/ new words on IO objects from Toronto’s seminal underground publication, OFFERINGS / thx to all sound scribes
s* + KK // Glyphs of Erebus Sublime
My cousins kinda spooky. Actually, I’ve never really had a proper conversation with him in all my life (we’re roughly the same age). He’s always been somewhat of an sickly, outlying branch on the family tree. I never really see him that often – except at birthdays and funerals and the like – mostly keeping to himself or seated at the kids table. It’s shameful to think that we’ve all pretty much willfully ignored him most of his life mostly because, in some inexplicable way, he was born weird. There are certain habits that manifest in the way he comports himself that, though we try our best to overlook, are hard to ignore. Sometimes I swear that I hear some severe sine tone in an unsettling register that issues from his pores in the way that vinegar-like fumes waft off an hygienically-challenged degenerate on the Dufferin bus… Of course I know, being a reasonable, competent human being, that this is not possible and therefore some kind of conjecture. But I know, as sure as I am that my cousin shaves his sideburns/eyebrows bi-weekly, that he is responsible for for the acute migraine that dogs me after each of my family reunions. He also has this strange ability to interfere with electronic components simply by being in the same room. The subtle stench of fried capacitors seems to follow him like hungry ghosts. My watch exploded on my wrist, I have a tan where it used to be. My great-aunt’s hearing aid picked up signals from military aircrafts and speaking to her was like asking a Wendy’s drive-thru for a prescription of anti-balistic hair relaxer… He has a way of looking absent-mindedly into your soul, carelessly toying with your psyche with no express purpose beyond apathetic boredom… Or is it a front? Maybe he’s an alien/hypnotist/genius… I don’t see him that often… But is he not here? Detuning my thoughts, southward, I think of my penis (when was the last time I used it?)… bacon Double Chestburger, down the hatch – rocketed into unknowable space – cavernous, shallowopen – silent but deadly… His initials (KH) – Tim Hortons in Space – jolly ranch dressing the Nurse with Wound… My sneeze smells like cauterized plastic; earmuffs on a confused-looking, teenaged dog. Am I listening to S* or KK? Or both… Or is my cousin in the next room having tea with my multifunction shower head? (Andrew Zukerman)
s* + V/A // Unearthed From Airwaves
I’m thinking of a refrigerator hum. Some days when you are lucky enough to find yourself at home mid-afternoon and the couch has a blanket draped across the back, you feel yourself getting heavy. You lie down to the exclusion of the work you have to do or the friend you were supposed to call and you begin to nod off. Some days you don’t even notice the buzzing noise emanating from the kitchen. Other days it’s soothing – the sound of a home when it’s quiet. Then there are days when the sound seems to amplify inside of you head and eat up all your good feeling and turn it into some kind of Robert Crumb animated madness and it gets louder and louder and you hate it and you start to think of all the things in your life over which you have no control and your teeth start to grind and your fists clench and hold till your knuckles turn white. Abandon nap! (Deirdre O’Sullivan)
a.j. cornell / s* // 1981/1999
Listening in feels far more like a violation to me than visual voyeurism. When nestled in the hollowed-out echo chamber of the phone, voices seem protected, sheltered in a wall of air, and because of this engaged in an intimacy that sounds not only stark but overblown to the point of comedy.
“So come and relax me,” says a man to a woman, after she accuses him of being uptight. He wants her to come over, “with her toys,” but not stay the night, because his “trustees,” who are coming for an early business meeting, might witness her leaving.
Later, the man explains that “there are a lot of people that would go to bed with me so that they can get special favours, and I can’t do that.” Much more funny than disturbing, listening to the ridiculous and sad power play on “Private Telephone 1981” left me feeling pretty guilty and pretty confused about the experience.
Jacques Attali wrote that “eavesdropping, censorship, recording, and surveillance are weapons of power,” and it’s hard not to feel something of an aggressor listening to the couple’s conversation on this track, as if I’m engaged in research for a manipulation – not necessarily wielding power but certainly feeling the thrill associated with it.
A different and perhaps worse form of power play- police surveillance tapes- are heard on the second track, which is a mass of locations: “in the lobby, about 20 of us here, one block from 6th avenue, one block south, protestors behind you, a small group behind us, flanking them.” The background to these transmissions is the sound of urban space: children outdoors, traffic, birds, openness and expansion – a contrast to the claustrophobic cataloguing of people and space we hear over the police radio.
There is no voyeuristic thrill in hearing police radio recordings, for me, but there is a much more horrific thrill in perceiving the jittery chaos of police behavior: one senses that their attempts to control urban space are far more anarchic than the protesters they are attempting to locate and reign in. (Valerie Uher)
MVK + s* // Thunderklap
This is apparently an improvisation between MVK and S*. I’m unfamiliar with both. Could be their weird cyberpunknames. Not sure who’s playing what really and despite a slight lack of dynamics, this is fairly cohesive improvisational work on electronics which I’m fully behind. In fact Thunderklap brings it fairly raw in a way that I like, not sure which of the two players is doing the crude zone but it is heated. The hazy synth work is less my bag but hey it could easily be yours right? (Alexander Moskos)