» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Ulrich Krieger
Walls of Sound II: Wallpatterns-Patternwalls
Sub Rosa

Rating: 6/10 ?

May 2, 2005
When thumbing through the issue of artistic reproduction, one's ear may catch word of such works being doomed to lack one particular element: a unique existence at the place where it happens to be. Taking a work out of context, does it alter or even render the work meaningless? This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the moments of its existence - it is a valid question.

Such wondering seems worthwhile, as Wallpatterns-Patternwalls, the second edition in Krieger's ongoing Walls of Sound series, reproduces classic compositions of Early American Minimalism. This music of modal patterns -which every now and again suffer minute changes or variation in structure - encouraged accentuated attention not upon melodic motifs, but upon the aural sculpture as a whole. This conceptual art characterized the American avant-garde environment; it was a prominent figure in the minds of young American composers who wished to branch out from the intellectual European 'New Music' aesthetics.

At that point, the minimalism of Steve Reich, Terry Riley and Philip Glass found its own position or node within a network of differences. Removed from this point, however, and taking lodgings here some forty years later, the work no longer seems as substantial. The caverns and secret passages that line the abbey's of minimalism have been all but plundered, sold off and been bred into numerous other forms, found in the works of Taylor Deupree's Stil, Richard Chartier's Set or Performance, or countless other works of micro-sound and modern composition. Happening upon "Wallpatterns-Patternwalls", then, bears resemblance to glancing upon an artifact in a museum: somewhat amusing, edifying, and yet followed by the sense of something foreign, something alien, something always kept an arms distance away.

Once experimental and even held as scandalous by some, these pieces now appear bare and unimpregnable. Indeed, unless one has something of a past fondness for this form, or is often with the nostalgia for an age one has not experienced, these compositions will seem tactless and unapproachable. Be that as it may, Kriegler, an established saxophone player in contemporary composed and free improvised music, does well to offer slight deviations upon these works. The six saxophones that mark Philip Glass' "Music In Fifths" maintain an incessant eighth note, employing circular breathing techniques. The piece eschews conventional narrative, content to be without beginning or end and just exist. At thirty-two minutes, Terry Riley's "Dorian Reeds" in many ways acts as this documents centerpiece. With more in the way of motion, the piece is a practice of delay, as layers upon layers of Krieger's sax surges as gush around each other. Other compositions, however, are canvases for intellectual concepts in sound. Steve Reich's "Pendulum Music", for instance, captures the experience of microphones swaying out of phase above loud speakers so as to elicit feedback tones.

Ulrich Krieger spawns efforts imbued with life, and has chosen selections which leave room for alteration and variety. Of note, "1+1" features two saxophones that play a single note at different tempos, crafting continual shifts and a sound which references African tribunal drumming. More than anything though, Wallpatterns-Patternwalls illustrates that the uniqueness of a work of art is inseparable from its being imbedded in the fabric of tradition.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer



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