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Artist: A HANDFUL OF DUST
Title: Musica Humana
Format: CD
Label: Corpus Hermeticum
Country: New Zealand
Price: $16.00
"Corpus Hermeticum is Bruce (Xpressway, Dead C) Russells label. Handful of Dust is a free-noise group mainly made up of Russell and Alastair Galbraith (Peter Stapleton also appears on drums sometimes). Subtitled "Collected Works 1990-93", this is a compilation of all previously available material, including the now o/p Concord LP & "A Little Aesthetic Discourse" 7" on Twisted Village, plus various comp tracks. Also includes volume 2 of Bruces magazine of philosophy, music and culture-critique: Logopandocy: The Journal of Vain Erudition." - FE.
SOLD OUT

Artist: BRANDSDAL, KJETIL D.
Title: Freedom -- Waaoh Waaaoh
Format: CD
Label: Corpus Hermeticum
Country: New Zealand
Price: $17.00
"The name of Kjetil D. Brandsdal has been bandied about the world increasingly over the last couple of years. Of Norwegian origin, though resident for the last three years or so in Northern Ireland, Kjetil has carved quite a niche for himself as a sound artist. Exhibiting a sterling self-reliance, he emerged first via a slew of self-released cassettes (about ten in all), then followed these with two self-released LPs and a slew of singles on labels such as Boblador, MykeDroner, and Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers. The LPs were manufactured in editions of 300, and got snapped up pretty damn fast, but not before he sent one to H-Corp HQ in the far antipodes. The CD currently under consideration was the natural result, once the Hermetically-tuned ears of the corporation got a whiff of the lo-fi, droning, tape-looped improv. spew that Kjetil was purveying, it was a done deal. The Freedom CD compiles choice tracks from both LPs, KDB and Kjetil D. Brandsdal, but also features the full-length version of III, originally restricted to just one whole LP side, it now closes the CD at a full 35 minutes. The recorded pieces are devoid of drums, most rhythms coming from tape loops or guitar parts, and generally levitate the consciousness pretty effectively in a ceilingwards direction. Production appears to be on porta-studio in most cases, and headphone listening reveals some pretty cool mix-work in a style not a million miles from our own Omit, but retaining a unique Nordic grittiness in sound." - Corpus Hermeticum.

Artist: DORAMAAR
Title: Copula
Format: CD
Label: Corpus Hermeticum
Country: New Zealand
Price: $16.00
"Coalescing around the inspiration of Kim Pieters (Dadamah, Rain, Flies Inside The Sun), the line-up on this album includes Sara Stephenson, Adria Morgan and Andre Richardson. Favoring a revolving door policy with instruments, the group employ guitar, bass, synthesizer, organ, drums and voice to create sound-worlds that are at once enticing and threatening, like the paradigmatic songs of the sirens in Jacques Attalis Noise: The Political Economy of Music. Their approach is strictly free form; collective improvisation is emphasized at all times and the group have the uncanny cohesion and singleness of purpose which all truly great improvisational ensembles possess." - Corpus Hermeticum.

Artist: PHÉROMONE
Title: Disparlure
Format: CD
Label: Corpus Hermeticum
Country: New Zealand
Price: $17.00
"Disparlure is the first release by French trio Phéromone. Comprised of Pascal Battus, Eric Cordier and Jean-Luc Guionnet, the trio have been together for some three years performing improvised music using guitar, hurdy gurdy, electronics and various electro-acoustic devices involving sundry objects with contact mics. Cordier and Guionnet have played together since the mid-80s in various settings, most recently in Schams and Synapses and also as a duo (discs on Shambala and Selektion). Battus is a new collaborator for them, a guitar player with an extended technique, recently praised in the Wire by no less an authority than Keith Rowe as one of the younger guitarists worth watching out for. This disc consists of a continuous piece (indexed as two tracks) edited from home recordings of the group by long-time collaborators Eric La Casa and Pierre-Henri Thiebaut. Their favoured concert set up is to occupy three corners of the performance space and seat the audience in the middle. The analogy is with the functioning of the eponymous insect hormones, which transmit messages to other insects at a distance. The audible messages of the three musicians transmit signals from one player to the next, with the audience hearing the interaction of the signals in surround sound. This is particularly apt as the overall effect of the music on this disc is of a darkened environment full of animal calls, as unseen predators stalk small mechanical prey and flocks of metal birds perch in the tinfoil trees. Actual sound sources are impossible to identify with certainty as the various stringed and amplified instruments surge and recede in a dazzling display of alternating synchronicity and conflict. The variety of sounds, the virtuosity of the interplay and the obvious mix of both seriousness and humour in their approach mark Phéromone out as a trio to keep an eye on in the future." - Corpus Hermeticum.

Artist: PIETERS, KIM/BRUCE RUSSELL/PETER STAPLETON
Title: Last Glass
Format: CD
Label: Corpus Hermeticum
Country: New Zealand
Price: $16.00
Debut by an improvisational trio made up of Kim Pieters (bass, organ, synthesizer), Bruce Russell (guitar, perc., synth) & Peter Stapleton (drums, synth, guitar). "Pieters & Stapleton are known as the core of the now defunct Dadamah, as well as for new projects like Flies Inside The Sun & Rain. Last Glass is comprised of 6 instrumental improvisations which range from the near-ambient to the red faced and throttling, sometimes covering this range in a single piece. Obvious points of reference are AMM, Musica Elettronica Viva and the Silver Apples, but Pieters/Russell/Stapleton skirt these static reference points like downhill slalom skiers. All the pieces bar one are single takes, without overdubs, but the soundscapes are far from sparse as a result. Built around propulsive percussive rhythms, the other instruments provide plenty of the scrub and woosh youd expect from an outfit with this kind of pedigree. The CD comes in the trademark Hermescorp manila folder, which contains a 14 x 42 cm. folder of Kim Pieters artwork." - Corpus Hermeticum.

Artist: RST
Title: Warm Planes
Format: CD
Label: Corpus Hermeticum
Country: New Zealand
Price: $17.00
"Second full length offering from this talented Kiwi sound sculptor. Guaranteed to pin your head to the floor with calm, carefully abraded and composed blocks of unrelenting noise. Nothing here is accidental, every sound event has a purpose and the result is a festival of physically impacting soundworks in the now classic NZ style. Andrew Moon is RST, a solo sound exploration project he launched on the unsuspecting world via the lathe cut LP Event Horizon in 1994. This LP, like the nearly contemporaneous Surface of the Earth double LP, marked the real beginnings of something new in the NZ noise scene, until then pretty fully occupied by offshoots of the Dead C and their close relatives. Andrews past was as a drummer in various post punk NZ combos, but RST represented a considerable broadening of his sonic palette, using guitars, electronics and recording processes to weld slabs of sound into very slow moving and all-enveloping sonic environments. He subsequently featured on Hcorps genre defining compilation Le Jazz Non, banged out a few select lathe cut rarities and put out his first CD, R136a, on Thurston Moores Ecstatic Peace imprint. The key to RSTs development was a spell spent in London in the early 90s, getting to grips with non-linear music and improvised stratagems for sound making. Once sound was freed to be itself, there was no looking back for Mr Moon. He rapidly came to master the techniques of painting with sound, enabling himself to create sound worlds that hang suspended in the ear of the beholder, adrift from points of reference, where tones and isolated rhythm events turn slowly, casting light in interweaving circles around the inside of your brain. The pieces on this new album range from carefully wrought filigrees of sound sparkling in mid-air to slow moving bulldozers of low end noise that grind across the aural foreground, obliterating everything in their path. What links them together is the total dedication and attention to detail that accompanies their generation and recording, as with label compatriot K Group, no sound is just allowed to be there, every noise is sculpted and carefully placed for maximum aesthetic effect on the listener. Once more, confounding the armchair cynics who claim it is a dead cypher in a universe devoid of meaning, in RSTs hands the electric guitar is reclaimed and made to do new work, uplifting the spirit and splitting the mind open to reveal yet new interior universes of signification. RSTs Warm Planes are like thermal pools for the mind, from which the listener emerges revived and renewed. Dip in." - Corpus Hermeticum.
SOLD OUT

Artist: RUSSELL, BRUCE
Title: Painting The Passports Brown
Format: CD
Label: Corpus Hermeticum
Country: New Zealand
Price: $16.00
"This, the third solo album recorded by the artist currently known as Bruce Russell, consists of three live slabs of improvised guitar, electronics, and analogue tape loops, recorded live in Melbourne, Australia in May 1999. This was the first of two visits he made to Australia in that year, the second being in the company of Alastair Galbraith as A Handful of Dust. These recordings are totally solo, built respectively around a pre-recorded seven metre loop taken from the Anabase LP by Dust (Black Flies #1 & #2), and a slowed down and reversed tape of thumb piano improvisation (With Rimbaud in Abyssinia). These extended works are less brutal than the pieces featured on the first two solo albums, with more space and attendant dynamics in evidence. They abrade, rather than assault, the ears. This album represents a step forward in BRs solo work, integrating the pre-recorded and live sounds ever more fully into a seamless whole. The recordings have been edited at the front and back, but otherwise are presented totally live as recorded to minidisc by Melbourne resident and Freeway Sound label curator Marco Fusinato. The Rimbaud track is subtitled Ass Backwards as the reversal of the backing tape was an unintended but fortunate accident, resulting from a failure to rewind the tape after the first show. These kind of random factors do so much to enrich the work of improvisers of all stripes, as witnessed by the music on this compact disc. Going on at length about the artist responsible for these recordings would be needless in the case of the very great majority of those reading these words. Suffice to say he performs and records with the Dead C, A Handful of Dust, and Pieters/Russell/ Stapleton, manages the label on which this excellent disc has been released, and takes the kind of holiday snaps of bridges and buildings with which the cover is decorated. A 10" vinyl postscript to this recordings is being released about the same time on the Smalltown Supersound label in Norway, that record being of a much more dense and apocalyptic guitar-squall nature, recorded solo at one of the Melbourne Dust dates referred to earlier."

Artist: WEHOWSKY, RALF & BRUCE RUSSELL
Title: Sights
Format: CD
Label: Corpus Hermeticum
Country: New Zealand
Price: $17.00
"Take two collaborators, one a German sound artist noted for his painstaking micro-engineered computer compositions, the other a New Zealand noise terrorist with a reputation for making albums over his morning tea breaks. Put them in a basement studio in Karlsruhe for three days in February 2003, feed them on coffee and apple juice and let them out to walk in the woods once a day. What do you get? Sights, a dramatic collision of two very different but complementary approaches to the same problem -- what is this sound?. This is a postcard from Bruce Russells 2003 European holiday, consisting of three duo improvisations, one recorded after the fact by mail collaboration, and two recorded live in Ralfs studio. Russell and Wehowsky take turns in the studio playing guitar and manipulating a range of tone generating electronics, while the mail collaboration includes clavioline and teaspoons. The recordings have then been subjected to Ralf Wehowskys characteristically careful mixing, where stereo placement and subtle tweaking of the recorded sounds grants a bewitching crystalline sheen to every click and whine. Its the combination of instantaneous composition and carefully-planned post-production that imparts the mystery to this particular session. At once quite unlike Wehowskys recent work, yet imbued with the same ethos of care and judicious consideration which marks all his productions, Sights if anything represents a return to the more carefree jamming practiced by the earliest post-punk incarnations of his first band, PD. In this we see some influence from the slap-dash New Zealander, but whereas the average Russell production has an unmistakeable air of accident about the fact that anything wound up on tape at all, in this case the beautifully-managed production does perfect justice to the audible excitement captured at the point of creation. Theres a measured care to the way these sounds have been put together, but theres no slavish adherence to any tenets regarding how the results should sound. This is too rocking to be reductionist, too chance-driven to be minimalist, and too noisy to be lumped with any temporarily fashionable schools of micro-improvisation. What you get is the meeting of two well-made-up minds, which have spent upwards of two decades each deciding what the business of sound is all about, and then a long weekend putting the resulting experience into practice." - Corpus Hermeticum.
SOLD OUT

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