released June 12, 2022
Ever eager to collaborate with artists from around the world, Boban Ristevski has teamed up for another trans-Atlantic exchange (after the recent one with Al Margolis) with Mike Benoit. Their 'Time Kept Memories' are rather abstract electronic compositions, but the titles, all referencing clock timings and possibly all quotations, bind them together to form a concept album.
While some of the titles point to rather gloomy episodes in history, such as the first-ever execution by (malfunctioning) electric chair in '6.38 Kemmler Started The End Of His Life' or the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in '1.24 Reactor 4 Released Its Poison', or the still mysterious death of Marilyn Monroe in 'Somewhere Between 8.30 & 10.30 Miss Monroe Took A Nap', the others are less clear, but highly suggestive. Together with the grainy, subdued, but subtly dissonant and edgy sonics, they evoke a film-noir nightmare world that might involve large-scale government conspiracies as well as slowly escalating environmental disaster, yet not outruling open warfare or an alien invasion either ('9.20 Lights In The Sky'!). At its best, the music on this album could be a perfect fit for a remake of 'Blade Runner' directed by David Lynch.
File under: ambient, drone
Der belesene Mazedonier BOBAN RISTEVSKI und MIKE BENOIT, ein Typ mit langfransigem Goatee in Canaan, New Hampshire, teilen auf Time Kept Memories (ACU 1040) einen düsteren Blick auf die Welt. Insbesondere der Amerikaner sieht die Wüste wachsen und spürt im Nacken den Atem von Gespenstern. Ihren Horizont bilden Unglücke und Katastrophen: Der Untergang der 'Titanic', Chernobyl, der Tod von Marilyn Monroe, die erste stümperhafte Hinrichtung mit dem Elektrischen Stuhl 1890. Dazwischen Ufo-Mysterien und die phantastische Schlagzeile: 'A Moth Tried To Save People From Drowning'. Ein Mahlwerk aus Electronics und Geräuschmanipulationen, körnig rauschende Schüttungen, metalloide Kaskaden, monotone Schlagfolgen, prickelnder Beschuss, welliges Wabern, sirrende Impulse, das dissonante Piano bei 'Somewhere Between 8:30 and 10:30 Miss Monroe Took A Nap', sumpfiges Blubbern und klopfende Automatik kitzeln die Phantasie mit Geschichten von Opfern und von Schmerz. Ein verwundertes «Dies alles gibt es also» wird inmitten des Ungutem zum merkwürdigen Gefühl, wie Ernst Jünger es genannt und in seinem Erinnerungskabinett bewahrt hat.
Some introductions and some musicians whom I already know are what is on offer here with a trio of new releases by Attenuation Circuit. I started with the collaboration between Mike Benoit and Boban Ristevski, mainly based on the fact that I think much of the latter's recent work is very good. Mike Benoit is one of those introductions. He takes credit for "sound art & noise manipulation", which, frankly, isn't that 99% of the music reviewed in Vital Weekly? Ristevski plays "electronics", perhaps not much clearer? The seven pieces here have grim titles, about Chernobyl, the electric chair and the death of Marylin Monroe. The music is dark and atmospheric but not as ambient as some recent collaborations by Ristevski. It is more akin to a combination of moody electronics, which is the ambient side of the music but also laced with some ditto doomy loops of industrialised sound. More than some of that recent work, the music is perfect for any flick with a dystopian theme. The music sounds like nuclear rain, collapsed power plants, and melted Geiger teller residue. The survivors bang on a can to make contact with other survivors, but we're unsure if there are more as electrical currents buzz. Altogether an exciting departure for Ristevski from his recent work, and I am curious what the future will hold.