| Switches | Various
Time: June 04
Media: CD & Digital Download
Info: A maximal compilation featuring 18 tracks of
detailed and sophisticated electronic glitch, beats and,
ambient microsound from around the world. With works
from renowned electronic artists such as Ochre
(Toytronic), Robin Judge (Mille Plateau), Diagram of
Suburban Chaos (Imputer?), Another Electronic
Musician (n5md), further releases from the Audiobulb
regulars and a dub-indietronica piece from the newly
discovered talent Calika.
Artist website: http://www.audiobulb.com
01. Nurture Nature
02. New Teeth
03. Latticel Work
04. So Gone
06. Song For A Republic
07. Un Peopled
08. Pausing (As If Unsure)
09. Ter Iara
10. Requiem Pour Une ...
11. Ponl Misc Mol Msc ...
13. Percule Extract
15. You Can Get Here ...
18. Little Tummies (For ...
Diagram Of Suburban Chaos
Another Electronic Musician
|REVIEWS | Switches
I love the name of Audiobulb's new compilation: Intricate Maximals. It suggests an environment of Mandelbrotian
complexity, a series of whirrs, clicks, pops and bleeps that encompasses a virtuality of infinite expression.
Modern electronic music with its thousand layers of DSP patches, virtual interfaces and unlimited track layering
allows for music that can be both infuriating in its obtuseness and delightful in its confusion of elements. Intricate
Maximals dodges the former by highlighting the latter.
Calika's "Latticel Work" is a skewed pop song that has cloaked itself in a haze of machine noise and radio static,
hiding the casual drum kit and winsome acoustic guitar beneath a field of staggering static pulses and arrhythmic
metallic elements. Opener Autistici's "Nurture Nature" burrs a field recording of birds and crickets with the slow
cascade of siren tones and buzzing curves of processed noise, a broken soundtrack to an artificial world.
Room performs a 'ventrimix' on "So Gone" by Diagram of Suburban Chaos, looping a wordless breath of female
vocals against a slumbering beat and the rounded evolution of early morning sunrise tones in a pleasantly non-
There is stuttering glitch pop in Marion's "Unpeopled," clattering burps of sound against a laconic melody, while
Cedar A.V.'s "Song for a Republic" slathers radio hiss over a slow acoustic melody, a folksy banana republic
commentary that picks up a gamboling lattice work of glitch and micro-elements. As the song progresses, Cedar
A.V. continues to layer elements, adding drum kit, squelchy synth pads and looped vocals to build a
comprehensive slice of life from the tiny capital of a minuscule republic. Disastrato's "Requiem Pour une Peuille
Mort" is a Plunderphonics burst of synthesizers and vocals, a quick spin across the AM radio dial, capturing
bursts of church chorals, piano music, half-words of talk shows, antique radio commercials still rattling about
the dial and the barest hint of 50's rock and roll. The requiem thunders through this cut-up of Americana before
devolving into a shuddering rumble of subterranean magma movement.
Effacer's incomprehensibly titled "Ponl Misc Mol Msc Nyk Oocl Uasc Vroon Yang Ming" is the closet thing to a
dub track, a sparse ping-pong affair that sounds like a minimalist version of a ~scape record. Room offers
"Percule Extract," a bare beatless hymn of horizon-seeking tones while Build's "You Can Get Here From There
(if you don't mind the T left over)" builds gently from organic tones and harmonica into a luminous piece of soft
Containing eighteen tracks in all, Intricate Maximals compresses several dozen hours worth of musical motifs
and ideas into eighty minutes of electronic expression. What keeps Audiobulb's latest compilation interesting is
the diversity of approaches and sonic creativity. There's a lot of ideas here and most of them are executed with
complex aplomb. Excellent.
The process of becoming a respected electronica imprint used to involve a bare knuckle boxing match held
after dark in secluded home county barns but, just like fox hunting before, the city folk have gone and banned
it with new labels wishing to make a name for themselves now required to release a compilation instead. The
Audiobulb label here scatters a handful of names you already know (Ochre, Robin Judge, Diagram of Suburban
Chaos) amongst a load you probably don't (Oti, Autistici, Taavi Tuley, Claudia). Featuring something to please
all electronic cognoscente's palates, 'Intricate Maximals' showcases minimal style clicks and fizz with Autistici's
'Nurture Nature', chopped vocals and drifting digital proclivity on Diagram of Suburban Chaos' 'So Gone
(Ventramix)' and the lint-like, half captured crackle of Jan Jelinek through Robin Judge's 'Fall'. Elsewhere Taavi
Tulev comes across like a less breaks obsessed Keith Tenniswood with the penetrating beats and giddy
percussion of 'Tuhikli'. Check.
Drawing on their diverse roster, Audiobulb‘s latest compilation showcases a range of experimental electronic
music from the most ambient of string epics to the glitchiest error fest. Those familiar with previous ‘Bulb
releases will find the continuing explorations here diverse enough to maintain interest, yet holding to the label‘s
investigative thematic focus. Standouts include Taavi Tulev‘s "Tühkli," a haunting and rhythmically charged
exploration of cavernous melody, and Oti‘s "Little Tummies," a Vangelis-inspired string-and-atmospherics opus
that closes out the compilation in fine style. A fine addition to this excellent label‘s growing and innovative catalog.
Another net label that is currently making a mark is Sheffield-based Audiobulb Records. Having already released a
CD, Switches, in 2004, the Audiobulb team returns with Intricate Maximals, which collects the work of eighteen
artists scattered around the world. Yet, the only concept behind this project is to let artists free of experimenting
in whichever way they see fit, a principle that has served the label well until now.
Intricate Maximals collects works from the label’s regular roster (Disastrato, Autistici, Claudia or new comer Calika)
as well as guests, including the likes of Ochre, Prhizzm or Another Electronic Musician. The eighteen tracks
presented here have all in common, as the title of this compilation suggests, to be extremely diverse intricate
electronic constructions, ranging from warm analogue electronic (Ochre, Taavi Tulev) to glitch-ridden compositions
(Calika, Marion) or complex organic formations (Diagram Of Suburban Chaos), each defining a particular sonic
space for the artist to evolve in. From entirely electronic soundscapes to field recordings and acoustic
instrumentations, there is a great diversity of sources to be found here. Despite the apparent mechanical aspect
of some of the music presented here, the listener is reminded of the human implication behind these compositions
by the use of vocal samples, as on Diagram Of Suburban Chaos’s So Gone or Disastrato’s Requiem Pour Une
Surprisingly, Intricate Maximals sounds far more consistent than could be first expected, as if a running theme had
been specifically devised to accommodate the vision of Audiobulb, yet, it is this very vision that shapes this
collection, crafting every particular angle of each track. Intricate Maximals is no short of impressive and continue
to show Audiobulb as an imprint to rely on.
LIVID LOOKING GLASS
This compilation album from Audiobulb Records represents a vast and eclectic mix of electronics, samples and
textures, creating an intricate and compelling soundscape. This CD doesn't strike you as a compilation, but as a
complete and artistic picture filled with sounds and environments. The album focuses on organic sounds and
animal impressions, and has some of the most intricate and fascinating programming that one can hear. Fans
of ambient techno, noise, and experimental music will very much enjoy this release. It stretches from the harsh
and abrasive to the peaceful and beautiful. It is suggested that one listens to this from start to finish, with
headphones and no interruptions.
Intricate Maximals is like a bag of M&Ms -- we all know we'll be getting an assortment of candy-coated chocolate
pieces, but everyone has a favorite color -- and that's the real reason for buying the bag. Similarly, Intricate
Maximals, offers an assortment of IDM/experimental electronic tracks from eighteen of Audiobulb's artists. There
are some definite gems here, but as with our bag of M&Ms, some are only worth consuming as a way to get to
the next track (or the red M&M). Diagram of Suburban Chaos's "So Gone" is a definite highlight -- a surprisingly
emotive IDM piece that fuses ethereal synthesizers with laptop bleeps and blurps. Cedar A.V., whose members
include Nicholas Sanborn of Decibully, contribute the solid "Song for a Republic", which layers electronic beats
over a post-rock guitar riff. Other tracks, such as Another Electronic Musician's "Qualm" and Calika's "Latticel
Work", are more stereotypical IDM, but they highlight their respective creators' proficiency in the genre.
Audiobulb clearly has a very competent roster; not everything on Intricate Maximals is unique or groundbreaking,
but the overall product is a palatable mix of yellows, greens, browns and, yes, reds.
Jajaja, ich bin schon Fan, wenn ich irgendwo Autistici auf einer Compilation sehe. Nicht dass ich den Rest der
Acts kennen würde, oder mehr als nur so mal gehört. Das Label aus Sheffield schafft es, eine der vielseitigsten
digitalen Comilations seit einiger Zeit zu machen auf der Glitch nicht Breakcore heißt, Elektronika nicht
Schaumschlägerei und Indietronic nicht dass jemand ne Gitarre halten kann. Von wegen. Jeder Track eine echte
Skulptur mit massiven Ideen und verrückten Grooves, zerstörter aber ebenso schwingender Attitude und vor
allem hält das Ganze auch noch lässig zusammen. Wer auf Musik steht, die an der Grenze zum Experiment doch
noch von Grooves lebt und sich dabei selber aufzuknabbern scheint, der braucht dieses Album.
L'inglese Audiobulb, di cui abbiamo già parlato in passato, persevera nel proporre i suoi artisti (i cui lavori sono
stati precedentemente diffusi quasi esclusivamente attraverso files mp3) attraverso il più convenzionale supporto
fonografico del cd. Si legge nelle sleeve-notes che questo album è da considerarsi un progetto "massimale". E non
massimalista. Forse… Bulgakov affermava in un contesto non strettamente legato all'espressione artistica, che il
massimalismo dei fini è intimamente legato il massimalismo dei mezzi, che se scelti in maniera poco avveduta (il
"tutto è permesso" del demone di Dostoevskij), configurerebbe la più "concreta" manifestazione della natura divina
dell'eroismo intellettualoide propria di alcuni nostri simili. In altri termini, ci si collocherebbe nella stessa posizione di
chi ragione approssimativamente in questi termini: io cerco di realizzare il mio progetto liberandomi in tal guisa dei
canoni della morale, mi permetto di esercitare un potere pressocchè totale non solo sulle proprietà altrui ma anche
sulla loro vita, se ciò è funzionale al perseguimento del mio scopo. Una forma mentis diffusa ma piuttosto
pericolosa, essendo il postulato di qualsiasi dittatore che si rispetti… Trasponendo con ardore intellettuale i termini
a questi Intricate Maximals, premettendo (ed è una premessa più che doverosa), può dirsi che prendendo come
riferimento l'affermazione di Bulgakov, il roster della Audiobulb sembra preferire il massimalismo dei mezzi quello
dei fini, risultando spesso coraggiosa la scelta timbrica e l'esplorazione sonoritmica. Per aver contezza di quanto
affermata basti considerare un dato: la cover-art. Più una rip/roduzione di un microcosmo brulicante di freaks
biomeccanici che napoleonica espressione di potenza devastante. Ma sarà bene per evitare di condurre il lettore
in meandri intellettualspeculativi dai traguardi indefiniti, fermarci al dato percettivo.
Capita di imbattersi in textures organiche (accezione da intendersi in senso lato), in corruschi movimenti ritmici
(talvolta -come nel workout di Calika - viene alla memoria il backtracking dei Funkstorung o la de-stretturazione
propria di produzioni autechriane), in anthem micro-epigonici sullo stile dei Sabres Of Paradise (Diagram of
Suburban Chaos, Build) o in camei piuttosto "whirled" sulla falsariga di produzioni secrete da etichette quali
Quatermass e spa. RK releases.
Complessivamente l'ascolto risulterà piacevole per gli amanti della sinusoide distorta e per gli entomologi più
entusiasti dei loro studi!
The aspect of Audiobulb Records that instantly manifests in my mind upon thinking of the label is the fact that
they refused to release my humble attempt at electronica. Helpfully, they pointed out that ‘I didn’t feature in the
direction they wanted to take the label’ – of course, I decided to send them my own material without having heard
anything they’d released, I suppose just assuming that their take on modern electronic music was along similar lines
to my own. However, on closer (probably advisable) listen, I realised that this was not quite the case.
Audiobulb Records artists opt for a carefully constructed, painstakingly precise and sophisticated glitch-based
electronic affair, some bringing to mind the masterful Xanopticon (except perhaps less frantic); other the microtonal
meanderings of London-based favourites Electrotronical Records; and occasionally even hints of the complex
hip-hop inspired grooves of Planet Mu hero edIT are detectable (not least in latest protégé Calika’s beautiful
contribution to the compilation ‘Latticel Work’).
The label itself is a curious affair, releasing (compilations or multimedia projects are thee main concern) largely on
mp3 on paying sites such as Napster or iTunes, keeping up with the current and principal market effectively.
However, when they do decide to release a CD proper (e.g. 2004’s superlative compilation Switches), all eyes
are deservedly on them.
On first listen, the variety on offer here is admirable and definitely a strong salient point for both the initiated
electronica fans - the infamously snooty IDM List subscribers (myself included, of course) for example - as well
as the inexperienced glitch listeners (the compilation itself may be considered a little ‘heavy-going’ for some –
due to the complex and seemingly mechanic nature of some of the pieces - but can definitely point in the right
direction if little else).
To address the tracks themselves: it seems that Calika’s aforementioned ‘Latticel Work’ stands alongside the Room
remix of ‘So Gone’ (originally by Diagram of Suburban Chaos) as the most instantly gripping track of the compilation.
That said, the ‘demented circus’ effect of Disastrato’s effort ‘Requiem Pour Un Feuille Morte’ and the glitching
subtleties of Ochre and Taavi Tulev serve the record well as engagingly warm electronica, as does Switches lead
man Rudolphe Küffer’s ‘Question’, which bubbles and pops by like a the calm dreams of a blissful robot.
All things considered, this is a highly recommendable record for any IDM enthusiasts; it creates incentive, if we
needed any, to hunt down more material by the more established names and gain an effective vantage point to
scope out the new breed of producers. Also, priced at a wallet-friendly, £6.90 (about $13), this is a record more
than worth spending hard-earned capitol on.
INTRICATE MAXIMALS (CD compilation by Audiobulb Records) The young Audiobulb label is both active on the
front of releasing CDs aswell as offering their releases for download, sometimes even for free. Following
'Switches', their first compilation (see Vital Weekly 422), they now offer another compilation under the banner
of 'Intricate Maximals'.
Musically they move away from the ambient chill out music of the previous compilation, and the eightteen pieces
on this new one are all in the areas of intelligent techno music. All of these bands (probably, rather, all of these
one-man bands) are new to me, even when some of them have releases on other labels, such as Ochre for
Toytronic or Another Electronic Musician for n5md. There is a great sense of homogenity on this CD, which is
nice, but there are also some disadvantages to it. Firstly many of the tracks sound alike, and with nineteen in
just under eighty minutes, this is a bit long. Then some of the tracks are also a bit long, and after a while you
may be fed up with melancholic piano chords and stuttery beats. But it serves as a good introduction to a lot
of new names (even when it's hard to pick out that one sublime track), so maybe this is not one of those
compilations that should be played back to back, but rather a small portion here and there. It's music that holds
no surprises, but brings nice music on a boring sunday afternoon. (FdW)
Audiobulb Records Intricate Maximals provides an extensive portfolio of IDM, microsound, glitched up guitar
acoustics ambience and groove. Intricate Maximals follows on from the superlative switches with a denser
sound, multi-layered constructions and electronic abstract conceptualisation. At 79 minutes and 18 tracks the
album runs an extensive course with attention to the flow and form of the overall story. Ambience builds into
constructed rhythms that in turn build into frenetic beats; each track represents an ebb and flow in the overall
Autistici creates a rich opener with a dense early morning hazy ambience. The texture is deep, with the sound
of nature, birds and wolves positioned far into the warm textural elements. Prhizzm cuts and crunches and builds
into a great bass groove. Calika's 'latticel work' is an astounding example of electroacoustic elements, underpinned
with a deep dub groove, intricate glitched percussion work and found sound. Marion produces 'un peopled' a work
containing Warp style melodics and a cut and drill rhythm section. Cedar A.V. includes the contribution of Erik
Schoster a.k.a. He Can Jog and the consistent command of structure and form is plain to see. Prickling with
acoustic tension before striking hits and dynamic hip-hop drums burst through with frenetic energy. Taavi Tulev
provides a straight IDM lesson in well-constructed beats and evocative ambience.
Diagram of Suburban Chaos returns in remixed form in the cut-up organic sounding 'so gone'. The ambience is
beautiful complete with deep resounding heartbeats and tiny details. Then the beat clicks and cuts in interspersed
with vocal utterances and electronic interjections. Claudia provides a brief but charming interlude with the aptly
names 'pausing (as if unsure)'. Minute sounds are placed in a rhythmic order - whirling and resolving across the
sound spectrum. Unscan brings back the IDM vibe with a rattling track with gorgeous percussion and a tune that
infiltrates the listeners head. Disastrato brings a unique madness to the proceedings - a compelling mesh of sliced
up audio and beats. Effacer's incomprehensible track title hides a highly charged static ambience and ethnic
Ochre is a master of compositional sequences. The detail in 'shiverbox' is astounding as the sound shakes into life
finding a broken groove and an expanding melodic line. Room's tiny 'percule extract' clears and cleans the head
with hydraulic air machinery and twinkling micro-ambience. Jason Rex's 'qualm' delivers and consistent slab of IDM
with a solid backbone and a hissing and crackling top layer. Build shimmers with elements from acoustic guitars and
harmonicas to electronic ambience and broken percussive hits. An unusual composition delivered with elegance.
Kuffer's 'question' continues with where he left off in Switches - deep glitch groove produced from an unknown
and beautifully broken machine. Robin Judge and OTI finish off the album with a gentle theme, moving from
microsound clicks and cuts to psychedelic ambience.
Filled with diversity and detail, Intricate Maximals delivers enough quantity and quality to engage the listener for
many repeat plays.
Audiobulb est un label récemment créé. Sa première release datant de mars 2004, Switches, a rencontré un
franc succès. Audiobulb s'affiche dans un genre, l'exploration électronique, où les artistes foisonnent ces derniers
temps, même si ceux-ci ne sont pas toujours très inspirés et innovants. Cette scène explose donc avec certes son
quota de créations peu convaincantes, mais ici Audiobulb fait gage de qualité en misant sur le détail et l’émotion,
tirant partie du glitch and groove, des ambiances environnementales et microsounds et s’entourant, pour cette
compilation et sixième sortie du label, d'une très belle équipe, composée entre autres d'Ochre, Robin Judge, du
lucide Another Electronic Musician, ou encore de la nouvelle recrue prometteuse Calika. En dix-huit titres, Intricate
Maximals nous donne la preuve immatérielle que la complexité et la sophistication peuvent encore sublimer
Dans l’ensemble, Intricate Maximals surprend par son niveau de détail et sa réalisation artistique. L’exploration
n’est pas au service d’une expérimentation sauvage, mais plutôt à celui d’une introspection contrôlée. L’art
électronique peut être vu comme un tigre auquel on a coupé les griffes et limé les crocs. Il s’agit bien d’une
compilation, et pourtant l’homogénéité est étonnante. Les meilleurs moments sont sans doute So Gone (Ventrimix)
de Diagram of Suburban Chaos, où une nappe ambiante vient soutenir un sample vocodé d’onomatopée, cuté,
gated et warped, Song for a Republic de Cedar A.V. où le groove vient secouer quelques sons de cordes
reverbées ainsi que des samples de chant encore une fois gated, Requiem pour une feuille morte de Disastrato,
véritable cadavre exquis de samples de rires, voix, sons de cartoons, de grenouilles, et bruits divers, et You
can get here from there de Build, où une mélodie très agréable est décorée d’harmonica, de sinusoïdes
percussives, le tout agrémenté d’une rythmique idm très bien pensée.
Le reste de cette compilation est d'un niveau de qualité assez plaisant, entre braindance et hearthdance, mélant
sens du détail et émotions fixées par un talent équitablement partagé.
This release from 2005 features 79 minutes of illbient compositions. Featured are tracks by:
Autistici: a moody dose of mechanical ambience.
Prhizzm: goaded on by hissing e-perc, chaos slowly manifests a central harmonic.
Calika: erratic clicks and buzzings coalesce.
Diagram of Suburban Chaos: sighing cybernetics interweave with distorted sounds and truncated vocal syllables.
Taavi Tulev: metallic impacts and clanking bottles provide a beat for some high altitude atmospherics.
Cedar A.V.: conventional instruments take a stab at accompanying illbient aspects.
Marion: playful piece employing futurist sounds to an anthem.
Claudia: a hesitant piece of minimalism.
Unscan: pulsations are trampled by machine beats and ethereal tones.
Disastrato: discordant elements strive to conquer melancholy.
Effacer: a soothing piece utilizing mutated bells and reasonable clicking.
Ochre: an urgent track that seems determined to snip away the end of every sound.
Room: enduring textures punctuated by subtle effects.
Another Electronic Musician: a vibrating backdrop hosts an electrified display.
Build: a pleasant dose of ambience is set upon by insidious cybernetic insects.
Rodolphe Kuffer: quirky embellishments duel for supremacy.
Robin Judge: crunching sounds mix with an advancing beep.
OTI: astral harmonics are gnawed upon my nanobots.
Fans of Autechre and Merzbow will enjoy hearing what newcomers are doing in this concrete genre.
Audiobulb Is an exploratory music label designed to support the work of innovative artists.
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