Illusion Of Safety
Illusion Of Safety intrepidly charts the terra incognita where sound, silence, noise and music intersect. Using
conventional instruments, sound generating devices and random objects, IOS hews sonic sculptures that
deliberately provoke, mesmerize and even affront listeners.
Illusion Of Safety has been the ongoing project of Dan Burke since 1983, working with numerous individuals in various combinations of one to 10 members. Their work has been continually evolving, never settling into an easy niche. Each
collaborator has brought their own unique perspective to the project. Since 1991 IOS have released 20 CDs on labels
such as Die Stadt, Silent, OddSize, Staalplaat, Soleilmoon, Manifold, Tesco, Ossosnossos, and Complacency. At times their work has been called ambient, post-industrial, electro-acoustic, electronica, noise, sound collage, improvisation, and powerelectronics. Unable to
categorize their work into one style, each release, live performance, and sometimes individual piece often shifts abruptly
from one atmosphere to another. Leading some to describe their output as schizophrenic.
ILLUSION OF SAFETY More Violence and Geography LP
This is the vinyl debut of a long-time cassette-making outfit that
specialize in dense, throbbing electronic ooze littered with found
voices, tape and record manipulation, loops, samples and all the
usual audio debris you would expect. In other words, it's not
exactly a new idea but if you tend to go for this sort of thing (as
I do) when it's done well, then you ought to give this disc a try.
Part of the album's strength is due to the relatively short length of
the tracks, which tend to run no longer than the average pop tune. I
also enjoyed the way IOS temper the rather morbid subject matter with
a bit of humor.--John Booth
Dan Burke working with electronic synthesis, computer
composition & manipulation, musical reference, and close microphone searching hands.
Referencing external & enhancing internal locations, manipulating semi-recognizable
elements in structures of a re-arranged language of error. Destroyed music,
broken sound, disturbed ambience and the quest for the sublime.
Burke has been experimenting with sound since 1981 following, and inspired
by seeing, the final two performances by Throbbing Gristle. He began working
with Mitch Enderle soon after. The original formation of IOS began in 1983
when Burke began working with the avant-rock group Dot Dot Dot (Thymme Jones,
Chris Block, Jef Bek, Rross Feller). This incarnation of the group was based
on free form improvisation. It was Burke's first musical collaboration with a group of
others, and for the other members it was a release from conventional musical
structures (Jazz & Rock), venturing into noise and textural atmospheres. The
first live performance of IOS was on June 17, 1983. This incarnation of IOS
did 2 more performances in the Chicago area in 1984. Burke continued to work
with Enderle during this time and in 1985 also began to work with Mark Klein
and Mark Sorensen.
In 1986 Burke and Thymme Jones founded their Complacency label in order to
release the work of IOS and Cheer-Accident (Jones' rock group, and solo music
project). In 1986, "Its A Dead Dog" - the first of 12 IOS cassettes - was
released on Complacency, and IOS began performing live again. Until 1988,
although he continued to work with Jones & Block (ex Dot Dot Dot), most of
the recordings and performances were done with the lineup of Burke, Enderle,
Klein, & Sorensen (all of whom shared more similar musical inspiration, as
well as a background in visual arts). In 1988, in association with RRRecords,
IOS released their first vinyl LP "More Violence and Geography" on
Complacency. In mid 1988 Jim O'Rourke began working with IOS, and soon after
Mark Sorensen relocated to the bay area. Over the next few years IOS began to
perform more frequently, including some performances outside the Chicago
area. In 1991, "Historical", the first IOS CD was released by the Dutch label
Staalplaat. The recordings were done by Burke, O'Rourke, Block, Enderle,
Jones, & Klein, and feature some of the earliest use of sampling &
sequencing technology by the group.
Since this period the lineup for live performance has been fluctuating,
but on tour it has been primarily Burke paired with one other member. The
recordings have always varied from solo work to full group participation. The
use of DAT tape and Sampling/Sequencing technology showed a strong influence
on the next six CD releases (Inside Agitator, Cancer, Probe, Distraction,
Rules Of The Game, and Water Seeks Its Own Level). In October of 1992 Burke &
O'Rourke composed and recorded the "Probe" CD, to be released by Staaplaat,
and also did the first European IOS tour. Ten performances were held in
France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. Early in 1993
O'Rourke stopped working with IOS in order to pursue his own solo projects.
During 1993 Burke & Jones began rehearsing for and embarked on the first U.S.
east coast tour by IOS. Recordings from these performances became "From
Nothing To Less", a CD they released on Complacency in 1995. This period also
saw IOS returning to a more organic electro-acoustic approach, still relying
on electronics and location recordings, but with far less use of sampled
sources, loops, & sequences. In 1994 Burke began working with Kurt Greisch
and in April 1995 Burke & Greisch embarked on a Western U.S. tour performing
their sample-based composition entitled Fin De Siécle (later released as an
LP on Korm Plastics). This was immediately followed by eight performances in
Europe consisting of electronic/electro-acoustic improvisation. During this
tour they also recorded their Mort aux Vaches CD for Staalplaat and VPRO
radio. During 1995-96 performances were given in Chicago with new
collaborators including Kevin Drumm, Ben Vida, Darren Gray, and Jeb Bishop,
many of these characterized by subtle improvisation and quiet passages.
Performance frequency began increasing at this time reaching a peak in
1997 when 28 performances were held. During 1997, Burke & Klein completed the
recordings for "Of and The" (their double ambient CD, to be released by
Soleilmoon), and then embarked on the first 7 shows of the third European
tour (in Germany, Sweden, and Austria). Burke then completed the tour doing
14 more solo performances in Germany, France, Switzerland, and the
Netherlands (where he recorded another Mort Aux Vaches CD for Staalplaat and
VPRO radio). The Portland Oregon-based Label Soleilmoon released the "Of & The"
CD later that year and also released their 13th CD, "Bad Karma", in 1998. On
October 8 1997, Burke returned to the bay area for a performance/lecture at
Mills College in Oakland, followed by four performances with Thomas Dimuzio
(which were later edited and released on the Sonoris label in France as
"Hz"). Staalplaat relesed the second IOS "Mort Aux Vauches" CD (their 14th) in
1998. The only new recording for release done since that time was a
composition for the Viennese label klang galerie compilation CD entitled
"Thirteen". Structured by Burke in Early 1999, the track shows a new form for
IOS recordings in computer deconstruction, utilizing a live performance in
Vienna from 1997 as source material. The track was the feature recording on
Immaterial Incorporated- Web Sound Art Projects website for July 2000. As of
June 2000, Burke has again begun doing live solo performances as IOS,
including 7 performances on tour with Noisegate.
Since 2001 there have been several new tours of Europe, and a number of new
releases including limited edition 7" records featuring new IOS compositions,
the re-release of the first IOS vinyl recording from 1988, "More Violence And
Geography", as a CD and the beautifully packaged "In Opposition to Our Acceleration"
CD all on the Die Stadt label. The 20th IOS CD titled "Time Remaining" on the UK
label Nossas Almas Tem Ossos is due out in May 2003, to coincide with
the 20th anniversary performance presented by the Lampo
organization in Chicago on May 24th.
Sporadic output and performance since 2003. The first new recorded work "In Session", has been completed for the label Waystyx in Moscow to be released late fall 2007. Dan Burke & Thomas Dimuzio's second release "Upcoming Events is scheduled to be released late fall 2007 on the Brooklyn label No Fun. Dan is currently working on a new Cheer-accident album, new video works, and a european tour for early 2008.