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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
Jacob Kirkegaard
Eldfjall
Touch Music

Rating: 5.5/10 ?


June 6, 2005
Sound Art tends to reside in the womb of babbling brooks, birdsong and other such surreptitious sounds of nature's muddled majesty. Often born by way of government grants and acting as aural journals of a particular person's voyage, the ensuing compositions are more valued for their information content rather than as relics of passionate creation.

Along just such a path, Denmark-born Jacob Kirkegaard ventured with turntablist Philip Jeck to harvest musical sounds plunged in the yawning layers of the earth's crust. With accelometers, vibration sensor microphones and homemade electromagnetic receivers, Kirkegaard has since wandered about Kriuvik, Geysir and Myvatn - all quaint towns perched in Iceland - and mined geothermal vibrations from that island's soil.

From the murky, pensive rumble and bustling bubble of "Ala", however, Eldfjall is a poised, intimate affair. Rather than isolating distinct sounds and rearranging them at will, Kirkegaard treasures the order and particularity of these gurgling splashes, pops and shrill winds as though they were artifacts. For this reason, such works seem content not to be something on their own, but to disclose shapes, form and values that are each noises possibility. As opposed to here, there and everywhere, the sense is imparted that one is being carefully lowered in scheduled segments, delving deeper and deeper into an underground community of sound. The effect is such that one imagines one's self as spying on a way of life that has gone on for some time now, regardless of the transitory projects issued from those above.

With a sudden rush of brittle shards of noise stabbing at one's ears like so many sharp needles, one notes this work's tendency to go stark raving mad at any moment; "Coatlicue" is bathed in an almost post-industrial background of sparks and metallic crashes, alongside churning layers of lava which grumble underneath the intricately interwoven patterns like an antiquated seaside factory.

Meanwhile, layered deep in a bed of cathedral reverb, the dim, reedy intonations of "Kali" mimic the creak of black ice under tidal currents that roll onto a rocky beach; Kirkegaard divulges an abundance of sounds by capturing each moment at numerous angles. Be that as it may, having such a particular sound source as its origin also works to limit this effort's power.

Whereas the first half of the album offers minor deviations upon the compact, billowing drones, punctuated now and again by clipped, shaved and trimmed clicks, the process gradually grows redundant. While the level of detail is engrossing and pieces flow intriguingly, all too often the lengthy peaks and troughs remain static, venturing little. Granted, through such a single-minded approach, the precious brilliance of the object is revealed by the force of this assertion, but with it brings a sense of tragic dependence. As the work passes away, pieces appear engulfed in Kirkegaard's fascination with geothermal activity, which renders this a useful scientific document, but one devoid of musical distinctions.

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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