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

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 » 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]

MUSIC

 » 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
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
MacÚ
Circulations
Sub Rosa Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


July 5, 2005
Circulations seems in awe of how a person or musical event, once groundless, begins to give itself a content or place of grounding; it is a work interested in the relationship aspect of experience and how - without reason or premeditation - one casts out into the world and brings back limitations, forms and values. French musician Pierre-Yves MacÚ forges such a path by proceeding with four largely impulsive movements for percussion, guitar, harp and clarinet and bringing them into interference with live processing.

Much like a genial conversation, there is interchange and blending, yet neither aspect loses its character; both traits manifest more clearly when meshed. Each composition sketches chapters that from conception to conflict, denouement to resolution, maintain a particular rhythmic movement; there is a degree of unity and distinction to each episode. Continued acceleration is breathless, preventing parts from achieving distinction; the self-identity of each chapter lends definiteness and interesting peculiarity. The first piece, for instance, opens with the infrequent rattle of a snare drum rushing out from a forest of silence. It is stained by a metallic tone, humming in the tree-tops at higher registers and sending the once boisterous drum pattern back into the mossy foliage of feedback and chirping tape hiss. As the movement reoccurs, the contrasting elements grow more defined in their relation to one another; the atmosphere suggests a vast metallic tundra filled out with dangling flute icicles, howling guitar winds and tiny melodic buds trying to bloom through the frost.

Truly, one may take appreciation in Circulations for more than merely its theoretical presence. The fluffy, single-stringed guitar motifs of the "2nd Movement" walk solemnly across a dewy grass of electronics while a fine dust of ambience is seen in a shaft of light, stirred by the hurried passing of croaking crickets. On the "3rd Movement" for harp, meanwhile, aspects almost fail to register altogether. Turn it up and the piece reveals itself to be a finely shifting mist of bell-like overtones and what sounds like the soft tooting of baby owls. As a piece of music, it's pleasant enough, but its power lies in its elusive structuring and how it subtly frames and colors successive events.

These descriptions aside, by and large the emotional element of Circulations is not representational; its arrangements do not refer back to the ordinary emotions of life - they exhibit concern purely for the shapes of forms, their relations and quantities and qualities. In this way, MacÚ strips music back to its most basic timbres before building it back up with driving oscillations of flamboyancy and motion. Through his intentions, these creations are silvery, brittle moments of sound.

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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