Total creativity is something not many artists in the frame of electronic music or graphical art can claim to possess. Confined by what their gear can accomplish, the demand to keep developing new sonic formulas is often a thankless task. So what happens when the mind actually controls the machines (or digital mediums), rather than the reverse?
The ten artists commissioned by Pluie/Noir to construct Volume 1 of ‘Thoughts on Sight and Sound’, the debut release of the label’s side-project Experimental Media, were faced with a complex but endlessly rewarding assignment: “Let us hear your thoughts”. These thoughts can be whatever you want them to mean, whether it’s in the heavy reverb of S.A.M’s ‘Feed Music’ or the shadowy post-rave-ish beat that emerges in IVVVO’s ‘All My Dreams’, this is sound architecture at its most intimate.
In the same way we as humans comprehend language on an unexplainable contingency of semantics, there is no necessary truth to the compositional components in Thoughts on Sight and Sound. Bonjour Bonsoir’s ‘Mr Braun’ plays with your mind in a long yet morphing loop, a game of tension and release that ends up just as rewarding as it is soul-lifting. Evano’s ‘Maqam’ is built solely on two layers of spectral paradoxes, leaving the listener stuck between the fragile harmonics of a traditional harp and the harsh randomness of analog modular beats. As we hear Yoshihiro Hanno’s ‘Pi...Ani+No’, it is at first gibberish. There is no symphonic organization, no tangible rhythm no matter how abstracted. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, but there comes a moment of epiphany… an epiphany where you are suddenly released from a prison of doubt.
Ñenado’s ‘Sarva’ and ReBack’s ‘Horto’ are both mid-orgasmic moments of peacefull bliss. They work together as aching and ethereal, indexical to nature and human experience, but they’re over before you feel they have started. The emotional plunge is cushioned by Kashawar’s insomniac ‘I’m so tired I can’t sleep’, an itchy tapestry of keys and kicks that recalls those endless nights spent wrestling with psychological exhaustion… and losing.
Placid Strait and Max Binski close the experience with two long and challenging compositions. A spectre of a beat (heavily delayed in ‘Snake Eyes’) differentiates them from much of the rest of the tape, but it’s a maze of futuristic zaps, microscopic-synthesizing and crunchy sampling that confuses as much as it captivates.
The entire compilation was graphicaly translated with visual acuity by Vitrio in forms and shapes of limitless interpretations. Like any flexible, innovative mind, the cassette format provides an opportunity for the music to evolve with the listener, morphing with each listen. Like a new pair of jeans, the listener ‘wears’ this in, eventually absorbing something truly unique and personal, albeit ephemeral.
Includes immediate download of 10-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app.