Commentary for “ITDE” 3/17/07

This week’s show was very nice, and a little longer than usual. With no DJ present when I arrived, I took advantage of the extra 30 minutes prior to my usual broadcast time to play the Dimitri Voudouris “Praxis” recording I had promised last week. With the long format now apparently stuck in my head– “Praxis” is about 15 minutes long– I decided to spend most of the show with longer recordings, or at the very least, blocks of recordings by single artists.

Original digital art by DaveX

Sandoz Lab Technicians album “The Western Lands,” now available on Last Visible Dog Records, was up for the first proper set. I had been putting this album off a little bit until I was in the mood for it. “The Western Lands” is very nice, but finicky. I find that I have to be in a very specific headspace to enjoy it, a mix of clearheaded calm and dissolved focus seems to do the trick. It is attentive music, with a surprising number of wonderful water sounds– more than field recordings, it seems they really went to some effort in-studio to record these.Last week, I desperately wanted to play materials from Emprientes Digitales, but the new DVD-A format of their discs is not recognized by the equipment at the station, so I had to re-burn them to my own CDrs to broadcast this week. Otherwise, I’m a huge fan of their idea to release in this format. Each disc now comes with a choice of audio; listeners can hear a 96khz 5.1 surround, a normal stereo version, or utilize the supplied 320kbps MP3-formatted files in iPods and whatnot. With these already ripped on the disc, it was no huge deal for me to re-burn them for broadcast– especially with how wonderful a label Emprientes Digitales is. If you haven’t checked out their selection of discs, do so at your earliest convenience. Do not let the academic presentation put you off, you will not be let down in the least.First up from the ED materials was “They’re Trying to Save Themselves,” from Darren Copeland’s album “Perdu et Retrouve”. This single work had me in tears at my first listen, and continues to elicit goosebumps each time I hear it. Constructed from a single CNN transmission shortly after the World Trade Center attacks, “They’re Trying to Save Themselves” is neither cloying nor sentimental. Instead, it mixes terrifying sounds of panicked individuals with the low rushing noise of airplanes and structural failure. Nearly as a whole, electroacoustic music is often clinically removed from emotion– or at the least reaches for, but fails to completely grasp, the human condition.

Original digital art by DaveX

Later on, I played from a HarS cassette, “Gevonden in/Found in Maastricht,” which is constructed from tape clods found by HarS, and presented as part of his ever-growing Found Tapes exhibition. Its a great collage of materials made greater by the realization that a fellow sound-lover painstakingly re-spooled each tape, after what is surely a length period of unknotting. It’s patient work I’m not cut out for, so this is my by-proxy tape clod hobby fix. By the way, if you ever want to read more, HarS runs the fantastic “Sound Blog,” which is also in my blogroll. It’s one of two blogs that originally inspired me to begin writing these entries (the other being “Of Sound Mind,” also in my blogroll.) Naturally, you need to visit BOTH.Jeff Sampson and Jeph Jerman are Akrude, whose disc, “Predetermined by Hindsight,” I played next. With two 30-minute works highlighting a wide variety of sounds, and a masterful use of space, its a delight to listen to– not at all boring, but also far from confrontational. Both Sampson and Jerman effortless use the energy of all sounds to showcase the musicality all around us. I’m quite sure I’ll play the other piece next week, so if you enjoyed “Suite Revision,” you’ll want to catch the track that precedes it this coming show.

I intended to close the show with two albums from Medusa Head Records, a limited CDr label in San Diego. With as much as San Diego conjures horrible memories of stinking highways, endless concrete, and useless sprawl for me; its nice to know there is something good there besides Papachino’s. I have reviews for both the Leo and Tuft albums, check my review index page for the direct links.

Let’s not forget that word, “intended,” shall we? The DJ for the show following mine had some trouble with her alarm clock, and called in, asking me to cover until she arrived. No sweat– St. Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to whip out some Haunted Trail stuff, a defunct Irish label in the process of becoming Mud Trail. Will the name changes never end? They used to be “Haunted Trail Records”… but dropped the “Records” portion. Oh well, that’s why we have DJs, right? For keeping track of this stuff?

Of course, I recorded the show, direct from the web stream. You can download the full show, but I ask you to consider this little more than something to whet your tastes– it is not intended to replace the act of purchasing recordings from the artists or labels.

I should add that with this particular recording, the immediate beginning and end are cut off. My recording set-up is on a timer, starting 10 minutes before and ending 10 minutes after my time slot. With nearly 30 minutes at the beginning, and an extra 15 towards the end, the file begins with the final portions of Praxis, and ends a few minutes into the Sadako tape.

I always appreciate your comments about my broadcasts, but until then, enjoy your playlist. –DaveX
Dimitri Voudouris — Praxis
Sandoz Lab Technicians — The Western Lands
Darren Copeland — They’re Trying To Save Themselves
Darren Copeland — Faith Annihia
Marcelle Deschenes — Big Bang II
Marcelle Deschenes — Indigo
Marcelle Deschenes — Les bruit des ailes
Found Tapes Exhibition — Gevonden in / Found in Maastricht
Akrude — Suite Revision
Leo — Cutedrops
Leo — B.Bill Bell
Leo — Maser
Leo — Globe199
Leo — Pause
Leo — Seek
Tuft — Bathory
Sadako – Ancient Burial Chambers vol.2

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