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

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 


If, Bwana / Sustained Development / elektrojudas / EMERGE: Crossgrained

The three solo tracks performed by If, Bwana on this live recording are based on sounds played on the bassoon, flute, and guitar and make a wonderful introduction to his work with layered, pitch-shifted acoustic instruments. This stuff is among the best you can get in contemporary drone music – rich in texture, sensuous, emotional, and still abstract enough to “clear the mind.” On another two tracks, If, Bwana is joined by his local support group at this July 2012 gig in Germany for an unlikely but happy marriage of his layered sound textures, 50 Hz hum, and lots of electroacoustic sound gadgetry.

Supporting If, Bwana at his concert in Augsburg, Germany on 4 July 2012, local artists Sustained Development aka Gerald Fiebig, elektrojudas, and EMERGE teamed up for a free improvised set using sampled bass guitars, miked-up wave drums and induction coils, monotrons, and smartphone apps, also documented on this 2 CD set. Another two tracks resulted from the trio joining If, Bwana for a demonstration of the possibilities of experimental music, which are endless provided they are approached in an open-minded way. In this case, two very distinct idioms – calm, contemplative drones and fidgety, highly interactive glitch/noise improvisation – fuse perfectly thanks to the alertness of the players.

Orientalism: Ali’s Riot Men

Field recordings from China, processed by EMERGE, stereotyped by Orientalism, deconstructed by Sustained Development. 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.

Fieldrecordings aus China, bearbeitet durch EMERGE, stereotypisiert durch Orientalism(us), dekonstruiert von Sustained Development. Dieses Album von Orientalism (dessen Titel alle Anagramme desselben Wortes sind, ein Verweis auf die ideologische Begrenztheit orientalistischer Klischees) hat sich der Subversion der Stereotype verschrieben, die oft in Fieldrecordings von mehr oder minder „exotischen“ Orten mitschwingen. Denn oft neigen sie dazu, ein begrenztes Klangbild davon zu zementieren, wie „der“ Orient (oder Indien, Kyoto usw. „an sich“) klingt. Die kompositorische Bearbeitung der China-Fieldrecordings auf diesem Album beharrt gewissermaßen auf dem Recht jedes Klangs, (abstrakte) Musik zu werden anstatt eines touristischen Schnappschusses.

Sustained Development: Organ Transplant

An organ improvisation played at Mecklenburgisches Orgelmuseum in Malchow, Germany, complete with ambient sounds from the museum in a former church, edited and overlaid several times to get those microtones swinging. / Eine Orgelimprovisation, eingespielt im Mecklenburgischen Orgelmuseum in Malchow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, mit Umgebungsgeräuschen von den Besuchern des Museums in einer ehemaligen Kirche, wurde geschnitten und mehrfach überlagert, um die Mikrotöne in Bewegung zu bringen.

Sustained Development / EMERGE: Hörbar in Farbe live

„Im Mittelteil geben sich die Herren Gerald Fiebig (SUSTAINED DEVELOPMENT) & Sascha Stadlmeier (EMERGE) die Ehre, die gemeinsam am 19.02.2011 ein Konzert in der Galerie am Graben in Augsburg performten, das unter dem Banner “Hoerbar in Farbe” lief. Unvorhersehbare Wolke von Experimenten, beschreibt das Ergebnis von SUSTAINED DEVELOPMENT & EMERGE trefflichst, dessen “chaotische” Strukturen aus Rhythmik & Atmosphären gleichermaßen bestehen. Bestimmt nicht im ersten Hördurchlauf komplett zu erfassen, aber für Kenner improvisierter Inhalte ein Muss!“
RaF, Kulturterrorismus

Sustained Development: Water

„He uses field recordings, found sounds of water, raw and pure in the opening piece, ‚Liquid‘. But in ‚Solid‘ and ‚Aerifom‘ he combines various sources and treatments, such as the recordings of snow and gas. Especially in ‚Aerifom‘ something interesting is created. Lots of sound effects and treatments make this into quite a melodic piece of music.“
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

Sustained Development: Sustained Development

„This must have been what life sounded like to Prometheus as that bird ate his liver out day after day … splendidly disturbing album“
Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic

„a little gem of compacted minimal droneism“
Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector

„ein erlebnis der besonderen art“, in die „spannenden & aufregenden drones einzutauchen, in denen ja mehr los ist als man anfangs denkt.“
Hartmut Geerken

Conceptual Drones

This text (in English) from the liner notes to the first Sustained Development album relates drone music to Seth Kim-Cohen’s ideas on sound as a form of conceptual art (from his book In the Blink of an Ear). Furthermore, drones are interpreted as a reaction against the permanent acceleration of contemporary society as diagnosed by Hartmut Rosa (in his book Beschleunigung).

Dieser Text (auf Englisch) aus den Linernotes zum ersten Album von Sustained Development bringt Dronemusik in Verbindung mit den Ideen von Seth Kim-Cohen über Sound als eine Form der Konzeptkunst (aus seinem Buch In the Blink of an Ear). Außerdem werden Drones hier als Reaktion auf die permanente Beschleunigung der zeitgenössischen Gesellschaft interpretiert, wie sie Hartmut Rosa (in seinem Buch Beschleunigung) diagnostiziert hat.