(Note: The following text was originally written for the 6th volume of “High Carb Low Life,” a Carbondale zine, 50 special copies of which include a free CD. The CD, titled “Hijack, Get Well,” features local experimental music. “Hijack, Get Well” was also given away in a digital edition as a freebie for persons attending the 2nd Annual Noise Summit. For those of you have have somehow encountered this page without first obtaining a copy of your own– please get with the program, and download it before proceeding.
Although a full overview of experimental music in and around Southern Illinois is outside the scope of a single CD, this collage is representative of the tremendous variety of interesting and regionally unique sound experiments from the area. We begin with a loose ensemble of Nashville musicians at the direction of Tony Youngblood. His “Ore: Theatre Intangible” podcasts got their start here in Southern Illinois, carrying with them ideas we co-developed while hosting the original show together on student radio in the late 90’s. Some of our original taped samples used for those broadcasts appear as “chapter stops” throughout the CD, usually marking the beginning or end of a recording.
Alex Ryterski enters into the mix next, capturing a fractured soundwalk during a single night delivering pizzas in the area. My current broadcasts of experimental music on WDBX and WSIU both occur very late at night, but also serve as a central gathering point for odd music makers in Southern Illinois– and the Midwest isn’t a friendly place for walking. The combination of car culture, late nights, long distances, geographic separation, and the general lack of awareness about what we do makes for an interesting combination of shaping factors.
That’s Mystified in the third section, spinning out a lengthy drone set via the phone, linking his lonely sound to the lonely radio in the middle of the lonely night. Southern Illinois becomes like barely-connected points on a darkened map. Style City takes up where Mystified leaves off, interestingly enough, never having heard Mystified previously. I know– I’m Style City’s father. But there’s that Southern Illinois sound again; something pulsing, a feel of neverending-ness, like an ocean of grain or the stampede of traffic.
Another microcassette sample brings us around to an improvisation with myself and Karthik Kakarala, where small and unimportant sounds mingle without actually meeting, like so many well-meaning people.
Ore: Theatre Intangible — All Guitars (excerpt, complete recording features Tony Youngblood, Adam Louis, Anthony William Herndon, Ben Lowry, Brady Sharpe, Brey McCoy, Charlie Rauh, JJ Jones, and Will Floyd)
Alex Ryterski — Delivery 6pm-4am
Mystified — Live phone performance for WDBX-FM, 8/1/09
Style City — Droid (from the album “The Happening,” available free as a full download)
DaveX, Karthik Kakarala — Small Sounds Improvisation, WDBX-FM, 12/5/09