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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]

MUSIC

 » 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
Michael Schumacher
Stories
Quecksilber Music

Rating: 8/10 ?


April 15, 2005
This work, a slab of ephemeral glitches wed to elliptical melodies, is organized much as the Stories in a building: percolating dial tones and shy found sounds are lodged uniformly atop the cyclical repetition of minimalist piano motifs, acting as the frame which holds the purring drones and metallic scrapes together.

Rare is it that such micro-sound excursions are shaped into a coherent whole, however, the opening moments of "Still", the albums first piece, sets a stable foundation upon which to build. Airy slices of crackling dust permeate a dusky cloud of high-frequency noise, but do so in scheduled segments; each horde of pattering glitches invade in disciplined regiments, branching out like rust eroding a sheet of metal.

The effect is most amusing, as each brigade approaches the once formidable generator hum with stealth, only to lay siege upon its dense mass, clamorously cutting it up with its steady, controlled clicks and occasional onslaught of perturbed noise. As though giving up, the once enveloping drone drifts away into harmonic tones and, at long last, the ether of binary silence.

With the proceeding composition, "Two, Three and Four Part Inventions", Schumacher exhibits deft compositional abilities, setting scratchy percussion and wayward trumpet bleating amidst intermitting digital slashes and an out-of-tune piano that scuttles in and out with stuttered forward momentum. The squawking staccato runs foster an abstracted lyricism, which, when coupled with a moaning male voice, harkens back to the theater of the absurd.

Indeed, what at onset seemed rather rational mutates into something else altogether. Though the first piece suggests detailed, if predictability exercises in glitch electronica; the second half of the album is soused in spontaneity, silence, chance displacements and concepts of modern composition that reminds of Morton Feldman, Luc Ferrari or Toshimaru Nakamura.

On the aforementioned "Two, Three and Four Part Inventions", one can hear the horns metal, its various resonances, vibrations and the way it meets with one's breath. "Room Pieces New York", meanwhile, is a skirling tapestry made of sharp shards of noise; they continuously massage the throbbing thistles of pulsing sound. A seasick clatter of reverberating percussion and ominous oscillation propel the piece onward, 'til a tidal-wave of noise capsizes this ship, sending it into a gurgling wet wreck.

The density of Stories prompts repeated visits, however, it promises a certain pleasure with its meticulous attention to detail. Schumacher has an ability most rare in his merging of modern compositional techniques with digital processing. With Stories he crafts a structure that is to be admired at once for its design as well as the aesthetic pleasure that swiftly ensues upon engagement.

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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