Ataraxic Ataxia – Shadow Sea
Reissued from a very limited CDr on Side of the Sun Recordings, more than half a decade ago, Ataraxic Ataxia is a duo of electronics and violin by Dominick Dufner and Nicole Pizzato. Unlike many combos like this, there is a unique delivery of organic, true industrial noise mannerisms that only could have come from this configuration.
It is not simply the dialed in ambiance of strings. The beauty and grit of this release is not only palpable, but also sort of regenerating and constantly transforming. The rest is enshrouded in mystery. Ataraxic Ataxia has done a recycled cassette on RRRecords and a few low profile releases, like an extremely limited 3 inch CDR that comes with a post card from the 30s, for instance.
Dufner’s solo project, Sigulda, was absolutely thrilling at Neon Marshmallow Fest in Two-thousand-and-ten, using minimal electronics. This application with the expert use of string instruments by Nicole Pizzato is not to be missed. 49 minutes.
Thirteen Hurts – UVB-76
Thirteen Hurts is a recording artist named Richard Adams who has performed at Denver Noise Fest a few times, as well as Norcal Noise Fest, and in one instance, he drove over 2,000 miles to play St. Petersburg Noise Fest. At that time, he lived in a solar powered home in rural Colorado, 6 hours from any form of civilization. I imagined him in some sort of geodesic dome listening to numbers stations and Coast To Coast AM with only the cold, dead air of winter, and hitherto useless power lines in the distance to accompany it.
Thirteen Hurts live was also quite a surprise. ‘Whenever I see about 30 pedals sitting on a table, I always assume that there’s going to be a great deal of muddy, buzzing garbage to endure, but not in this case. Each time I saw this phenomena, there was such a level of control and focus, also accompanied by a casual, playful demeanor, that it looked like that of a practiced, serious scientist, or maybe a “rocket surgeon” would be a better term. The assurance that this person could fix a car or save a life while laughing, chatting, and gesticulating, came to mind. The man was like a ninja with his pedals, building little ditties and then destroying them with epic blasts of clearly articulated, yet cataclysmic, disastrous noise.’
It’s only appropriate then, that No Part of It is releasing UVB-76, an album inspired by a Russian shortwave radio signal whose origin has never been found, and whose communications have been pored over and analyzed for decades. Naturally, much of the source material is from radios, and certainly there will be some segments of this release that the kids will call “brutal!” and “sick!”, but the depth and range of this release, like the two Thirteen Hurts CDs before them, is unprecedented. The attention to detail is without comparison.
At times, layers of heavily panned electric rhythms dance in and out of sync while what sounds like dying drip-drop synth burble cascades in and out of the picture. At other times, it sounds like the sci-fi soundtrack to an animal stalking its prey, despite ominous, disruptive climate patterns. Brooding, creeping static pulses punctuate swarms of oscillating ghost hiss. Musique Concret glossolalia meets high-speed cut-up squealing robot ganglia. With what seems like a minimal approach, ‘UVB-76′ runs the gamut. Each track is rich and unique, and any two tracks would compliment eachother as sides on a stellar 7 inch. 66 minutes in duration, and not a moment is wasted.
Blood Rhythms – Heuristics
‘One day it dawned on me that tons of material over the last 15 years had sort of grown an organic cohesiveness to it that is suitable to be looked at together, both backward and forward. In 2004, I had a dream about a child going through what could be said of a certain toad; that if you put a toad in a pot of water and slowly boil it, this toad would adapt and survive. If you put a toad in an already boiling pot of water, it would die immediately. In my dream, I saw a child suddenly being immersed in a similar fluid, causing him to grow up immediately. When he did grow up so abruptly, the result was a person with writing all over his body and black tar coming out of his mouth. Like the Empress in the tarot, this child lept forward from virginity to creativity. I made this photo shoot happen with my friend and photographer, Iris B., and I never knew what I was going to do with it. At one point, I thought it would be an exhibition of photography. Eventually, though, it dawned on me to de-saturate and sort of purify the images and use it to frame this material.
This material, ranging from 2000-2015, represents a lot of things I sort of hoped would be on 7 inches or prestigious compilations, or they were criminally under-released, perhaps prematurely. For instance, I went to a piano class at a local community college to learn just one song; “Viper’s Drag” by Fats Waller. My final exam was to be able to get through the first page of written music, and I did it, like a gallivanting jalopy and a horse-drawn carriage of maddening, youthful frustration. My version, “Maggot’s Drag (Notte Del Casu Marzu)” tells a short horror story of killer flying maggots. It was meant for a “monster music” compilation I was curating, that was more or less sabotaged by a cover artist whom I paid in advance, who didn’t deliver for over two years. I got my money back after a fair amount of doin‘, but the steam I did not.
Also in the picture, is the audio for a performance I did with Right-Eye Rita on 06/06/2006, at a party I curated with Betty DeVoe. It was a ritual performance called “The Stifling Air”, supposedly based on some works by Jacques De Molay, Grandmaster of the Knights Templar in the 13th Century. It included a custom made coffin and a nude model, and a king. I always felt it needed to reside somewhere, but only now did it make sense to put it somewhere. I could have produced the piece yesterday.
Some of my early performances exhibited a variant amount of sound structures, with me screaming the words “Remove All Doubt” over it until I felt like my vocal chords were bleeding. Featured here is one such piece, some of my more musical work.
There is also a track, “Mention This”, featuring the vocals of Atalee Judy, a woman who was a kind and passionate supporter and friend early on. She’d given me a cassette of a’capella recordings, and I was inspired for weeks to create music to them. In this case, prior to knowing anything really about experimental music, I made music that is still bizarre, even to me now. Screeching synth-cellos and heavily effected broken glass, sampler percussion, among many other things, provided a back-drop for Judy’s incredible voice. I once played this track to a man who did sound engineering for radio plays, and he said I’d achieved sounds and dynamic stereo ranges that he wouldn’t understand how to do. Maybe he was just being nice.
Another track features Nikola Vasilic, where he and I did another piece for a Halloween compilation, with piano, organ, and lots of samples from horror movies. Yet another track was made by me with harmonica, bass guitar, sampler, vocals, and masochistic microphone abuse. I could go on and on. There is a story to every piece, and it is a diverse listen for sure. It is 60 minutes in duration, and I humbly suggest you give it a try.
Arvo Zylo – Hello Walls