Keiichiro Shibuya – filmachine phonics – CD – ATAK

Keiichiro Shibuya is a name I have only recently become acquainted with, and as curator and organiser of the Japan – based ATAK label, and as a sound worker in his own right, he is building a considerable reputation in Japan and around the world for his outstanding live performances, recordings and collaborations. ATAK as a label, has taken some of the aesthetic qualities, production values, and thematic interests initiated by Raster Noton. Every product is exquisitely packaged, and the design elements are spare and elegant, each release intelligent and considered.

For ATAK 10, “filmachine phonics”, Shibuya presents a series of abstract, abrasive sound pieces, formed from algorithmic software programmes, such as Logistic Map, and sndchanger. At once harsh and elemental, these works are models of non-linear dynamics, sounds that emulate the characteristics of chaotic systems; systems that hover between stability, and chaos, experiments that settle into equilibrium, and then spiral into disorder. Best appreciated under headphones, this is a three dimensional soundwork that shifts around the audible spectrum, locating itself not only within the stereo field, but also moving around vertically and even on the diagonal.

At just on 20 minutes, this is a brief, but incisive experimental piece, with highly detailed operating descriptions, and sleeve notes that read like a physics manual. The sound varies from abrasive, and constantly mutating figures, to tense, and agonising edifices that build and collapse.

I myself experimented with chaotic systems a couple of years ago, so I feel a deep affinity to this project. In an area of physics that is “difficult”, yet extremely fascinating, and wondrous, Shibuya has excelled with this initial attempt at bringing a chaotic system into some sort of workable operating framework, a fine example of “chaos sound”, the audible equivalent of a Lorenz attractor in motion. For those of you NOT well versed in the finer points of chaos theory, or cellular automata, do not panic – this is a great CD to sit under headphones and listen to..more for experience than explanation… A fine release, and worthy introduction to the work of a rapidly rising personality of the experimental scene, and director of a fine label indeed. Reach for your credit card, and buy a copy now. BGN


About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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