A Artemiev & C de Laurenti - 57 Minutes To Silence
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This first collaboration between Russian noise-nik Artemiy Artemiev and American-based sound artist Christopher De Laurenti opens with a frightful vision of the marching masses deep inside the heart of early twentieth-century Moscow. Short shouts ring and then are cut off for a few seconds before (almost) settling into its theme, sounding like a rail-car full of monkeys abusing their fellow passengers as they begin shunting their way out to Siberia. A blizzard of noise rattling, pounding, dispersing then interlocking, shifting in both rhythm and volume. I am yet to hear a more faithful version of a train pulling out of St. Petersburg (or Seattle) headed for the deep coal-fields of North-east Asia (or Canada). Short loops of machine samples bounce around each other--catching up and then drifting apart as if you were travelling beside the train in a banged up early seventies European motor. Their experiments here remind you of the early minimalists and their attempts to capture the pulsing, mechanised voices around them. And then it slows down. From the original starting point the vehicle begins to pull into a line of different stations made from pure light and air. Waves of quiet white and pink noise follow the same thinning and thickening pattern of volume and timbre. And when the carriage stops you stop. You begin hearing all the long drawn out sounds around you, you feel the night creeping into your bones and spreading its own music while you stand, outside the train, staring at the stars. But then you?re off again, being threaded through dark tunnels and along the edges of deep, forested caverns. The title of the record could be read into as something that they want to get out of the way, an album made just to get to the silence at the end. But the truth is that silence runs through the whole record, often for minutes of chance-inducing qualities. Quoting the music and moods of John Cage might seem easy to some, but to stop your album half-way through and have the listener think of or imagine the sounds around them is a talent that should (and will) always be commended. Reminding us again that time is not and never was real Artemiev and De Laurenti lull us into a space forever open and enduring, either 57 minutes from pressing play or not. review by Joel Hedrick, for indie-cds.com 2005
57 Minutes To Silence - Artemiy Artemiev & Christopher de Laurenti
" 57 Minutes to Silence is Artemiy's first collaboration with Seattle, Washington based artist Christopher De Laurenti. I'd first heard De Laurenti on one of the "Electroshock" compilations and this album is very different from the symphonic Vangelis styled music heard on that track. "57 Minutes to Silence" includes some of the harshest works I've heard from Artemiy. Relatively short tracks like "A Glimpse" treat us to an ear piercing array of sounds. "Conlon's Dub" is an avant-tribal electro-percussion dance around the campfire. "Aboard the Coalfire" is a gorgeously chaotic piece that brings to mind a spaceship crashing into a symphony hall. And "Recalibration" is a subtle and often quiet blend of static, noise, and the swirl and hum of aircraft engines. But there are also two lengthy tracks in which the duo take time to stretch out. "Transmission From the Coalfire" begins with quietly flowing orchestral atmospherics that include an underlying flying saucer spiraling wildly. The music drifts along peacefully for about 5 minutes at which point the volume and intensity levels rise as sweeping waves of sound like wind blasting through a cave crashed into my ears, rumbling in my eardrums and pulsating in my brain. There's not really a lot happening but it's the physical effect that makes this sound sculpture stand out. I found myself dodging and weaving (with hand firmly on the volume control) as rushing waves of sound quickly but fluidly transformed from ambient to whistling to almost mind shattering. They hover like a tornado deciding which way to turn... then suddenly twist and dart off causing massive destruction. "Received Through the Nebula" is a similar but far more ambient and understated work. The artists paint an aural landscape of spacey atmospherics, and the listener need only sit back and enjoy the ride. Some very interesting ideas and effects though overall this album didn't excite me as much as the others."
- Jerry Kranitz ("Aural Innovations")
"As if inspired by the ghosts of an abandoned mine, this album permits the listener to look through a series of windows towards places where our earthly reality never reaches. The treatment of sound that the artists have given the pieces puts any natural sound or any sound that could be created with a musical instrument far away from us. They make spooky whispers paint terrifying melodies, as if they were transmissions from feral regions of cosmic devastation or from the dark depths of hell." - Dominique Chevant ("Amazing Sounds")
"Never has an album title been more apt than this one - this collaboration between Artemiy Artemiev and Christopher De Laurenti certainly packs a lot of sound into the CD's 57 minutes. I say sound because I'm not sure what I am hearing could be classified as music as we are used to it. This album has a cosmic theme running through the track titles, and to be honest if you told me that what I was hearing was the sounds of stars and planets recorded via a radio telescope then I would believe you.
The album opens with "Conlon's Dub", not as you might think a quick visit to an Irish watering hole but an almost tribal-beat piece of electronica that whizzes between the speakers and fades to and fro in a demented fashion. "A Glimpse" is a short piece of cosmic chimera, followed by "Internal Static Bursts" which again is exactly what it says it is. "Transmission from the Coalfire" begins very quietly, the most peaceful section of the album by far - it grows slowly, a series of drones, buzzes, hums and cymbal crashes over fifteen minutes of extreme oddness before fading into the void again. "Aboard the Coalfire" starts with what sounds like crashing pianos and voices yelling incomprehensibly. Recalibration starts with distorted bells tolling and what sounds like rustling scaffolding, mixed with a ringing sound. Very weird. "Received through the Nebula" continues the cosmic theme with a slowly building soundscape that is mixed so low for first half that you need to crank up the volume just to hear it. This is the most atmospheric piece on the album and an ideal soundtrack if you are reading the source material for "2001: A Space Odyssey". The final track "Solar Speech" is really just a coda to the previous one, ending the album with more cosmic chimera. This is probably one of the more satisfying and challenging albums of the latest batch. "
- John Peters ("The Borderland")