New Attenuation Circuit Releases

Source: Attenuation Circuit.

WIEMAN – Alive Futarist Minifesta
factory-pressed CD in Digifile, ltd.ed. 200 copies

In 1914 Luigi Russolo wrote his famous ‘Art Of Noise’ manifest. The 100th anniversary of ‘Futurism’ was celebrated all over the world but also in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Wieman was invited to perform their meltpot of futurist noise and since Tilburg is the hometown of their close friend Jos Smolders, and since he has switched to modular synthesis (and his synthesizer looks like a space ship control unit anyway), it was decided we would join forces for this project. In the usual fashion of home preparation and then spending a day to sort out the sequence of the tracks, Wieman and Smolders set to work, plundering freely from recordings of Russolo’s original ‘Intonarumori’ instruments, via the sixties soundtracks of sci-fi movies (Star Trek, 2001 A Space Odyssey), Vivenza’s machine recordings, industrial music and afro futurism, Wieman applied their usual meltpop techniques, while Smolders added his modular synth madness. It’s bursting with mechanical rhythms, spacey choirs, and machine noise as well as sampled spoken word. In accordance with true meltpop the guessing game (hmmm, where have I hear this before?) is yours.

Wieman is the project of Roel Meelkop & Frans de Waard; the logical runner-up to Goem, first called Zèbra, but in 2012 they changed their name to Wieman. They call their music meltpop and take conceptual approaches to create new music. They created new pieces out of the catalogue of Factory Records, worked with music that had the word ‘music’ in it, remixed music from the cassette label Limbabwe Tapes, provided music for a performance leading up to screening of ‘El Topo’ by Alejandro Jodorowsky (together with Ben Schot), worked with Wally van Middendorp (of Minny Pops), reworked Cybe (80s synth musician) for an LP, dissected classical notions in pop music and even mined their own Goem catalogue as the source of music for a new piece of music. They only work on commissioned music.

Jos Smolders is a composer and mastering engineer, who recorded for Korm Plastics, Quiet Artworks and Staalplaat, is a member of THU20 and WaSm (together with Frans de Waard) and whose motto is that “Getting into the headspace and understanding the perspective of the artist is essential”. His mastering clients include Merzbow, Pierre Henry and Scanner among many others.


white cassette in black jewel case, limited edition 50 copies

This modestly self-titled tape features the four protagonists in varying configurations and quite literally presents two different sides (namely, A and B) of drone music – the soothing, contemplative and harmonic side, and the brooding, dark, and vaguely spooky side.

Side A contains a live recording by Polish musicians Piotr Cisak and Pawel Oleksinski. Using not only electronic sound sources, but bass and guitar as well, they create an ever-flowing, becalmed kind of immersive ambient drone that will appeal to fans of Dronaement or Mirko Uhlig. It also goes to show that there is some truth to the clichéd claim that analogue sound sources sound ‘warmer’ than digital ones. The first track on the B side is a digital reworking (rather than remix) of the live recording by EMERGE, with additional sounds and final mix by Piotr Cisak. The treatments and subsonic tremor give the source material a harsher (‘colder’ if you will) sound and succeed in creating a totally different atmosphere. The second track on side B is a kind of synthesis of both approaches, with EMERGE reworking a studio track by Piotr Cisak & Freeze, but with Martyna Solecka’s voice adding something more of a ‘human touch’.


EIGENIDYLL – Kurmaßnahmen
CD-R in folded cardboard sleeve, limited edition 50 copies

Eigenidyll is a new collaborative project by two prolific experimental musicians from Germany: Tobias Schmitt aka Suspicion Breeds Confidence and Sascha Stadlmeier aka EMERGE. With both of them using processed guitars as their prime sound source (a guitar and bass in Stadlmeier’s case), it is a completely new departure that results in a beautifully contemplative ambient sound world.

Nothing here sounds like a guitar, but a certian gentleness applied to the electric instruments in order to create subtle, nuanced sounds instead of noisy overdrive seems to translate into the texture of the whole piece, recorded live in concert at INM Phonophon in Frankfurt in January 2016. Schmitt and Stadlmeier create a fine interplay between flowing textures and rhythmic loops, with a measured use of delay and echo effects plus the right amount of silence creating an impression of vastness, wideness, and openness, perhaps a calm nightscape interspersed with occasional flashes of light. As a result, the title “Kurmaßnahmen” fulfils the promise of both of its possible meanings: translated as “curative measures,” the album cures the electric guitar of the rockist clichés associated with it, translated as “methods of relaxation,” it provides exactly that: relaxation without dumbness.