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Spettro_Records on 12/19/2016 at 01:48PM

章4 : 真っ暗闇の人生 : Spettro Records' 3rd Compilation

Artwork by Akis Karanos

Spettro Records: a small place for experimental music. Celebrating 6 years with its third compilation!

It's been 6 years of Spettro Records. 6 years is a long time, if you want it to be. And at this moment in my life it feels as they've been forever, and I certainly won't be getting them back...

Spettro started more as an outlet for what me and friends were doing and recording ( Salomè Lego Playset, STUFA, Achievements, all of them dead projects... ), then grew into something different, a netlabel sui generis, mostly net / sometimes physical label ( of abysmal sales ), but anyway a home to us, and then to so many artists from everywhere in the world, so many I can't thank enough for trusting me and my instincts and who have allowed me to share their wonderful and unique music. It's still a home for me, for my own work ( SLP, which in the years has become more and more secondary), and of those artists which made up most of 2010's first compilation only few remain. So many have passed by, donated their work and passed on to different, probably better, labels. Some have quit music altogether. Some have moved to bigger things and achieved much deserved success, while some have freely and so generously donated a release even if Spettro was much below their label standards. I'm happy to think that Spettro has been The One, out of so many, that they chose, out of their free will, despite all the other, maybe better, choices around. Spettro can't offer much but a tiny and cozy home of uproaring silence, "a small place for experimental music" indeed.

So many artists are still joining, from everywhere in the world, and it's this fluctuating and stateless nature that makes Spettro so special to me and, hopefully, to you. It is an honor to host your music, and seeing younger people writing and joining Spettro gives me hope and pride.

This third installment offers the best that Spettro has and will have to offer in the years to come. Hopefully, other 3 years, and then another compilation will come, new people will join, and new pages will be written and leafed through. Perhaps at least. Fingers crossed. That's why the title, Chapter 4: Makkuraysmi no Jinsei : La stagione della Notte )", starts with "chapter 4", hence a compilation looking ahead, at another chapter. Then the "season of darkness", "la stagione della notte", 2016 and what remains of these last few years: very little, loss, hardship, confusion and despair, a night never ending, nothing but darkness ahead. Hope and despair.

This sampler is also in memory of Kelly Churko, incredible musician, unpredictable improviser, fierce alchemist of sound and composer of truth who passed away too soon. I'd also like to remember Ryo Tsuchiya of Senseless Records and of so many old and new school punk and rock'n'roll bands, whose path I briefly crossed back in 2008 and whose memory I will cherish.?

This album is for those who know Spettro, those who chose Spettro, and those who never heard of it, and maybe never will. This is for me as much as it is for you.

Ultra Bide' - "LED" (04:11)
Ultra Bide' - "LED" (04:11)
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andrewcsmith on 08/02/2010 at 02:00PM

the way the rocks hold the current (II)

Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

"Knob-twiddling" isn't quite the word for the force that Philip White puts on his handmade circuits when he starts a set. It's more of a lunge, with an aggressive twist of some knob (encased inside a tupperware container), which then feeds through a few more circuits, and eventually will come out of one of the fifteen speakers hanging over the audience. It alternates between stability—a constant drone, or short repeated pattern—and instability, where sounds continually and unpredictably change.

Philip White's piece, called "the way the rocks hold the current (II)," kicked off the month-long Floating Points festival at ISSUE Project Room, where each performer uses the hanging fifteen-channel speaker system. The piece had something in common with other types of repetition-based music, like Aphex Twin or Morton Feldman or the minuet, where each repetition is a bed on which other sounds might shift and also a short waypoint, building expectations of something that's about to change or stop entirely. These repetitions are a ground, like a time-based theme and variations, upon which White seems to collect his thoughts and spin other patterns until the original ones disappear. It's this barely contained polyphony that keeps the balance between sound and chaos.

White seems to borrow much from free improvisation (exemplified by his duo with Suzanne Thorpe as thenumber46) but there's something unpredictable about White's use of homemade electronics. Those who improvise on acoustic instruments have a certain connectivity and familiarity with their instruments where the instrument is often described as an extension of the performer's body. Yet, instead of a clear connection between the performer and the instrument, White's electronics pull the creation of the sound into another dimension, less connected to physicality. Given this, the sounds that begin his piece—alternately growls, screams, and static—wouldn't be out of place coming from a saxophone or maybe a bassoon. But the sounds are only part of it; this disconnection transforms him into a listener alongside us.

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