Televizijske smetnje u jantarnim fotografijama.
(Za ljubitelje Leylanda Kirbyja.)
Quite easily our favourite 12k release for some time - an incredible blend of field recordings, found sounds and Janek's signature manipulated transmissions, if you're a fan of The Caretaker - this is an absolute must. "The composition is his calmest yet, and is based around location recordings made in the middle of the night above the M3 motorway, right at the end of the road where JG Ballard lived, a couple of miles from Schaefer’s studio on the far west edge of London. Ballard wrote his seminal works on car culture, as the motorway was being built past the front of his house in 1973; Crash (1973), Concrete Island (1974). The 73 minute album weaves these location recordings around a series of spacious sonorities, that shimmer with analogue textures and liminal melodies that burnout in the passing headlights. The speeding traffic dopplertrails reveal fleeting passages of soporific sounds that entice you to recline, drift and fade away. An album to enjoy with your eyes closed, on repeat play until the dawn rush hour returns... Lay-by Lullaby was created in 2013 as a sculptural installation for Schaefer’s solo London show ’Collecting Connections’ at the Agency gallery. A pair of reclining traffic speaker cones play back the foundsoundscape from a car radio installed in a little leather travel case on infinite loop." - boomkat
It comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that Lay-By Lullaby is UK sound artist Janek Schaefer's first appearance on 12k, given how close in spirit their respective aesthetic sensibilities are. For listeners conversant with the sound art field, Schaefer is a well-known quantity who's been creating distinctive sound works and gallery installations during the past two decades; he's been recognized publicly with awards a number of times (in 2008, for example, he was deemed British Composer of the Year Award in Sonic Art), and he currently holds a research post at Oxford Brookes University in the Sonic Art Research Unit. An early example of his imaginative approach is seen in a work called Recorded Delivery that he created while studying architecture at the Royal College of Art and which presents the noises recorded by a sound-activated dictaphone as it made its way through the postal system. Recordings are but one area of focus for Schaefer, with site-specific installations, sound sculptures, exhibitions, and concert performances all part of the presentation mix.
Lay-by Lullaby first came into being as a 2013 sculptural installation in Schaefer's solo London show Collecting Connections that involved a pair of traffic speaker cones playing sound loops from a leather travel case-installed car radio. The project was preceded in 2010 by a related work of diametrically opposite character, the installation Asleep at the Wheel, which focused on the way individuals race through their lives, their feet to the floor and their thoughts distracted and muddled as a result. By contrast, Lay-by Lullaby slows the pace, so much so that the seventy-four-minute recording plays like a document of the inner experiences of a too-tired driver who's parked by the roadside to rest. As he drifts off, lulled by the doppler-like streaks of passing cars and trucks, song snippets and memory fragments rise up, with near-silent pauses between the impressions suggesting brief lapses into sleep. Often smothered in vinyl crackle and surface noise, synth swells, blurry voice samples, song fragments, and pretty piano, church organ, and harp melodies surface; ambient-drone and dub episodes form part of the oft-serene mix; traffic sounds act as an omnipresent ground for the mutating and markedly textural sound-field; and one section in the fourth part even sounds uncannily like woozy material by William Basinski. Twelve tracks are indexed, with all titles adhering to a similar format (“Radio 101 FM,” “Radio 102 FM,” and so on), but the recording registers more as a long-form compositional collage of pronouncedly episodic design.As an interesting side note, the location recordings featured in the work were collected by Schaefer above the M3 motorway on the far west edge of London, close to where JG Ballard lived. In fact, his well-known books Crash (1973) and Concrete Island (1974) were actually written as the motorway was being built past the front of his house. Schaefer's work is always marked by imagination and originality, qualities that are on full display in Lay-by Lullaby. Though it's a tad more ambient-styled in comparison to some of his works, it offers a fine entry-point to anyone not yet familiar with his world. - www.textura.org/
Flipping through London-based sound artist Janek Schaefer‘s output is like a roll call of the top-tier movers in modern sound design and experimentation. From Room40 and Apestaartje to Asphodelle, Line, Spekk and Fat Cat – among many others – Schaefer has graced the catalogs of tried and true institutions of audio, helping shape the ways we experience music. Now gracing the hallowed, largely CD-and-digital-centered 12k label with Lay-by Lullaby, Schaefer issues what will serve as a standout in a sprawling discography. As the label explains, the sounds are the result of various field recordings “made in the middle of the night above the M3 motorway, right at the end of the road where JG Ballard lived, a couple of miles from Schaefer’s studio on the far west edge of London.”
The three tracks made available as samples of the album perpetuate a dreamlike plane comprised of dotted yellow lines, gravel-ridden pull-over lanes, and occasional washes of headlamp illumination. As though you pulled over to soak in the scenery en route to no place in particular and in no hurry at all, Schaefer’s sounds carry the momentary beauty of highway trips and random sightseeing. It’s the perfect soundtrack to roadside meditations and listless, aimless meandering. Lay-by Lullaby is available now via 12k. - Bobby Power