CNV33 | 26.08.2006



01 . FHIEVEL seunalacrima

02 . TOMAS KORBER sin titulo


04 . SABINE VOGEL snowtide

05 . XABIER ERKIZIA arrate

06 . COEVAL atractor indeterminado e instantes p.ii

07 . ESTHER VENROOY dumping


09 . ERRATIC & LINA cosmic sound

10 . MARGARIDA GARCIA the way of the golden hand

11 . RAMESES III no water, no moon

ALL FILES (Download)


"Con-vpilation" is Conv's thirty-third virtual release since going online in February 2004, and it is a milestone in the netlabel’s history for several reasons. As the title implies, this is Conv’s first compilation album. In being a compilation, it features an impressive roster of eleven international artists, representing both genders, each of whom has enriched the contemporary world of electronic/electro-acoustic/experimental/avant-garde music in her/his own distinct way. Also interesting is the fact that none of artists have released anything previously on Conv. The tracks themselves are noteworthy in that they span an eclectic set of styles many of which fall within the boundaries defined by the current Conv discography and others that find Conv exploring some new territory. Finally, because of the album’s artistic diversity and broad scope, “Con-vpilation” has something to offer both the enthusiast and novice listener alike, and is a must listen for anyone who wants to be conversant about non-traditional contemporary music.


For a first listen, find a place free of distractions and absorb the diverse sounds of “Con-vpilation“, (and, then, of course, be sure to share it with someone else). Immerse yourself in the braying soundscape of Coeval (actually a one-man-project by j.c.blancas) blend field recordings and digital errors into in a noisy cacophony. Enjoy the playful, sensual sounds of Jan Robbe aka Erratic and his friend Lina as they recreate a lighthearted evening of improvision using guitars and an out-dated synthesizer. Prepare yourself for Esther Venrooy’s unsettling piece as she juxtaposes digitally manipulated sounds and sonorous electronics with the odd-intonations found in the voice of science fiction author and Scientology leader L. Ron Hubbard. For something that goes beyond sad, Luca Bergero, otherwise known as Fhievel, takes you into a brooding composition of sorrowful tones and gritty abstraction and, to borrow from some verse provided by the artist, is “More than past melancholies, like a portrait with no colour.” On the more minimal acoustic side, Margarida Garcia, widely recognized for her double bass work, delivers a jazzy, but restrained, acoustic guitar-based improvision. For an electro-acoustic flavoring, Sabine Vogel’s delivers a lowercase blend of flute, electronics, and manipulated sounds which give way to a chaotic frenzy of dissonant noise. For a slice of powerful ambient drone, Tomas Korber treats the listener to a composition of deeply resonating guitar-based feedback lightly layered with orbiting microtones and frayed bits of noise. Vitor Joaquim offers a unique and poignant selection that he describes in his own words as being “about intimacy, misunderstanding, loss, and the pain that comes out of it; it’s about time that doesn’t go back; points of no return, and the need of voiding me to stay and go forward, simultaneously. It’s about contradiction and for sure, a very existential feeling. If I can say it, it’s a very me.” For those seeking something dark and raucous, Xabier Erkizia puts forth several minutes of varying degrees of abrasiveness where digitally shredded sounds mix with coarse, low-end noise. And for something refreshingly different, Rameses III presents a beautiful track of avant-garde folk in which soothing acoustic sounds are complemented with organic environmental recordings.


liner notes by Larry Johnson / cover photo by Asher




Experimentalism has to be judged from the point of view of novelty. Did you ever hear this combination of sounds? Where do these strange harmonies come from? The enjoyable Experimental Music-label Con-v from Spain put up a great compilation of eleven artists that do not release at Con-v to get this point straight. Here’s my lab report.


Italian electronic music ‘engineer’ Luca Bergero a.k.a. Fthievel starts with his Emo-Drone ‘Seunalacrima’. Analog glitches, harmonic sinus-tones like a restrained feedback, some processed field-recordings. Guess he’s into Györgi Ligeti. Well-known Tomas Korber from Zurich comes afterwards and heads in a quite similar direction. It takes four minutes and 30 seconds of piling up smooth drones like interfering voltage and 70’s science-fiction bleeps to end them up with a violent hit on the cut out. Nice effect, but the rest didn’t hit me too hard.


Chicago giants: Adam Sonderberg & Sam Dellarias cooperation is the first highlight of this compilation. Sonderberg runs the beautiful Longbox-label, Dellaria is also very active in the north american improv-scene. Their track ‘Dead Pink’ comes up with closely monitored tom-drum recordings, very delicate sounding high-pitched overtones sampled or engendered I can’t say. Stunning. It is simple but it’s great, experimentalism und improvised sound-design at its best. A sudden slide to ‘chaotic frenzy of dissonant noise’ is provided by classical educated flutist Sabine Vogel (Potsdam, Germany). The composition ‘Snowtide’ explores the possibilities of playing piccolo and German flutes the other way ‘round, sort of. Interesting if you know how it’s done, and a really fresh approach at the border from Free Jazz to Avant-Garde sound-sculpturing. Harsh one. Xabier Erkizia from western Spain afterwards is a good dramaturgical choice. His lower chase glitches are nothing new but work out in the composition. Coeval (Juan Carlos Blancas & Jose Alberto Gaspar from Spain) from the Label Minus N show up with their dense field-recordings. The astonishing thing is, these guys manage to let their sounds float slowly into another, add some strange electronic communication glitches and make everything sound damn entertaining. An abstract radio play.


Esther Venrooy adds spooky spoken word-lyrics of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (of Scientology-fame) to swelling synth-sounds… maybe I didn’t get it, but I think it’s boring. Nothing new. Her Studies of saxophone in the Netherlands didn’t seem to have great impact on her current compositions. Well. Spanish electronic music-veteran Vitor Joaquim at position eight is far better. His ‘Void’ is made of highly repetitive sample-clusters, cut-up vocals and an interesting harmonic concept- interesting because the composition features a tight minor tuning. The second single release, in a matter of speaking. A very beautiful little piece of improvised music is ‘Cosmic Sound’ by Belgian couple Erratic & Lina. Guitars, Synthesizer, field-recordings, senseless talking. Playful and simpatico. Margarida Garcia improvises on her guitar. Not mine, I have to admit. Can’t recognize anything interesting about her ‘The Way of the Golden Hand’, please prove me wrong, anyone.


The Conv-pilation ends with UK trio Rameses III. Their song is a splendid piece of ambient Avant-Folk, thousand layers of guitar, reverberated singing, a simple unspent melody. Check their (commercial) album ‘Matanuska’ on Music Fellowship!


[ Sven Swift ]


Vital Weekly


On the same label, in a different format though, a compilation of artists which have releases on Con-V or will have soon, and it's pretty much a showcase of talent in the world of microsound. Some names we have come across before, such as Tomas Korber, Esther Venrooy, Vitor Joaquim, Sabine Vogel or Fhievel. Not super well-known, but each having at least an album under his or her arm. For some strange reason I expected this to be all silent and crackling noise like, but it's not. In fact not at all. For the seventy-some minutes are as a varied as you can expect from such compilations. There is somewhat louder vocal explorations of Joaquim, the improvisations of Erratic & Lina, the Ron L. Hubbard spoken word in Venrooy's piece, the onkyo of Margarida Garcia or the sheer silence of Fhievel - that too is of course present in a compilation like this. It all ends with a rather non-microsound piece of guitar music, almost in a western mood, with a nice slide to it. There are indeed many new artists to be discovered.


[ Frans de Waard ]