woensdag 23 januari 2013

Mixtape review #001 - Prologue Special - Claudio PRC & Svart1 - 111 (live and unreleased)

From now on I will be doing a series of Mixtape reviews every now and then. They will include the regular mixtapes by artists, but also livesets or special collaborations, that function as inspiration for my work as the Self. The reviews will mostly be positive, because I aim to shed some light on the more interesting and intriguing sets out there. On the one hand because I think they deserve the attention (some gems are highly underlistened to!), but also because I think some of these sets will actually provide the listener that dares to put some effort in listening with wonderful journeys that will bring joy to the soul. Come to think of it, maybe a review isn't the right word, because I will try to describe what is happening to me when I listen to these sets. Perhaps it's better to see it more as a poetic description of the affects these sounds have on me.

The Artists
First one up in this series is a live recording by Claudio PRC and Svart1 together on a Prologue label night in 2012. Both Italian artists have a knack for delivering richly textured landscape techno that is both unsettling and uplifting. Indeed, that is possible. I first heard Claudio PRC through a friend (Syst_M -a great Dutch dj and also the mastermind behind Death Metal Disco Club). The sounds by Claudio PRC immediately struck a chord with me and ever since then I have been closely following his releases. His album Inner State (released on Prologue) is a very fine piece of work that explores the deeper world of techno. In an interview on the blog Subsekt he talks about what music is to him. His answer should give you enough insight in his work to make sure to check him out: 

"Music is everything and nothing. Music is an abstract mystery which attracts infinite things like every kind of emotion, music is art, science and sacredness, it is a universal language that makes an individual unique, music is social relations, a reason for aggregation, it is a refuge, a way to escape from reality, music is sound that fills our innermost being, its power is so big as to make it invisible, and because of this, I like to think that music is all in the absolute nothingness."

Svart1, who just like Claudio PRC hails from the isle of Sardinia, is less of a techno producer and more of a soundscape artist. His work varies from ambient to industrial, always with a dark undertone. However, he is also able to create lighter pieces of work in different collaborations (like his work with Shattered Hand). On Svart1's website his art is described as follows: 

"His sounds, nordic-style typically, are the result of a microcosm of dark and gloomy sound characterized by minimal movements between low evolutionary where used in a thunderous, metallic roar, shadowy presences that materialize sound, like the experience and the feeling of alienation between dark presence floating around the ears of the unconscious passenger." 

Apart from music, Svart1 is also active as a visual artist, creating images that feel like a logical companion to his sounds. His album Satanische Helden is supposed to be out soon on Industrial Culture and proves to be something that's definitely worth looking out for.

The Mixtape
Below you will find both the liveset and my review. I am not sure what's the best approach in this, if you could better listen to the set first and then read the accompanied text, or vice versa. Either way, let these sounds envelop you and enjoy.

The opening of this set is quiet and almost organic, fluid. There's found sound footage carefully wrapped in a form suited for intent listening. You start to feel and realise that your hearing is changing in the process of listening. You stroll through a by man deserted place, where you can only hear the sound of poems being recited by grass and water. There's the sound of litte insects dreaming about Edgar Allan Poe like worlds, beetles waking up into a Kafkaesque fantasy.

Around ten minutes into the mix, faint middle eastern sounds mark a change in pace and direction. Things get more unsettling, unheimisch, as if you're now wandering around lost in an underground cave, with no light, no hope. There's a tinge of despair, but at the same time you don't wish to be anywhere else. Slowly you start focusssing on the never ceasing lower sounds, as if they are marks for your footsteps. The agony becomes enveloped in a sense of euphoria, with wicked grins of pure bliss. This cannot ever end, this must continue, especially when tribalistic percussion elements come setting in, causing a hypnotic state.

After about half an hour, shamanistic tribal influences slowly enter the void, albeit a rather industrialized form of shamanism, as if machines start dancing ancient rituals, forming an assemblage of oppossites in which they unite themselves and the listener.

The final quarter feels like an escape. You're crawling out of the dark cave and you see the dark starry sky, feeling the fresh nightwind on your face. A profound acknowledgement of your existence comes settling in your mind. Listening intently to those final sounds, you feel great to be alive...

Additional info:

Prologue Special - Claudio PRC & Svart1 - 111

Sixty minutes of unreleased material between heavy and smooth atmospheres framed with slow and obstinate Techno grooves. Originally performed during the Prologue Label Night in Cagliari (Sardinia), May 2012.

Released by: Prologue Music.
Release date: Oct 1, 2012.


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