Invisible Soundtracks: Macro 2 by Various Artists
Formats: CD (REEL 3CD)
Release Date: 9 March 1998
Following 1997's Invisible Soundtracks: Macro 1, The Leaf Label continues its acclaimed IS series with a second compilation.
Once again, the compilation features only exclusive tracks, specially commissioned for the project. The label invited artists from across a broad musical spectrum to contribute a piece of music that in some way evokes a cinematic image. The contributors, who include Patrick Pulsinger & Erdem Tunakan, DJ Spooky, To Rococo Rot, Si Begg, Laika, Fridge and Warren Defever from His Name Is Alive, have managed to conjure up tantalising images of distant realms: dark jungles, forgotten space wrecks and illicit sexual encounters. The soundtrack to the film of your dreams...
Where Macro 1 included mainly UK artists (including The Sons Of Silence, Gescom, Mark Clifford, Mark Van Hoen and Richard Thomas), Macro 2 has a decidedly international flavour - musicians from Austria, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the US all feature - with both new and established artists represented. See attached artist biographies for more details.
Three of these pieces (b.Low, Max Brennan and To Rococo Rot), are taken from Invisible Soundtracks Volume III, a limited edition 12" single (REEL 3). The 12" also features two tracks exclusive to vinyl: the debut release by Four Tet (new solo project from Kieran Hebden of Fridge), and a further track by Warren Defever's Control Panel.
POLYESTER ORKESTER (Henrik Johansson)
Johansson lives and records on a small Swedish island in the Baltic. He has previously had music released by the Californian Plug Research label as Smyglyssna. 'Aldrigpunkt' was originally recorded in 1995, and this is is a very minimal version of the original which sets the scene of our imagined film beautifully...
b.Low (Patrick Pulsinger & Erdem Tunakan)
Pulsinger and Tunakan should need no introduction as the brains behind Vienna's fabulous Cheap label, and b.Low ("Vienna's leading low profile band!!") was the first project they worked on together. A highly sought-after trio of b.Low releases surfaced between 1991 and 1994, in excruciatingly limited runs, with guests such as Gerhard Potuznik and Richard Dorfmeister. A b.Low album will be released on Cheap imminently. Pulsinger and Tunakan have collaborated many times, most famously as Sluts'n'Strings and 909. Pulsinger has already tried his hand at an imaginary soundtrack with his self-explanatory Porno album for Disko B, and the low down and dirty 'Stepping Through A Wooden Door' would have to be the love scene in this particular fictitious film...
A SMALL GOOD THING (Tom Fazzini, Andrew Hulme & Mark Sedgewick)
ASGT recently released their third full-length album on The Leaf Label. The trio record in a somewhat arcane manner, the music being assembled around the UK: Tom in Leeds, Mark in Hull and Andrew in London. They are no strangers to soundtrack music - all their recordings have a highly cinematic air - with several pieces to be used in the adaptation of Irvine Welsh's 'The Acid House'.
TO ROCOCO ROT (Ronald Lippok, Robert Lippok & Stefan Schneider)
The kings of understatement, TRR are based in Düsseldorf (Schneider, also of Kreidler) and Berlin (the Lippok brothers), and are signed to City Slang records. In a spooky real-world-meets-Invisible-Soundtracks moment, 'Die Dinge Des Lebens' will be used in a German film, entitled Nettropics (directed by Vladimir Mushevsky). [This track was subsequently included on the band's Amateur View LP]
æth is the first UK release by Seattle-based musician/writer/web designer Matthew Corwine. The track (which was recorded without the use of a sequencer) is reminiscent of Jon Hassell's Fourth World project from the early '80s, though Corwine claims never to have heard his music. He has previously released material as Lo Phat Hi Fi (on Oxygen and XLR8R Traks) and Barrington Hall (deep house on Electrik Soul).
Brennan, one of a growing number of musicians emerging from the Isle Of Wight, is one of the UK's most prolific producers. Best known for his work as Fretless AZM (on Holistic), he also records as Universal Being (also Holistic), Maxwell House (Peacefrog), O.H. Krlll (Beau Monde), and under his own name for Sublime, Phonocide and now Leaf! The track he has recorded for Invisible Soundtracks is quite different from his other projects. No-one else sounds quite like Max...
FRIDGE (Kieran Hebden, Sam Jeffers & Adem Ilhan)
Post-rocking Londoners Fridge were signed to the Underdog's Output label and have released three full albums and a singles compilation.
CONTROL PANEL (Warren Defever)
One of a myriad pseudonyms that sonic troublemaker Warren Defever of His Name Is Alive (4AD) has appeared under, Control Panel represents some of his first forays into electronica. Two tracks have already been released: Control Panel 01 was a limited cassette only release; '02' appeared on a limited run 12" last year; '03' is included on the 'Invisible Soundtracks Volume III' 12"; and the haunting '04' and '05' feature here. Defever lives and works in Livonia, just outside Detroit, Michigan. A Control Panel album should surface later this year.
One of the most prolific and unpredictable musicians in British electronic music, Si records as Cabbageboy for N Tone/Ninja Tune, Buckfunk 3000 for Language, and Bigfoot (Eukatech). Anyone who's heard the album releases on his own Noodles imprint will not find anything particularly unexpected in this track. In other words, it's very strange. Straight outta Zone 5 (er, that's a London tube reference for our international cousins).
PAUL D. MILLER
Probably better known as DJ Spooky, Big Apple-dweller Miller has also released a number of recordings under his real name on Asphodel. He is signed to Geffen in the US.
LAIKA (Margaret Fiedler & Guy Fixsen)
1997 was a good year for Laika - with the release of their second album Sounds Of The Satellites (Too Pure), they supported Radiohead on their last UK tour and signed with Sire in the States. 'Storms + Skeeters' is an instrumental piece for multi-tracked flute.
Kristian ploughs his own musical furrow in Vancouver, Canada. Acclaimed releases for Drop Beat were followed recently by an album for Alien8 Recordings, entitled Cricklewood, which was a tribute to the landmark '50s recordings of Louis and Bebe Barron, who scored 'Forbidden Planet'.
BARBED (Alex McKechnie & Alex Burrow)
Alex and Alex operate on the odder fringes of the London music scene. Having not only released CDs under their own name, they have been involved with multimedia presentations (The BBC's Dr Who CD ROM; Virus audio visual sculpture), film soundtracks (The Man Who Couldn't Feel, & Other Tales) and dance music (a collaboration with choreographer Liz Ranken at the ICA). They were also part of the original line-up of cult heroes Add N To X, and have collaborated with the plunderphonic likes of Negativland, People Like Us and The Tape Beatles. A recent release was entitled Vibrators - super-amplified and strangely moving recordings of, er, vibrators. 'Underwater' speaks for itself - it might pass you by on a casual listen, but reveals hidden depths when paid full attention.
Australian-born Eccles-Smith now lives in London, where he moved in 1997. In the past he has written and won awards for real film scores, including David Cox's celebrated Puppenhead animation. Currently working with Paul Sch?he also has a career as a remixer, with work ranging from The Sisters Of Mercy (!) to Peter André(!!). His first solo album, 'Clubbed 2 Death', featured vocals by the leading serial killers of our time.
1. Polyester Orkester - Aldrigpunkt
2. b.Low - Stepping Through A Wooden Door
3. A Small Good Thing - Coarse Bitch Cop
4. To Rococo Rot - Die Dinge Des Lebens
5. Matthew Corwine - Aeth
6. Max Brennan - From The Temple To The Nile
7. Fridge - Beaf
8. Control Panel - Control Panel 04
9. Control Panel - Control Panel 05
10. Si Begg - Sorry Officer
11. Paul D. Miller - He Who Leaves No Trace
12. Laika - Storms + Skeeters
13. David Kristian - Porch Song
14. Barbed - Underwater
15. Ian Eccles-Smith - Driftnet