Ash 3.4 - Antiphony

Released: 1997

Double CD in plastic wallet + inserts

CD One:

RLW
Bruce Gilbert (2)
Kapotte Muziek
People Like Us
Chris and Cosey
atom heart
John Duncan/Giuliana Stefani
L.O.S.D.
Mark Van Hoen

CD Two:

S.E.T.I.
Disinformation
Zbigniew Karkowski/Eric Lyon
M. Behrens
Mark Poysden.

Reviews:

"...pioneering..." Keith Cameron, XFM Radio, London

CMJ (USA):

"How do you rework something that's barely even there in the first place? That's the challenge faced by 15 contributors to this double-CD set of "interpretations" of Disinformation's beatless, toneless, nearly noiseless recordings of crackle and hiss, electrical signal's hum and sonic impulses from astronomical phenomenae results are subtle but richly textured noise, amazingly varied and compelling, though only a few contributors succumb to the temptation to add a recognizable form of music to the mix. A few tracks are near-subliminal,others flicker like a fan in your face, but almost all demand careful listening. Chris and Cosey and Bruce Gilbert are the big name contributors up and coming sound artists like Kapotte Muziek and Mark Van Hoen also appear, and one 17 minute track is listed as "Untitled" by Anonymous.And Disinformation itself steals the showwith a soundcheck of its performance at London's Disobey club; a single jagged tone, like construction noises boiled down to their essence, that starts quietly and gets louder until it suffuses the air and threatens to blow the room apart." (Robin Edgerton/Douglas Wolk)


New Powers (Canada):

"Disinformation is Britain's Joe Banks who specializes in music made from obscure radio bands, as he tunes into everything from the hiss of secret military channels to the crackle of storms. This double CD of remixes by all-stars of the industrial underground is ideally titled as an "antiphony" is the contrasted singing of two choirs, or "any musical or sound effect that echoes or answers another". And seeing how Disinformation is often collecting the obscure sound patterns of physical phenomenon, like atmospheric electrical activity and the resonances of the sun, these new versions are in many instances the re-reflections of those initial echoes. Some artists like Wire's Bruce Gilbert, John Duncan and Holland's Kapotte Muziek amplify the whistling frequencies into intense distortions. Others like Chris & Cosey and Atom Heart process the textures into less in-yer-face drones. Locust's Mark Van Hoen adds sax to voices from Soviet radio on the most musical track, "Radio Land". While the English S.E.T.I. (former Lustmord member Andrew Lagowski) soothes the assaulted ears with some slowly ebbing dark ambience. " (Chris Twomey) and here's how he describes each track:


CD 1
1. RLW "Unidentified" 9.14 drone tones and hard whistles
2. Bruce Gilbert "National Grid (Part 1)" 2.38 power grind
3. Bruce Gilbert "National Grid (Part 2)" 2.35 rattle and distorted rumble
4. Kapotte Muziek 3.28 bass bombs, claxons and distorted shortwave signals
5. People Like Us "Fire At Will" 8.25 stereo separated blips and loops into sampled pop song
6. Chris and Cosey "Stargate" 6.21 bass pulse and processed white noise drones
7. Atom Heart "Stage #4" 7.21 static crackles, tinkling, whine
8. John Duncan and Giuliana Stefani "Charge Field" 10.55 fast blips of shortwaves
9. L.O.S.D. 8.15 creaks, groans and bell-like tones
10. Mark Van Hoen "Radio Land" 5.42 musical approach w/ Russian voices, oscillating tones, sax,

CD 2
1. S.E.T.I. "N=N" 7.42 slowly ebbing dark ambient
2. Anonymous "untitled" 17.27 flute and ambient-industrial atmosphere
3. Disinformation "Headlights" 0.12 spoken word
4. Disinformation "Sound Check For The Disobey Performance" 5.19 live
5. Zbigniew Karkowski and Eric Lyon 11.43 processed noise
6. M. Behrens "Addition" 11.16 layered blips and burps
7. Mark Poysden "Breathsweep" 9.11 from Self-Transforming Machine
Elves layered power drone with sweeping white noise and higher-pitched whines

Reviews:

VITAL (Netherlands):

A whole bunch of remixes incorporating sounds sucked out of the lowest reaches of the radio spectrum by Joe Banks, aka Disinformation. Currently one of my favourite artists on Ash, Joe Banks has now three releases out on this label, two on vinyl and another as a full-length CD. I am quite smitten by the latter mostly because my body perceives it as dense information which, if tuned right, I might be able to decode. Especially good for those large-pupilled late nights and dream excursions. The packaging echoes that of the earlier Mesmer and Fault In The Nothing collections, and duplicates some of the information included with the original Disinformation releases. Once again, it reads like surrealists on ketamine. It seems right from the start that many of the remixers who contributed to this CD were taken by the weird glock-type melody included as part of the last track on the R + D CD, which itself was sourced form an unidentified HF broadcast. Ralf Wehowsky opens this set with a mostly sedate track which closes with disturbing banshee screams. Succint Bruce Gilbert contributes two brief tracks - the first an angry robohornet, trapped and circling in a narrow space. The second is a more granular excursion. Kapotte Muziek manipulate existing work(as they always do) in a surprisingly brief track which leapfrogs about but lurks mostly in the low. Big steel doors thunder, they don't rattle. People Like Us stagger two sides of the same thing in a rather pointless track and are followed by Chris & Cosey. Their contribution, 'Stargate' sounds like slowly unfurling slipstreams of a long-past event. They wind up then they wind down. Slow and soothing in the midst of all this. Prolific German Atom Heart is subtle too. John Duncan is not. And at last, my two favourites on Disc 1: LOSD provide a track which develops into a long stretched out conversation between two or three primordial subterraliens, which are often to be foundhiding somewhere in the music these guys produce. Last track on Disc 1 is by Mark Van Hoen...and it may even be the weirdest of the lot. Strange juxtapositions in Radio Land. Haunting, demanding, totally...Disc two kicks off with a decent dark deep drone provided by SETI, gradually being taken over by a more high end drone and likewise high peeps. Somebody who wishes to remain anonymous provides us with an applyentitled 'Untitled' piece in which the Sakahashi piece and truly ambient music beneath. There is kitschy touch to this, but it stays on the good side. A short spoken word piece is followed by Mr. Disinformation himself, followed by the 'soundcheck of Disobey performance' (is there an analogue thing to Merzbow's track on 'A Fault In The Nothing', also recordedat a soundcheck?). A noisy beast this one, and the question remains: how was the concert itself? Karkowski and Lyon got their kicks out of sampling kicks, a nice stereo spectrum opens up, but as more kicks and keyboards drop in, they are lost in their piece. Far too long this piece. Marc Behrens is doing his collage thing (whereas he could have been doing his techno thing too). Slowly building, by carefully placing each new sound on top of the other. Mark Poysden stretches the Disinformation sounds in his sampler and the random filter play their piece. Taking all the good tracks from both CD's would still deliver two CD's of music, as the weak are in minority on this set. [MP + FdW]

"Touch Sampler", como o nome indicia, é uma compilaçao de apresentaçao do catálogo da editora inglesa Touch (responsável por ediçoes de, entre outros, The Hafler Trio e Sandoz). Editora caracterizada pelas suas preferências experimentalistas, nao é propriamente uma surpresa o facto de nao estarmos perante uma vulgar compilaçao. Por um lado, a editora nao se limita a escolher uma meiadúzia de faixas de maior apelo comercial e, por outro lado, metade das faixas sao inéditas. Ainda a contribuir para a mais-valia deste trabalho encontram-se a continuidade sonora (nao há espaços em branco a separar os temas) e a excentricidade estética no seu todo, onde se pode destacar o esboço para "Blue Monday", dos New Order (em "Video5863"), o folclore xamanista do Polyphony Group of Lacerda (Albânia), o minuto e meio de conversa para atendedor de chamadas dos HaflerTrio, a pop ambiental de Daren Seymour (dos Seefeel) e Mark Van Hoen(dos Locust) ou a gravaçao de Igusti Ngurah Togog & Son, onde estes interpretam o som de ras com uma folha de palmeira (o genggong balinês). Ao todo, sao 75 minutos de ecletismo sonoro-musical, onde o factor surpresa está sempre presente. Epistemologicamente, antifonia tem dois significados: a) o canto antifonário de uma composiçaomusical por dois coros; b) qualquer efeito musical ou sonoro que responde ou ecoa a outro. O termo inclui o conceito de espaço e a relaçao pergunta-resposta. Neste duplo CD (126 minutos, carteira de plástico com postais ilustrados) editado pela Ash International (uma editora-irma da Touch), "Antiphony" surge como um conjunto de interpretaçoes e remisturas de gravaçoes psicoacústicas realizadas pelo projecto hertziano de Joe Banks, Disinformation. Dado o mote, refiram-se alguns dos nomes aqui envolvidos: Bruce Gilbert (Wire), Chris Carter e Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle), Mark Van Hoen (Locust), S.E.T.I., Zbigniew Karkowski (The Hafler Trio) e John Duncan, entre outros. Apesar da revista norte-americana Wired ter descrito este projecto como "música ambiental para verdadeiros homens" e da MTV lhe chamar "heavy metal para o século XXII", parece-me ser mais descritivo algo como frequências alternativas, ora em estado de frenética excitaçao ora em estado de revigorante repouso, ou modulaçoes de pressoes atmosféricas que exploram as fronteiras entre arte e ciência. Esoterismo sonoro, onde a instrumentaçao utilizada é tao importante quanto o próprio músico, na verdade, o que aqui se ouve deve ser preferencial mente encarado como "gravaçoes" do que propriamente como "peças musicais". O seu propósito é mais informativo que de entretenimento, onde o ruído, nos seus múltiplos significados, nao é encarado como um virus a eliminar mas antes como motivo sonoro exótico a explorar. Se "Antiphony" pode ser ouvido como um disco ambiental, entao o conceito de ambiente nao deve ser lido como um transmissor de informaçao passivo mas, ainda mais que activo, interactivo. [Miguel Santos]

Immerse (UK):

" With a glut of mediocre compilations on the market at the moment,it was with some caution that I approached this latest offering from Ash International. However, it soon became obvious that this was no hastily assembled genufection to market forces,but more a labour of love. From the gorgeously produced packaging to the slightly eclectic mixture of artists and soundmongers, such as Chris and Cosey, John Duncan, and RLW - to 'lesser knowns' like L.O.S.D. and Mark Poysden all interpreting the VLF recordings of the CD's compiler Joe Banks a.k.a. Disinformation, this compilation oozes style and quality. Many of the tracks sit seamlessly together, and no sign of any 'fillers' here. Surely one of the finest compilations of the last twelve months, this is certainly one to rush out and buy." [BN]

gman2 (web):

"Joe Banks (aka Disinformation) also uses extraordinary sources. He bypasses synthesizers and physical instrumentation for the statics and Low-Frequency transmissions of both the natural and synthetic worlds. Disinformation records afford a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on realms of sound which pass through our ears unheard. As a tribute to (and continuation of) Banks' work, many of our finest modern 'sonicists' present Antiphony (Ash International). Material from the three primary Disinformation recordings (Ghost Shells, R&D, and Stargate) is treated by such experimentalists as Mark Van Hoen (Locust), Chris and Cosey (ex-Throbbing Gristle), Andrew Lagowski (Europe's S.E.T.I./Legion), the prolific Uwe Schmidt (Atom Heart), European post-industrialists such as RLW, and famed concrete masters Kappote Muziek. Their interpretations are predictably varied, spanning Bruce Gilbert's abrasive roar of electricity unleashed, People Like Us' jigsaw-hewn static collage, the infinite trance-beyond-the-stars expected from Chris & Cosey, and Van Hoen's crackling, eerie slow-dance through "Radio Land." Most of the contributors use Disinformation's hisses and pops as a gateway to amorphous melody (S.E.T.I., Atom Heart, L.O.S.D., and Anonymous's fantastic boundless ethnoambient piece) or patient evolutions through (oft malignant) Industrial atmosphere (John Duncan & Guiliana Stefani, Zbigniew Karkowski & Erik Lyon, RLW, K.M., M. Behrens). Mark Poysden's "Breathsweep" stands out as an engulfing, star-throated exploration of the innerspace mapped by Paul Schtze, Main, Stars of the Lid, :zoviet*france:, ... and Nurse With Wound."

The Wire (UK):

"Several leftfield types conspire to remix and remodel the already bizarre atmospheric recordings of radionaut Joe Banks, aka Disinformation. As with most Ash compilations, you wish they'd set a five minute track limit and cut it down to one disc. interesting thing about the Disinformation recordings is that although they report fragmentary natural phenomena, it's hard not to hear them as music, and several contributors here exploit the music/noise dichotomy. Gilbert's "National Grid Part 2" is a harrowing combination of shrieking noise with groaning cosmic timbers. People Like Us loop crackling and popping sounds to tease out intricate rhythmic patterns, and then surprise by splicing in a pop music channel. Chris & Cosey add in beats to offer a vision of the radiosphere as oceanic drift. John Duncan and Giuliana Stefani see psychotic minimalism as a tool for radical mental transformation. Zbigniew Karkowski and Eric Lyon evoke Cold War paranoia, letting signals ricochet around a steel bunker." [Brian Duguid]

Magnet (USA):

"Joe Banks (aka Disinformation) also uses extraordinary sources. He bypasses synthesizers and physical instrumentation for the statics and low-frequency transmissions of both the natural and synthetic worlds. Disinformation records afford a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on realms of sound that pass through our ears unheard. As a tribute to (and continuation of) Banks' work, many of our finest modern 'sonicists' present Antiphony (Ash International). Material from the three primary Disinformation recordings (Ghost Shells, R&D and Stargate) is treated by such experimentalists as Mark Van Hoen (Locust), Chris & Cosey (ex-Throbbing Gristle), Andrew Lagowski (Europe's S.E.T.I./Legion), the prolific Uwe Schmidt (Atom Heart), European post-industrialists such as RLW and famed concréte master Kapotte Muziek. Their interpretations are predictably varied, spanning the abrasive roar of Bruce Gilbert's electricity unleashed, People Like Us' jigsaw-hewn static collage, the infinite trance-beyond-the-stars expected from Chris & Cosey and Van Hoen's crackling, eerie slow-dance through "Radio Land". Most of the contributors use Disinformation's hisses and pops as a gateway to amorphous melody or as evolutions through (often malignant) industrial atmosphere. Mark Poysden's "Breathsweep" stands out as an engulfing, star-throated exploration of the innerspace mapped by Paul Schütze, Main, Stars of the Lid, Zoviet France and Nurse With Wound."

i/e (USA):

"The third of Ash International's thematic double disc compilations presents another sonic panorama of striking enigmas, set between photographs and texts concerning the VLF receptions at the basis of the music of Disinformation. Indeed, it is Disinformation whose music here is interpreted by a wide array of experimenters, many of whom appear out of character. Setting the tone is RLW, of Selektion fame, providing a bleak canvas of low rumbles, pointilized with various tones and crackles. Not allowing a fall into the beautiful gray void, the collection introduces an antiphonal array of textural choirs: dark electroacousticians (RLW, Kapotte Muziek, M. Behrens, Mark Poysden), noisemakers (Bruce Gilbert, John Duncan & Giuliana Stefani, Disinformation), oscillator electronicians (Chris & Cosey, Atom Heart, LOSD, SETI), and electronic pulsationists (People Like Us, Mark Van Hoen, Zbigniew Karkowski & Eric Lyon). And yet this rather facile division gives little indication of the variety encountered along the two-hour journey, or of the density of data emitted and occasionally bulk-downloaded through the speakers during this symphonic ode to the mysterious information in the largest and smallest of particles." [Joshua Maremont]

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