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Room 40 Downbeat | Electronica | Leftfield 7 Artikel

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Lawrence English - Cruel Optimism
Lawrence English
Cruel Optimism
LP | 2017 | EU | Original (Room 40)
26,09 €* 28,99 € -10%
Release:2017 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Notes on Cruel Optimism from Lawrence English, October 2016...Cruel Optimism is a record that considers power (present and absent). It meditates on how power consumes, augments and ultimately shapes two subsequent human conditions: obsession and fragility. This pyramid is an affective ecology of the (ever)present moment.This edition owes its title and its origins to the wonderful text of the same name by American theorist Lauren Berlant. I had the fortune to come across her writing almost a half-decade ago. In Cruel Optimism, I found a number of critical readings around the issues that have fuelled so much of the music I have been making recently. Beyond her keen analysis of the relations of attachment as they pertain to conditions of possibility in the everyday, it was particularly her writing around trauma I found deeply affecting. It was a jumping off point from which a plague of unsettling impressions of suffering, intolerance and ignorance could be unpacked and utilised as fuel over and above pointless frustration.When I made Wilderness Of Mirrors, clouds of unease were overhead. As I have worked through Cruel Optimism, what seemed an unimaginable future just a few years prior, began to present as actual. Over the course of creating the record, we collectively bore witness to a new wave of humanitarian and refugee crisis (captured so succinctly in the photograph of Alan Kurdi’s tiny body motionless on the shore), the black lives matter movement, the widespread use of sonic weapons on civilians, increased drone strikes in Waziristan, Syria and elsewhere, and record low numbers of voting around Brexit and the US election cycle, suggesting a wider sense of disillusionment and powerlessness. Acutely for me and other Australians, we’ve faced dire intolerance concerning race and continued inequalities related to gender and sexuality. The storm has broken and feels utterly visceral.Cruel Optimism is a meditation on these challenges and an encouragement to press forward towards more profound futures.
Mike Cooper - Raft
Mike Cooper
Raft
LP | 2017 | EU | Original (Room 40)
29,99 €*
Release:2017 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Venerable virtuoso guitarist Mike Cooper evokes rich imagery and narrative through simple means - lap steel guitar, FX and imagination - on a particularly personal, compelling solo journey for Room 40; an elegy to formative influences, acknowledging departed friends in beautifully affective style. If you’ve ever heard a Mike Cooper album you’ll already no doubt be familiar with his peculiar kind of alchemy, taking traditional Pacific music and re-factoring it with electronic treatments influenced by his love of radio art and sound installations.Now 75 years old - his music sounds utterly contemporary, situated somewhere between Takoma, Exotica, 4th World and Ambient musics; always with a minimal, evocative signature that honestly sounds quite unlike anything or anyone you’ll have heard before.His inspiration for this album, recounted below, provides heartbreaking context for the sounds you’ll hear on ‘Raft’, but suffice to say that this album has once again convinced us that Cooper is one of the most inspirational and consistently brilliant artists working on the scene today, long may his reign continue.
Chris Cobilis - This Is You
Chris Cobilis
This Is You
LP | 2016 | EU | Original (Room 40)
26,99 €*
Release:2016 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
This Is You proposes a metaphysical feedback loop involving the lens, a broadcast system, biological ocularcentrism and the Sun. Using the birth of user-generated content as the starting point, the work traces the 25-year history of the TV programme Funniest Home Videos in an attempt to describe the prism of existence as solar vanity. This Is You meditates on the desires of the self, bathed in light and rawly exposed without any more intent than being itself.In 1989 American TV producer Vin De Bona launched a TV special inspired by two Japanese programs:Kato-chan Ken-chan Gokigen TV & Waku Waku Animal World. An open call was made in the local newspaper for amusing home videos, that would later be edited together with music and sound effects to produce a collage of amusing mishaps and spectacles interlaced with commentary from a host (then Bob Saget). The resulting special was later transformed in 1990 into America's Funniest Home Videos and is regarded as being the birth of user-generated content for Western television. In many ways fashioned similarly to blooper- reels and Candid Camera, the Funniest Home Video format placed the content-making (or indeed harvesting) with the audience. The program's immediate success saw Australia and other countries following with programs soon after.So hungry were audiences for their 15 minutes that De Bona Productions received up to 1,600 tapes per day in the 90's, and was the sole reason for the Hollywood post office employing extra staff at the time. An adhoc ethics committee comprised of comedy writers looked over and assessed these tapes, ranging from mundane to incriminating, allegedly requesting written confirmation from the creators of the videos thatnobody was seriously hurt, before they went to air.Even today, as unfiltered user-generated content permeates every corner of society, royalties continue to bepaid to Tokyo Broadcasting System for use of style and presentation for America's Funniest Home Videos.What did TV producer Vin De Bona, under the influence of Japanese TV, do... to us all?If self-awareness is essential to the human condition, then can light forced through an oculus (through the lens, on the skin, in the prism, against the CCD chip) be responsible for consciousness? Do all sensory feedbackloops comprise self or is self an artefact of light waves and other physical phenomena? If light from the Sun is older than anything living on Earth then... maybe? Like Narcissus with his nose in the pond, light strives to get a better look at itself by improving upon the technological extensions of the biological world (cameras, selfie sticks) and will eventually drown in stored memories (reflections, hard drives) over time.Australian composer Chris Cobilis set about transcribing episodes of both Australia’s and America’s Funniest Home Videos to develop an animated graphic score and accompanying script which conceptually speaks of the feedback loop This Is You proposes. The work was performed live in studio by Chicago’s Spektral Quartet and American poet Kenneth Goldsmith at Electrical Audio with engineer Steve Albini.Chicago’s Spektral Quartet perform repertoire in the traditional canon while equally embracing present-day modern composition. Notable releases include Chambers (2013) and Serious Business (2016).American poet Kenneth Goldsmith is the author of ten books of poetry, is the founder of UbuWeb and was a broadcaster at WFMU for 15 years. His most recent book Wasting Time on the Internet was released in 2016.Chris Cobilis is a self-trained musician based in Perth, Western Australia.
Norman Westberg of Swans - MRI
Norman Westberg of Swans
MRI
CD | 2016 | AU | Original (Room 40)
12,79 €* 15,99 € -20%
Release:2016 / AU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Room40 present a trio of newly mastered recordings by Swans guitarist Norman Westberg, including a pair made and self-released in 2012, plus a new piece Lost Mine, to continue a fine relationship begun in 2015 with their issue of Westberg’s expansive 13 album.So titled after undergoing an MRI scan due to hearing loss caused by “aural misadventure”, the three pieces render coruscating scapes of a particularly scorched, strung-out and American ilk, that pay testament to 30 years experience playing with the one of the world’s loudest, noisiest rock groups. They are rolling, long-form, solo meditations on electric guitar and amplifier; rounding up the 15 minutes of ferric, almost ecclesiastically-charged air in MRI, whilst the 20 minutes of chinning top lines in 410 Stairs reveals a rich harmonic spectrum from a variety of delays and incidental room recordings, and Lost Mine sweeps us into the ether with a most sanguine 18 and half minutes of low-lying drones and thizzing, astringent and bittersweet timbre, apparently “recorded as an echo of the processes that led to the original recordings.”
Chris Abrahams - Fluid To The Influence
Chris Abrahams
Fluid To The Influence
LP | 2016 | EU | Original (Room 40)
26,99 €*
Release:2016 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Chris Abrahams returns in 2016 with a new edition. He is building upon the foundation of his previous three editions, where Abrahams charts out a divergent course through lilting piano flows, distended organ passages, thunderous electronic eruptions and focused concrete explorations. His influence spans a huge spectrum of sound, whith each movement calling forward to the next in a flowing motion that demonstrates abrahams' commitment to and interest in the album as an artistic form. He is known widely for his piano work with post-everything trio The Necks. He is one of the most significant voices in australian music, and arguably one of the most restless and original artists creating work today.
Ross Manning - Interlacing
Mike Cooper - Fratello Mare
Mike Cooper
Fratello Mare
LP | 2015 | EU | Original (Room 40)
23,99 €*
Release:2015 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Fratello Mare, a reference to Folco Quilici's classic film of the same name, is the latest tropical opus from UK born, Italian based musician Mike Cooper.
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