U32 | artificial memory trace | hypnotikon (australOpus 2)
4. 4mile hole billabong underwater_excerpt
format : CD ltd to 200 hand numbered copies
all copies come with an additional art card on 300gr satin paper
release year : 2016
length : 79’02
4. 4mile hole billabong underwater
status : still available
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(Belgium) : 13 € (inc.postage)
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: info :
Garig Gunak Barlu. There is a remote mystery to the place. The night is full of murmurs. Relentless and hypnotic choruses of insects pulsate in tandem with the rush of high-tide. And the occasional gecko barks remote mystery to the place. The night is full of murmurs. Relentless and hypnotic choruses of insects pulsate a remote mystery to the place. The night is full of murmurs. Relentless and hypnotic choruses of insects pulsate in tandem with the rush of high-tide. And the occasional gecko barks remote mystery to the place. The night is full of murmurs. Relentless and hypnotic choruses of insects pulsate hypnotic choruses of insects pulsate in tandem with the rush of high-tide. And the occasional gecko barks insects pulsate hypnotic choruses insects pulsate hypnotic choruses insects pulsate hypnotic choruses insects pulsate hypnotic choruses insects pulsate hypnotic choruses insects pulsate hypnotic choruses insects pulsate hypnotic choruses insects pulsate hypnotic choruses insects hypnotic chorpulsate uses hypnotic chorhypnotic chorhypnotic chororhypnoorhypnoorhypnoorhypnotikamhypnotika…
I adore it. Cannot stop hearing it. It is absolutely fascinating. Sort of difficult to describe. Relentless waves white in noise battering the hazy steamy heat rattling in myriads of tiny tiny t i nn ie s t particles of air spraying across deserts of grains of wavy kaleidoscope of insect … locusts, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, whatever-hop-on-hoppers stridulating their songs of devotions.
Organlike tones. Sudden and leaping from raspy chords of dry wings, again forgotten against the wall of distorted notion of time. Velvety mist of dark tones from depth of the abyss whispering to my ears about the hope. Hope of harmony. In between all creatures. Everywhere. Every time, even in the water shallows of individual proclamations, reclamations, raspy murmurs …. that was some mysterious creature grinding-like sounds emanating from shallows of four-miles-billabong, saltie approaching verrrrrrrrry slowly from other side of waterhole, almost unseen-woodlike-looking floating against my side of lake, sitting there recording with hydrophone … … but I am sitting in safety, sitting on black flight-case, drinking black coffee and enjoying the heat while listening absolutely in astonishment this little tiny sound underwater, subaquatic mini-pergolator machine, bubbling like dry sand-grains in between teeth, hot and steamy, nicely smelling – aroma – freshly brewed nectar of awakeningssssssssss everytime I hear hordes of hermit-crabs scavenging the beach – blindly searching – for scraps of intelligence lost in between heaps of dried leafs, crunching under each of my steps … listening – listening … for signals from outer space ? Awake now, please, listen carefully, this is a question of survival ! Listen for signs of danger. If there is some, you will hear it. It doesn’t say there is some “danger”, of course. There is only peace to my ears. Balance. This work is trying to balance the real and unreal. The last bit is pre-audition of next beginning : australOpus III. (either with crabs or in Tasmania, not decided yet)
(Synthesis of texts of Helen Blackhurst, Molly Harrison and thoughts-memories of Slavek Kwi)
(final shaping – Slavek Kwi, February 2016)
: reviews :
D’où viennent ces grigris (cricri ? fouifoui ?…) qui sifflent à nos oreilles ? Où et quand Slavek Kwi / Artifical Memory Trace les a-t-il captés ? Eh bien je m’en vais vous le dire, car je sais lire et que dans la gangue du CD on a toutes les informations : dans le Nord de l’Australie (c’est le deuxième tome d’australOpus, tiens) en août 2009.
Ses insectes nocturnes, ses crabes-hermites speedés, etc., chantent donc dans des réserves naturelles et protégées. Tel quel (= Intakta), Kwi nous les rend sur la première plage pour les mettre un peu plus tard au diapason de ses humeurs. Dans une soucoupe volante, les bestioles ! La composition peut commencer. Le matériel électronique bogue ou glitche mais la métamorphose opère : les bêtes n’en sont plus, elles ont été synthétisées pour le bien d’une ambient tellurico-abstraite de bonne facture (même si, en ce qui me concerne, je n’ai pas succombé à l’hypnose).
Le Son Du Grisli
The Unfathomless series (the younger sibling of the Mystery Sea label, currently on hia-tus) returns with two very different soundscapes: a night in Australia’s Garig Gunak Bar-lu with Slavek Kwi (artificial memory trace) and a “dilapidated mass of sound” from David Vélez & Bruno Duplant. As usual, the presentation is exquisite : Daniel Crokaert’s fine distressed art on square cards, encased in strong flexi-sleeves. To listen to both re-leases is to understand the breadth of the genre, which stretches from reflection to im-pression, location-based field recording to sound art.
artificial memory trace‘s hypnotikon is the second part of a trilogy that began with garig gunak barlu a couple years ago. In order to capture these recordings, Kwi visited the national park and hunkered down for a long, patient stay. The listener must be patient as well, as the album tops out at 79 minutes; but the patience is rewarded as the subtle nuances of the location become apparent. At first there doesn’t seem to be much going on, just crickets and the sound of distant water. But as time passes, the ears adjust to the intricacies of the locale. One begins to hear various birds, and the layers of a grasshopper chorale. And then there are the hums ~ Kwi calls them “organlike tones” ~ which occur naturally, spawned by the local inhabitants. Twenty minutes into the record-ing, things really start to pop, as if the peninsula has adjusted to Kwi’s presence, perhaps even forgotten him, and come out to play. The richness of timbre is incredible, and the artist was fortunate beyond measure to be able to hear it in surround sound. At this point, one begins to seek for corollaries in the instrumental world: not only the organ, but the flute, the cello, the telegraph machine. It’s a natural symphony, all the more astonishing due to its gradual development and eventual bloom. While this isn’t a “direct” recording (in other words, the sources have been nudged and ordered), it remains a reflection of purity. And when Kwi sends his microphones underwater, the hydroponic sub-tones produce a sense of comfortable claustrophobia. The sound field seems to descend into silence as the peninsula tumbles into sleep; but listen closely ~ turn it up if you must. The park is never truly silent.
A Closer Listen
Surely it’s coincidence that we receive yet another Artificial Memory Trace, and while the production is high for Slavek Kwi, it must also be noted that, despite this massive production, every one of his releases is value for money; his releases usually clock in at eighty minutes.
‘Hypnotikon‘ is no different and here we have field recordings being processed from the Northern Territory of Australia, which he made in 2009 and composed in 2012. More than before it seems to me that Artificial Memory Trace is moving towards an even more minimalist sculpting of sounds. It seems he takes a few sounds from nature and plays them very much as they are, especially in the singing insect opening of ‘Intakta’, but also in other pieces development is very slow, but he seems to be using more treatments here. I never can figure what it is that he does, treatment wise that is, to alter his field recordings, but I would assume there is quite some computer processing going on here in these pieces, especially in ‘Morf’ – or maybe that title is a dead give away? Morphing sounds together through the use of digital morphing?
Artificial Memory Trace‘s music is quite radical, ranging from the extreme soft to the considerable loud variation and from long form sustaining sounds to the crackling of leaves and underwater events, such as in ‘4mile Hole Billabong Underwater’, set apart from each other and sometimes slowly moving towards each other. Artificial Memory Trace takes his time to develop his music; nothing ever happens in great haste it seems, and as a listener one should also take the music very patiently and let sounds explore your own environment. It then seems to work best, I think.
Frans de Waard