TTW#51 – Phil Julian – Live Flux
Cassette only – limited edition of 150 copies
Buy in the TouchShop
A: Hope and Anchor, 19/04/2012
B: ICA, 14/07/2012
Recorded live in London (analogue modular synthesiser, computer, radio).
Illustration – Allon Kaye.
Phil Julian has been an active part of the experimental music underground since the late 1990’s recording numerous works under the name Cheapmachines and under his own name since 2008 in various collaborative and solo performances. Studio recordings and live performances within Europe and North America have focused on the use of analogue electronics (particularly unstable and/or chaotic systems – modular analogue synthesisers, feedback, contact microphones, objects and surfaces) and computer based works. Julian has collaborated on remixes, recordings and performances with Maurizio Bianchi, Tomas Korber, Michael Renkel, Ryan Jordan, Jason Kahn, Nihilist Assault Group, The New Blockaders and GX Jupitter-Larsen of The Haters as well as being a member of the improvised drone ensemble Signals with Mark Beazley and Chris Gowers.
Coruscating electro-acoustic drone works by underground stalwart Phil Julian aka Cheapmachines. Active in the UK since the late 90s with releases on a host of great labels including Entr'acte, Harbinger Sound and Staalplaat, Phil has collaborated with and remixed for Maurizio Bianchi, The New Blockaders, and GX Jupitter-Larsen. ‘Live Flux’ presents documentary evidence of two live actions deploying unstable or chaotic systems and computer based sounds, both recorded in London. The first, at Hope and Anchor, 19/04/2012, stealthily segues from keening metallic drone to phosphorescent microtones and more physical scrapes and sonorous shapes culminating with a controlled blast of dense noise. The second, recorded at the ICA, 14/07/12, is equally elemental, abstract, forging resonant, ductile tones into sheer, placid drones which dissipate to a cloud of mechanical disintegration with a deliberate, meticulous logic.
Aquarius Records (US):
Another list, another batch of tapes from UK label The Tapeworm! This one comes from a guy named Phil Julian, who despite apparently being quite active in the experimental music underground since the nineties, we had not previously heard of. But all it took was a few seconds of his Live Flux to convince us that that was definitely an egregious oversight on our part. Huge billowing clouds of low end rumble and buzzing metallic shimmer, all constructed from experiments with “unstable/chaotic systems”, aka modular synths, contact mics, feedback etc. It's impossible to tell what the source is for these sounds, but it hardly matters, just sit back and let these thick sonic swells wash over you. Undulating, and softly pulsing swirls seem to coalesce into heaving walls of sound only to immediately dissipate into drifting clouds of sonic particles, before beginning to gather once again. The sound eventually settles into something much more serene, a sort of Niblockian stretch of layered tones, backed with all manner of incidental sound, voices, shuffling feet, pieces of wood on concrete, hard to say if these were purposeful or not, but they do add mysterious texture, to Julian's dronemusic, which even in its more serene state, begins again to build to something dense and intense. The flipside is more of the same, but the recording is more raw, wreathed in hiss, the sounds pulsing madly as well, as if tones were chosen that were just off enough that their overtones would collide and disagree, the results though are a wild chaotic cloud of hissing, throbbing soft noise, that for all of its noisiness and abrasion, still manages to be weirdly hypnotic.