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studio11 on 02/06/2015 at 05:30PM

Glass Lux - The New Wave Chicago Italo Connection

Glass Lux At Studio 11

BY ALEX GROSS

Some of my fondest Studio 11 memories date back to the late nineties when studio manager Dan Scalpone and I would embark on our yearly trip to Cannes, France to attend Midem, the world music convention. Here we would meet with labels worldwide on behalf of Chicago musicians to sort out licensing and label deals. Notably, I remember meeting with the Donato brothers of Italy in respect to their Full Time music label and catalog. As innovators in the late wave of disco and early house music, they emphasized that there always stood a unique and deep connection with Chicago and Italo music. Kindly, they had gifted us their entire catalog on CD's notably all "The Very Best Of Full Time" volumes. While building the second recording studio at Studio 11 in Chicago we were limited to a CD Boombox on the construction site. Needless to say, the whole Full Time catalog became the music of choice and I recall hearing the classic "Spacer Woman" by Charlie over and over. Upon attending the early shows in Chicago by Studio 11 friends and musical sensation Glass Lux, I was blown away by their supercharged cover version of "Spacer Woman" and thrilled to hear the fabled Chicago Italo connection come back to life. 

The latest Glass Lux single "I'm A Machine" was mixed down at Studio 11 in late 2014 as a re-release of the bands original demo release. The song is an infectiously catchy ride through an electronic whirlwind. 

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Onyx_System on 01/15/2015 at 04:47PM

A Strange Brew: Reviewing Spinning Clocks - Spirits in the Juice

artwork by Alex Nova artwork by Alex Nova

Spirits in the Juice indeed. I don't know where the Clocks found the plums for this strange potion, but it left my head spinning after just the first sip!  

Listening to the opening piece of music, Circle Round lays out a rich carpet of organ drone as the bass pattern sets the table. Once the theme is established organs begin to layer and compete, darting and weaving soon they are braiding a gorgeous head of hair! A Big Bopper-styled maestro urges on the proceedings, and are those the sounds of swallows on the hunt as daylight grows scarce? Has the bass guitar's pattern changed at all or in fact has the listener changed within the act of listening?

Silver UFOs introduce some new tones, this time the bass gurgles, the keys ping and glide, and a violin maneuvers gracefully with, through, and around. I believe this tune might be in waltz timing. There is a moment where the tone shifts, a workmanlike mien taking the place of the carefree precedings; a dog barks as the the tumult grows, and just as quickly rainbows of violin part the clouds. Next a somewhat unexpected banjo joins the fray, picking a 'down-home' counterpoint to the violins as the song whirls through the brambles and on to its conclusion.  

The third piece, Lunar Dunes, takes us into the kind of den we've all found ourselves at one time or another. Dim lamplight casts mysterious shadows. Anonymous sorts recline on couches, others across rugs, the air thick with intermingling smokes, a couple engaged in a languid dance. It is hot. Electronics squiggle and bubble, organ and bass guitar keeping time as a theremin tone picks out the tune.     

And finally EP closer Around the Mountain finds the Clocks scaling the proverbial mount, the twilight haze of the previous 3 tracks giving way to definite night, shields and swords clattering, violins lamenting, all to the steady sturm of the bass guitar while the organ takes quill to scroll, narrating the adventure.  

While not quite 15 minutes in length, the Spinning Clocks are able to achieve some transporting effect across these 4 tracks. Given the opportunity of a full length recording I'd be curious to hear where they take us, and to what depths...   -Martin Standish  

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theradius on 10/07/2014 at 11:00AM

Radius PATCH 09: Narrative

PATCH is a series of curated playlists selected from the Radius episode archive. Each playlist is organized around a specific topic or theme that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. PATCH serves as a platform to illuminate the questions, concerns, and complexities of and within radio-based art practices.

PATCH 09: Narrative

Episode 14: Sara Pinheiro

Quem Conta Um Conto, II is a study in narrative, Pinheiro’s main subject of research. The individual sounds in the piece grow as characters, based on film theorist Chris Vogler’s twelve stages of the Hero’s Journey. Pinheiro juxtaposes sound spaces to join together disparate times and places; she ignores the physical impossibilities of their junction in order to potentiate the conflict that can emerge from their friction.


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theradius on 08/04/2014 at 07:49PM

Radius PATCH 08: History

PATCH is a series of curated playlists selected from the Radius episode archive. Each playlist is organized around a specific topic or theme that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. PATCH serves as a platform to illuminate the questions, concerns, and complexities of and within radio-based art practices.

PATCH 08: History

Episode 03: Andy Ortmann

The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was a mass murder and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing (Nanking), the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered and 20,000-80,000 women were raped by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. In anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the Massacre, Ortmann constructed a three hour piece of electronic music to in some minor way, reflect on and/or interpret the inhumanity and abominable brutality of which humans are capable.


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theradius on 06/03/2014 at 07:01PM

Radius PATCH 07: Distance

PATCH is a series of curated playlists selected from the Radius episode archive. Each playlist is organized around a specific topic or theme that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. PATCH serves as a platform to illuminate the questions, concerns, and complexities of and within radio-based art practices.

PATCH 07: Distance

Episode 20: Damon Loren Baker

Distant consists of white noise and sine waves that are beyond the range of most adults’ hearing. They are arranged carefully in chosen phase relationships amongst signals that are completely inaudible and have no apparent effect on the final sound. However, when broadcast using a radio transmitter (ideally a low power one, the lower fidelity and power the better) those phase relationships become mangled by the interaction of the broadcast with the environment it fills and activates. When the listener is too close to the signal, the subtleties between the phase relationships are lost. When too far, the subtleties become inaudible. However, when somewhere between near and far, the garbling of the transmission creates pulses and tones from the creative and destructive interference caused by the reflected signal and the collapse of the stereo image.


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