CNVR04 | 09.08.2005
DALE LLOYD / VV.AA.
format: CDR | packaging: discbox slider
duration: 60 minutes, 11 tracks
limited to 65 numbered copies
American composer & and/OAR curator Dale Lloyd was invited to have work released on label Con-v; but instead of a solo release, he chose to invite some friends to make it a collaboration release. The end result features eleven different collaborations, produced and arranged by Dale Lloyd.
In spite of the tracktitles' allusion to the periodic table, this release represents in no way an analytic science - rather a creative one, deeply infused with the alchemists spirit. Adding very little as far as sound sources go, the creative proces involves mainly processing & editing of the source sounds delivered by a range of collaborators. The result, albeit an amalgam of distinctive sonic perspectives, is an aural entity of a wholly integral kind: a set of sonified objects of a meta-organic nature, cohering as a parallel but antithetical universe to that of the analytical & materialistic mind-set of the standard table of the elements.
Artists featured: Robert Horton , Nathan McNinch , Omnid , Ben Owen , Josh Russell , Stuart Dodman , Ubeboet , Scott Taylor , Heribert Friedl , K.M. Krebs , and Jon Tulchin .
liner notes by Mark Pauwen and Dale Lloyd
Dale Lloyd, composer, phonographer and owner of the and/OAR label, was invited to have work released on the Conv label. Thus, Amalgam was created; a collection of collaborations between Dale Lloyd and many of his talented friends and acquaintances.
The contributed material is diverse, including sitar (played by Robert Arthur Horton), wind chimes, found objects, electronics, turntables (Jon Tulchin), and even dry ice (Josh Russell). Lloyd, as with his other works, uses effects and various processing techniques highly creatively, so it's quite often difficult to tell where the sounds have originated from. Luckily, the credits contain the names of the artists along with what they contributed, and this sheds some light on the background and illustrates the creative effort that has gone into Amalgam.
Due to the vast amount of contributed material and Lloyd's prolific input, Amalgam feels somewhat monumental. There are 11 tracks, each with their own character, yet there are overarching consistent aesthetic themes, pursued but perhaps not enforced by Lloyd's processing and editing. The emotive range of the tracks is also broad, from the sinister 412.1920 (produced with Sijis label co-owner, Scott Taylor), which uses very low frequency bass and tactile percussive elements (perhaps harking back to Lloyd's days as a drummer), to the more melancholic 412.21 (produced with Ubeboet, another Conv contributor.)
Collaborating with artists who work with both lowercase sound and more academic approaches adds to the feeling that Lloyd has taken the role of an alchemist on this release. This is particularly evident as he's credited for "processing and effects" on all tracks; he seamlessly blends contributed material with his own field recordings and instrumentation in an ultimately engaging, yet subtle manner. Indeed, to appreciate the intricate detail in most of these pieces you have to listen at relatively high volumes, and the tactile affects of the sounds are only then noticeable when headphones are used. This is not a critique however, as it makes Amalgam feel like a more personal and immersive experience than a mere set of experiments.
David Lloyd's ability to combine stark and heterogeneous elements to produce something unique and engaging is strikingly apparent in Amalgam. The artists featured are luminaries in the lowercase and phonographic fields, making this a unique and highly recommended collection.
[ Alex Young ]
Canadian team Nathan and Darcy McNinch play on glass objects accompanying Seattle-based composer Dale Lloyd's sound processing on “412.1413” sounding like beach chimes in the ocean breeze. The radio-like hiss is a warm warning. The brisk micro-scratching including Omnid is something left-field of Raster-Noton, minus the funk, plus a certain tension. Some of ‘Amalgam' is custom-made for minimalism purists as parts are barely audible, you may want to choose an outside noise-canceling set of headphones, or simply allow some of the subtleties wash through your own personal space, combined with exteriors, making for your own personalized improv. A standout collaboration comes when Lloyd works with Ben Owen, incorporating wind chimes and various creaky found objects that crunch and spin. It's slightly menacing, yet plays at a shy distance. The two should venture more extensively. With a softly spoken yet wired-up sensibility in tow, Jon Tulchin brings a sense of vulnerable power electronics to the (turn)table on “412.1920” keeping all circuit freshly open. Elsewhere the mechanical hiss of machines sounds like the summer buzz of late-night crickets and the revving of large motors, just the hum, mind you. With Heribert Friedl on Hack Brett (some stringed instrument?) there's an eerie, echoing feedback that is cavernous laying way to a passage of darkness and peculiar pops. “Something wicked, this way comes” (for sure). The drone gurgle of blowing through bamboo startles the senses with a bit of unrest.
[ TJ Norris ]
Each time the Spanish label CON-V releases a CDR, one gets amazed all over. The quality of their material is so high, the label can already be considered among the top three labels in the world of experimental sound. What the releases have in common is an astonishing refineness and clearness of sound, due to a minimal approach and great production.
The label's fourth CDR, by Dale Lloyd is no exception. This Seattle-based composer collected sound material by artists such as Robert Horton, Nathan McNinch, Omnid, Ben Owen, Josh Russell, Stuart Dodman, Ubeboet, Scott Taylor, Heribert Friedl, K.M. Krebs and Jon Tulchin.
He processed and edited the source material, to create a rich collection of distinctive fine-tuned sonic perspectives.
The CDR heads-off with the sound of water and the low-key tunes of a sitar, hardly to be recognized as such.
This is followed by a track in which glass plays the major part, crystal clear and soft tingling. It's as if the darkness sets in slowly.
Several tracks are even relatively darker, like the ones with electronics by Omnid, Jon Tulchin, Ubeboet and K.M. Krebs. Nevertheless, the music remains sparkling and detailed.
Several artists contributed field recordings, with which soft crispy atmospheres are generated.
CON-V from Madrid again delivers an excellent output, their fourth in this series.
[ Phosphor Magazine ]
The sound of running water rolls over high pitched sheets of heavily processed sitar drone. Several minutes on and the stream's natural song gives way to a duet performed by siblings on cut glass, before both the light of the crystal and color of the drone are engulfed in a dense electronic fog. These sounds comprise the first three tracks of Amalgam , but you would hardly spot the joins, such is the artistry of American composer Dale Lloyd. He maintains the trick throughout the album, a feat all the more commendable since each of the 11 pieces on display are based on a contribution from a different collaborator.
Lloyd's primary role here is that of editor-in-chief, one he fulfils through processing and the occasional electronic embellishment. It is he who shapes the raw materials provided by each guest, be it a field recording, lap top collage or resonating wind chime. From these building blocks Lloyd constructs his most delicate sonic sculptures. This approach works best when the gifts bestowed are of a more organic variety, such as the blissful haze created by Robert Horton's strings on the opening track, or during the subtle strumming of Heribert Friedl's hackbrett (a variety of hammered dulcimer). It is these entries that poke out from beneath the uniformity (itself no bad thing!) of Amalgam 's simplicity, provoking Lloyd into raising his game. He is more than equal to the challenge. But the majority of Lloyd's co-creators come from the field of electronic composition and it is with these that he engineers an atmospheric blanket of slowly shifting, almost static, nebula clouds.
For the closest reference point think the sonic collages of Lawrence English. Lloyd's track in conjunction with Scott Taylor, in particular, approximates the unique sound of explosive 44-gallon drums popping in the morning sun from English's superb Ghost Towns recording. Con-v label is gradually building a reputation as one of the finest purveyors of sound as art. With Amalgam the imprints standing can only increase.
[ Stephen Grady ]
For his first release on Conv.net Lab, Seattle's Dale Lloyd decided to collaborate with eleven sound artists instead of working alone. Considering the seriousness of all involved parties (Robert Horton, Nathan and Darcy McNinch, Omnid, Ben Owen, Josh Russell, Stuart Dodman, Ubeboet, Scott Taylor, Heribert Friedl, K.M.Krebs, Jon Tulchin) the results could not have been less than excellent. The convergence of apparently opposed worlds - drones and microsounds, organic and processed, acoustic and electronic - seems to constitute the basic complexion of such a deeply penetrating music; there seems to be a sort of secretly predetermined walk through progressively immaterial states, as we move from sounds of glass and water through clicks, hums and controlled feedback in preparation for what expect us at the end, namely the semblance of a protracted blur of time suspension, a framework where seemingly endless textural delights push the compositions to the highest spheres of sonic meditation. If these men and this label keep such a focus on the development of sound treatments, we're definitely in for hours upon hours of important electroacoustic discoveries.
[ Massimo Ricci ]
In the world of microsound and field recordings Dale Lloyd should not be an unknown person. His activities span from his own label And/Oar, to phonography website and of course his own music. On this new CDR release, 'Amalgam' Lloyd works with the sounds provided by other artists, such as Heribert Friedl, Omnid, Josh Russell, Ben Owen and other. It's not Lloyd's task to add any sort of sounds of his own, but more to process and edit whatever he has gotten. The sounds he'd been given include sitar, glass, found objects and of course many field recordings. It's hard to decipher any of these original sounds in Lloyd's delicate work (or should that be 'world'?) of crackling and fine tuned hissing. Named after the periodic table it's easy to draw a parallel to the world of alchemy and that it's easy to see the connection Lloyd wishes to make: his music is alike alchemy: blending various elements, in this instance sound, and process them until something new arrives. Very much along the best of microsounding artists like Roel Meelkop, Steve Roden or, more apparent here than in some of Lloyd's other releases, Richard Chartier. Music to crank up your volume as a lot of this hoovers on the edge of silence, and it unfolds much of what it has to offer when played loud(er). A good, well-made release, well produced and perhaps not the latest innovation in microsound, but still a true beauty.
[ Frans de Waard ]
CON-V EDITION | 2015