Minimalist electronic collages made by Carl Stone betweens the 70s and 80s. Before he decided to manipulate everything through a laptop Stone used turntables and captured micro loops of disparate electronic sound sources, pushing them together into these huge, yet minimal tonal experiments. With notes from Carl Stone, and exclusive digital only track.
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The infinite lost electronic tape archaeology continues with an American person called Carl Stone, who made all this stuff in the 70s and 80s. You know, the golden eras when you could be openly racist and still get to high societal positions. Oh wait. Well, Mr Stone was busy in his loft apartment at that time, fresh from his studies with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney, crafting slowly moving atonal synth muzik but is now divided between his work in a university faculty in Nagoya, Japan and San Francisco.
And what a chunk of muzik this is. 3 discs of collected compositions that average around 20 mins each, from the gradually unfolding vocal sampling of 1986’s ‘Shing Kee’ to the early rumbly oscillator drones of ‘Chao Praya’ (incidentally also the name of the restaurant that hosted the last TWO Norman Records christmas dos…) (Phil lost his imagination 20 years ago in order to birth this place).
Anyway, the music here has a common thread running through it, and that is the slow, slow evolution of a textural idea. ‘Shing Kee’ is a shining example of this, the sample getting revealed bit by bit before being time-stretched nearly to the point of breakup, then switching to a later point in the sample which then falls into a scattered patchwork to the end. It’s like a digital precursor to all of William Basinski’s works. This release is too long to do any form of review, so I’ll drop into the 28-minute ‘Kuk Il Kwan’ to see what’s going on. It’s a collage of multiple performances of the same piece in which field recordings and his own voice are slashed into some weird ass proto glitch that gains some pretty alien qualities once you’re confronted with a chopped and screwed voice overlaid with night-time crickets. This stands head and shoulders above most '70s/'80s nostalgia crap.
Very good, very intense, very long, but highly recommended.
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