VA: v-p v-f is v-n
Winds Measure Recordings

v-p v-f is v-n is the second in a cassette-based compilation series from Winds Measure Recordings (available in an edition of 300). Many of the contributors' names will be familiar to listeners conversant with the electroacoustic and experimental fields, as Jason Kahn, Ben Owen, Giuseppe Ielasi, Ferran Fages, Sawako, Lawrence English, Gilles Aubry, Alessandro Bosetti, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Tarab, and Greg Davis are among those responsible for the recording's fifty-plus selections. Being a cassette, there's naturally no indexing so a stopwatch is needed for those wanting to keep track of who's responsible for a given piece. Suffice it to say all of those involved hew closely to the one-minute average, and their contributions range in content from field recordings to an occasional instrument-based setting. No details beyond track titles are provided (some, like “On the Tristan Chord,” “Conversation With a Wolf,” and “The Rhymed Chord” are enigmatic yet evocative, while others, such as “Lisbon Station” and “Floating Bridge—Willemsrad—Curacao,” directly reference locations) so one can only guess at what the originating sound sources are for many tracks; nevertheless, most are minimal in character with a modicum of sounds on display, some of them industrial and many suggestive of urban and natural locales. The saw of a cello, pluck of an acoustic guitar, the sci-fi swoop and bleep of a modular synthesizer, drones of grainy static and sci-fi warble, and creaking and scratchy noises of indeterminate character are a representative sampling of the sounds included. Bee-like buzzing and insect thrum are heard during Takefumi Naoshima's piece, while mangled French speaking voices appear in Alessandro Bosetti's. There's certainly one advantage to the one-minute format: constant stimulation and surprise. No listener will grow impatient with an overly long piece—because there aren't any. Each one appears just long enough to establish its individuating character and then politely steps aside. It goes without saying that the collection is geared towards adventurous listeners with an appetite for experimental music.

February 2011