Jos Smolders & Yiorgis Sakellariou – Brombron 25: ab-a-b
Korm Plastics kp 3054
CD only – 200 copies, of which 100 for sale through Korm Plastics
Barcode: 753907984415 (not on package)
Korm Plastics is proud to present the twenty-fifth release in the Brombron series (missing numbers will follow later this year). Originally a co-production between Staalplaat and Extrapool, it is now hosted by co-curator Frans de Waard. In the year 2000 Frans de Waard and Extrapool started the Brombron project. Two or more musicians become artists in residence in Extrapool, an arts initiative in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with a fully equipped sound recording studio. These artists can work in a certain amount of time on a collaborative project; a project they always wished to do, but didn't have the time or the equipment to realize.
Jos Smolders is a composer from The Netherlands, who started out in the early 80s. He is trained as an architect, but quickly turned to composed electronic music and computers. His primary concerns are: what is sound, what does it do and what is a composition. Following cassette only releases on Midas Music and Korm Plastics, he started to release LPs and CDs on Quiet Artworks, Korm Plastics, Staalplaat and ERS. He is also a member of THU20, an ‘electro-acoustic collective’, which also includes Roel Meelkop, Peter Duimelinks, Jac van Bussel and Frans de Waard.
Yiorgis Sakellariou usually works under the name Mecha/orga, but here for the first time releases under his own name. Since 2000 he produces electronic music, using computers but more and more shifted towards the use of field recordings, which includes sounds of insects, birds but also mechanical sounds as refrigerators and trains. These he uses in his compositions. Sakellariou is a member of Athenian Contemporary Music Research Centre (founded by Xenakis), of the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers' Association and The Earth Organization from New York, besides running is own label Echo Music.
Here we have a 28 minute piece of delicate field recordings, recorded outside Nijmegen and Smolders’ home town Tilburg, melted together in a great flow. Followed by two reworkings, solo by each of the composers, of the same material.
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The next album is a very different beast altogether. Hybrid, half animal and half machine, half nature and half artifact. After a previous collaboration with Roel Meelkop in 2011, Yiorgis Sakellariou - who has a background in greek folk-music but has been using computers and fieldrecordings to create music as Mecha/Orga since 2003 - returns to the Netherlands, this time to collaborate with Meelkopís one time musical compatriot in THU20, Jos Smolders - one of the Netherlands favourite non-academic composer[s] of the academic scene according to Tokafi's Tobias Fischer, but born from the diy-tape culture of the mid 80s. Smolders and Sakellariou share a certain common footing in the 'field recording section'. In their respective ouvres both artists predominantly use modified (prepared) recordings, although overall there might be more differences in the respective artistís working method than correspondences. In the case of Sakellariou these are always self-made field-recordings; as for Smolders, the soundmatter which he works with as his basic material is much more diverse, also including recordings of concrete events or even pre-recorded materials (like cassettes). More importantly, Smolders work is very much composed or structurally designed, often quite theoretically underpined (even conceptual in nature) and can take on quite diverse forms and formats. Sakelloriou on his part appears to have mainly one aim with his music: to place the spectator/auditor in the midst of an overwhelming, dionysan experience; in this, his method and his esthetic is much more constant (as can also be inferred from the consequent habit of titling his releases by their lengths). So how to characterize this event of these specific entities impacting? The two working styles seem here to be more juxtaposed and at the same time more complementary than Hamilton/Anderzen. The resultant architecture is subject to many tensions, both internal and external. Perhaps the work itself is even constituted by these tensions; in this both the background in tape-collage and a closer vicinity to the compositional methods of musique concrete that Smolders brings in might manifest itself. For his part it might be surmised that the overwhelming intensity of Sakelloriu's esthetics has even enhanced the radicalness with which these tensions reveal themselves. Over the course of the three tracks (especially the near half hour of the first track) there appear - like beads on a rosary - nodes of pure tension in which the workís structure literally groans under the stress; likewise there occur moments of lapse or relapse, wherein what was apparently in the process of occuring or which appeared to have been created is abruptly cut off and turned around on itself. Also here the genetic building blocks of both artists involved have been swapped around in full, although the process through which this occurs in this instance appears to be more related to the effects of raw material torsion and friction rather than the effects of a psychedelic wedding. So just go and get both these releases, for keeping yourself and the Mind-Body in balance. (MP)