Orientalism: „Ali’s Riot Men“

Orientalism was a conceptual collaboration project of Sustained Development (Gerald Fiebig) and EMERGE (Sascha Stadlmeier).

Field recordings from China
Processed by EMERGE
Stereotyped by Orientalism
Deconstructed by Sustained Development

cover image by Michael Herbst
released April 14, 2013

This side project of Sustained Development processes field recordings from the Far East (with some help from label mate EMERGE) to such an extent that they become hissing, granular sheets of sound resembling, for example, abstract Mille-Plateaux-style electronica rather than anything „concrete“. Reverb and time-stretching make the so-called „real“ sounds recorded during a trip through China into something very different, calm yet faintly ominous, far from the pseudo-documentary pose that is common in “field recordings” as a genre.

To quote Edward Said, who invented the term, “Orientalism is a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient” by creating stereotypical images of “the East.” This release by Orientalism (the title of the album and all tracks being anagrams of the word to hint at the ideological limitations of orientalist clichés) aims to subvert the stereotyping that is latent in a lot of field recordings of more or less “exotic” places because they tend to fix a limited sound image of what “the” Orient (or India, Kyoto, etc.) sounds like. In a certain way, the compositional treatment applied to the Chinese field recordings on this album insists on the right of every sound to become (abstract) music instead of just standing in as a tourist snapshot.

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