Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Namke Communications - One Year; Two Days.
Fencing Flatworm Recordings. CDR/DL. 40 Copies
Synchre - Requiem.
Attenuation Circuit. ACU 1009. CD
Two releases of electronic origin with a chasm between them that not even the likes of Eddie Kid could bridge. One a grandiloquent requiem the other the work of someone who works quick. So quick they took it upon themselves to record something new everyday for a year. A pursuit in which I hear they were entirely successful. If the four tracks on One Year; Two Days are representative of this crazed mission then we need to be hearing more.
Namke Communications is John Tuffen. On 'One Year; Two Days' he makes the kind of simple, repetitive, head nodding oscillations that Fencing Flatworm go all ga-ga for. No wonder they made it their only release of the year. The backdrop to the live action would be one of a continual upshot of fluffy white clouds drifting across an azure summer sky, your head laid back on a plump pillow as your punt is punted down the Cam, a picnic hamper from Fortnum and Mason’s awaiting your arrival on the shore. The four tracks are all given a date and a time which we are to presume are the time and date of recording and the file names they were saved to PC as. According to the Bearded Wonder these were created using a PC. Me not being what you would call an expert on computer composed music I wouldn’t know but the results are nothing short of wonderful; rung bowls of electronica and oscillating vibes that with very little effort find a common purpose. There’s the occasional muffled depth charge and at one instance a school playground but always the feeling of complete control and with it immense aural satisfaction.
Requiem, on the other hand, is a much more pompous release. As you’d expect from something so grandly named you get the feeling they were going for the magnum opus. Three movements each broken down into further sections so we get 00.00 Articulation, 05.35 Transition, 9.50 Abandon right up to 34.20 and Immanency and its eventual and not untimely end. Its the work of Luca Canciello and Lorenzo Brusci both of whom have CV’s the length of your arm and are involved in everything from electronic music composition to speaker manufacture to the ‘music robot start up MusicFit’, something which matches the BPM’s of some horrid sounding beat music to your work out rate and which would appear to be the winner of ‘The Thing I’m Least Likely to Purchase This Year’ award.
After enjoying the simple flavour’s of Namke Communications Japanese ramen bowl this is like sitting down to a ten course tasting menu [with matching wines] courtesy of Heston Blumenbollocks. There’s so much going on its all a little bit overwhelming. A shiny disc filled with a mass of sounds and noises that appear to be there not with the aim of producing a coherent whole, but to show off the talents of the composers.Thus you move from rapidly advancing drum and bass sounds [with added droning trumpet] to vocal treatments to portentous keyboards to a mouse’s fart and the wild screams of the reviewer at number 17 who having listened to this over-complicated mush of excess decided to move to India so he could experience the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 Rupee notes all for himself.
There are moments on Requiem that do gel especially on the last movement ‘Transfiguration’ where arc welders do battle with Survival Research contraptions and men in rubber monster costumes fight it out in cheap 60’s Japanese TV shows. The choirboy like vocals on the second movement is one of the rare moving moments of the entire suite but these are small crumbs at a table where you cant see the food for the cruet.
Maybe I’m being a tad unkind here and I shouldn't be comparing banquets with beans on toast but my mind is made up. There will be those who seek out such weighty electronic scores, the concept album for the dead, the three hour Jean Michel Jarre concert with flashing lights and arrival on stage by boat but it isn’t me.