204 x 204mm, 50pp,
Featuring a critical text by the art historian, curator and Wyndham Lewis biographer Richard Humphreys, The Analysis of Beauty is a high-quality 204mm-square 48-page perfect-bound paperback, which documents the activities of the installation art and electronic music project Disinformation.
Described by The Metro newspaper as “the black-ops unit of the avant-garde”, and by the author Hari Kunzru as “the poet of noise”, from 1995 onwards Disinformation began work on a program of research which led to a series of highly-innovative and influential LPs and CDs, which focussed on exploring the creative potential of recordings of electromagnetic (often VLF radio) noise phenomena – interference from live mains electricity, electric storms, underground railway systems, industrial and IT hardware, and even the sun.
“The Analysis of Beauty” catalogue documents the evolution of Disinformation’s artistic strategies and content, also focussing on the title-exhibit (“The Analysis of Beauty” is named after the book by the artist William Hogarth), the “Spellbound” video (“An Allegorical Portrait of J Robert Oppenheimer”), “Theophany”, the “Rorschach Audio” side-project, “National Grid”, “Stargate” (solar radio noise recordings), and Disinformation’s equally influential work at the abandoned village of Imber on Salisbury Plain, and photographic and film documentation of the UK’s extraordinary air-defence Sound Mirrors. Jessica Lack wrote in The Guardian that “Disinformation combine scientific nous with poetic lyricism to create some of the most beautiful installations around”.
Frances Morgan and Mark Pilkington will be speaking at The Wire magazine’s Off The Page Festival on 24 February 2012, as part of a great lineup that includes Vicki Bennett, Gavin Bryars, Tony Herrington, Anne Hilde Neset, Evan Parker, Simon Reynolds, Aura Satz, Dave Tompkins, Jonny Trunk, Rob Young and many others.
‘Off The Page 2012 takes place 24–26 February 2012 at the Playhouse Theatre, Whitstable. £40 weekend pass/£12 Friday pass/£20 Saturday pass/£15 Sunday pass. Tickets available via Ticketweb.’
Mark Pilkington’s talk is:
From the Akashic Jukebox: Magic and Music in Britain, 1888-1978
Magic and music are as old as humanity, but organised witchcraft, a British cultural export whose influence has been felt all over the world, is younger than jazz. In this talk, illustrated with images, music and rare recordings, Mark Pilkington, writer and publisher of Strange Attractor Press, explores British occultism’s origins in the bohemian groves of late 19th century London, and charts its impact on popular music and some of its players, from the rock ‘n’ roll years through to the paradigm shift of punk. The emerging stories glow with transcendence, ripple with mystery, honk with absurdity and are all too often shadowed by tragedy.
While Frances Morgan is part of a panel discussing:
Critical Mass: Music Theory in the Information Age
The advent of the blogosphere, social networking and e-books have capsized the traditional dynamics of cultural criticism. Today, anyone who wants to disseminate information or express a judgment on music has free access to the technology that will allow them to share concepts and philosophies on a global scale. But has this new theory-babble expanded the discourse around contemporary sound and music or shut it down, democratised debate or created a climate defined by wooly thinking and subjective axe-grinding?
More details here
New, exotic electronic musics sourced from the recordings of electro-kosmische artist Xylitol:
Released, as with previous Xylitol releases, across a set of two 3″ mini cds, each painstakingly packaged in a unique custom multi-level sleeve with inserts, small bits of paper, photographs, etc to make for a very special, limited edition.
For a taste of unadulterated Xylitol, check out 2009’s ‘Ghost Office’:
27 minutes of lo-fi, high-voltage thrills!
‘A bit of a departure for the ADAADAT label, this collaborative project between sound art project Disinformation and the editor of the Strange Attractor journal, Mark Pilkington sounds akin to the kind of uncompromising experimental laptop noise you might find on a Mego release. The aesthetics of this music particularly bring to mind the likes of General Magic or Farmers Manual, being characterised by a granular distortion and severely destabilised use of stereo channels (the third, untitled track is pretty much all about the left speaker, for example). The music on this release doesn’t stem from any sophisticated homemade algorithms however, but rather the practice of setting up a strong electromagnetic field in close proximity to a toy electronic keyboard. This rather destructive practice yields fascinating results, with some beautifully mangled, involuntary circuit spasms. At times the results are outbreaks of unleashed digital noise, but more often than not there’s a surprisingly sophisticated and intriguing outcome that preserves evidence of the toy keyboard’s recognisable sonic characteristics. Excellent.’
A collaboration between UK underground music veterans David Knight (Shock Headed Peters, Lydia Lunch) and Stephen Thrower (Cyclobe, Coil) – both of the improvising avant-rock outfit Amal Gamal Ensemble – Temporal Bends transports the listener into the depths though, as its title hints, you’re never quite sure whether you’re drowning or dreaming, stretched or squeezed, coming down or going up. Vintage synthesisers, guitars, sax and clarinet drift, shimmer and swarm, bubbles and blinking lights luring you ever further, ever deeper…
Knight and Thrower bring a deep intuition to the performances, allowing treated guitar, saxophone and clarinet to blend with analogue synthesizers, mellotron and organ… Only occasionally does a locked snippet of sound repeat itself enough to suggest anything like an insistent beat: otherwise the tempo is kept low and slow.
Ken Hollings, The Wire
exactly the sort of music that I would expect to hear if I was rapidly losing consciousness in a pool of my own blood aboard a haunted submarine… This is an impressively ambitious, harrowing, and complex album.
Anthony D’Amico, Brainwashed.