We had a blast last month at Optimus Prime Noisefest 4. More than just a few gigs, Optimus Prime Noisefest evolved into a true noise meeting where like minded noise and drone fans meet, drink lots of beer and most of all, listen to and perform noise. This edition we captured 20 of the shows, resulting in a over three hours long addition to the Vatican Analog catalog. As maybe you were too drunk to enjoy all the details of these refined soundworks: stream/download this new beauty to relive the fest once again.
Sit back, dim your lights and relax. Come down to the shady underground of South Korea. Vatican Analog picked out twelve artists from the South Korean bustling scene of experimental electronic music – diverse, but always connected with the noisy spirit of Vatican Analog: electro-acoustic warmth, rusty industrial cold, weirdly psychedelic, excitingly dark, randomly analog, mashed up digital or other divinity that pleasure or torture your ears and soul. We’re happy to present this diverse group of artists that are already ruling or promise to rule at least the local scene of awesomeness, that still is expanding with new regular and irregular initiatives that show Korea deserves more attention for its exciting underground electronic music scene.
Saehansori is now released on usb, attached to a silk screened card made by Korean visual artist Ji-hyun Kim and the Vatican Analog arbeit-team. Order it for ten euro’s in our shop or download the album from our shop for a voluntary donation.
1. Jo Young-min
One of the most active regulars at Seoul’s main home for experimental improvised music, Yogiga. Jo is at his best when he creates mesmerizing dreamlike worlds – sometimes melancholic, sometimes carefree, sometimes eerie. Also known as a frequent collaborator with local and visiting artists.
With his latest release Persistence (Vatican Analog does recommend this album) Chang Park delivered a fine piece of sweaty dusky ambient haunted with subtle aggressively pushing beats. It’s just one of his variable sound presentations. Interactive installations, performances, and compositions; Park investigates sound from a psychoacoustics perspective as a subliminal communication between object and space. The Korean new media man was based in Baltimore but recently moved to Berlin – still keeping connected with Korea, as this piece was released on the Korean beats label WSR Trax. Endless is one of the tracks of this album.
Traditional Korean spirits meet with hypnotizing electronics and drums in this occasional project by improviser Kanghee Choi, Australian based Korean percussionist Sang-sik Sung and traditional vocalist Yoonchae Seo. Sea has been actively perform in both the Pansori scene and the traditional musical theater scene. While experimenting her voice with the variety of sounds and musical styles, to study deeper, she is currently in Master’s program in Pansori.
Composer, improviser and multimedia artist Kang-hee Choi moved to New York City in 2008 to study Forensic psychology, but after experiencing the New York music/art scene, he decided to become a professional musician. In the same year, his first contemporary classical music piece for 4 Guitars, <The Moon, the Lake and the Butterfly> was premiered along with the new pieces of world renowned composers such as Terry Champlin, Allen Brings, David Loeb and Ornette Coleman. Since then, he has been experimenting new sounds and performing with many other artists including musicians, dancers, painters, and filmmakers around the world.
4. Cumeo Project
Slightly tired of the rock scene, Sang min Choi and and Kwang ho Song decided to quit their often gigging band to enter the realms of moody ambient guitars, glitch beats and electro-acoustic warmth. Inspired by old guitar ambiances of Paul Desmond and the like, mixed with the love for Warp Records stuff makes Cumeo Project a gem that could go along acts like Boards of Canada or Future Sound of London. The track Misty doors was made for Gagatrack’s dazzling audio visual performance The Doors of Perception.
5. Barely Sustaining
The youngest contributor (17 as we write) for the Saehansori compilation can’t go out and drink alcohol yet, and maybe that’s why Kim Eun-ho is so productive and exploring his talents to the max. Dubstep, house, hiphop, ambient and, lucky for us, also some darker ambient and soundscapes. Already able to make this premium sounding material we are very curious what the near future will bring for Kim.
6. Samin Son
Intense and confronting, Samin Son is definitely the most physical performer among the Saehansori contributors. His practice traverses different mediums – painting, installation, sound and video – with performative strategies. Born and raised in South Korea, he now is based in Wellington, New Zealand. Still, experiences from Korea shape an important part of the drive behind his works, like military aggression and endurance experienced during his conscription time in Korea. Son has exhibited his work and traveled his performance pieces widely throughout New Zealand and internationally – in Germany, the US, Taiwan, Seoul and Tokyo.
In-june Park a.k.a. (DJ) Azoozy started his musical career in 1999 as composer and arranger for Korean pop and indie singers. He studied art at Hongik University, famous for its arts studies, and collaborated in numerous multimedia projects. It’s hard to summarize Azoozy’s styles as his output consists of a great variety of genres like psychedelic rock, industrial dance, folk and noise. Saehansori’s track Rage Against The Digital is an analog war, which was a audiovisual live performance.
Synthesizer addict Shin Hang is mostly known as part of the duo Ninano Nanda – as Dubputer he abuses his collection of analog hardware even more severe to create a juicy mix of lo-fi noise, beats, ambient, dub and psychedelica. In his special Saehansori-contribution Requiem for the tape 1980, Shin goes back to the recording of the sound of a pipe organ his father just repaired. The lost reel traveled 33 years from place to place until it got deconstructed and reconstructed into this wicked loop-recording.
Damirat: breaking down barriers between warehouse dance & high experimented electronic music since 2006. Damirat is the energetic vehicle of broken beats, dark IDM and industrial lovers Sung-Hoon Shin and Chang-Hee Kim. Before Damirat Sung-Hoon studied Musical Technology at Newcastle Universtiy and Chang-Hee was a member of the Korean IDM-duo Toxicbiasfleurivy. Determined to boost the scene in Seoul, these guys are curating the well respected monthly experimental electronic nights in Mudaeryuk in Seoul, WATMM. Be sure to check out their latest EP <iraer, tiaroe>, released at one of Seoul’s most interesting experimental electronics platform Audiolog.
The only lady on this compilation: the young Yoon Da-eun explores her fascination for the aesthetics of sound. Improvisation on piano, playing with randomized patterns, field recordings – but Da-Eun is also co-producing in the techno/house group MuteLab.
Hybrid-crossbred, is one term Odaeri likes to describe his odd sounding expeditions. We could come up with a few more of such suitable labels: aggressive anti-music, surreal nihilism, broken spaceship scores, fuck logic and you too-sound cabinets, and so forth. Be sure to check out his videos to complete the oddness (like this masterpiece). As for producing, he finds delight in combining and recreating certain sound or image using worn, abandoned, outdated equipment (or sound) that seem no one will hardly give a look. Never a dull moment with Odaeri, who’s one of the people connected to the Seoul based label Helicopter Records.
Tschaan is the moniker of Chankyu Sung, visual artist, sound designer. Sung is also one of the thriving powers behind the label Vakdong Records, a platform he also likes to use to collaborate with many other artists from different backgrounds in fine art, new media, conceptual art and literature. His adventures in sound brings his listeners into underground catacombs full of smokey rooms, visiting aliens, chill out zones and slow disco dancefloors. For Saehansori Tschaan contributed a narrative piece from the 2013 Vakdong release ‘Daily Abstract, Seoul’ where his sound is complimented with the poetry by Yijung.
Optimus Prime Noisefest is back! After the third edition in 2009 it has been quiet for a while, a period that will end on Sunday January 12 2014. Then we will go back to NS16 in Tilburg to have a full day of crazy noise, not so crazy noise, drones and all other stuff you can expect from your favorite Vatican Analog festival. We will be present with a few comebacks from our very own Vatican Analog collective, plus many other noisy friends and maybe you? We are looking for noise artists to join our notorious party, if you are available, get in touch for details at email@example.com
Some impressions from former Optimus Prime Noisefests:
We just launched a small crowdfunding campaign for a new project: Saehansori, or with other words: New Korean Sounds. We are curating a compilation album with new experimental music from South Korea.
A selection of experienced and less experienced artists from the underground scenes in South Korea (mostly Seoul) will come together at this compilation which will be distributed both digitally and physically. In collaboration with Korean visual artist Jihyun Kim we will produce a handmade piece of artwork including a USB-stick containing the music. All of this will come in the shape of a postcard sent in a wax sealed envelope. For the modest price of 13 euro’s this magic envelope be sent to wherever on this planet your house is. These will be produced manually with a lot of love and craftsmanship, but only once. Limited edition!
Check out the crowdfunding page to pre-order your edition, or pick one of the exciting packages that will give extra support to the local scene.
To get warmed up, here’s one of the contributors honoring Korean traditional music in modern ways (this doesn’t mean all contributions have traditional references by the way, it will be a diverse mix from calm ambient via micronoise to nihilist drones):
The mood of the fall of 2013 is now definitely set by two releases this month of the dark techno guys Hidden Rulers. With ‘Golden Dawn’ and ‘Bayesian Inference’ Hidden rulers brings techno Vatican Analog style: stuff that sounds like the batteries have eroded on it. Like the machines had a skin rash. Like the sequencer had a sick day. Weirded out percussive slabs of lo-fi techno noise that don’t go for the maximum in distortion, but for the maximum in atmosphere. Minimal in melody and minimal in meaning, this is music that’s honest. It only does what it’s meant for. You can dance to it, that’s your choice. No breaks, no big chorus, no deep touching melodies. Just dark and bleak machine sounds for like minded souls.
Listen and download Golden Dawn here:
Listen and download Bayesian Inference here:
A brand new release by a brand new project: F – M CDOT G drops 3 tracks of undiluted dark ambient on you. Recorded live at the kitchen table by the two unnamed members of this project, with minimal means and straight to good old cassette tape fort hat extra hum of ferro chrome. The three tracks, named after slight variations in Holland’s gravity field, feature machinery, contact mics, weird phone apps and field recordings and are meant to lull you in a state of mental relaxation. The tracks evoke a dark sci fi imagery of lost planets, eroded space equipment and strange streches of travel where absolutely nothing happens and all sense of time is lost.
Stream it here or show the love by buying the full album for just 2,95 euros:
Our Staplerfahrer just got a new release on our friends’ label Moving Furniture Records: The Four Elements. It is a nice looking 3 inch cd-r that comes in a hand numbered card and envelope with your personal address on it. Also available at bandcamp, listen to it and buy it here:
It has been a while, but Vatican Analog is back with a total new website. We’re busy uploading our releases from the past for you to freely listen and we’re working on new ones in the meanwhile. One of the main causes of Vatican Analog having been so quiet in the past years is that members of our collective physically moved away from each other, getting busy with a variety of things. But here on vaticananalog.com we unite again. We will connect to like minded artists to get our catalog going again and work on our own projects as well.
This doesn’t mean we have been idle, like Wouter Jaspers is booking a tour at the moment and soon will release a new EP and staplerfahrer also is releasing his new works both on Vatican Analog as on other great independent labels. Vincent Koreman has been extremely busy with his great festival Incubate, but is making fame with his deep and dark beats of Drvg Cvlvtre, rumours has it that he will soon launch new tunes on Vatican Analog as well. Neurobit-man Bas Welling just launched his new dark ambient project Former Decent at the french netlabel Sirona Records.
On this blog we keep you up to date of what we are doing, but we can’t resist posting about other great things from the world of the great experimental soundworks we stumble upon. We’re open for ideas and collaborations that fit in the Vatican Analog philosophy. Hopefully we see you soon on the roads and around the interwebs.