Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Recent Reviews of NVP09, 13, and 14


Frans de Waard had some kind words about the recent batch of ballast releases (Vertonen: stutterer 2CDR + book; Vertonen: No. 6 6 x 3” CDR and texts; Dead Edits: Three Degrees of Dead Edits 3 x 3” CDR and book).

The complete review can be read here, but below are some of my favorite excerpts:

stutterer: “I am most reminded of the earliest experiments by Esplendor Geometrico, at their most brutal noisiest rhythm, and probably their most minimal phase and least danceable.”

No. 6: “Vertonen took the iconic opening theme [of The Prisoner] as a source and created no less than six (but really, what other number should it have been?) 3 inch CDR releases, so that is close to 120 minutes of music. This sees the many musical interests of Vertonen spread out over these two hours. Much of it goes quite deep into the drone territory here, but not exclusively a fair bit of the material is rhythmic and noisy, and sometimes a combination of both. Of course at no point whatsoever I recognized the tune of 'The Prisoner', as such things go in these cases."

Three Degrees of Dead Edits 3 x 3”: “Brutal, noisy, lo-fi, and estranged...Dead Edits love to use and re-use spoken word,  tapping in on the lowest means possible and playing it back into the same space, and this ad infinitum. It works very well in this particular piece I think."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Three New Ballast Releases Available Now


When it rains, it pours! Here are three new releases available now.

NVP09: Vertonen – stutterer (2 CDR, 48 page book, edition of 45, signed and numbered)
 
NVP013: Vertonen – No. 6 (6 x 3" CDR, 17 text inserts, edition of 24, signed and numbered) 
NVP014: Dead Edits: Three Degrees of Dead Edits (3 x 3" CDR, 64 page book, edition of 15, numbered)
 

NVP09: Vertonen – stutterer (2 CDR, 48 page book, edition of 45, signed and numbered)





This is a bookend to NVP03, utterer, in that is also uses source material provided by Anthony Dunn (Terran Wretch). However, after my recent mechanical rhythmic works, and in contrast to NVP03, I decided to explore some rhythmic noise flavorings. Although your mileage may vary, you might catch a few wafts of Esplendor Geometrico, Sat Stochizmo, or SPK. I also included the original source material as a coda to the stutterer disc. The second disc, Three Situational Drownings, uses the same source material but the execution is more drone-based. The accompanying book contains some texts, but is primarily visuals based off modified stills from a 1988 Eric Lunde videocassette, applying reduplicative strategies via Photoshop.

NVP013: Vertonen – No. 6 (6 x 3" CDR, 17 text inserts, edition of 24, signed and numbered)




My homage to the UK TV series The Prisoner, using only samples from the TV program’s opening theme to create six different compositions. Each composition was created using parameters linked to numerical corollaries with the series (degrees of panning, duration of compositional elements, percentages of processing). In addition, the release also contains 17 texts based on OULIPO-esque writing constraints (each text uses only letters that must appear in at least six of The Prisoner’s episode titles, for one example), which are outlined on a supplemental  insert. All contained in a jewelry box.


NVP014: Dead Edits: Three Degrees of Dead Edits (3 x 3" CDR, 64 page book, edition of 15, numbered)


In 2016 Dead Edits played two shows in Chicago, and this release documents three “degrees," or variants, of Dead Edits “live." 

Disc 1, "An Evening with The Happiest Men in The Room" is a document of Dead Edits live, December 2, with both members in the actual flesh. 

Disc 2, "Dead Edits Present a (Re)presenting Permutation Presentation of: 'Dead Edits Present: Stefan Weisser’s Poextensions and Contexts: a Forgery' (Encore)," was composed from live and processed elements of our first Chicago show, which was performed by one only Dead Edit. At the last minute, Eric was unable to attend but sent a DVDR of himself as a proxy, which I further permutated as part of the live set that evening. I then further mutated and subsequently modified ~that~ recording to create this “reconstruction” of that evening’s performance.
Disc 3, "unheard until written," is me reading a passage from Eric’s 1991 book LLND, processed using tape methodologies Eric had shared previously with me, set to a mutated tape loop.

The final package that accompanies the release contains the "tale of the tape" (recording information / processes about the content of each disc) as well as the text recited on the third disc.

The book that accompanies the discs itself is a capture / end result of Eric’s "drill poem," which opened our December 2 show.

**  **  **  **

The pricing for each release is as follows and includes shipping in the US: for the rest of the world, contact me first so I can get an price based on your location.


NVP09: Vertonen: stutterer (2 x CDR and book) - $20 

NVP013: Vertonen: No. 6 (6 x 3" CDR, textual support) - $24

NVP014: Dead Edits: Three Degrees of Dead Edits (3 x 3" CDR, book) - $20

Thank you for your interest,

Blake

Sunday, November 27, 2016

NVP12. Dead Edits Present: Erased


With each Dead Edits release, Eric Lunde and I happily delve deeper into concepetual territories as we plumb the recesses of what language does and doesn’t. This two book, two CDR, and ephemera set take us to another step along the adventure.
The concept of erasing, copying over, duplicating, and permutating has been an integral (one might say driving) force in Lunde’s own work since the 80s; I have been repurposing equipment and reworking audio sources for quite a while, but I too have been fascinated by the limits of language from when I was exposed to Z’EV’s uns material in the early 90s. For this release, both Eric and I wrote texts in pencil and then sent them to one another, where we proceeded to erase and / or add to the text whatever we deemed necessary. The audiobooks (the two CDRs) represent various readings of the contents of each of the collections of writing, with elements of the recording of voice process (tape player sounds, reading errors, and accents of erasure) substituting (and enhancing) the erased and modified hand writing.
From the supplemental text:
He who writes treads, leaves marks, leaves corrections, leaves errors. He who writes trades, accepting shortcomings in the script for the benefit of documentation. Purported benefit. The revs outwait the costs, and long after the author’s dead does the deciphering and reinterpreting take life.

Or does it even rely on the author’s death?

 Confusion arises from the first mark on the page, in the sand, in the clay. The perspective, that of the writer, is a singular no matter what “voice” is intended—it is only from one, and one only, perspective, and cannot possible be understood by anyone but the author. And so that author struggles, rewrites, erases, discards. And the writer who realizes the words are weightless wastes no time aiming to write; they (words) stand on their own, once released from the author’s and they are the property of the earth.



















Erased is a limited edition of 20 signed and numbered copies. The CDRs are tucked inside 9" x 12" envelopes with smeared misprintings (caused by printer feed error) of the supplemental text. The supplemental text, along with an insert about recording processes and track information, is tucked in a separate stamped envelope. The two books are bound with a pseudo obi band.
The cost is $25 ppd in the United States; for rest of world orders, please contact so I can calculate postage.
 

thanks,

Blake

Thursday, September 22, 2016

NVP10. Howard Stelzer: Normal Bias 6 x CS now available

I’ve known Howie and his work for a little more than 15 years, and I'm excited to announce this monumental (and monolithic) dose of his audio.
Over the years (unsurprisingly), Howie's work has evolved, developing from (and this is my assessment only) fast sharp bursts to more deep-listening-esque drone elements (while still based in exploring, and exploiting, the tape medium) with shifting density, tension and implied/oblique narrative playing greater roles in the overall composition.
And although Normal Bias was composed specifically for this multi-cassette format, it should be viewed not as a collection of disparate tracks but as a single long form album, the pace and changes of which are determined by tape length.
Howie mentioned to me, and I agree, that this recording delves more “spatially” because of the flexibility of the duration.
In the end, this is a wonderful two+ hour audio journey that will stretch and immerse those intrigued to take the plunge.




Normal Bias is a limited edition of 50 copies, signed and numbered by Howie. Each cassette is hand stamped, and the entire release is housed in a clamshell case with transparency art. 

The cost is $30 ppd in the United States; for rest of world orders, please contact so I can calculate postage.
 

thanks,

Blake

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Vertonen: An Intended Accident review

Frans De Waard shares some kind words about the final installment of the trilogy in Vital 1041: I think there is one typo, though, so I added (and bracketed) said change.
Also, a side note, the trilogy isn't really based on th Book of Lamentations: permutations of those texts were only part of the first release (Send the Call Out Send). (But, in hindsight, I could also argue that the ~ideas~ in/of the Book of Lamentations are thematic...heh!)

"As promised in Vital Weekly 1038 the third instalment of a trilogy based on the Book of Lamentations was to be released shortly, and here 'An Intended Accident' (again sixty-six minutes) is released in a similar package as the two previous ones, but also with a small envelope supplying the keys to the artcards found in every package in which Blake Edwards has made efforts 'at translating/transcribing related texts into three different ancient alphabets'. In the accompanying letter Edwards asks me to [not] reveal these keys and as much as I don't care about spoiler alerts (really don't), but all right I won't, but I thought these 'keys' were great! It's a bit like the mousetrap, the Agatha Christie play, in which the audience is asked not to reveal whodidit. It makes reviewing the music perhaps a bit more complicated, since I now have insider knowledge. 'An Intended Accident' is six parts, of which two at the end are a bit shorter. Music wise however Vertonen is still in the musical area I like to see him best, and that is of drone music. The single-source processing takes on many shapes but sounds like a near stasis of acoustic debris, with emphasis on the lower end of the sound spectrum. Quite spooky at that and very atmospheric, but also quite 'low' in volume. It reveals Vertonen's love for the Hafler Trio and Roland Kayn, but I think one should add Eliane Radigue to that list as well. The odd element here is the three sighs that audible in the music at various parts in the piece, but then singled out, to add more spookiness, perhaps. Maybe it's coincidence but when I reviewed the previous one is was a dark day in June and that is the same thing here today; maybe it is a sign? This release concludes a rather beautiful trilogy of works, and with a great 'secret'. (FdW)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

NVP07. Vertonen: Rose Gardens CDR (with textual supplements)

I'm excited to announce the second in a trilogy of releases (which began with NVP03, Send the Call Out Send) is now available for purchase. This release, like NVP03, is drone-based, wavering between Roland Kayn and Hafler Trio sensibilities (in more ways than one).
While NVP03 included encrypted text utilizing a circa 300 BCE writing system, this release includes text utilizing three different (yet related) writing systems: one circa 1700 BCE, one circa 900 BCE, and one circa 800 BCE.


The release is in an edition of 33 signed and numbered copies in a sikscreened envleope (and CDR sleeve) and comes with six 5" x 5" inserts threaded together. The cost is $10 ppd in the United States; for rest of world orders, please contact so I can calculate postage.

The third and final release in the trilogy, An Intended Accident, will be released by the end of June.

Thank you,



Blake

Sunday, April 24, 2016

NVP 06.5. Eric Lunde: The Twin Earth Experiment (CDR, DVDR, book)


I am extremely pleased to co-release (with Eric’s atychima imprint) The Twin Earth Experiment, a document of / supplement to a lecture / performance Lunde did in November 2015 at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin (UW-M).
The CDR contains audio demonstrations of Lunde’s reduplicative / degenerative process performed for the class lecture, with a textual emphasis on Lunde’s “I am a Copy of a Copy of a Strange Loop.” The CDR also includes audio elements from the subsequent video performance at the Student Union Cinema.
The DVDR, contains the performative aspect of Lunde’s presentation: a live demonstration of the reduplicative / degenerative processes / copying processes that have informed Lunde’s work for more than 30 years, applying the process (with the help of Neil Gravander, an instructor at UW-M who performs under the name Lucky Bone) to a selection of the film Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969), which circles around the discovery of a duplicate / mirrored Earth.
The 86 page booklet contains background information about the UW-M performance, commentary on Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, observations on quantum Darwinism (as applied to copying irregularities, and the nature of copying imperfections and accidents to create new evolutionary phases, concepts addressed in Lunde’s previous fiction and nonfiction books, Short Bursts of Light and The Accident of Purpose, respectively), theoretical applications of the brain functioning as a copy machine vis a vis the development of consciousness, and the text for a proposed performance, “A Game of Risk.”
The release is in an edition of 20 signed and numbered copies in a hand screened canvas bag, and the cost is $20 ppd in the United States; for rest of world orders, please contact so I can calculate postage.

Thank you,

Blake