ALVARS ORKESTER Interference (Ash 6.9)
This is a release of analog sound experiments from old Sweden circa 1987-2006 from electronic drone/noise masters Joachim Nordwall (ex-Kid Commando) and Jan Svensson. Alvars Orkester was formed in 1987 in Johannishus, a small village in the southeast of Sweden by a group of young boys interested in the mysteries of psychic sickness, mental institutions, the industrial music culture and the power of sound. During the first years, Alvars was very active within the independent cassette culture scene, releasing their stuff on small labels in Italy, Portugal, USA etc. AO was always very closely connected to the electronic noise and their self-run industrial label Börft Records, but their work soon drifted from the industrialism inspired by Test Dept, TG, SPK and Z'ev to an atmospheric, psychedelic and more ambient version of noise. In 1994, Nordwall left the label and Sweden (to return to the country forming the iDEAL Organisation) and Svensson continued by focusing on bent acid house and psychedelic dance stuff. For years, AO remained silent with a few short exceptions, but in April 2005, Nordwall and Svensson recorded the Interference album for Ash International. Colored by Svensson's increasing paranoia sickness and the tension between the two that has been there since their youth, they put down the mysteries of psychic broadcasting and manipulation on tape. Interference consists of analog drones, interspersed with hardcore electronics, hair-raising voices and spine-chilling ambience.
AUTODIGEST A Compressed History of Everything Ever Recorded, Vol. 2 ...Ubiquitous Eternal Live (Ash 6.1)
"Ubiquitous Eternal Live is the second chapter of Autodigest's A Compressed History of Everything Ever Recorded series. Volume 1, from 2003, proposed an aural illustration of current syndromes in digital compression which abandon fidelity, subtlety and complexity in favour of speed, efficiency and endless storage capabilities. Volume 2, now released, approaches the History of Recorded Sound under a considerably different perspective: it brings together all the audiences ever recorded and has them share one hour of hysterical, progressively apocalyptic applause. This is presented as less of an archive and more of a critical eye loaded with a few conceptual cards as foundations, from Debord to Baudrillard, from Harvey to Adorno. The aim of Autodigest's statements is to illustrate the collapse of music as we know it—codified, copied, digitized, burned, compressed, freely and readily available, all of this at a time when we can download music much faster than we can listen to it, all of this at a time when a soda drink offers one hundred million songs for free. Ultimately the song remains the same, but our relationship with it has changed beyond recognition and redemption. Just try to imagine what a concert would mean to an audience before sound could be recorded...yes, we've come a long way, baby—and maybe, just maybe, deserve to end up with those one hundred million songs in our pocket. The choice, it seems, is pretty much down to the cute colour, pattern or ringtone of the week."
DISINFORMATION/VARIOUS [see below] AL-JABR (Ash 4.3)
An album of reconstructions, featuring work by Evan Parker, Tactile, Jim O'Rourke, Simon Fisher Turner, Mechos, Lawrence Casserley, T:un[k] Systems.
"AL JABR is based on the albums R&D (Ash 2.9) and R&D2 (Ash 9.2), electromagnetic noise recordings by Disinformation. For those not familiar with the Disinformation brand name, this project consists of DJing, publishing and live performance with recordings of unusual electromagnetic (ie radio) noise. On AL-JABR itself, rather than creating antiphonal responses to the original source material, the contributors 'equate' the raw material with their own idiosyncratic input; Lawrence Casserley transforms the rhythmic intricacies of how long data noise into a symphony of crushed and shattered slates; Evan Parker's wailing saxophone complements the pulsating drones of the city's power distribution networks. The noise group Tactile take ultralongwave sub-bass radio noise generated by the TIG welders in sculpture/sound group Oubliette's metal workshop. Jim O'Rourke adds uniquely American humour and a rock 'n' roll analogue of National Grid. Simon Fisher Turner twists broadcast data noise into gorgeous rolling melodies. T:un[k] Systems pitches VLF band radio recordings of interference radiated by electrical storms against pristine lab pure sine waves. Mechos isolates individual lightning strikes and inserts them in a lattice of clicks and low frequency drones, whose deceptive simplicity belies the subtly disorienting effects of their unfolding, twisting rhythms."
LEIF ELGGREN/PER JONSSON/KENT TANKRED Ugn/Mat Ash 5.3)
"October 14 is also King's Day in Elgaland-Vargaland, and the opening of the Leif Elggren retrospective at Fragfabriken Stockholm. Three tracks: 'Ugn', '60 Seconds of Silence for Per Jonsson', 'Mat'. Ugn: In the oven the porridge cooking. Two actors worked furiously. Intense and violent. Everything painted orange. Glass porcelain smashed. Tools used. Sledge hammer spit club. 27 girls dressed in white. The porridge still cooking when the actors left. Bits and pieces. Stillness. 'Ugn' was recorded in December 1984 at EMS in Stockholm for a performance at Fylkingen Stockholm on January 12th, 1985. 'Ugn' was first released as a12" by Radium 226.5 in 1986. 'Mat': Repeated four times in one evening. On the border between sleep and waking. Ten actors with false beards in bed. Fed with potatoes during the acts. Eating sleeping pills. Drinking Whisky in the breaks. A fight against indolence. Movements rapidly changing between intensity and stillness. A dog dressed like a sheep. "Mat" was recorded during the Spring of 1989 at EMS for a performance at Moderna Dansteatern in Stockholm on May 19th 1989."
BERND FRIEDMANN Leisure Zones (Ash 2.5)
1996 release. "Bernd Friedmann reveals his true nature as an experimentalist, forsaking his more melodic work, for a 77 minute soundscape. Leisure Zones offers an alternative to the state many people find themselves in; as passive consumers of leisure. But the increasing inviability of this option due to environmental destruction will force us to modify this existence. The West is overloaded with used and unsold hardware; the very pile is threatening to topple over and crush us all. But the intimate world of auditory pleasure (including silence) presents an alternative to this miasma." Limited stock.
THE GHOST ORCHID An Introduction to EVP (Ash PARCCD1)
Originally issued in 1999, this is the third edition of this much sought-after CD, which has been unavailable since 2002. The Parapsychic Acoustic Research Cooperative [PARC], in association with Ash International, is proud to present the first-ever fully comprehensive investigation into the paranormal phenomenon of EVP, otherwise known as Electronic Voice Phenomenon. Without a doubt, EVP falls into the category of the paranormal alongside other unexplained mysteries such as Ufology, life after death and poltergeist activity. The listener is guided through a collection of strange and mysterious voices that have appeared without explanation onto the tapes of EVP researchers. Included with the CD is a 12-page booklet containing commissioned articles which cover the conflicting views surrounding the phenomena. Actual voice samples are reproduced here such as: polyglot voices, Public Service Broadcasting, interruptions across the airwaves, singing voices, instant response voices, and the extraordinary alien voices. The CD also includes a commentary by the artist Leif Elggren (in English), and recordings of the work of Raymond Cass, England's leading EVP researcher and an original member of the Fortean Group, as well as the Latvian EVP researcher, Dr. Konstanin Raudive. This CD release seeks to present the evidence; are the voices extraterrestrial, paranormal evidence of our telepathic powers, or an elaborate hoax perpetrated by sinister and powerful groups to mislead us from their true aims? Ghostly, disembodied voices crackle through the airwaves surrounded by a haze of electronic mist. This recording not only peaks the curiosity of paranormal-buffs, but will appeal to any fan of electroacoustic sound experimentation, spoken word, and short-wave radio random noise. For further information go to: http://parc.web.fmOCSID Opening Sweep (Ash 5.7)
"CM von Hauswolff, Edvard Graham Lewis and for the first time on the label, Jean-Louis Huhta combine for their second Ocsid CD, Opening Sweep. Opening Sweep was recorded at L-O-K, a club in Munich, Bavaria, on the 12th November 1999. Ocsid started performing before the audience arrived; and finished as the floors were being swept (2200 - 0330). Opening Sweep is the first 75.04 experienced by five dogs and a man. It took a year before Ash received the MD master, as they are all exceptionally busy people; Graham took part in the reformation of Wire and subsequent tour; CM exhibited and performed around the world; Jean-Louis started a family whilst continuing to record and play. They all live in Sweden. [Because of global warming, the bears in Stockholm Zoo can't hibernate, so their cages have to be refrigerated.]"
SANTA POD Santa Pod (Ash 4.9)
"Play loud—Do not mistake this compact disc for a musical product. 1999 marks the 50th year of drag racing, after the first official meeting was held in 1949 on the streets of Goleta in California. Then, the quarter of a mile course took 11 seconds with the vehicles travelling at over 150 mph. Now, they race at over 300 mph, taking just 4.5 seconds. The vehicles are completely purpose-built and represent the extreme fringe of non-commercially motivated technological research. Santa Pod Raceway was started in 1966 on the site of an old American airbase. It is the home of European drag racing and host to the FIA European drag racing championships. Drag racing is the fastest and loudest motorsport on Earth, with sensational race action from dragsters and door-slammers to beetles and bikes. See 0 --100mph in under 1 second and make your ribs rattle, your brain shake, and your ears roar! This CD captures all the thrills and spills of drag car racing - an activity at the cutting edge of technology. For fans and audio buffs alike, you can use this CD to recreate the awesome power in your own living room, or frighten the daylights out of the dancefloor by using this as a DJ tool."
S.E.T.I. Above Black (Ash 3.1)
"S.E.T.I. is Andrew Lagowski. This special 2nd edition with altered artwork is now available. This nebulous world of weird science and alien conspiracies is invoked by Lagowski's shadowy electronic music, which builds on the deep rumblings of Lustmord (he was once a member) and adds the kind of digital noise constructions explored by the post-industrial underground."
S.E.T.I. Pod (Ash 4.6)
"The third in Andrew Lagowski's alien trilogy which began with Knowledge (Ash 2.3) [Concept: Following recent revelations concerning the ease with which individuals can access high security data, Knowledge is particularly relevant in exposing the farcical levels of secrecy which surround any investigation or research into extra-terrestrial intelligence] and was followed by Above Black (Ash M31) - [Concept: The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence should be secondary to the search for those outlanders already present on our planet. The National Security Agency and World Defense departments, particularly in America, not only know of their existence but are aiding them with the supply of monitored abduction subjects and E.S.P. - capable Intuitive Communicators. These Grey Projects are hidden behind 'above top secret' Black Projects, where not even those orchestrating the Black Projects are aware of what is going on under their command. With the Earth's population increasing almost exponentially, a catastrophe is being prepared for, or is being prepared for us...] Pod is a metaphor for escape. An escape pod. On a superficial level, the human desire to escape the confines of this planet. In reality, the urgent need to leave ourselves behind and become new beings." The album is made entirely from space-related sounds and space images translated into sound. Cover by Jon Wozencroft.
Various [see below] Antitrade: An Ash International Compilation (Ash 4.1)
"Compilation celebrating sound (& the death of the Ash International organization and all allegiances/personnel so aligned) and anti-function with hhh, Leif Ellgren, Hazard, S.E.T.I., Disinformation, AER, and Bruce Gilbert, funded in part by now familiar 'sound-research' grants. Languid chiming exercises, harmonic series/partial/mind expansion, the distant buzz of ant colonies wasted via governor-disabled lawn-kemping bulk, ghost-voice cerebry/alien paranoia, all abound/around for that all-night/sleep-over exorcism & related day-after hangover. Clean." —Hrvatski
Various [see below] Chiky(u)u (Ash 3.6)
Originally released in 1997. "Part 1 of the three-part series (followed by Scatter and Decay) with electronic music from around the world. This part is from Japan and is based on sounds recorded of the planet Earth. -1, obtained by pressing play and then rewind when you insert the CD, is a heavily compressed recording of an earthquake; other tracks are of moving stones and other vital signs of earthlife." Artists: Hatohan, Utah Kawasaki, MSBR, AUBE, Koji Marutani, Akira Yamamichi, Toru Yamanaka, Tamaru, tak++.
Various [see below] freq_out (Ash 5.8)
With pieces by Finnbogi Pétursson, Franz Pommasl, BJ Nilsen, Jacob Kirkegaard, Mike Harding, Kent Tankred, J. G. Thirlwell, PerMagnus Lindborg, Jana Winderen, Hans Sydow, Brandon LaBelle, Petteri Nisunen/Tommi Grönlund, and an ensemble piece arranged by BJ Nilsen [Hazard]. "What: A sound installation consisting of 12 individual audio works which are presented as a single piece. Where: Any large self-contained space will work. The first event took place at Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark, in June 2003. Who: Encouraged by disturbances, Swedish artist and curator C M von Hausswolff assembled a collection of 13 artists representing the elite of international sound art. The group consists of sound artists, architects, composers, producers, sculptors, mathematicians and visual artists. The installation was part of a larger event taking place at the Royal Danish Theatre and Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. How: Each player is assigned a frequency range to work with. This process is carried out in situ, each player using a workstation consisting of mixing desk and PA system. All the resulting sounds are then mixed together in the space provided to create a sound installation. Why: The project reveals how space-specific certain frequencies can be, but also how other sounds can be separated from their source and 'thrown' around the space. It also shows how sound 'fits' (or not) into the space provided by exploring the complexities of frequencies and their inter-action. The final mix not only reveals the innate properties of the frequency ranges, but also the possibilities when they are combined. The result is a lively and accessible sound-filled space which can be approached either as a traditional installation, or as a theme park of sound—fun for all the family and serious students alike."
Various [see below] freq_out 2 (Ash 6.8)
Freq_out is a sound installation of twelve individual audio works which are presented as a single piece. Each artist is assigned a frequency range with which to work. This process is carried out in situ, each using a workstation consisting of a mixing desk and a PA system. All the resulting compositions are then amplified together in the space to create a sound installation or performance. The project reveals how space-specific certain frequencies can be, but also how other sounds can be separated from their source and "thrown" around the space. The final mix not only reveals the innate properties of the frequencies, but also the possibilities when they are combined.
The second freq_out CD after Ash 5.8 (2004) features the usual suspects; curated and conducted by Carl Michael von Hausswolff, freq_out 2 was recorded and performed for Ultima the Oslo Music Festival 2004, by: BJ Nilsen, J. G. Thirlwell, Jacob Kirkegaard, Jana Winderen, Maia Urstad, Kent Tankred, Finnbogi Pétursson, Per Magnus Lindborg, Brandon LaBelle, Franz Pommasl, Mike Harding and Tommi Grönlund & Petteri Nisunen. Much more "ambient" than the spiky, threatening sonic conflict of the first freq_out CD, this second piece is evocative of an utterly still landscape.
Various [see below] HISS (Ash 5.2)
"Compilation with Bernd Friedmann/Leif Elggren/S.E.T.I./Santa Pod/Daren Seymour & Mark Van Hoen/Hazard/ Disinformation vs Evan Parker/ Raymond Cass [EVP]/Lem Tuggle/I Saw It All Happen from Beginning to End and I Still Can't Believe What I Saw].
Various [see below] Krev X (Ash 6.6) 2-CD Set
Artists include Marcus Davidson, Sten Hanson, Andreas Karperyd, Thomas Liljenberg, Heitor Alvelos, Mika Vainio, Ulf Bilting, B J Nilsen, Egneken Montgomery, Ryoji Ikeda, Henrik Rylander, Mats Gustafsson, Bigert & Bergstrom & Richard Walton, John Duncan, Per Svensson, Johannes Heldén, Oren Ambarchi, Rozenhall, People Like Us, Thanasis Chondros and Alexandra Katsiani, Olga Nane, Chris Watson, James O'Rourke, DJ Guacamole, Johannes Bergmark, Lary 7, AER, Kent Tankred, Bruce Gilbert, Cecilia Heisser, Adam Hayward, Jean-Louis Huhta, Edvard G., Maja Foss Hagerup, Paul Williams, Steven Travis Pope, Ingrid Engaras, Fennesz, Pontifex Maximus.
"This release marks the tenth anniversary of the moment when, at 12 noon on 27th of May 1992, the State of Elgaland-Vargaland was proclaimed by Leif Elggren, founder of Elgaland, and CM von Hausswolff, founder of Vargaland."
Various [see below] Scatter (Ash 3.5)
Artists: Kevin Drumm, John Hudak, Earth, Jim O'Rourke, Daniel Menche. 1997 release.
"This is the second of a triptych, which was commenced by Chiky(u)u (The Japanese Compilation) and completed with Decay (The European Compilation)."