10,00 €

Saite an Saite
[832]

Saite an Saite
guitar-based CD with long tracks of AIDAN BAKER, relapxych.o and M. SANDBLEISTIFT; lim. 300

Here's a three-way split, presented as 'a string based compilation.' Yup, the guitar is the centerpiece to these experimental smears and dronescapes, starring Aidan Baker, Licht-Ung label boss Milan Sandbleistift, and Relapxych.0 (an upcoming Swedish laptop trickster, or so we assume). Sandbleistift's gauzy drones hover above a thick amplifier hum, coupled with metal-on-metal scrapes, electrical interference directed into the pick-ups, and spidery textures that wiggle into the mix as he plucks away at the bridge of his guitar. Imagine Keith Rowe recording for Celebrate Psi Phenomenon. This is a pretty good track; but to be honest, it's Aidan Baker who steals the show on this album. Even with his esteemed catalogue of ethereal ambience and doomdronedirge excursions, "One Step Ahead, One Step Behind" is pretty exceptional. A desolate guitar melody repeats throughout the entire track, alluding to the doom of Nadja had he kicked on the distortion pedals. But without, there's a sadness which permeates the track, accompanied by ghostly flickers of complimentary drones, flanging bursts of static, and a slow-burning roar of distant distortion that eventually consumes the entire piece. So good! Relapxych.0 holds his own in creating a series of guitar-meets-the-laptop abstractions that looks to Fennesz and Tim Hecker for inspiration, and does a pretty good job in the way of an homage. Limited to a mere 300 copies; and it remains to be seen, if any more will be made available to us!
(aquarius records)

One of the strangest covers I've seen in a while. A nice booklet with full color photos of nocturnal landscapes, but no information whatsoever. Then I spot on the spine some information, for which I need my 1 euro reading glasses to see what it says. The title is 'Saite En Saite', it is released by Licht-ung and has music by Milan Sandbleistift, Aidan Baker and relapxych.0. Plus website from the artists. Each artist gets a fair amount of time to play music. 'A string based compilation' it says on the spine too. Aidan Baker's piece is the longest of the three and clearly based around a guitar and a loop device. In a strict minimalist vein he builds his track with sparse moments that, once in the chain of repetition, will move along. Somewhere a more dense solo guitar comes in feeding through the distortion pedal. Quite nice and highly atmospheric. relapxych.0 is not an entirely new name, but their (his? her?) piece on 'Diaspora' (see Vital Weekly 639) is too buried away. That was on a Neo Ouija compilation, this Licht-ung, a label we perhaps better know for some harsher music. However relapxych.0 aren't a typical Neo Ouija band, nor a typical Licht-ung band. His piece is a collage like affair of guitar sounds, that swell and rise, diminish and disappear again. Maybe a bit too haphazard this piece, or better, a bit too long for the amount of ideas it is carried by. A bit shorter would have been an improvement on this piece. The CD opens with Milan Sandbleistift, the label boss (a bit odd to open a compilation on your own label me thinks). He did a CDR before with Earzumba (see Vital Weekly 618) and recently I saw him play a solo live piece on a violin and effects for a group of bewildered punks. Also oddly enough, this is most experimental piece of the three. Lots of careful feedback is generated through the pick up of the violin and Sandbleistift creates a fairly dense piece of music with it, in which the strings only seem to play a minor role. However this is not the real noise onslaught, yet not quite either. It makes a good companion piece for the other two pieces, although I could imagine it to be second or third on the compilation.
(Frans de Waard)

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