COLOMBIA Éter Editions eter 10 3” CD-R (2014)
A composer operating exclusively, as far as I am aware, with his own field recordings, Yiorgis Sakellariou presents us with this neat little one track 3” cd-r titled after the gallery in London where the piece was premiered as part of the Sonicueb Festival. For the sake of transparency, I should divulge the fact that I was handed this disc personally by Sakellariou at a concert I was involved with at Kentish Town’s excellent record shop Electric Knife last December.
Cueb was mostly recorded on the 11th of March 2014 at Canary Wharf in London and its environs; Sakellariou augmenting the raw material with additional sounds from his archive to create a single twenty -one minute piece.
Certainly there’s a rhythmic, mechanical quality; sounds that could be produced by heavy machinery and/or large engines. It seems to me that dynamics are important to Sakellariou in his work and here is no exception. To balance the noise of the machines at the beginning is a quiet passage; perhaps those same machines but from a much more distant vantage point. This section increases slowly in amplitude until a hard cut throws the listener down an ill-lit shaft into a section of disused London Underground. As with all of Sakellariou’s work, the production values are high – the sounds are all crisp and clean and designed to be played at high volume in order to immerse the listener in his sound-world. What I find particularly satisfying about his approach is his success in finding ways of juxtaposing commonplace noises in very musical ways.
A great, although all too brief, release – but I wonder how many people actually own cd players that have the ability to play 3” discs these days. I was in a commercial recording studio recently, and the engineer only had the drive of his Mac to play cds on and it refused to play a 3” disc; in fact he spent fifteen minutes coaxing the disc back out of the machine with a pen lid. Could this, like MiniDisc, DAT and DCC before it, be another digital format to soon become obsolete?
Éter look like an interesting label; they also have in this download/3” cd series releases by David Vélez, Jose Gallardo, Yann Novak, Tony Whitehead & Fransisco Meirino and Miguel Isaza among others.