dielectric minimalist all-stars | [i!]

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Avant Garde: Modern Composition Electronic: Experimental Moods: Type: Experimental
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by dielectric minimalist all-stars

Heavy, freaky, glistening and gorgeous electronic music. Features jazz drummer Jason Levis and Loren Chasse (Thuja, Jewelled Antler etc.)
Genre: Avant Garde: Modern Composition
Release Date: 

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1. disc 1: forth-reich Die Elektrischen
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2. disc 1: cocaine lovin' orange county kids Die Elektrischen
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3. disc 1: dual rails under montana snow Die Elektrischen
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4. disc 1: when in naples, eat! Die Elektrischen
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5. disc 1: the light is green... go... go... go! Die Elektrischen
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6. disc 1: bellicose asshole in charge Die Elektrischen
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7. disc 1: cruisin' deep space with hendrix' ghost and a handful of Die Elektrischen
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8. disc 2: calabi-yau space (cp) Chris Palmatier
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9. disc 2: sooz (sonic death monkies) Sonic Death Monkies
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10. disc 2: bad people (carson day) Carson Day
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11. disc 2: A DE EM DF MA (aemae) Aemae
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12. disc 2: platitudes (gerritt) Gerritt
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13. disc 2: scent of broken stones (arastoo) Arastoo
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14. disc 2: another time (gerritt) Gerritt
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15. disc 2: the path of beaten gold (aemae) Aemae
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16. disc 2: another place (gerritt) Gerritt
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17. disc 2: zell (sonic death monkies) Sonic Death Monkies
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Album Notes
This is not your professor's minimalism. This 2CD from the Dielectric Minimalist All-Stars offers new interpretations of this often-academic genre, seeking to inject it with liberal doses of heaviness and electronic noise. Consider it mission accomplished, at least according to UK's The Wire magazine, who named the Minimalist All-Stars one of their Top Ten Electronic Albums of 2004.

[i!] is the creation of a variety of musicians and composers grouped together under the fictitious and ridiculous All-Star moniker. This recording was built around a core trio, consisting of sound artist Loren Chasse, free jazz drummer Jason Levis and experimental turntablist Die Elektrischen. The raw tracks were then either arranged and mixed by Die Elektrischen (disc one) or passed on to six outside producers (disc two), whose work ranges from indie electronica (Chris Palmatier, Carson Day) to breakcore (Sote) to noise (Gerritt).


to write a review

Francois Couture

almost a "new American Minimalist" take on Acid Mothers Temple
Spearheaded by Drew Webster, aka Die Elektrischen, this album brings together improvisers and digital composers that hadn't worked together before. At the core of Dielectric Minimalist All-Stars are Die Elektrischen on prepared turntables, improv drummer Jason Levis, and multi-instrumentalist Loren Chasse (of Jewelled Antler Collective and Thuja fame). The three of them improvised in the studio, working out their own conception of "minimalist music," which turns out to be slightly more eventful than the music of the Dielectric Drone All-Stars, released in 2003. Somewhere between the sonic universes of the post-folk (or so-called "New Weird America") underground and European electro-acoustic improv, the music proposes generous amounts of strange,nondescript sounds and disquieting textures. Disc one of this double set features material from this studio session later arranged and mixed by Die Elektrischen. Highlights include "Cocaine Lovin' Orange County Kids" (a very nice use of a ticking alarm clock) and "Cruising Deep Space With Hendrix' Ghost and a Handful of Green Globe Blotter" almost a "new American Minimalist" take on Acid Mothers Temple! Disc two is comprised of pieces composed by Chris Palmatier, the Sonic Death Monkies, Carson Day, Aemen, Arastoo, and Gerritt, using more material from the same recording session. The pieces on disc one sound natural, very close to what went on in the studio. Disc two proudly bears the mark of the composers, the manipulations taking center stage. Do not attempt to draw conclusions on minimalist music from this smorgasbord of approaches. Between Gerritt's digi-noise, the breakcore of Sonic Death Monkies (a duet featuring Dielectric recording artist Sote) and Arastoo's soft-spoken drones, the concept of minimalism goes through several reinterpretations. The common thread is the idea of accomplishing a lot with limited means. And it works. But these two discs form a radical pair and go beyond the beaten format of "session-plus-remixes."

Dan Warburton

Loren Chasse, Jason Levis and Die Elektrischen have cooked up two discs of elect
Is [i!] the album title, or just the nauseous thought of a group called the Minimalist All-Stars? Ladiiiiiiiies and gentlemen welcome to Madison Square Garden for tonite's wrestling and give it up first of all for the guy in the blue corner, Mister Steeeeeve Reich (who hasn't written anything worthy of the name "minimalist" since "Different Trains" and is still happily performing "Drumming", which was written back in 1971 - though it still sounds great: let's hear no more sniggers about Mick'n'Keef still strutting their stuff to "Satisfaction".. those oooooldies but gooooodies.. tralalala) AND in the red corner let's hear it for Mister Phillllllip Glass (the only composer daft - or rich - enough to write first inversion F minor triads for over a quarter of a century and still claim he's the legitimate heir to the mighty Cage). Actually just joking folks, as there's no chance Reich and Glass would ever agree to appear on the same wrestling bout as they each dispute the other's claim to have "invented" minimal music in the first place, when as any smart kid will tell you, La Monte Young and Terry Riley (both of whom have had the good sense to stay at home tonight, fans) got there first. Instead, put your hands together in an impromptu performance of "Clapping Music" for Mister Jooooohn Adams (taking time off from his latest opera project, what's it's name, erm, "The Monica Lewinsky Affair" or was it "Who's Afraid of Michael Moore?" and who cares anyway as he's been ripping off Stravinsky's "Symphony in Three Movements" since Ronnie Reagan was saving the world from the Red Peril by beginning bombing in five minutes) and, the in opposite corner, his worthy opponent tonite Mister Miiiiiiiichael Nyman (as famous for apparently coining the "M" word in the first place as he is for swiping a couple of bars of Purcell here and a couple of Mozart there, looping them ad nauseam, rescoring for Roxy Music circa 1972 and then peddling the whole affair to an obscure and long-forgotten structuralist filmmaker). Yep, though it might be fun to watch four ageing, balding gents in fair round belly with good capon lin'd going the full fifteen rounds (to the strains of "Spaceship" from "Einstein On The Beach", or "Music for 18 Musicians" or "Harmonielehre" or "Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds" depending on who comes out on top), I think on balance I'd prefer to stay at home and listen to [i!] instead, though God only knows what the hell this music has got to do with minimalism, and as I've spent far too much time in print musing on this subject - see elsewhere - I'm not opening that can o' worms again. Suffice it to say that if this qualifies as minimalism you could make a pretty strong case for including Jackie O' Motherfucker, Polwechsel, Hasil Adkins, Morton Feldman, Bo Diddley, The Vibracathedral Orchestra, John Fahey, Aphex Twin, AMM, the Velvet Underground, the Troggs, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Bruckner, Bach (all of 'em), Palestrina, Dufay, Machaut, the Imperial Court Musicians of the Japan and the entire pygmy population of Africa too. So forget the dumb branding strategy and trade in your old jizz-stained copies of Satyagraha, The Cave, Nixon In China and Drowning By Numbers for a copy of this, because Loren Chasse, Jason Levis and Die Elektrischen have cooked up two discs of electronic music that sound as good as their track titles ("Cocaine Lovin' Orange County Kids", "When in Naples, Eat!", "Bellicose Asshole In Charge", "Cruising Deep Space With Hendrix' Ghost And A Handful Of Green Globe Butter"..). And if any of these three characters thirty years down the line EVER turns out anything as execrable as the "Low Symphony" or whatever the hell it was called rest assured I will swim the Atlantic and insert an iPod fully loaded with the Compleat Works of Steve, Phil, John and Michael right in their USB port.

Eugenio Maggi

the 7 tracks on disc 1 are a mesmerizing flow of crystalline drones, sparse but
Second part of a trilogy, after the great Drone double disc (search archive), and preceding a Field recordings chapter, "[i!]" is again a brilliant collective work of the Dielectric family, which is quickly becoming one of the most interesting labels in the field of indie electronica. The 2-disc set comes in a classy design with text in silver and orange ink on vellum. The Minimalist All-Stars playing on disc 1 are Loren Chasse (Id Battery, Thuja, the Blithe Sons, Jewelled Antler collective) at piano, stones, microphones, bells, electronic devices, hand-held tape decks, emanations, breath; Drew Webster aka Die Elektrischen (also Dielectric mastermind) at prepared turntables and mixing; and Bay Are jazz/improv drummer Jason Levis, at drums, cymbals, sticks, medium mallets, wire brushes, bow and fingers. With a very well curated and effective mixing/editing job, the 7 tracks on disc 1 are a mesmerizing flow of crystalline drones, sparse but at times ominous drumming, and concrete sounds. "Forth-Reich" is a stunning beginning, with the melodic pulse of (what resembles) an organ and a swaying of feedbacks; "Cocaine lovin' Orange County kids" is all played on a persistent ticking and low-volume drones; "Bellicose asshole in charge" features quiet drumming and menacing gong-like throbs; "Cruising deep space with Hendrix' ghost and a handful of green globe blotter" is an apt title for the final psychedelic ambient-drone galore. A great disc, full of mystery, emotion and melancholia, a trademark for Chasse's works, and this is surely one of his best. Disc 2 features remixes of raw recordings by a series of producers: Chris Palmatier (of brian_and_chris), Sonic Death Monkies (featuring Sote), Carson Day, Aemae and Arastoo. The result is nice, but not as brilliant as the studio part. Palmatier offers a great electroacoustic/glitch piece, Arastoo is effective with his isolationist ambient, and in general, the style is - predictably - a mix of electroacoustics, minimal ambiences and post-industrial obsessions. The only one who in my opinion doesn't fit is Carson Day, as his rhythmic electronica is a bit jarring in this context. But anyway, a great release.


focused determination to dominate sound waves within a fixed and unfixed structu
This double-disc set from one of pioneering forces in ambient and noise is an exception to the rule that minimalism should not be loud, noisy, or ever heavy. More of a focused determination to dominate sound waves within a fixed and unfixed structure, “[i!]” is what I’ve come to expect from the Bay Area electronic label Dielectric Records. Truly a professor of sound, the tunes were started with the quieter sound with microphones so sensitive that improv drummer Jason Levis says “every movement of our bodies, our breathing even, had to be incorporated into the improvisation. The feeling was ‘life is sound’.” I couldn’t agree more with that comparison. This isn’t average music but exists echelons higher, creating a new caste system of sound. Experimental turntablist Die Elektrischen did the mixing and arrangement on the first disc while the second was handed over to a variety of producers whose previous work includes breakcore, noise, and electronica outfits. The amazing thing is that if you’re not listening carefully you could easily miss some little nuance that is some juxtaposition of the entire piece. Big exciting thumbs up here.