films about railway operations conducted in winter weather conditions.

Daphne Oram – “Snow” (1963, 7:45)

The gradual increase in tempo parallels the increasing pace of the visual action in the film.

The track is also loosely based on Sandy Nelson’s “Teen Beat” from 1959:

Check out the Daphne Oram archives.