b°tong I EMERGE I If, Bwana I Gerald Fiebig: THING

With the first instalment of the THING series, attenuation circuit also celebrates the 10th anniversary of its very first vinyl release. In 2012, b°tong and EMERGE released their self-titled split LP on the label. In contrast to other split LPs, their pieces were composed specifically for this LP, with both artists sharing the same pool of sound materials to create their respective pieces. The 100 copies shared a common design created by visual artist Tine Klink, but as all sleeves were hand-painted, each copy had a recognisable, yet still unique cover. This concept earned the label a mention in recognised art director Stuart Tolley’s book “Collector’s Edition: Innovative Packaging and Graphics” (London: Thames & Hudson 2014).

In 2013, this album was followed up with another split LP by If,Bwana and Gerald Fiebig which followed the same musical and visual approach. Together, these two split albums formed attenuation circuit’s original Vinyl Series, which was soon replaced by individually conceived vinyl albums. To celebrate the anniversary of attenuation circuit’s first venture into vinyl territory, this THING collects all four sides of the two original LPs. To retain the “LP side” feel, the two pieces by If,Bwana have been transferred to the CD as only one track.

If, Bwana
Fie’s Big Organ / Recorders for Augsburg
original organ recording, Gerald Fiebig
recorders, Al Margolis
composed / assembled by Al Margolis
mixed and mastered by Tom Hamilton
ifbwana.com

Gerald Fiebig
Sustained Development
recorder (acoustic), Al Margolis
organ (acoustic), Gerald Fiebig
guitar (acoustic), Jesus Jackson
guitar (electric), Mathias Huber
organ (electric), Gerald Fiebig
recorder (electric), Gerald Fiebig
guitar (acoustic) processed by EMERGE
composed / assembled by Gerald Fiebig
Mathias Huber and Jesus Jackson appear courtesy of
Jesus Jackson und die grenzlandreiter.
The recorder (acoustic) and organ (acoustic) parts
are based on the same source recordings as track 1.

previously released on vinyl in 2013 

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Fiebig / EMERGE / Bonafini

Gerald Fiebig: Far-end Crosstalk (Augsburg – Jinan) – Field recordings from Jinan (China) by Nicolai Volland.

This triple-split album presents electroacoustic compositions by attenuation circuit label head EMERGE, long-time associate Gerald Fiebig, and – for the first time ever on a physical release – the Italian, Bremen-based composer and sound artist Mattia Bonafini. The final track is a trio improvisation EMERGE, Fiebig and Bonafini played at Hulsberg Crowd in Bremen in June 2019, a temporary art location in a former nurses‘ home which has since been demolished.

Although the three pieces were composed independently, they seem to share a certain aesthetic feel: Sonic atmospheres stained by constant hiss (EMERGE), vinyl surface noise (Bonafini), and car traffic (Fiebig) pervade the album. Out of this grey sleet of acoustic debris, the composers try to salvage moments of clarity in the form of concrete sounds, melodic fragments or drone chords.

EMERGE works with a variety of field recordings that every once in a while quite literally emerge from the monochrome fog of background hiss that seems to be visualised in the colours of the cover artwork. The ‚betamorphoses‘ of the title could refer to the moments in which the static drone hiss of the piece morphs into more distinct acoustic scenes. One could think of it as moments when the static hum of ‚capitalist realism‘ (Mark Fisher) that muffles the whole of our reality is replaced by the sounds of something different – ‚betamorphoses‘ perhaps being beta tests for a metamorphosis of society at large that needs to take place.

Fiebig’s ‚Far-end Crosstalk (Augsburg – Jinan)‘, based on field recordings from his homebase Augsburg and the soundscape of the Chinese city of Jinan (recorded by Nicolai Volland in 1995) spells out this need for change along ecological lines. The piece maps Murray R. Schafer’s idea of the urban ‚lo-fi soundscape‘ onto the problem of climate change: With increasing car traffic, cities around the world not only sound increasingly the same, they also face the same problems with air pollution. The Jinan sounds are modulated with a filter based on frequencies of the note C (for China), the Augsburg sounds are filtered around the note G (for Germany).

‚Turning Pages‘ of musical history, or rather turning music around to see its other side, is what Mattia Bonafini did for his piece: He recorded surface noise from vinyl records in the library of Bremen’s Hochschule für Künste where he studied electroacoustic music, and thus created the piece by manipulating this background noise of the officially documented history of music. Like the other pieces, ‚Turning Pages‘ is an act of musical upcycling in which apparently non-musical sounds are used to create an aesthetic structure and, through sound, make us think about the world.

The live cut from Hulsberg Crowd – the venue itself being a sort of creative, if temporary, repurposing of an urban ‚left-over‘ – continues this by using ’sub-musical‘ elements such as no-input mixer and vocal noises rather than speech or song. But the tension felt in the three previous pieces, the feel of a present wedged uneasily between an untenable past and an uncertain future, is exploded in the energetic interaction of the trio, into a ‚lightbulb moment‘ (Lester Bangs) of whatever the listener may perceive in it – utopian or dystopian?

Siteworks – sound installations 2009 – 2018

„Siteworks“ documents most of the installations and ‚constructed situations‘ Gerald Fiebig realised as a solo artist in gallery, museum, and public spaces between 2009 and 2018.

Joint free download release of attenuation circuit and gebrauchtemusik.

Includes PDF booklet with extensive info on the installations.

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„Siteworks“ dokumentiert die meisten der Installationen und „konstruierten Situationen“, die Gerald Fiebig als Solokünstler zwischen 2009 und 2018 in Galerien, Museen und im öffentlichen Raum realisiert hat.

Gemeinsame Veröffentlichung von attenuation circuit und gebrauchtemusik.

Inklusive PDF-Booklet mit Informationen zu den Installationen.

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
credits
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.