Sometimes the online world reveals unsuspected parallel dimensions. This is an unknown restyle of Neural independently (and secretly as we never knew about it) made by NY-based Motion and Graphic Designer, Clarke Blackham. Very nicely made, perhaps only a bit glossier for the magazine’s line, it testifies once more how even your most familiar outcomes can have another life somewhere else.
12″ – Staalplaat
Simply by looking against the light at the white vinyl, we are able to distinguish the three sound tracks, recordings that don’t present the regular separations usually found on “normal” record printings. Here the idea has been to leave the stylus jump between the grooves, placing the listener randomly into the “cuts” that have been prearranged ad-hoc. Each record player will probably play this record differently, generating alternative sound sequences and making alterations to the score through repeating the listening process. It is impossible not to think that among the sources of inspiration of this very conceptual and refined project there is not an even metaphorical reference to the unpredictable music of the Fifties, for instance John Cage and the Italian composer Bruno Maderna. Although both equipment choices and repeated listening both engender chance, the aleatoric elements are here moved from the performer to the listener. The record player is not to be considered as mere playback equipment and the listening process is not reduced to being a purely passive act. The same “authoriality” also somehow comes to be queried, although we are able to distinguish the several contributions to the Staalplat Soundsystem concept, and have glowing words for the contributions of Cynthia Zaven, Merzbow, Mika Vainio and Jaap Blonk, experimenters experienced working with different mass media devices and fashioning rigorous reworkings that circle around their releases and performances. The special collection of Staalplat records broadens and we are confident there will be a continuation of such trailblazing research.