Machinefabriek + Stephen Vitiello – Box Music – CD – 12k

www.12k.com

 

An accidental meeting via e mail gave rise to this unlikely pairing in the spirit of exchange that was revitalised in the 1980’s with the advent of “cassette culture”. In the new millenium, this spirit of exchange has become the norm, with file exchanges taking place throughout the digital/experimental scene at a furious, indicriminate rate, birthing projects, collaborations and collusions the world over. However, this exchange system, although effective, has become somewhat jaded and cliched..and, well..a little too easy..step forward Stephen Vitiello and Machinfabriek who decided to take a more novel approach, harking back to the happenings and provocations of the 1960’s radical arts ensemble, FLUXUS, a gathering of disparate, inventive, and highly active folk who used the common, and everyday object as the central axis of their creativity, both audibly and visually.
Both artists here decided to send each other a box of objects, and challenged each other to create music with them. These largely un-musical components, rice, chocolate sprinkles, plastic bags, egg cutters, etc, make for a complex and challenging listen, and the interest of any serious auditor should be piqued right away.

The net result of all of this artsy posturing is a highly engaging listen, that combines digital atmospherics with often strange and otherworldly sonic manifestations brought about by the use and abuse of the gathered objects. Each piece has a title that is basically an inventory of the objects used, so get ready for “Bells, Book, Tin Foil, Buttons” , which is actually, strangely evocative and compelling, a beautiful and restrained piece of minimalism; we then have pieces like “Field Recordings, Rock, Speaker”, that pulse and crackle with rich, and sonorous ambience. I made my way quickly to “Chocolate Sprinkles, Tape, Egg Cutter, Rice, Plastic Bag”..a title that doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, yet is so technically brilliant, and edgy, that I find myself smiling at it’s ingenuity. I’m sure a host of similar projects will now be born, but Vitiello and Machinefabriek have come up with one of the finest recordings of food and kitchen implements this side of the 20th century. Creative, intriguing, and highly immersive..an absolute winner..BGN

 

 

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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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