četvrtak, 13. rujna 2012.

Marcus Fischer - Collected Dust

Collected Dust

Svaki dan Fischer nešto snimi i stavi to na svoj blog Dust Breeding, onda drugi ljudi izaberu najbolje stvari, malo to još produciraju i eto ti albuma naslovljena Skupljena prašina: prašina zvukova, prašina svemira, prašina kože, prašina straha, prašina seksa - nešto što ne vidimo dok se ne skupi u pretjeranim količinama.
Zamislite da prašina muzike sipi kroz zlatno svjetlo rane jeseni dok u kasno popodne gledate kako ptice polako, polako, polako izumiru. Uzgajate prašinu.

I enjoy listening to a wide range of music, but it’s rare that I come across something that completely changes my understanding of how music can be made and listened to. One such occasion was the first time I heard Marcus Fischer’s album “Monocoastal”, back in 2010, so to say that I was looking forward to his new release for Tench would be somewhat of an understatement. “Collected Dust” brings together several pieces made by Fischer for his blog project, “Dust Breeding”, where every day for a year he posted something he had created that day. The album is far from a collection of quick sketches, however: after being selected by label owner M. Ostermeier, each piece was extensively worked on, and the results show all the careful attention to detail that characterises Fischer’s music.
Fischer makes use of a wide range of acoustic and electronic instruments, some of which he crafted himself, along with a variety of field recordings. What struck me most strongly when I first heard “Monocoastal”, however, was the way in which systems of chance are allowed to partly determine the distribution of sounds within a given piece. (‘System of chance’ sounds suspiciously like an oxymoron, but I intend it to mean chance occurring within a field constrained by certain rules or choices. For example, the roll of dice is constrained by the number of sides on each die, the mechanics governing how far they can roll, etc.) The result is that everything that is heard happens as a surprise – there is no listening on autopilot here. The listener becomes more aware than usual of his or her own act of listening, of how the listening mind still works to recognise patterns, establish series, and gauge depth and height and width. This is listening as a kind of making sense – not passive consumption, but an active, creative enjoyment, a form of play.
If this sounds a little too dry and intellectual, then it must be noted that intellectual activity can in no way be segregated from emotional response – to experience a feeling and to work through a problem are two aspects of the same movement. My own emotional response to Fischer’s music is perhaps related to the way in which the use of chance gives it a sense of precariousness and liminality, of balancing on the edge of existing – as if it could have easily happened otherwise, or not happened at all. This brings it into the same domain as the flash of remembered image and the snatch of dream. Fischer’s music is a sky for sudden, quiet fireworks: after the choice is made to light the touchpaper, there is the straining to see, the uncertain watching and waiting for chemicals to react. This combination of deliberate design and unpredictability, of attention to detail and openness to contingency, is beautiful because it is mimesis – it is like the experience of being alive.
To my ears the guitar and synth ambiences used in “Collected Dust” are thicker and warmer than those of “Monocoastal”, bringing it closer to the lush sounds of previous release “Arctic/Antarctic”. Though all is serene and restrained on the surface, all manner of clicks, chimes and scratches flicker and glimmer underneath. Rhythmic loops and fragments of melody rise to the top of the mix before slowly sinking down again, while the tight surges of “Wires on Carpet” – a field of midnight orchids blooming one after the other in rapid succession – may well be one of the most sublime sounds you’ll hear all year.  This album easily matches the standards set by its predecessors, and confirms Fischer’s reputation as one of the most innovative and thought-provoking artists on the experimental ambient scene. Another excellent release from Tench! - Nathan Thomas for Fluid Radio

To stay creative, one must create.  Such a statement seems obvious, but few people abide by it.  All too often, artists fail to work when they’re not inspired, ignoring the fact that inspiration is more often the product of inactivity than of inertia.  Write something every day, the experts say, even when you don’t feel like writing.  Marcus Fischer understands this lesson well, and has taken it to heart.  His Dust Breeding blog documents efforts to create one piece of art a day for an entire year: photographs, illustration, music, videos, even sewing.  After perusing it all, M. Ostermeier chose the best of the music for Collected Dust; Fisher re-worked Ostermeier’s picks, then lent the tracks to Taylor Deupree (with whom he last collaborated on last year’s languid In a Place of Such Graceful Shapes) for mastering.
Collected Dust is a fine name for the project, as dust is a slowly accumulating collection of particles whose origins can include anything from space debris to human skin.  Dust is intensely personal, although it bears an impersonal air; and it tends not to be noticed until there’s a lot of it in one place.  The tracks on Collected Dust even sound like dust: little particles of music, slowly descending through a sunbeam in the light of late afternoon.  Tiny additions – muffled conversation in “nearly there”, subdued static and the sound of what might be a film reel on “halfway to six” – add to the sense of suspension.  This may be music for drifting, but it’s not inactive; it simply takes place in very low gravity.  The album’s peculiar irony is it required a high level of activity to create.  It’s the sound of rest, stemming from a body in motion.  - Richard Allen

 Još od Fischera:


Marcus Fischer and The OO-Ray – Tessellations

Collaboration: the theory goes that two people working together can achieve much more than they could on their own, but often this turns out not to be the case, not entirely. The working methods of one collaborator imposes limits on the other, shutting down some potential avenues of development while leaving others open. At the same time, collaboration can free participants to explore new directions without worrying so much about how it may be compared to their previous solo efforts, diffused agency blunting the edges of self-consciousness, however slightly. And so the end result is no more or less substantial than work done alone, though always inevitably different.
“Tessellations” is a new collaborative release from Marcus Fischer and The OO-Ray, otherwise known as Ted Laderas. Somewhat sleepy and languid in feel, the album leaves impressions as strongly emotive and yet intangible as a dream. “Coldspring” has a moody, late-night atmosphere to it, the hush both warmly lulling and potentially sinister; “Bokeh” makes use of a plodding cello bassline to carry the listener on a walk through a resonant percussion-inflected memoryscape. Much of the dreaminess is due to Laderas’ sonorous cello, doused with a generous dose of reverb, waves rolling somewhere between surge and drift. Mostly absent is the sharpness of perception, the here-now-hear that characterised previous Fischer ventures and made me like them so much, but such an approach wouldn’t have fitted the collaboration well at all, and Fischer wisely sticks to lighter touches that embellish or merge with the cello washes rather than disrupt them.
The loops used by the artists were apparently allowed to run unsynchronised, creating patterns that weave in and out of each other, multiple layered temporalities that no doubt also contribute to the dreamlike effect. “Tessellations” is a record that is probably best enjoyed late at night, not because it is gloomy in its tone, but because it seems to mirror that state of drifting in and out of sleep, even as the loops drift in and out of time with each other. And by ‘record’, I mean the real deal – the album is released as a 12” vinyl LP limited to 250 copies, with a recycled cardboard sleeve and artwork by Fischer. I’m officially format agnostic, but with this release I can see the attraction of physically putting the record on, sometime in the wee hours, and watching it spin on the plate like the reel of an old 16mm projector, lights flickering. - Nathan Thomas for Fluid Radio

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