CNV17 | 03.06.2005



01. Okraina

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Veteran and well-known Washington DC based experimental artist Violet (Jeff Surak) presents on con-v this long track, his latest work; "okraina" is a nocturnal piece, a trip to the end of night.


" Okraina was constructed from field recordings made in December 2003 while on tour in Russia and Ukraine. Gas heated kitchen pipes, men sleeping in a train compartment, passing trains, light bulbs, soviet refrigerators, train toilets are the sources. The sounds where minimally mixed and processed, and the stranger sounds are more a result of strategic microphone placement and the lofi microcassette recorder than software".


[ Jeff Surak ]



With this release Violet (Jeff Surak) gives a sense of coherence to collection of arbitrary found sounds/field recordings recorded during a trip to Russia and the Ukraine relying only on the deliberate placement of the recording devices along with some nominal mixing and processing. The sounds of trains, toilets, clanging pipes, the snoring of sleeping men, noisy refrigerator motors, and the humming of electric light bulbs are among the sounds here that are rearranged, lightly processed, and given a new life. This single track seems to be partitioned into four segments: Segment 1 is a noisy drone-like cacophony of percussive clinks and clanks and the sounds of a flushed toilet (?) (0 - 3:45) ; Segment 2 is minimal and quiet with the sounds of snoring men the main source (3:46 - 6;:40) ; As Segment 2 fades, a dense, ominous drone arrives in Segment 3 (likened to the roaring sounds of on on-coming train) lightly textured with some unidentifiable sounds (6:41 - 14: 30) ; Segment 4 ends the composition with a collage of the unassuming sounds of snoring men, abstract percussive noises, and a thick, but gentle, drone (14:31 - 23:44).


[ Larry Johnson ]


Vital Weekly


Violet is one of Jeff Surak's monikers, Zeromoon label owner and part of glitch/dubby techno project normal music. He has recorded many noise/drone/improvised releases by now on various labels and this is his last placed on con-v label. It is 24 minute piece composed from source material recorded in Russia and Ukraine on his tour last summer. These field recordings from snoring, toilet flush, coughing, train drive and other various static noises and ambiences were than edited into peaceful, drone soundscape. Whole piece is more or less equal in its intensity. Sometimes glitchy parts interrupt the peaceful atmosphere, sometimes ambience dominates and sometimes snoring creates the body of the track. Excellent work, one of his best so far when field recordings are in question.


[ Toni Dimitrov ]