New Releases on 23five

From the 23five label:

Helmut Schafer : Thought Provoking III
23five017, Compact Disc
release date: February 27, 2012

Richard Garet : Areal
23five016, Compact Disc
release date: February 27, 2012

23five is delighted to announce the release of our two latest publications — Areal from the intrepid New York intermedia artist Richard Garet, and a posthumous release from Helmut Schaefer, featuring Will Guthrie, Elisabeth Gmeiner, and Zbigniew Karkowski.

On AreaI, Garet continues his ongoing research with electromagnetic disturbances through radio. Garet treats the radio process of transmission and reception as a routing system for the audio signal, all the while deliberately agitating and distressing the nodes that direct the course of that signal. For example, an electrical motor might be situated near a radio’s antenna disrupting its ability to properly receive a transmission that Garet is broadcasting from nearby. Through the controlled use of electro-acoustic techniques (some rough and volatile, some refined and delicate), he organizes the signal distortion, the crackling static, and the ever-present tendencies for feedback into swarms of chiming resonance, electrically sourced harmonics, tactile bricolage, and impressionist din. As much as Garet’s process pushes the interaction of sound and electricity to the brink of self-immolation, Areal balances his crunched textures with extended passages of radiant blooms of blurry noise and drone, finding common ground between the glassine density from Rhys Chatham and the splintered excursions of Kevin Drumm.

Schäfer posited Thought Provoking as a radical shift from his brutalist electronic engineering to a spatialized, open-ended composition based on the muffled tones from an ad hoc instrument he built from salvaged church organ pipes and hair dryers. The first presentation of this work took place in his home town of Graz, Austria in 2003; the second was a collaboration with violinist Elisabeth Gmeiner in Vienna two years later; and the third & final performance occurred in 2006 with percussionist Will Guthrie and Gmiener at the St. Andre Church where he first presented it in Graz. After Schäfer’s death, Guthrie reconstituted the rehearsal takes from that performance for this recording of Thought Provoking III, attempting to re-imagine the controlled energy of those sessions with Schäfer’s aesthetic framework at the forefront. The bellowing hums from Schäfer’s organ pipe and hair dryer contraction ebb and flow amidst intermittent percussive flourishes, subtle gong overtones, sustained violin trills, and fizzling electronic mark-making. On the second track of this disc, long-time friend Zbigniew Karkowski presents a smoldering electro-acoustic remix of Thought Provoking III as a fitting tribute to Schäfer.