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r I ɘ (2021)

by V.A.

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released July 4, 2021

“r | e” is the logo of the re:flexions sound-art festival, organised anually by attenuation circuit at their Augsburg homebase from 2016 to 2021. As in the last few years, the final edition of the festival on 4th July 2021 was accompanied by a CD compilation. It was given out to concertgoers with their tickets, but is now also available as a stand-alone release. The three tracks are first-time ever collaborations between two artists/bands each. The same pairs played the three improvised sets of the festival, with every concert a world premiere for these line-ups.

Stefan Schmidt on the unusual fretless guitar and EMERGE on electronics create a deep listening experience that combines dark ambient structures with field recordings to invoke a rich, imaginative sonic environment.

DIY underground legends Doc Wör Mirran team up with performance art duo The Oval Language. DWM create a leftfield pop track which is slightly subverted by the vocal noises and self-built instruments of The Oval Language.

That harsh noise and power-play free jazz share similar attitudes is almost commonplace. But it's one thing to talk about attitudes and another to actually hear the two genres get fused with one another. This is what happens on the track by feedback noisician Carsten Vollmer and the drums/sax duo Sprengmeister – with very convincing results.

File under: sound art, ambient, free jazz, noise



Als ebenfalls (ACU 1033-CDr) reflektiert r I ɘ das Re:flexions / Sound-art Festival am 03.07.21 in Augsburg und den dabei herrschenden All-in-Spirit. Dass der von Attenuation Circuit herrührt, wird einmal mehr unterstrichen durch die scheuklappenlose Paarung von Musike(r)n, die sich ansonsten erst im Unendlichen treffen. Bei AC ist es dagegen ganz normal, die bundlose Gitarre von STEFAN SCHMIDT mit den Electronics von EMERGE improvisatorisch zu amalgamieren und DOC WÖR MIRRANs untergrundkultigen Linksdrall mit den Sounds der Stimme und der Selbstbauinstrumente von Peter Johns lange obskur gebliebenem Projekt THE OVAL LANGUAGE, und sogar den Feedbackkrach von CARSTEN VOLLMER zu fusionieren mit Jan Kiesewetters Tenorsax & Stimme + Eric Zwang-Erikssons Drums. Die sich 2017 noch NAJEZE nannten, halten nun als SPRENGMEISTER Auxburg als Jazzstandort hoch, wobei der Saxer sich mit der Monika Roscher Bigband, dem Monica Swing Ensemble, Los Molineros und Kiesewetters Gammarama als gediegener Jazzer gezeigt und der Drummer seinen Ignaz Schick und Udo Schindler umfassenden Improv-Radius schon mit Sascha Stadlmeier erweitert hat. 'Die Unterschreitung' mit Vollmer öffnet im bodenlosen Noiseexzess eine Reihe von Fenstern, durch die Saxtöne und Beats hörbar werden, aber kaum pur, vielmehr auch selber fx-verzerrt und -gewellt. Als hartgesottenes Wechselspiel auf infernalischem Terrain. DWM - oder doch John selber - tickt/klopft bei 'Oval Eclipse' zu vokalem A-B A-B..., Klänge brodeln und zerfasern in Kaskaden. Faunisches Pfeifen und Flöten kontrastiert mit angestrengt repetierten Lauten eines Schamanen oder trainierenden Kraftsportlers, DWMs Beitrag kann ich nur in der leicht morriconesken, von Grillen bezirpten, dezent psychedelischen Samplingspur vermuten. Seltsam, seltsam. Aber gleich der dark ambiente Einstieg, 'El Martirio de Las Ranas', zieht in spanisch angehauchter Gitarren-Tristesse in ein Imaginäres, zu toltekischen Ruinen, zum Schlagen wer weiß welchen Herzens, zum von Möven überschrillten Ufer wer weiß welchen Meeres. Selbst in nur brodelnder Mikrodosis ist das zu groß für ein elektronisches Reagenzglas, und dann wird es zuletzt auch noch von einer leicht arabesken Tiefenerinnerung touchiert.




From 2016 to 2021 Attenuation Circuit organized the "Reflections" festival, of which 'R|E' is the logo. Each edition saw the release of a CDR for those who went to see the concerts. The three tracks here are first time collaborations. I started at the end because I feared some heavy noise there. Not that I know Sprengmeister, but I do know Carsten Vollmer's harsh noise works. Together with the drum/sax duo of Sprengmeister, he plays a fifteen-minute noise set, in which Vollmer single-handedly is three times louder than the other two, but he leaves room for them to shine as well, in an off and on the battle for the noise master. The contrary piece to this is the opening of guitarist Stefan Schmidt and label boss EMERGE, in a very quiet yet intense piece of sparse guitar sounds and looping versus a blend of obscured electronics (samples? modular? I don't know). In the middle of this sandwich, we find The Oval Language (recently present with a great CD on this label, see Vital Weekly 1282) teaming up with Doc Wör Mirran, of whom we for a change do not know which members were present. The Oval Language provides the vocal improvisations along with plink-plonking an instrument of his own making, which slowly builds in a most curious strange affair of sampled flutes, synthesizers, and towards the end a drum loop. I quite enjoyed this piece for what it is, a first meeting that delivered a great conversation.




Latest in an ongoing series of limited edition compilations that document the annual Re:flexions Sound Art festival label head Sascha Stadlmeier has, I believe, helped to organise in Augsburg for many years now. Dedicated to electroacoustic, improvisation and abstract electronic artists, the three lengthy tracks each by Sascha’ own Emerge and Stefan Schmidt, Doc Wor Mirran & The Oval Language, and Carsten Vollmer Sprengmeister on offer here illustrate just how broad a spectrum this can be. The Emerge and Schmidt piece pleasantly combines subtly Middle Eastern-flavoured minimalist guitar playing with swells of atmospheric electronics, while the collaborative ‘Oval Eclipse’ by DWM and The Oval Language delves through a series of splutters, squawks and rhythmic clanks before sounding like Cabaret Voltaire circa 1974 checking their equipment, and Sprengmeister’s contribution takes on a playful junk-noise approach ideal for those who like Crank Sturgeon or The Hanatarash. Of the three, Emerge & Schmidt’s track is the most cohesive and perhaps suits my late evening mood the most, but I like the fact this compilation brings together such a diverse selection of artists. 100 only.





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