Sunday, April 21, 2019

URBAN EVOLUTION (Heterotopia #070129)

Urban Evolution site specific performance from Mark Kammerbauer on Vimeo.
Cities are examples of how building, destroying, and rebuilding occur over and over again. Such processes that can be triggered by crisis, disaster and other societal, political or market phenomena or actors. However, how can such processes become an experience to be perceived by others? Urban Evolution intends to answer this question within a performance in public space on the Theaterplatz square in Weimar, Germany, developed in the context of a research project at the Bauhaus Universität Weimar. By doing so we reimagined a quasi-historic process of cycles of rebuilding, demolition and rebuilding again and again that remains invisible unless some sort of signs indicate this process. European cities may actually be a case in point, considering wartime destruction and postwar modernist planning schemes that drastically altered historic cityscapes. Yet, while physical or social traces may remain, the context was hardly the design of memory or history as a creative practice, and the resulting void was coincidental. Therefore, there is a need to go beyond such examples and research whether transferable models of such processes can be established to better understand their design relevance.
The Urban Evolution performance consists of different steps including movement, climax and void. These steps are indicated by signs of their occurrence – „scar tissue“, perhaps – that are marked on the surface of the square with chalk. Structures measuring 3.5 x 3.5 x 7 feet made of wood frame lined with cardboard are „manned“ by one person each who moves them from the inside along the square. Chalk tracings are drawn on the paving from inside the structures. The structures move in steps towards a climax of maximum density – a speculative pre-existing condition. They then withdraw from the square completely, laying bare a resultant condition of removal as a post-event situation. The spatial void becomes complicit to the documentation of its appearance as the chalk signs marked on the surface of the square indicate the action of removal, until rainfall washed them away. Within the Urban Evolution performance, the void becomes perceivable as well as the action that preceded and generated it (Javier Barona, Mark Kammerbauer, Arne Löper).

Friday, April 19, 2019

M. Kammerbauer: Well Tempered Room

The Well Tempered Room recordings were created in 2005. Depending on where you stand in a room in which the recordings are played, they sound differently. The original intention was to play them simultaneously with an arranged set of 8 speakers, enabling listeners to move freely between them, thus providing them with an emphatic listening of each of the 8 tracks in a physical, spatial mix. The 8 pieces were composed and arranged from electro-acoustic source material created in improvised session. The material was grouped, edited, and correlated according to a set of desired acoustic properties and edited as a continuous acoustic "field.” They also function as an acoustic design element for generic or personal spaces. As an album the tracks should be played as one piece, continously, and without gaps.

Nexialist Presents: Schismotecture (The Navidson Record)

Schismotecture a.k.a. “The Navidson Record” is a conceptual cycle of recordings inspired by the concept of the house that is larger on the inside than on the outside from Mark Z. Danielewski's novel “House of Leaves.” Similar to the design of Friedrich Kiesler's “Endless House” it declares a state of perceptive emergency by dissolving the conventions of architectural geometry into a continuum, thus eerily creating an intellectual counterpart to the cave by having emerged from the depth of the earth. Schismotecture takes these spatial concepts into the realm of the audible. The recordings combine electroacoustic composition and improvised sessions (synthesizers, effects) with field recordings and electric guitar and bass guitar.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

M. Kammerbauer: Audible Form

Audible Form ist a collection of pieces written and recorded for media art, short film, performance video, and competitions; written, produced, mastered by M. Kammerbauer at White Furnace Lodge in the USA and Germany between 2000 and 2007. Here are the original liner notes:
beyond fragment king and the other related nexialist-allied projects including nexicon and the more beat-driven electro material with n.deiker, m.kammerbauer had been producing material for use in short film and media art of third-party creators over the course of 5 years. in 2008, a continuous mix of this more ambient, click-cut, whatever-you-may-call-it, "smart music" was created for the nexialist website as a digital download. an essay from 2005 states, "the style of the music shifts between mostly ambient with elements of noise, breaks, field recordings. some of it represent typological "elements" conveying separate, identifiable emotional or perspective themes. the grouped selections provide the film maker with a "sound kit", with which he can "outfit" his picture, as if the selections were acoustic "building blocks", electro-acoustic and post-digital [scenes] based on perceptive [types] or [units] as requested by the director and extrapolated from the pictorial [feel] of the film. source material used and generated is treated with analog and digital processing equipment during the composition process." the motivation process functions thus: "in order to create the music for film, i let the pictorial source evoke a response within myself, which i reflect into the sound, which becomes the acoustic interpretation of the film aesthetic. the choice of sounds is a personal choice, sometimes directed by a textual cue of the director or by the film itself. this way, the director receives the most direct response to his film as possible and can use the developed acoustics as a raw material, to be sculpted around the film very much like a room drapes itself around its inhabitant. the relationship between film and sound is a dynamic one, flipping in- and outward, one becoming the substrate as the other becomes the enshrined life."

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

MIMESIS (Heterotopia #040515)

The Nexialist Operation “Mimesis” is an experiment in using architecture as a music instrument. The object used was a particularly suitable one, a studio building by Peter Haimerl in Munich with pneumatic facades that served as percussion instrument. The video features four parts (for those who want to scroll forward): 00:10 - 03:00 Soundcheck; 03:00 - 05:00 Session: sound of space; 05:00 - 08:00 Mirror Image: space of sound; 08:00 - 09:30 Triangulation: space/sound/instrument.

The following is the original concept text of the project: “We conducted an operation in the studio building Mimesis, designed by architect Peter Haimerl. The building as such was used as a sound creation device in this operation. Located in Putzbrunn, Munich, Germany, the studio complex consists of two cube-shaped buildings ca. 6 x 6 x 6 m each, one of which, with two pneumatic transparent vinyl facades, was used for the operation. The resulting sounds were recorded by electro-acoustic, digital-acoustic and digital-video means. During and in the course of the operation the created and recorded sound material was processed in situ and used as the source of an electro-acoustic / digital-acoustic improvised composition.

The specific spacial acoustic characteristics of the building were utilized for the creation, projection and recording of the recorded and processed sound. The result is an acoustic signature equaling a spacial-acoustic context, portraying the identity of the building/space in successive levels. This is inspired by the motif of the “turning of the mask” as described by Vilem Flusser. Session 1: recording the resonance of the pneumatic facade: strikes with hand, roll of tracing paper, stick measure [folded] and a dynamic microphone. Session 2: percussive, rhythmic, improvised composition for four hands and pneumatic vinyl facade. Session 3 : electro-acoustic, improvised composition for digital-audio recording, analog effect unit, speaker combo and building interior. Session 4: improvised composition for bass guitar, effect units, building interior and facade. Mark Kammerbauer + Nedim Tezkosar 2004.”


The Xenakis-Emulator is an audiovisual adaptation of two key works of architect/composer Iannis Xenakis - the composition “Metastasseis” and the facade for the monastery “La Tourette” by master architect Le Corbusier. We created a synergetic digital animation of an interpretation of the facade and the music composition. The facade strips, which reflect the “Glissando”-motif of “Metastasseis”, float in an abstract space, followed by a vertical strip that “plays” our music interpretation in realtime and synchronous with the vertical facade elements.

Iannis Xenakis was born in Romania in 1922. His family returned to Greece in 1932. He studied architecture and math and became a resistance fighter, fleeing from Greece to France in 1947, where he worked in the office of Le Corbusier. He was a student of Olivier Messiaen, and as first composer within New Music, he used mathematical probability in composition, becoming the inventor of stochastic music. Xenakis composed pieces for orchestra, scenic works for chorals, ballet music, and radio pieces.

Working in the office of Le Corbusier, Xenakis collaborated on the monastery La Tourette from 1953-1955, developing the design and the placement of the vertical elements for the strip windows on the western facade of the building. The motif of “decreasing-increasing” of intervals of the vertical posts is derived from the composition “Metastassis”, on which Xenakis worked at the time as well. Metastassis for orchestra is defined by the extraordinary and debut implementation of glissandi within a composition. The glissando – the sliding movement within the tonal scale, for instance with a string instrument – is the defining motif of both the composition and the facade design for the monastery La Tourette. This connection is interpreted within an adaptation of both works.

Measurement of the facade division results in the definition of a system consisting of 48 intervals that comprise the increasing-decreasing appearance of the facade. These intervals can be interpreted as the 1st to 48th factor of a smallest common interval. Beyond that, minima and maxima can be identified, meaning points of largest and lowest density in the facade system, as well as the distances between them.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Nexialist Presents: Halforganic

Halforganic is the title of a series of compositions and performances that were recorded and packaged with artwork in various formats between 2000 and 2003. Alltogether, ten different CDs, cassette tapes and vinyl records and accompanying print materials were produced and released in limited editions under the nexialist imprint. They collect the output of a creative progression ranging from danceable electronic tracks to spatial-acoustic explorations via live performances to improvised, analog-digital pieces. The live performances took place mostly in New York City and led to a shift towards a more noisy, spontaneous sound. The final step was a farewell to all genre restrictions and conventional song structures structures to an unrestrained, improvisational direction influenced by ambient and experimental performers and modern classical composers.

The video contains the following edited tracks:
0:00 Doorway (Torso: M. Kammerbauer), taken from nex000
1:30 Train to Instantbul (Instantbul: Tezkosar, M. Kammerbauer), taken from nex003
5:30 Protocol (Uncreated: N. Deiker, N. Tezkosar, M. Kammerbauer), taken from nex004
9:30 Black Iron Prison (Fragment King), taken from nex005
13:30 Total Now (Fragment King), taken from nex008
17:30 Jitterbug (Nexicon: T. Spann, L. Bartow, M. Kammerbauer), taken from nex010
21:30 Strategy II (Torso: M. Kammerbauer), taken from nex006
25:30 Session 6 (Torso: M. Kammerbauer), taken from nex009

Nexialist Halforganic releases:
nex005 INSTANTBUL: S/T. 2000. CD

Review in Debug (nex000): “Halforganic is a sound collective of sorts, consisting of multiple acts (Instantbul, Torso, Fragment King, N.Deiker, Pathomechanical and various constellations thereof). The tracks oscillate between noisescapes, dark analogue electro-breaks, chipmonster-drumandbass, and dark worlds bordering electronica. Darkness seems to be a necessity, just as the city center of Stuttgart, and Fragment King sometimes peeks through the modestly morbid vision with some silly ideas, with a solid joy for the dissonant and clattery. Get your warm stuff on, it’ll be a cold winter.”

Review in Debug (nex010): “Joy for all friends of the noisy postdrumandbassnirvana. 2 tracks by fragment king, who loads and towers destroyed bassdrums and screeching breaks in front of him, digs and probes the heap as if it were the innards of a heavy metal sauce for gourmets, who love to gobble up fresh roasted tiniti for breakfast and on the flipside two tracks by nexicon, which sound a lot more like broken machinery than breaks or beats. this is no fast silly funny broken music, but honest and righteous terror with fragments of slime and digital gall.” - Bleed/DeBug

Review in Ibol (nex006): “What an evil trick! Someone took an unsuspecting minimalist, plugged him into a marshall stack and recorded it on their hard-drive. Or at least that is what torso makes me think of. There are almost no discernible source sounds in this recording, only (apparently) digital manipulation. An extremely crisp, distilled and singular vision of music, these 16 tracks are layed out in 3 larger groupings, for a total of 67 minutes of noise. Most of the textures are fairly harsh, but the presentation is more ambient (ubiquitous, surrounding).”

Fragment King: Grey Album

Your submission comes without a prize…
Who is the machine now? (Emperor Slug)

Fragment King recorded the “Grey Album” in 2005 with digital beats and sounds and treated bass guitar and vocals. The album is now completely sold out. The combination of guitar sounds with electronic beats had always been the basic concept of the project, inspired by Big Black, Godflesh, but also metal bands like Carcass and Celtic Frost on the one hand, as well as the cineastic feel of electronic projects such as Source Direct, Dom + Roland, Autechre. Lyrics are personal and heavily processed with effects, creating a sound triptych of beats, chords, and voice. The album artwork consists of photography by M. Kammerbauer. “Grey Album” was critically very well received. Orkus reviewer Thomas Sonder gave the album 9.5 of 10 points, stating FK “could be described as a mix of power electronics and drone doom with aggressive backgrounds, produced by Kammerbauer in an enormously dense and fat manner. Godflesh on even more drugs? More than that – Grey Album makes you sweat, evokes anger, releases force, in the controlled songs with slower pace as well as in the angry, fast noise machines, in which the Fragment King has incorporated almost insane energy eruptions in a pretty defragmented way.” According to Side-Line, “The official debut release of this American artist brings us to a dangerous border. This is a very restricted noise area where heavy breakbeats and other nervous percussions have been merged with noise and industrial. It sounds like pure chaos while the enraged screams only accentuate the punk-like style of this release! Minimal noise chaos!“ Elegy Magazine’s Olivier Camus stated poetically: “Beton, metal et camisole pour imager cette oeuvre qui ne nous a pas laisses indifferents; original et quasiment inedit depuis la mort de GODFLESH.“ And Chain DLK noted: “I don’t know how Fragment King was sounding on his early releases but the ten tracks of GREY ALBUM convinced me immediately with that dark grinding guitars and with that treated voice that seems starving for more razorblades.“ The track “Emperor Slug” was remixed by Klangstabil, their version adds a melodic and moody atmosphere to the grinding density of the original.

Scape [A] 1:22
Brutalitarian 5:55
Prosthetics 6:02
Depositio 6:31
Emperor Slug 11:58
Ruins 5:30
Monolith 5:46
Lab Rat 6:54
Autolysis 5:41
Scape [B] 8:00

Nexialist Presents: Fleshfilm / Fleshsounds

“Hyperintimacy as ambience” - The Fleshsounds were created in 2002 for the Halforganic Series, the Fleshfilm was produced in 2005 as a live video for select Nexialist Operations. Both take the term “pink noise” literally and were intended as the audible and visual ambience for live installations exploring human proximity. The six compositions and the video were developed by use of source material that was cut up, treated with various effects and a significant amout of digital blur. The “Unschärfe” veils what is seen, disintegrating sound and image into near-obscurity: a visual encoding process similar to distortion. While nothing is recognizable, the undulating pink surfaces continuously refer to the echo of their origin. The grittiness of the effects betrays the age of the production. All things Burroughs were a significant influence, Vito Acconci as well, and the story that Rem Koolhaas had written porn film scripts.

Wallywoods (Heterotopia #080913)

On September 13, 2008, we joined experimental percussion legend z'ev on stage. The line-up featured Marcelo Aguirre (Evil Spirit, Spastic Dementia) on drums and Alexandra (von Bolz'n) on vocals as well as Mark Kammerbauer (a.k.a. Fragment King) on treated bass guitar. We played a single, throbbing, droning, half-hour piece at Gallery Wallywoods in berlin. The set was completely improvised, with superfast blasting grindcore drums contrasted by superslow detuned bass riffage, enlivened by percussion clang and bang and guttural growls and piercing screams. Hai no banda? Im gegenteil. “The Bänd” had arrived that evening, t'banned, not canned, but with powerful release of physical acoustic force.

CRITICAL VOID (Heterotopia #130724)

Critical Void is an analytical audio work based on an urbanist study of the MaximiliansForum in Munich and its planning history. By employing interviews with key individuals and document research, Z‘EV, Alexandra von Bolz'n and Mark Kammerbauer developed a site-specific audio performance and work that was performed live on site on 24.07.2013. The project was curated by the Kulturreferat of the City of Munich. This is a step-by-step documentation of the project. The location that includes the MaximiliansForum art space can be found beneath the crossing of Maximilianstrasse and Altstadtring in Munich. It has escalators that are currently in disuse. It is denominated officially as pedestrian tunnel. It is by far the largest of its kind in the city. Rumor has that original planning intended a traffic tunnel. So, what happened here?
On Wednesday, 24.07.2013 at 19:00 we performed CRITICAL VOID live after a very friendly introduction by Elisabeth Hartung of the Culture Office of the City of Munich. The first half of the performance included a dramatized conversation between Alexandra von Bolz'n and MK on the results of the study with audio ambience by Z'EV. Here, we identify the planning crisis that took place. A tunnel was supposed to be built but conflicts emerged with regulations as well as public interest. Postwar traffic planning had resulted in a broad intersection in what had previously been an enclosed urban plaza (the original “Forum” above ground). In addition, urban revitalization aims led to affordable housing problems in the adjacent quarter (“Lehel”). One result was the creation of the “Münchner Forum” where citizens became involved in urban planning in the city.
As result of these events, planning was confronted with crisis, and planning aims were discontinued, resulting in the ambiguous character of the open space beneath the street crossing. After dramatizing these aspects in the first half of the performance as a narrative “conversation”, the second half of the performance featured a performance of the crisis. This music piece is titled “MythEater” as inspired by Z'EV and includes an interpretation of “Yuki’s Song” from Akira Kurosawa’s film “Hidden Fortress” by vocalist Alexandra von Bolz'n. It is intended to symbolize the conflict between tradition and modernism as root of the crisis that gave birth to this CRITICAL VOID within the urban fabric of the city of Munich.

Torso: Generating Space

Torso was a Nexialist project aimed at creating the audible phenomena of space, a reversive engineering of spatial sound. 16 tracks were collected for the "Generating Space" album. It features a red colored CD-R with red on-disc print in an edition of 100, in a plastpak with sticker attached. It is now completely sold out. The sticker blurb stated: "Artificial and impossible spaces are made possible through torso's processing of spatial audio phenomena! Ethereal noise and digital density create explorations into sonic architecture." Dead Angel Zine concluded: "(…) minimalism is the key here: the efx themselves are used in minimalist fashion, although at times there are several going on at once and it gets pretty dense. The noise generated by such experimental sound processing, especially with the use of distortion and delay, is often gritty and booming, the sound of disturbed things happening in vast open rooms. It's the sound of machinery left to run in empty rooms, a cold and formless sound that implies the absence of humans to control the vibrations. There are moments when the rumble nearly drowns out the rest of the sounds, but then it recedes to reveal much that was previously hidden - a practice of playing hide 'n seek with great shapes of sound. There's a heavy drone quotient at work in places. Tnteresting work of a loud and dark ambient nature." A review from DCFE: "(…) the musician is doing an extension of avant-garde classical music especially of Pierre Schaeffer, Stockhausen and ambience music from Brian Eno. What's interesting about this CD is that the musician approached musique concrete from a different approach to Pierre Schaeffer in late 1940s. Pierre Schaeffer recorded live sound recordings and then manipulates such live sounds electronically using tapes. The musician here did the reverse. He used electronic instruments to imitate live sounds recordings. I could hear the sound of tanks battles, chilling sound in dark tunnel, TV set when all channels closed down, but all these with a sense of roughness in sound." And finally, IBOL magazine: "What an evil trick! Someone took an unsuspecting minimalist, plugged him into a Marshall stack and recorded it on their hard-drive. Or at least that is what Torso makes me think of. There are almost no discernible "source sounds" in this recording, only (apparently) digital manipulation. An extremely crisp, distilled and singular vision of music, these 16 tracks are layed out in 3 larger groupings, for a total of 67 minutes of noise. Most of the textures are fairly harsh, but the presentation is more ambient (ubiquitous, surrounding)."

FRAGMENT KING: Vivisections

Vivisections – Live at The Point Gallery by Fragment King Storytime! In 2001, after playing a live electronics set at Level X, a club event ...