BEN VIDA – ‘esstends-esstends-esstends’
Five pieces for Computer Controlled Modular Synthesizer and Digital Signal Processing. Composed and recorded from February 2010 – April 2011 in Brooklyn, New York. ‘esstends-esstends-esstends’ is a collection of spatial compositions in which audio focal points shift between external and internal emanation sources. The intent with this work is to escape the stereo image and create an activated listening space of expanded spatialization. Using just intoned pitch combinations to produce difference tones and harmonic distortions, sound materials are created that emanate from both the playback speakers and inner ear of the listener. By engaging the listener’s sense of aural perception and sound localization in relationship to compositional structure, these pieces act to reframe the listening experience and encourage an engagement with, not only the form and aesthetic of the music, but the sonic space a recorded piece of music projects. Higher amplitude will help to reveal. Ben Vida is a composer, improviser and sound artist who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Ben led the group Town and Country and experimented with world musique concrète under the name Bird Show. In collaboration with Keith Fullerton Whitman and Greg Davis he explores cross control voltage integrated improvisation and real time automatic group composition. Ben has worked with artists Hisham Bharoocha (duo as Soft Circle), Siebren Versteeg, Doug Aitken, Nadia Hironaka and Mathew Suib. He has played in ensembles led by Tony Conrad, Rhys Chattam, and Werner Dafeldecker. As an improviser he has performed with Milo Fine, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Chad Taylor, Kevin Drumm, Yamatsuka Eye and C. Spencer Yeh among many others. He has released over twenty records on such labels as Thrill Jockey, Drag City, PAN, Amish, Bottrop-Boy, Hapna and Kranky. In 2011 Ben was Composer in Residency at Diapason Space, NYC and at EMS Studios, Stockholm and was awarded a Swedish Arts Committee Travel Grant, ISSUE Project Room Emerging Artists Commission and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona “Composing with Process” Exclusive Works Commission. As both a solo artist and in collaboration Ben has presented his work in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea and Japan. The LP is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, pressed on 140g vinyl and comes in a poly-lined inner sleeve. It is packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas. Ben Vida video by Hisham Akira Bharoocha.
NHK – ‘Koyxeи ‘Dance Classics Vol.I’
Prolific producer Kouhei Matsunaga’s ‘Dance Classics Vol.I’ LP documents his more dance oriented material, as seen from his sets with Sensational and also his other minimal techno project NHK. Not feeling tied down to one genre, Matsunaga nestles in the PAN roster, and however that isn’t to say that he is dance per se as witnessed from his recent collaborations with Conrad Schnitzler. The album focuses more on bass/base electronics, music for the dancefloor and/or altered state reflection. Having composed pieces for WDR based on Henry Chopin, Kouhei is equally at ease jamming with Sensational, whilst simultaneously executing a obsessively numerical sequence of dance pieces that borders on Hanne Darboven-like compulsivity. Born in Osaka, Kouhei Matsunaga is a musician and an illustrator. He started drawing during childhood under the influence of his grandfather. He grew up listening to hardcore-techno and hip hop, studied architecture and has been mainly making music since 1992. Under many different aliases (NHK, NHKyx, Internet Magic, Koyxen) he has released numerous albums on labels such as Skam Records, Wordsound, Raster Noton and his first ever album “Upside Down” on Mille Plateaux in 1998. He has also collaborated with artists like Merzbow, Jungle Brothers’ Sensational, Autechre’s Sean Booth, Mika Vainio, Conrad Schnitzler, Anti Pop Consorium’s High Priest, Rudolf Eb.er, Puppetmastaz crew, Asmus Tietchens, Ralf ‘RLW’ Wehowsky and so on. His own label Flying Swimming was founded in 2002 with the main purpose being to publish and curate events of experimental contemporary music and art. The LP is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, pressed on 140g vinyl and comes in a poly-lined inner sleeve. It is packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas. NHK’Koyxen video by Takuya Dairiki.
Split 12″ between two of the artists at the forefront of the experimental dance scene, SND and NHK. Aside from sharing 3 letter names and having an upcoming Japanese tour together, the two acts also nicely compliment each other via skewed electronics which come out of mutual dance and minimal electronic sensibilities. SND offer a cut of jacking minimal loops, flows of repetition crafted at once as structured yet simultaneously unfolding before your eyes (and ears), whilst on the flipside NHK is suitably equal part bass squelch with rudimentary snare motorik via pirate radio broadcast. SND formed in Sheffield, UK, in 1998 by Mark Fell and Mat Steel. Three critically acclaimed albums for Mille Plateaux alongside the continuing series on their own label put SND at the forefront of new digital minimalism, pioneering a sound that always influenced but also resisted the so called ‘clicks and cuts’ movement that built up around them. After their third album — Tender Love — for Mille Plateaux in 2002, SND became disillusioned with the recording treadmill and proliferation of the genre they seemed to inhabit, and turned to other projects; solo work, curating events and installations, the occasional contribution to compilations, an album for Raster Noton from side project ‘Blir’, remix work for the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto, and sound design for fellow Sheffielders The Designers Republic. During this time they also honed their impressive live performance through extensive touring of Japan, America, and Europe (most notably with Autechre), and one off shows at major festivals and venues around the world. Experiencing an SND performance can be alienating, engaging, dynamic, and unforgiving; each event a unique exploration of the relationship between performer, audience, software and context. Snd continued an active year with another European tour supporting Autechre, a reworking of Billie Jean for the ‘Recovery’ box set on Fractured Records, a major feature in the Wire magazine, a tour of Japan and the recording of another album. NHK formed in 2006 in Osaka, Japan by Kouhei Matsunaga and Toshio Munehiro. Mainly as a side project of prolific producer Kouhei Matsunaga (who is working under many different aliases such as NHK’Koyxen, NHKyx, Internet Magic, Koyxen), they started making experimental dub techno with a more raw and harsh edge to it. Kouhei has released numerous albums on labels such as Skam Records, Wordsound, Raster Noton and his first ever album “Upside Down” on Mille Plateaux in 1998. He has also collaborated with artists like Merzbow, Jungle Brothers’ Sensational, Autechre’s Sean Booth, Mika Vainio, Conrad Schnitzler, Anti Pop Consorium’s High Priest, Rudolf Eb.er, Puppetmastaz crew, Asmus Tietchens, Ralf ‘RLW’ Wehowsky and so on. His own label Flying Swimming was founded in 2002 with the main purpose being to publish and curate events of experimental contemporary music and art. The Lp is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, pressed on 140g white vinyl which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas.