Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Review: Dead Edits Present Stefan Weisser’s Editeditions & Contexts: A Forgery (lathe cut, CDR, visual/textual supplements)

Frans de Waard wrote a very thorough and kind review of this release in the Dec. 8 2015 Vital Weekly.

Extract below, full review at Vital Weekly: http://www.vitalweekly.net/1010.html

"Before I started to play this, I took out the original 7" (which as a true Z'EV fan I have!) and played that again, albeit only at 33 rpm (one can play this at any speed). Voices rotate in loops along with sounds of bottles being smashed and other sounds. Quite hypnotic music but it is not without variation. A fine record, but not something I would easily pick out to rework. Dead Edits, however, did.
For the lathe cut version, Edwards recorded the music from unamplified copy by placing a microcassette close to the needle; just that, but also picking up any other sound from the room, motors, and assorted other noise. All of this remains very quiet and one cannot recognize the original easily.
The CDR has much more audible pieces and here Dead Edits apply their more 'usual' process of playing their music in all sorts of strange manners, picking the sound from small speakers, lo-fi Dictaphones, cutting up mixes, adding their own voices and a constant cut-up. Unlike the original, which is very looping based, the music here is not entirely loop based. It's of course there, but the voice of Lunde plays an important role and effectively creates more poetry, in new contexts.
There is some excellent variation in these nine pieces, ranging from pure sound poetry to industrial loops and all of that in the best lo-fi musique concrete tradition—just as one would expect from Dead Edits.
An excellent release: much food for thought."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dead Edits Present Stefan Weisser’s Editeditions & Contexts: A Forgery (lathe cut, CDR, visual/textual supplements)

Dead Edits are aiming to put the con in “conceptual recordings,” while also freely modifying Lautreamont’s edict, “plagiarism is necessary, progress implies it—and a sense of humor doesn’t hurt.” Before I cover what constitutes this release, I will note we not only received Z’EV’s blessing (and amused laughter) before proceeding but also received a set of 12 (printer here as six) previously unseen cut ups by the man himself, executed around the time of the original 7” release in 1983.

So, the contents. Lathe: I recorded, on microcassette, the sound of the needle moving as I played an unamplified copy of the original Stefan Weisser: Editeditions & Contexts 7”, with the needle’s contact providing all (any) original audio. By recording on tape, the audio quality (with factors including recording speed, noise of the playback motors, room ambience, and, eventually, playback speed when I played back the microcassette to dump it onto the computer) also was affected—as a result, neither side of the forgery matches up with the times of the original source material.

CDR: (further permutations of the source material: edited, cut, re-edited, recut. 
Visuals: First, Eric hand drew every single record “jacket.” That’s dedication. 

(you can't tell'em apart, can ya?)
He also hand traced the original record’s inserts, and performed reduplicative processes on another. If that weren’t enough, he made a Weissermobile (a nod to his own book, Short Bursts of Light, perhaps?) 
For my part, I photocopied several of the original inserts, at times with a sheet of crumpled wax paper between the paper and the copier face, and duplicated, enlarged, shrank, rotated, and layered the copies. I executed the same copying process with the original (clear) 7” vinyl, and then combined and permutated ~those~ two elements. Combined with Z’EV’s 12 previously unseen cut ups, the end result is a whopping 28 double sided inserts, (3/8” worth of graphics!) all printed on nice heavy stock cover paper. All of this is housed for easy containment in a stamped reel to reel box with relevant graphics on the interior of the box.

The release is in an edition of 20 numbered copies, of which 15 are for sale. The cost is $48 ppd in the United States, with variable shipping costs incurred by those outside of the United States. Please contact me at vertonen (at) earthlink (dot) net for information.
Thank you,

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bibletron Studies 9 x 3" CDR set now available

Such back to back releases are going to be far from the norm for this label, but since a major goal was to debut the release September 19 at the Milwaukee Noise Fest, I figured, let's keep rolling.

NVP04: Bibletron Studies 9 x 3” CDR box (three discs each by The Kingston Family Singers, PCRV, and Vertonen)

Dan Schierl, Bibletron creator, in his own words: “I began building Bibletrons when my modular synth work was getting too complex. By limiting an entire electronic instrument to what could be crammed into a hollowed-out Gideon Bible, it ensured that the result would be extremely primitive--no room for knobs on pots, wires and components in plain view.

Before Dan went into production (a run of 20), he asked three artists for their feedback on the device--what worked, what was challenging--and to hear what they did with it.

Unsurprisingly, we three knew one another, and the idea was soon bounced to do a release that showcased the Bibletron’s capabilities. Each of us also included an insert that explains a bit about how we incorporated the Bibletron into our gear.

With sounds ranging from explosive noise to near silent crackles and hum to swimming percolating synth sounds, this collection of recordings represents both what we three artists do and the diverse possibilities of the Bibletron. 

I encourage you to explore more about the devices here:


The release is in an edition of 33 copies and is $22 ppd in the United States, with variable shipping costs incurred by those outside of the United States. Please contact me at vertonen (at) earthlink (dot) net for information.
Thank you,


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vertonen: Send The Call Out Send 2 CDR set now available.

I am pleased to announce the third release on ballast, Vertonen: Send the Call Out Send.

This release is the second in a series of longer form drone works I have been undertaking, although I would contend the second disc delves into more musique concrete directions.

The release also comes with a collection of texts, manipulated from the Biblical Book of Lamentations, tied together with a thread. These cards also feature hand-written texts that are my effort at translating/transcribing other, related, texts into an ancient alphabet.

The release is in an edition of 33 copies and comes in a silkscreened envelope with silkscreened CD sleeves. The release is $16 ppd in the United States, with variable shipping costs incurred by those outside of the United States. Please contact me at vertonen (at) earthlink (dot) net for information.

Thank you,


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Two Recent Vertonen Reviews

Pleased to receive both a review of Cast Away, a cassette I did for Readymade Tapes Quality Since 1893, in the quietus and Frans de Waard's kind words in Vital Weekly about the newest ballast release, utterer.

highlights (for me) of each review below, and links to the full reviews as well.

from the quietus (the actual review is near the bottom of the page) re: the Cast Away cassette:

The release only states that the piece [on side one] includes recordings made at Elsie Paroubek's grave, but a Wikipedia search reveals the longer story of the missing five year old whose body was eventually found in the city's canal believed to have been strangled. The distressing tale makes sense of Vertonen’s choice of additions to the everyday ambience of the graveyard: an organ grinder solemnly plays linking to the last reported sighting of Elsie, apparently in awe of such a street entertainer as he moved his pitch with her and her cousins in tow; and incorporating the National Anthem of the Czech Republic refers to the nationality of Elsie's immigrant parents. These layers intertwine and decompose under a title that translates as "Is that you my dear?" to form a grisly sonic séance.
from Vital Weekly re: utterer:

These five parts - distinct as they are, but cut as one piece, and in these pieces there is in general a static approach to the word 'drone', with very minimal changes in the effects that are used. Maybe these changes come from the original source material, but more likely from hand manipulations by Edwards. The third part is very short and acts as a bridge; the fifth part is the longest at almost thirty minutes and is the best part of it all: slowly changing within given parameters, along organ-like drone sounds. This is an excellent work for late night listening.

I have limited copies of Cast Away available at $7 ppd US. If you are overseas, please contact me at vertonen (at) earthlink (dot) net for shipping information.

thank you,


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Vertonen: utterer CDR now available

I am pleased to announce the second release on ballast, Vertonen: utterer. It is a long-form drone work based on a ten-minute vocal drone that Anthony Dunn (vocalist for the doom metal band Sun Splitter) did.

The release is in an edition of 33 copies and comes in a silkscreened envelope with six double sided inserts featuring Anthony's artwork.

The release is $8 ppd in the United States, with variable shipping costs incurred by those outside of the United States. Please contact me at vertonen (at) earthlink (dot) net for information.

Thank you,


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Vertonen: The Decay That Stays Behind Lingers Beyond sub-edition now available.

I picked up the screened sleeves today from Erin (Kill Hatsumomo) and she of course nailed it...I had asked her to make the sleeves look different from the regular edition, and she delivered.

This sub-edition (of 35 copies) was prompted by an overrun by the disc manufacturer, and it consists of the following four items: the two CDRs, the DVDR, and the 12 page booklet. The inside cover of the booklet is stamped, signed, and numbered.

These are $15 each ppd in the United States, with variable shipping costs incurred by those outside of the United States. Please contact me at vertonen (at) earthlink (dot) net for information.

Thank you,


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Teaser #1 for ballast release nvp02 -- Vertonen: Utterer

This release will be the first in a series of (loosely) drone-themed releases based on single sound source processing. Anthony Dunn is perhaps best known for his work / vocals with Sun Splitter.
The release will hopefully be available in time for a live collaboration I will be doing with Mykel Boyd on May 21 2015 at tritriangle.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review of Vertonen: The Decay That Stays Behind Lingers Beyond

Frans de Waard wrote a kind and thorough review of the release in Vital Weekly 980, which I have posted below. If you are not familiar with Vital Weekly, I encourage you to subscribe to their review email via http://www.vitalweekly.net, as it is a great resource for keeping abreast of new music.

In addition, the "subset" edition (see previous post) of The Decay... is in the process of being assembled, and I should be able to begin filling orders for those by May 1.

Thank you,

***  ***  ***

Maybe this is a glimpse of the future, as far as labels are concerned? That Lunde book, 500+ pages and CDRs and lathe cut record (see elsewhere), or perhaps this 7" box, filled with two CDRs, 1 DVDr, a lathe cut 7", a booklet, an envelope with photographs, all in a hand printed box. And of course highly limited to just 45 copies. Maybe the people want a small box of art? Let's hope so as it deserves to be out there. And maybe this is the reason why Blake Edwards, the man behind Vertonen, but also the CIP label (of which he says there is one more release coming) created a new imprint for this, Ballast? The booklet with text, based on James Joyce's 'Finnegans Wake', must be reviewed by someone who read the original, and that's not (yet) me: I still haven't read the original. The photographs look great, but let's turn to main course: the music and video. The first CDR is 'Spirals Of Everlisting Chance', which is dedicated to Robert Turman, and uses two four-speed turntables and six records, and it has that excellent raw noise quality that we remember from Turman's own work, but also reminds of the earliest steps of Vertonen himself, when he used turntables and sound effects. Throughout these almost forty minutes it skips (pun intended) minimally forward and backward at the same time. Gradually it seems surface noise takes over and all audio information seems to have disappeared. Almost of a similar length is the other CDR which is called 'Telephone (Hello, Hello)', dedicated to Aaron Dilloway, which 'uses a recording of 'hold' music captured from a telephone earpiece speaker via microcassette as source, which is looped, layered, and processed' as it says on the information enclosed. I am not sure how that works, but there is a short looped sound running through this piece, which only minimally gets altered but in doing so goes through lots of stages of processing and can be quite loud but also very soft. It moves through these stages in one gentle flow.
From lo-fi distortion to deep end bass rumble; one always recognizes the input - whatever that input is. This work reminds me more of Vertonen later explorations in musique concrete procedures. Excellent piece here.
On DVDR we have four videos by Eric Lunde, 'combining source material Vertonen provided with his own source material and processing. Source material turntables, opycay device and shortwave radio'. In 'Prolepsis 1' the sound is very drone like, almost in an Eliane Radigue like manner, with a very drone like film of moves shades of grey and black. In 'Prolepsis 2' this is like moving the camera over a piece of paper, with lines and letters and the soundtrack is very intense: creepy with whispering voices and highly obscured field recordings. 'Prolepsis 3' is very short and has vinyl sources, skipping and looping with a glitch video on racecars. This one didn't do much for me, unlike the 'Prolepsis 4', which is the longest video, nearly twenty-six minutes of what seems to be out of focus sunshine through leaves; or crystals melting with a green colouring effect on top. Maybe I am entirely wrong. The soundtrack is more of that lovely drone music, which is, of all the various musical interests Vertonen has, is the one I enjoy best. Deep, intense and evocative, dreaming up these slow moving images.
More Lunde, but only in dedication, is on one side of the 7". Here Vertonen uses records and spoken word in what seems to me a rather simple piece of skipping records and nothing much else. The other side is dedicated to Jason Zeh and apparently also uses voice, although harder to tell really, as well as sounds from (micro-) cassettes and tape. Here there is an excellent level of tension in the music; almost like something is going to burst and it's going to burst in a big way. I won't spoil the fun by saying it does or doesn't.
If massive packages is the future of small record labels will be releasing boxes like this, I am all for it. (FdW)

Friday, April 3, 2015

ballast nvp 01: Vertonen--The Decay that Stays Behind Lingers Beyond

I am very pleased to announce the first release for ballast, Vertonen: The Decay that Stays Behind Lingers Beyond.

This release is in an edition of 45 copies and is composed of the following elements:

--33 RPM (mono) 7" lathe
--two CDRs
--one DVDR
--a 12 page booklet, "The Decay That Stays Behind Lingers Beyond"
--a collection of professional photographs of the main audio sources used for the recordings

In addition, the inside cover of the reel to reel box has a stepped encryption (for your deciphering attempts), the cover of the box features a linocut stamp by Eric Lunde, and the CDR and DVDR sleeves have all been hand screenprinted.

There also is a signed and numbered insert with information about the recordings that is tied together (with the outlined items above) with a black band.

The audio, in general, focuses on decay and permutation due to a) technological limitations (turntables, cassette player) b) technological modifications (record skips, tape cassette and player modification). Each CDR is approximately 40 minutes. The DVDR contains visuals done in collaboration with Eric Lunde and features my audio, ranging from cut up turntable collage to deep drones.

There will be no digital download release for this, or any other, ballast recordings.

The release is $44 ppd in the United States. Please contact me at vertonen (at) earthlink (dot) net before sending payment and/or if you are outside of the United States (so that I can calculate shipping to your location). Please note: the earthlink address is NOT my paypal address.

One final piece of information: due to an error at the CDR and DVDR duplication center, I received 35 extra copies of each disc. Therefore, for those for whom the price is prohibitive, I also have a sub-edition (of 35), nvp01-1, which consists of the following four items: the two CDRs and the DVDR (screened in a different color) and the 12 page booklet.  The inside cover of the booklet is stamped, signed, and numbered. These are $15 each ppd in the United States, with variable shipping costs incurred by those outside of the United States.

Thank you for your interest.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

About ballast

This is the update page for releases on the ballast label.
If you wish to be added to the mailing list for advance notices on releases, please send an email to vertonen (at) earthlink (dot) net. Thank you.