Experimedia Films present Strange Lines and Distances, an award winning two-channel audio-visual installation by artist Joshua Bonnetta which examines Guglielmo Marconi’s first transatlantic radio broadcast. The work is inspired by Marconi’s belief that sound never diminishes, but rather grows incrementally fainter and fainter. He believed that with an adequately sensitive receiver, one could amplify the echoes of history. Strange Lines and Distances looks at and listens to the past, revisiting Marconi’s original transmission sites in order to explore the hauntological aspects of radio and landscape. The installation invites a consideration of the monumental impact of the first wireless transmission, and explores the medium’s potential to conflate and fragment both space and time. The dual channels represent the transmission site in Poldhu Cove, U.K. and the receiving site at Fever Hospital, St. John’s, NL. Each historical site is documented using 16mm colour negative film. The sonic composition was created from site-specific field recordings, shortwave and longwave radio recordings and archival material.
Presented as a lavish limited edition featuring:
-DVD of the film
-12” Vinyl LP containing an extended score
-Printed inner sleeve with Monograph by Jeffrey Sconce
-Uncoated Gatefold Sleeve
-HD Video & Audio Download Coupons
+Optional Blu-Ray Add-on
Available March 18 2014 from Experimedia.net.
Strange Lines and Distances has been featured at Images Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival and was awarded the Deluxe Cinematic Vision Award.
Presented by Experimedia Films in association with Images Festival, Umor Rex Records and Evil Llama.
Launch screening and talk with the artist will take place at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art on February 27 2014.
Strange Lines and Distances will be released later this year on Experimedia as a special edition gatefold LP and DVD. Until then enjoy this brief excerpt from the film.
Strange Lines and Distances is a two-channel audio-visual installation focusing on Guglielmo Marconi’s first transatlantic radio broadcast. The work is inspired by Marconi’s belief that sound never diminishes, but rather grows incrementally fainter and fainter. He believed that with an adequately sensitive receiver, one could amplify the echoes of history. Strange Lines and Distances looks at and listens to the past, revisiting Marconi’s original transmission sites in order to explore the hauntological aspects of radio and landscape. The installation invites a consideration of the monumental impact of the first wireless transmission, and explores the medium’s potential to conflate and fragment both space and time. Strange Lines and Distances takes its title from a passage in Francis Bacon’s utopian text New Atlantis, in which Bacon imagines a futuristic society’s culture, politics, history and media. In contradistinction, Strange Lines and Distances moves backwards, retrospectively exploring the invention of radio while looking for echoes and historical intimations of the past within the present.
Strange Lines and Distances’ dual channels represent the transmission site in Poldhu Cove, U.K. and the receiving site at Fever Hospital, St. John’s, NL. Each historical site is documented using 16mm colour negative film. The sonic composition was created from site- specific field recordings, shortwave and longwave radio recordings and archival material. Mired in static and atmospheric interference, the recordings exist as fragmentary spectres of outport beacons, noise, musical passages and human voice. Visually, each channel contains imagery that resonates and rhymes with the opposing channel in terms of shape, line, colour, light and optical geometry. Through a visual examination of the sites’ topographical similarities, the work plays with the juxtaposition of landscape, architectural ruins, flora, and geological and meteorological phenomena. The images unfold as a series of long shots, and this play with duration creates a montage that asks the spectator to consider distance and the poetics of form.
*Out Now! Limited edition of 300. Includes immediate download.* Columbus, Ohio artist Ben Bennett creates an exquisite racket armed with a mutant kit of recycled and modified acoustic instruments and found objects. I first experienced Ben’s work when he performed at the Rubber City Noise Cave in Akron, OH on February 11 2012. After witnessing Ben simultaneously double bowing a drum head, blowing on mutant wind instruments using circular breathing techniques, dragging himself across the floor through the crowd and smacking ball bearings onto the floor I immediately knew I needed to document and present Ben’s work. Unlike anything I have released before and a thrilling new direction for Experimedia. To truly understand the experience that is Ben’s work I recommend watching some of the performance videos below. Enjoy. - Jeremy Bible
"It takes a certain amount of guts and attitude to call the opener on your newest record "Have you ever considered taking a break from listening to music for a while?" Yet it perfectly encapsulates what makes the latest from Columbus, Ohio’s Ben Bennett, Spoilage, such an interesting record. Bennett uses no electronics in his creations and improvisation plays a vital role. This is music that is messy and organic and human.
The list of instruments and implements that Bennett uses through Spoilage is mind-boggling. Everything from various drums to a wheelbarrow, pizza cutter, and “the narrow part of a balloon” is in play. Considering this, the cacophonous symphony that ensues isn’t as out-of-control as one might think. No, this is carefully-constructed from beginning to end, each choice made at the spur of a moment and pushed to extremes. Spoilage is a maximalist exhibition, extorting visceral sounds from the tools at his disposal.
Bennett flips back and forth in his song-titles from the specific and mundane to something more universal. All of it, though, is where this music comes from. Personal, political, whatever - it all goes hand-in-hand. The scattered, blown-out percussive blasts could be the bombs falling just as easily as that moment you realize the last bus arrived two minutes early and you were one minute late. Quiet scrapes flicker between gulfs of silence, leaving room for philosophical contemplation or drawing up a reward sign for your stolen bike. In the end, it’s all matter that fades through time. Everything is Spoilage.” - Brad Rose
Ben Bennett started playing music as a young child, took up the drums in middle school, and has always been attracted to improvisation. His interest in jazz moved steadily towards the more avant-guarde, then to free jazz, and onward into the world of free-improv. His current music stems mainly from various forms of free-improv: maximalist, reduced, noise, etc. A desire to get the most varied and visceral array of sounds from the simplest instruments has led to an ongoing process of distilling the drumset to its essential sound-maker, the vibrating membrane. Using extended techniques involving breath and friction, as well as the time-honored tradition of hitting things with sticks, he plays an evolving pile of frame drums, pre-tuned drum heads, metal things, tubes, and other objects that can be combined and recombined to get a variety of sounds during a performance. This set-up lends itself greatly towards being crammed in a backpack, strapped to a bike, dragged along the ground, or thrown down the stairs, generally without physical or psycological damage.
Recent projects include: bst.cr - trio with Ryan Jewell and Wilson Shook, Wrest - with Jack Wright and Evan Lipson, Rotty What - trio with Jack Wright and John M Bennett; Central Ohio War Coalition - with Mike Shiflet, Joe Panzner, and others; duos with Ryan Jewell, Jack Callahan, and Ben Hall; and solo performances.
Test pressings of the Ben Bennett LP arriving tomorrow. Can’t wait to hear this spinning. Columbus, OH artist Ben Bennett creates an exquisite racket armed with a mutant kit of recycled and modified acoustic instruments and found objects. I first experienced Ben’s work when he performed at the Rubber City Noise Cave in Akron, OH on February 11 2012. After witnessing Ben simultaneously double bowing a drum head, blowing on mutant wind instruments using circular breathing techniques, dragging himself across the floor through the crowd and smacking ball bearings onto the floor I immediately knew I needed to help document and present Ben’s work. Unlike anything I have released before and a thrilling new direction for Experimedia. To truly understand the experience that is Ben’s work I recommend watching some of the performance videos embedded below. Enjoy.
Simply, “Blitz Gazer,” the new album from French duo DAT Politics, is a lot of damn fun. DAT Politics have been around for over a decade and “Blitz Gazer” is something of a reboot for the band, who were previously a trio. These stylized pop confections grind their way into your head with their insanely catchy hooks and big fat beats. It’s a tried-and-true combination but DAT Politics absoultely kill it on “Blitz Gazer.” From the anthemic leads on “Switch On” to the auspicious, ’80s-tinge of “Between Us,” they manage to cover a lot of ground. Sure, every song here has a heavy pop-bend to it, but the songwriting is so good and the execution so flawless that this is head & shoulders above all the pretender-pop records that come out every other week. Hints of modern R&B bleed through the chaotic and bizarre “Corpsicle” - one of the album’s standouts - which lead into the robotic haze of “Melt Down.” Plus, I’m a sucker for layer-upon-layer of vocoder and DAT Politics play that trick in spades. I think the reason this album stands out so much in the end is that there’s an ambivalence that pervades the entire album and it really, really works. You get the feeling that these two could not give a fuck and are just having fun, doing whatever they want - everyone else be damned. It’s their attitude and talent as songwriters that make “Blitz Gazer” such a good time and an album you’ll return to over and over. Oh, and this was recorded in Berlin which somehow says it all. - Brad Rose, Experimedia
New titles now available at Experimedia.net.
As half of the scorched-desert duo, Barn Owl, Jon Porras has cultivated an impressive catalog of sprawling, rusted, drone-infused compositions. There’s a reason that Barn Owl are so highly regarded and Porras keeps those high standards with his latest solo opus, “Black Mesa,” for Thrill Jockey. The information included with the album says that is a ‘reflection on desolation.’ Sonically, this is exactly what it is. This is dark and lonely blues-ridden guitar music at its finest. Out of all the influences listed for this record, the Sandy Bull mention hits closest to him. Music like this spreads its wings underneath a gauzy spritual haze. If Porras is playing the part of the lost wanderer, the atmospheric embellishments and expansive, open-air feeling that pervades the record is his landscape. There is richness in the subtle details of “Black Mesa;” some chimes here or a handdrum there add life to the charred aural canvas. Throughout its entirety, “Black Mesa” is building massive funeral pyres aimed at burning up the darkest hour of the night. Once the embers glow, everything goes up in flames. Porras pours on the gasoline as the album closer, “Beyond the Veil,” stretches all the way to the dawn. This is one hell of a record. - Brad Rose, Experimedia
Brain Pulse Music
In the promotional video for Brain Pulse Music, Masaki Batoh attaches a humorous looking piece of gear to his head, stating “there is a small sensor in front which will pick up your EEG (Electroencephalography = Brain Wave).” He then demonstrates the device running through a “motherboard,” which is essentially a crude synthesizer, with pitch, frequency, and volume control effects. Voilà! The electric impulses in your head are made audible. This translation of brainwaves into raw sound forms the intellectual basis for Brain Pulse Music, but the actual record is much more than seemingly aleatoric synthesizer/brain squiggles. The theme of the work seems to be meditation; the centering of one’s mind through music. Batoh attempts to achieve this state through his EEG machine, but also with understated percussion and woodwind passages. Throughout the “Kumano Codex” tracks, for example, a sense of beautiful timelessness is conjured; if someone told me they were ancient religious chants or the soundtrack to a Kurosawa film neither option would seem too far a stretch. Simply, Brain Pulse Music reveals the struggle and harmony between mind (synth/brainwaves) and body (percussion, woodwinds). - Keith Rankin, Experimedia
Well this is unexpected. This is the perfect dose of scuzzed-out jams. And I do mean JAMS. Koi Pond first came to light on a solid tape on Night People, but “So Higher” is on another level entirely. Plodding, dub-infused drums are the backbone while solid bass grooves hum along at pace. I could probably listen to that pairing for an hour and not get tired of it, but when you add serious synth shredding to the mix it’s like opening the blast furnace and sticking your face straight in. And that’s just the A-Side! Flip the record and you are off to another planet entirely. Holy shit. First dip into the rabbit hole and fuzzed-to-the-floor guitars are up in your face, pulling the skin off in sheets. The narco-dub rhythms continue, but the fire dancing on top is something nastier. As the track moves along, you’re thrust into deep space where everything echoes to infinity. There’s an eerie calmness that creeps in, but it’s nothing but a ruse. Koi Pond bring the whole thing to a close by turning their guitars into spires that cut open the sky, dripping liquid crystal straight into your skull. Yes please. - Brad Rose, for Experimedia
Afterlife is the duo of Franklin Teagle (Cenote Glow, Tranquility Tapes, etc) and Ryan McGill (Cliffsides, Bones of Seabirds, etc) and after a run of fantastic tapes, “Celestial Habitat” is their first foray into vinyl. From the opening moments of the album, it is clear that this is something special and something different for the duo. Obviously the last few years have seen a glut of releases that one would call ‘synth albums,’ and while “Celestial Habitat” superficially falls into that camp, the truth is that it is so much more. Teagle and McGill have composed an aural journey. There’s a real narrative aspect to “Celestial Habitat” that is impressive. Symmetrical analog lines split out from a cybernetic frenzy, pushing these sounds past the surface waves and into the deepest reaches of the sonic ocean. There are living galaxies within these synthetic walls. Dripping arpeggios purr through the effervescent morass while warped leads pierce through the bliss. There’s a surprisingly tinge of darkness that floats along underneath everything happening on “Celestial Habitat” that really strikes a chord. This is a deep record - one that takes many successive listens to finally unlock. - Brad Rose, for Experimedia
This is the first time I’ve heard Swahili but I’m already curious enough to hear more. Their self-titled debut comes courtesty the Translinguistic Other label and is absolutely relentless. The thing that really stands out is the drumming. The whole album is pretty murky and blown-out, but the way the percussion is always bordering on being totally overdriven works perfectly. Tribal-infused rhythms are the perfect backbone to the synth and vocal interplay that makes up the bulk of the album. Tracks like “Soma” and “Contact” are almost straight-up rock songs. Shrouded under a murky veil, these songs are easily hypnotic and draw you in with hints of familiar structure. The thing is - there is nothing about this music that is by the book. Everytime I think I’ve got it figured out, the band throws a wrench like the ghostly scrawl of “Kidhr” or the out-of-nowhere minimal electronic aspects of “Ascher J2000.” The fast-paced insanity of “Agni” is the cherry on top. The percussion beats you over the head while the synths sound like the end of the world. It’s a sonic fucking monument. This ‘everything goes’ mentality serves Swahili well. The heavily dosed jams that make up most of the album are certainly the band’s strongest point, but they never settle and keep trying out new ideas that make this record better as a whole. - Brad Rose, Experimedia
(Bark & Hiss)
Absolutely entrancing album of nuanced synth/drone pop from this Ohio-based duo whose previous output includes a collaborative LP with Emeralds’ guitarist Mark McGuire, among other self-released gems. What I notice first about the album are its stellar production values. Mastered to divine effect by James Plotkin, crystal clear, cycling synthesizers skitter across the stereo spectrum, anchored by Freund’s minimal but affecting guitar work (at times recalling aspects of Mick Turner). This lush instrumentation ultimately serves as a backdrop for Freund and Lejsovka’s lovely boy/girl vocal arrangements, which at times remind me a bit of Yo La Tengo (or, when Freund sings alone - and this could be purely word associative - Nick Zammuto/The Books). Ultimately and without hyperbole, this album kind of smacked me in the face with its blend of hypnotic instrumentation and truly arresting pop sensibilities. A really fantastic, totally out-of-nowhere (at least for me) record, and one that won’t leave my turntable anytime soon. Limited to 300 - don’t hesitate. - Alex Cobb, Experimedia
Now available. Stream it and buy here it now. There are a very limited number of special clear vinyl bundle editions.
Already Gone is the second full length album from West Coast dream-drone unit En, the duo of Maxwell August Croy and James Devane, following their well-received debut album The Absent Coast (released in 2010 on Root Strata, which Croy runs alongside Jefre Cantu-Ledesma). For their sophomore release, the pair have opened up their tonal palette considerably. While the comparisons that critics made of their first album to the work of Tim Hecker and Stars of the Lid still hold true, Already Gone finds Croy and Devane mining even richer sonic climes. Here, the duo pull back the curtain on some of their source material, a move that allows the diversity of their instrumentation to resonate. On The Sea Saw Swell, Croy’s acoustic koto pings across the stereo spectrum as a looping guitar figure from Devane apparates from the haze of a beautiful, slowly shifting drone. The side-long closer Elysia is likely the duo’s defining recording to date, an epic slow-burner that reaches heights both angelic and cacophonous. Ultimately, it is the harmonious marriage of the organic and the obscured that recurs throughout the album that proves its defining trait, and it is precisely what makes En stand out in the ever-growing field of contemporary drone/ambient musics. En tour Japan with Grouper in late April.