srijeda, 31. listopada 2012.

Gen Ken Montgomery - Drilling Holes in the Wall [+ Sons of God]

Topli oblaci zvukovne čudnosti. Anonimne mehaničke aktivnosti, ptice i bočice šampona pod tušem, bušenje rupa u zidu... Ken Montgomery/Gen Ken/Egnekn stvara rupe u našim ušima u kojima gradi kakofonijska gnijezda od perja sudopera i krzna Morseovih znakova poslanih u prazninu. Distorzija kao uspavanka za raster naše srednjovjekovne duše (dok mi frenetično trčimo između točaka uvećane jave).

Streaming  Birds + Machines, Live at WFMU on The Open Door with Richard 2/11/82,  Pondfloorsample    ovdje

Gen Ken Montgomery (USA, 1957) was a pioneer of independent noise/concrete music with the cassettes: Gen Ken & Equipment (1981), Kalckreuth Keks (1986), Beatmusik (1987), Stepping through Rooms (1987), The One Sided Triangle (1987), Drilling Holes in the Wall (1989 - Monochrome Vision, 2010), containing a 30-minute suite which represents one of his aesthetic peaks, Endogeny (Direction Music, 1990), OnomAtopiA meccCANIcA (1990), Mall Muzak (1992), The Beat of The Refrigerator (1994), etc.
Other recordings appear on Greatest Hits (De Fabriek, 1985), Beyond My Ken (Esplendor Geometrico, 1989), Keystone Model CC 16 (State of The Union, 1992), The Sound of Lamination (Firework Editions, 1999), Wake Up - Because Tomorrow Comes (1999), the 4 CDR set Droneskipclickloop (Generator Sound Art, 2001), Slice of Life (A.T.M.O.T.W., 2003).
The double-disc Pondfloorsample (XI, 2002) is a selection of his works, including the 31-minute environmental noise symphony Father Demo Swears (1989), possibly his masterpiece, a terror-inducing wall of noise for amplified violin, voice, street noise and (massive) feedback; a 52-minute live improvised performance of Droneskipclickloop (1998), and the 19-minute Aquarium Fishtank Symphony, also improvised.

The Sound of Hardware Shopping

Enjoy the experience of shopping at your favorite hardware store in the privacy of your own home. Close your eyes and imagine that you are strolling through Crest Hardware, home of the Crest Hardware Art Show in Brooklyn NY. Find tools you never knew you needed. Be greeted by Finlay the parrot. Find all your hardware needs, make a key and visit the Urban Garden Center and meet Franklin the pig. A sonic excursion into the joy of hardware shopping. Only authentic hardware sounds used. Smooth sonic finish throughout provided by The Ministry of Laminations's Dust-Free sandpaper.This CD is part of the Crest Hardware Art Show 2012.

Birds + Machines, Pogus-CD USA, Recordings 1980-1989

"What sounds or sources form the components of this music (everyday or extraordinary objects; musical instruments or electronic tools; his own voice or environmental recordings), what is important is the mind that processes them and welds them together into the independent entities that we call songs. These songs are explorations. Trips into an unknown. Everywhere he goes Ken Montgomery creates a buzz. He creates a sphere of sound around him that feels humane, sociable. A warm cloud of sonic strangeness. But a loud cloud, too, mind you." - Rene´ van Peer

My favorite story about Gen Ken Montgomery tells of a party he gave at which there was no loud music piping from stereo speakers and no live band. Instead, Montgomery simply turned on appliances and other noisemakers around his apartment, filling the fete with an ambient, uncanny din. It’s this sort of minimalist repurposing that is Montgomery’s best-known work today. It was featured prominently on the first half of 2002’s two-disc Pondfloorsample, only one in a steady succession of releases over the last decade by the largely overlooked New Yorker.
Montgomery’s readymade compositions are exercises in the complexity that can be birthed of simplicity, taking a straightforward concept and unspooling it into a miasma of otherwise unheard (or unnoticed) sound. Birds + Machines isn’t quite as austere as tracks like “Egnekn’s Fridge” and “Laminator Model 2291,” but it’s another look at hard-to-hear work by a composer who remains rather unrecognized even in this age of endless rediscovery and internet-facilitated obtainment.
Montgomery cites the inspiration for this album as a shampoo bottle falling in the shower. It’s not quite Newton’s apple, but the sound of the bottle being pelted by water sent Montgomery on a mission to re-investigate his work from the 1980s, resulting in Birds + Machines. The disc mixes live tracks with previously released selections, a mix of environmental sounds (be they outdoor or in-) with electronic augmentation the common thread. Chiming bells and singing birds are some of the only identifiable sound sources, though there’s plenty of anonymous mechanical activity to be found at the heart of many tracks. Rather than encouraging the listener to take more care in considering their surroundings, Birds + Machines finds Montgomery creating more mysterious settings. The aptly titled trio of “Subliminal Clutter” tracks are fluid and unpredictable, meditations of a kitchen sink variety that scatter fragmented rhythms amidst the grainy buzz and swirl of the electronics. Birds fly about a ghostly factory, morse code is sent into the void, and synthesizers squeal over noisy drones that seem to fold in upon themselves. Perhaps the least expected of Birds + Machines’ inclusions are “Shoot Me Down” and “Treat the Hell Out of It,” which lays Montgomery’s distorted voice over jagged rhythms with an aggressive swagger that’s more than a little reminiscent of Suicide’s preindustrial clamor.
Montgomery’s capable of captivating cacophony (see 1999’s “The Aquarium Fishtank Symphony”), but it’s the more focused and patient of this album’s work that tends to be its best. With Cage-ian attention, Montgomery has spent decades utilizing an ear for the music in the most mundane of moments. Birds + Machines opts for more involved rearrangements of these unexpected sound sources, making for some dynamic soundplay, but often obscuring the inventiveness that is Montgomery’s strongest asset. This dark disc offers a look into a heretofore underexposed corner of Ken Montgomery’s career, but the neophyte (and there are many) would be best served exploring elsewhere first. - Adam Strohm

Gen Ken & Equipment (no label, 1981) cassette/ CD-R

Gen Ken & Equipment
Let us commence our musical march -- focused this time on cassettes --- with the debut release of sound artist Ken Montgomery (aka Gen Ken, aka Egnekn). A testament to Montgomery's roots in Conrad Schnitzler--style electronics and minimal-synth-y new wave, 1981's Gen Ken & Equipment originally came out only on cassette, but was reissued on CD-R a number of years back. Incidentally, not too long after the release of this first cassette, Montgomery went on to collaborate with Schnitzler -- who, in case you don't know him, was an early member of Tangerine Dream and has since been the most consistently experimental and interesting practitioner of Berlin School electronics. For his part, Montgomery in later years has largely left Berlin-style electronics behind in favor of more conceptual sound art pieces. Longtime New Yorkers may also be interested to know that he was once the owner/operator of one of the city's best-ever record shops: Generator -- which lives on as a label, Web site, and concept. -


Drilling Holes in The Wall, Monochrome Vision-CD, Russia 2007

Archive materials from one of the most mysterious musicians in electronic underground, dating from 1988 to 1991. Each piece composed by Gen Ken Montgomery is the result of domestic alchemy, transforming some ugliest environmental sounds into artistic images of impressive beauty. His in- struments are just prepared toy synth, but also from time to time laminator, icebreaker, radiator, film projector and so on. These recordings were made in Conrad Schnizler studio in West Berlin, and also live on stage there, in time of Germany reunion.  

PondFloorSampleDuetsTwenty-Third Street
Elm,Elm,ElmFabio's Muffler
Gen Ken
Greatest Hits
Beyond My KenDrone Skip Click LoopEGNEKEN's Fridge8 Track Magic I8 Track Magic II
Ice BreakerLetter PressLifeless GuitarSounds of SilenceBlue Vinyl Project
Gen ConLaminator Unplugged


Drilling Holes in the Wall - the Sound Project 18th Issue 2010
Zeit Zum Horen 7/15/99 (German) - CD vs the 8 Track
Neural - Pond Floor Sample Review (Italian)
Signal to Noise - Pond Floor Sample Review (English)
Run That by Me Again - David Myers & Gen Ken Montgomery - Ear Magazine
Gen.R.8 - Time Out New York
Lamination Rituals - The Sound Projector #17
Music That Others Would Call Noise - The Sound Projector #10
The Sound of Lamination - Kring,Musik (Swedish)
Stairway t0 8 Track Heaven - New York Press 12/26/2000
Ken Montgomery, Camera Eye - Notes From the Underground 2/90
Montgomery Continues to Avoid Questions
Gen Ken Montgomery - Chop Shop Fragment 4
Generator Sound Art - Folk Music for the '90's
Generator - A New Sound Wave - The Rutgers Review 11/20/1990
Gen Ken Montgomery - Birds + Machines - SCALA TYMPANI (Italian)

Lamination Ritual As a Virtual Metaphor
Lamination Ritual celebrates the transformation of the mundane into the realms of OFFICIALDOM, of ordinary into extraordinary. Lamination is completely participatory and accessible to everyone. Lamination is versatile. It can be an object of utility or whimsical extravagance. It can warm the body and open the mind. Lamination preserves, brightens and protects indiscriminately. Lamination counters our increasingly fast paced world by virtually slowing down the entropy process. Lamination provides a way to preserve for years fragile and transient items which would otherwise be lost or discarded in a few days or even seconds. And finally, every lamination has its own unique sound. The Sound of Lamination is the sound of anticipation, of the great process of life.
 The Ministry of Lamination is just one of Ken Montgomery's projects, for information on others...

 Lamination Rituals
A Lamination Ritual is a people-participatory activity and sonic listening experience which stimulates the mind and body in-the-moment, while producing an original, tangible, transformed personal object which will last... almost forever.
A lamination station is set up with all the supplies needed. A form is designed specific to the event. Contact microphones attached to the laminator amplify the sound of lamination through loudspeakers facing the user.

The public is invited to engage their imagination to embellish, objectify and officialize the form by adding personal elements and permanently sealing them with the laminator. Enhanced by The Sound of Lamination, the process becomes ritualistic and the artist/laminator takes away a documentation/souvenir of this heightened moment. The Sound of Lamination creates a neurological memory to associate the ritual with the "officialized" document/souvenir.

Historical Perspective
Lamination Ritual is the current development initiated by a Make Life Not Art campaign propagated in 1989 by my studio-turned store/gallery/network/hub, Generator. Originally located in the East Village of New York City, Generator was an open call for intermedia experimentation, while continuing a personal preoccupation I had with sound/noise/music and listening experiences.

The evolution of Generator - from studio to record store to concert hall to exhibition space to archive to traveling show - often followed a logic akin to "stream of consciousness". By refusing to take the steps necessary to become commercially viable or to enter the arena of public funding, Generator was to remain completely flexible and as spontaneous and broke. Transformations, evolutions, openings and closings became an integral part of Generator as well as the offshoots down unknown and sometimes seemingly unrelated paths.

These "seemingly unrelated paths" are as unmistakenly mysterious as is the existence of "haphazard". One of these paths was the use of the laminator in my work/life.
I supported Generator by working in a photo lab where laminating services were also provided. Each day I took discarded photographs out of the trash, cut them up and laminated them. Originally it was a kind of therapy-against-boredom, but it evolved into an obsession and source of inspiration. I decided Generator should have a self-service lamination station for the public to experiment and play with. People often associate lamination with the common place, practical objects such as: identification cards, menus, driver's license, etc. etc. (most people carry a laminated card with them all the time). But when people have the chance to experiment with making their own laminations the results are inspiring. Somehow the do-it-yourself trends found in more technically advanced mediums bypassed laminating. So Generator became the cutting edge Lamination Headquarters in New York City. (among its other functions.)
At Generator I became increasingly more involved with organized sound and consequently lost interest in "music" oriented traditions such as "music" concerts and "music" instruments. In my own work I began using ordinary objects to create sound experiences, in total darkness or in very stimulating environments such as La La Lalandia 2077 events. I used a film projector (Keystone Model 16 CC), an ice crusher (ICE-O-MATIC) and a laminator. Meanwhile I discovered that laminating at Generator had a big impact on people. Among them were Canadian artists Gordon Monahan and Laura Kikauka who invited me to laminate in a Bauhütte Klangzeit 2000 event at Gargoyle Mechanique in 1990 (New York City).

After many years as a noiscian struggling to make the transition into the art/life process, I was delighted to be invited to laminate. Laminated objects from that event are still carried by people who attended it. This is a testament to the lasting impact of Lamination Rituals. For me it marked the beginning of a series of life process events, often with the laminator close at hand. I have found no end to the variety of objects that can be laminated and no end to the enthusiasm, interest, confusion and fun people have shown when they are confronted with re-thinking lamination. Among items laminated during Lamination Rituals in the past are: monkey hairs, keys, rubber bands, rice noodles, razor blades, bubble gum, pubic hair, sponge fragments, paper clips, leeks, foil. torn fabric, wok cooked chili peppers, hash, spit, sprouts, leaves, bubble-wrap, french fries, pancakes, web cam stills, wax, dust, rubber and vinyl.

Sons of God
noise and performance
Egnekn Montgomery
(New York)
Lamination Rituals
Joachim Nordwall
(Sweden, member of Skull Defekts)
*preceded by a panel discussion on KREV, moderated by Thomas Bey William Bailey,
(author of "Micro Bionic: Radical Electronic Music And Sound Art In The 21st Century")

Return appearance from these Swedish faves!  If you missed Sons of God last time they were in Philadelphia, or at the No Fun Festival, you may have heard bemused and be-wondered tales of their theatrical, ritualistic movements and scenes, set to bone-rattling noise.  And if you did catch them, you know just what kind of miraculous transformations to expect.   This time, Leif and Kent will be joined by two prominent citizens of the Royal Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland to present us the rites and rituals of their foreign land, founded by Leif Elggren and CM von Hausswolff in 1992.

"The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland [KREV] were proclaimed in 1992 and consist of all Border Territories: Geographical, Mental & Digital.

Elgaland-Vargaland is the largest – and most populous realm on Earth, incorporating all boundaries between other nations as well as Digital Territory and other states of existence. Every time you travel somewhere, and every time you enter another form, such as the dream state, you visit Elgaland-Vargaland."

Read the KREV constitution.

For this special diplomatic mission to Philadelphia, KREV founder and King Leif Elggren and Minister of Revelations Kent Tankred will perform a miracle as Sons of God.  Rumor has it they may also be joined by
Lary 7, KREV Minister of Audiology and pilot of KREVAIR.  They will also bring us some of the paraphernalia of their native land to show, possibly including applications for citizenship.  Prepare to doff your hats if the national anthem of KREV is played in one of its many versions.

Also appearing is KREV Minister of Lamination
Egnekn Montgomery, peforming lamination rituals (see below) in honor of his countrymen.
KREV citizen and Skull Defekts member Joachim Nordwall opens with a solo set of electronics.
*The evening will begin with a panel discussion on KREV,  hosted by author Thomas Bey William Bailey.  He tells us to expect
"an intimate discussion on the past, present, and future of Elgaland-Vargaland: how has the project influenced the individual artworks of its respective citizens, and vice versa?  Why is its unique criticism of prevailing power structures becoming more relevant in our 'post-everything' 21st century? What does one stand to gain by joining the Elgaland-Vargaland citizenry? All these questions, and more, will be answered by our panel of experts."


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