Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guest post by RJ Sana Sheikh out of Mumbai:

unan/nikos kyriazopoulos split cassette entitled mimus/skua
[organized music from thessaloniki t17 / a question of re_entry q12]

Nicolas Malevitsis, who ran the Absurd label in Athens from the late nineties until just two years back (now heading the vinyl label 'Corpses beneath the bed' -- a reference to Bolano's 2666) petitioned two Greek musicians, Unan (Chris Chondropoulos) and Nikos Kyriazopoulos, to interpret birdsong by various electronic means. The Unan side -- called mimus -- is an expansive and variegated collage apparently culled from field recordings + multitracked skipping vinyl. The experience is lofi, something birdlike flits in, a microphone rolls around on the floor banging into things. Unexpectedly, all of this fades into silence; then: human murmurs, a baby's voice, ethnographic percussion, wet melodies. The tape finalizes with the same avian tune found on Royallen's Motivational Tape (Vanishing Hour Revival, 2009) -- perhaps they were both digging through the bottom of the same second-hand record bin. All in all, an agile + unpredictable tour; a fun listen. Kyriazopoulous' side skua is eighteen minutes of warm analog circuits firing off, some of them emulating birdsong, others sounding more like bubbling swamp water and insects, most of them unmistakably the charges and pulses of harsh mixer concrete. At around five minutes, a sonorous moan or howl seeps in and overtakes the circuits -- just for an instant, and it's beautiful -- but then we are back in the swamp for another ten minutes of mimetic chips and chirps. The musician finds himself an accessory to nature, but the music does not transfigure it. We still have much to learn from the birds.

1 comment:

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