¥717 xingu hill + m2. this anxious space. cd. october2k1
|stealing the truth|
|in the midst|
|dim of light|
xingu hill (aka john sellekaers) has moved stylistically from predominantly rhythmic sounds into atmospheric soundscapes. the best example of this is his hymen records release alterity. as part of a collaboration he morphs the input from his partners into something different - like a prism turning a ray of light into colours that have never been seen. you can hear this on the andronechron incident which was a collaboration with david thrussells black lung. now, sound wizard and excellent producer john sellekaers has collaborated with mathis mootz (aka panacea aka kate mosh aka rich kid aka m2 or squaremeter). there has always been a difference between the panacea sound and m2s sound. but, m2 is the quieter half of a person who manages his angers, fears, feelings. it is no doubt that panacea is the loud half. in the end the prism works. on this 54-minutes release you can hear moments that could be described as academic electronic music. imagine stockhausens early works if they would have become human or if one of stockhausens works had been transformed into emotional soundtrack or a love song.
rhythms and samples (especially voice samples) are treated as synthesizer patterns and this seems to be a xingu hill trademark. you can hear a lot of these treatments on the cd. but you can also hear melodies and true rhythms - just skip to track 3, dreadful menace or 5, in the midst and give it a try. speaking of samples, recall m2s ant-zen debut 14id1610s, which contained 1610 samples. we do not know how many samples have been used on this anxious space but mootz and sellekaers produced music that is beyond experimenting and sound treatments. they produced a release that is organic via entirely electronic sources (and natural sources which actually sound electronic).
xhm2 is collaboration between xingu hill and squaremeter (panacea). it's a perfect fusing of squaremeter's cinematic atmospheres and the abstract sci-fi feeling of xingu hill - it's calm but very intense and full of atmospheric click & cut electronics.
recycle your ears
xingu hill and squaremeter making music together is for sure an interesting enterprise. john sellekaers, in his brussel-based metarc studio, is a reknown producer that has proven to have very varied talents, from the violent drum'n'bass of ammo to the experimentations of ambre and, mathis mootz, the man behind squaremeter, is famous for his main project, panacea, one of the biggest drum'n'bass acts worldwide, as well as for his diverse side-projects. in brief, this is a meeting between two guys (three, in fact, c-drik of ammo, crno klank and others joing force with sellekaers in xingu hill) that are at the same time very busy (just look at how many releases by them are listed on this site) and known for the quality of their output. and music-wise, it was interesting to hear how the groovey and sci-fi oriented xingu hill would breed with the bleepy and hypnotic squaremeter. when you think of it, xingu hill's "alterity" and squaremeter's "parsec", these acts' latest full length albums, are not so different in atmospheres, this present meeting seeming therefore unavoidable. and a lot of bleeps, small tones and tweaking is hidden inside this white and silver digipack. this tracks were written by each bands separately, each one working with sounds from the other. hymen's choice of not specifying who wrote what exactly lets us wonder which tracks were built by squaremeter, and which ones by xingu hill. but as you progress in this calm but rich "anxious space", you learn to recongize two distinct kind of tracks, most of all if you are familiar with "alterity" and "parsec". on the one hand, you have slightly trancey and mesmerizing tracks that contain a lot of squaremeter's arpegiated lines, and which were, i believe, built by xingu hill ("dreaful menace", "dim of light"). on the other hand, some contain very different sounds, echoed and structured in a more bleepy way, making me think they were written by squaremeter with xingu hill's sounds (for example "neuronaut"). but, even without trying to guess who did what on this cd, "this anxious space" is a very tasty and well built jewel. experimental but emotional, this is a cd full of small tones and little beats, but which always stays intense and catchy. the music never gets boring and, most of all, always keeps an impressive sci-fi / hi-fi feelings. the sounds used are everything but dated, and all the structures and patterns look toward the future, may it be the light the dubbed beats or the distant melodic tunes. sometimes idm ("codebreaker"), sometimes drum'n'bass ("neuronaut"), sometimes clicks'n'cuts ("counter insurgency"), "this anxious space" is a schizophrenic thing that combines all kinds of calm and complex electronic musics, and ends up being the wedding present of abstract bleepy stuff with catchy, emotional and dense tracks. coming from two bands that do not always write "experimental" material, but also know how to pet the listener's attention, this cd is both an highly intelligent and well crafted album, as well as soft treat that keeps the groovyness of "alterity" and the fascinating depth of "parsec". which could also be said like this: "good + good = good". (nicolas)
die kollaboration des in letzter zeit sehr umtriebigen panacea-projekts m² mit den belgischen xingu hill stellt für beide formationen ein wenig neuland dar, da sich beide pole sehr gut ergänzen und harmonieren. die immer mehr flächig und filmisch werdende clicks & cuts von m² werden durch warme retro-sequencer-läufe (erinnern manchmal fatal an tangerine dream) von xingu hill in form oder wie zum beispiel bei "dim of light" in rhythmischere muster gebracht. über dem ganzen album schwebt eine aufladende-elektrisierend-zirpende atmosphäre und es ist wahrlich schön zu sehen, das auch bei hymen die entwicklung stetig weiter geht und es zu keinem stillstand kommt, sich auf bewährtem auszuruhen. dazu paßt auch das neue album von neutral, welches eine weitere neue facette aufzeigt, allerdings aber erst im februar 2002 erscheinen wird. was die 12" "driving backwards" schon andeutete, wächst mit "motion of" zu voller größe auf - akustische instrumente wie gitarre, bass, schlagzeug, piano, trompete und accordion mutieren durch teilweise verfremdung oder im zusammenspiel mit der electronica zu kantig-trippig melancholischen soundmustern mit gesang. atmosphärischer lo-tech-trip-industrial würde ich das ganze nennen und dass hinter dem ganzen noch eine frau namens nicole elmer steckt, macht mehr als hoffnung auf die überwindung der männlichen dominanz in diesem genre. als gast ist neben ihrem ständigen helfer bryan stacks übrigens jonathan sharp von new mind, c-tec, bio-tec, takshaka usw. mit an bord. beide veröffentlichungen kommen übrigens in sehr edlen digipacks und stellen eine bereicherung für jeden aufgeschlossenen electronica-liebhaber dar! (m.f.)
this cd, if you did not work it out from the title, is actually a collaborative effort between the cinematic electronica of xingu hill and the experimental electronic cut up style of squaremeter. composed in an evocative yet rather abstract cutting edge type way, the first two tracks sort of act as a quirky, cut up, static and 'blip-hop' type prelude to the more musically composed track three. this third piece then therefore takes on a smoother dark electonica approach, with a sci-fi type aura enveloping the programmed tune. with a framework of low key ambience intermixed with static and tense cinematic cutups, the forth piece sounds both flowing and disjointed at the same time, however the sci-fi ambience returns on the fifth piece, using a droning underbelly and again dark yet smooth programmed tune. revisiting a quirky cut up style, the sixth piece manages to run a fine line between disjointed and flowing, with the following seventh revisiting now familiar territory of a smooth programmed sci-fi tune intermixed with flowing ambience, random beats, cutups and disembodied voices. with ten tracks in all being quirky and playful yet dark and evocative, 'this anxious space' is another fine piece of cutting edge studio trickery from two fine ant-zen artists.
codebreaker is a rush of blips and glitches, though which the structure of a slow piano tune starts to filter. the result is glitchy, glippy and quite effective, particularly as the bass is added past the minute mark. a sinister element creeping into the clean digital electronics. with a periodic sonar effect codebreaker is followed by the outpost. crackles interfere with that radar swirl, a controlled static level. sirens pulse in dopplered passage, marked by signal blips. a voice element is repeated, muffled by filters, and managing to shift the feel of this piece. stray noises - crash and breakage - are also added, but in a way that manages to integrate and compliment the developments. open and pulse, blip and we have dreadful menace. an echoed and filtered voice is heard, very panacea influence. in the depths anthemic, echoing notes play to a hunted melody. building up to the fore with a resilient form. taking over and playing with the open mic gasps and voices integrated, particularly as it develops a more rhythmic timbre. on the whole this is a strong and enjoyable piece, though to be honest the presence of the vocal element becomes over used and annoying. a rustling and dial tone play off each other in stealing the truth, leading to a more developed pulse sequence and hints of string potential. mechanic whirrs and continued pulses tease this piece out effectively. melody flashes in a sheet, the stutter of a stripped piston, working across this expanding feel. an echoing sweep plays us into in the midst, a similarly effect vocal playing, the whole punctuated by the now familiar bleeping sound. the other elements remain dispersed here, contrasting that persistent pure tone. strumming and stroking the electronic melodies attempt to build presence. piano is played in a manner that embodies the album title, a sound that describes an anxious space. by which time bass is a definite note form and a deep drone line in sweeping inflection. the blip is a constant one suspecting its interval is a constant - its reliable regularity as contrast to the body. counter insurgency blips and stutters, fractured in a manner. the definition and interaction of detail here suggests a certain agitation, despite perceived regularity. voices play with drawn out wavers, familiar skips playing a stunted rhythm role. by this stage it is perhaps becoming too much, the pattern of sounds is too familiar and the enjoyment one got from the first handful of tracks is slowly lost to the wearying effect. an effect which means that i find it harder to write about this section at all. they ran another example of this impression, with it's low filtered swirls playing with over familiar crackle and pulsed bass line and that tired vocal effect. the result of this track has a sub-par kopyright liberation feel, overall not bad, but familiar and as with the other pieces it would be better off without the detracting vocals. the pitter and patter of negative architecture starts off in a more interesting fashion. but the core falls too easily into a loop, surface variations just reinforcing the sensation. though passing the two and a half minute mark the strokes, piano and sense of the frantic that comes in redeems the initial repetition, creating once more that sense of an anxious space. hollow sounds play with those bloody vocals again, while synth melodies play as always in dim of light suffering from the same issues as they ran, overly familiar and quickly dull. low bass plays with pulses and buried bleeps in neuronaut, which are more drawn out sounds than previously. swirls play in switched motions, tonal fluctuations making their presence known. percussion is added as wandering strokes, a contribution which is building and novel in the context of xhm2. this has an increasingly strong presence, particularly striking given the less interesting material that seems to have plagued this half of the album. several of the tracks like this one are over 6 minutes long, which is perhaps dangerous as a greater brevity might be more encouraging -as one starts to sense that danger with this piece just before it finishes. overall this anxious space is a mixed bag. squaremeter seem to have done a lot of releases in a short period of time, but over those there hasn't been enough variety to his sounds, especially in the most recent ones. that problem is the one which most informs this release. the first 5 tracks along with the last one are all pretty decent and enjoyable within the context. however the distance between those sections too easily becomes a chore, excessively repetitive in their derived structures and the vocals are just far too present and annoying. (ptr)
toronto industrial kollektive
xingu hill and m2 (pronounced squaremetre (a panacea side project)) get together to make a really bizarre and ambient piece with this anxious space. to be honest, it took me a while to get into this cd, because i was listening to it all wrong. if you have crappy speakers, then i think you just shouldn't bother, unless of course, you have a nice pair of headphones, for it is in this that i found the brilliance of this release. i owned it for a while and didn't pay it much attention, but now that i've focused on it for several days, i've actually started to believe that there is some weird design in this cd that adds something extra every time you listen to it, because i seem to be hearing new things with each subsequent listen and liking what i hear more and more. it started out sounding very minimal and ambient. but that's when it's at low volume. the anxious space needs to be played at high volume, to really be able to hear all the sounds that are going on, at which point a strange energy infects the music. i particularly enjoyed this while walking home one night at five in the morning, the portable cd player blasting the sounds into my headphones, but not enough to entirely drown out some sounds from around me, that filtered through and managed to add to the music. a train, a street sweeper, both made me stop and remove the headphones, just to confirm it wasn't coming from the music. i found myself walking a lot faster than i thought i would, the rate of the music driving me on. this cd isn't going to appeal to a great number of people, but as with many things that i find brilliant, those who will enjoy will love it. xingu hill and m2 masterfully merge idm with minimalism. others will wonder what the fuck we are talking about, thinking it nothing but weird blips, bleeps and loops. (squid)
mit john sellekaers (xingu hill) und mathis mootz (m2/squaremeter, kate mosh, panacea, rich kid) entstand wieder einmal eine kollaboration zweier künstler zu einem projekt, die unterschiedliche musikalische ausprägungen zu vereinen sucht. heraus kam mit "this anxious space" eine scheibe, für die man zeit mitbringen muss, um sie in vollen zügen genießen zu können. minimalistische sounds, die auf der hymen-website so schön als click & cut electronics beschrieben werden, kratzen in den ersten zwei songs, "codebreaker" und "the outpost", zwar manchmal arg am nervenkostüm, klingen aber andererseits auch wieder so außergewöhnlich und vielseitig, dass man ständig in versuchung gerät, ordnung in das scheinbare chaos zu bringen. doch schon mit "dreadful menace" begibt man sich in atmosphärische klanggebilde, durchzogen von halleffekten, die den eindruck einer spaceodyssey vermitteln. genau diese stimmung lässt einen auf "this anxious space" nicht mehr los. leise töne mit verstörenden aber gedämpften beats erzeugen sogar zeitweise eine beklemmende stimmung. insofern sollte man den titel des albums wörtlich nehmen. mit "this anxious space" begibt man sich auf eine experimentell geprägte entdeckungsreise in die welt von xingu hill und squaremeter, auf der es immer wieder neues zu hören gibt und in der raum und zeit keine rolle spielen. (veit)
produced by mathis mootz, john sellekaers + c-drik fermont. recorded july/august 2001.
mastered at metarc. brussels, august 2001. artwar by salt.
xingu hill discography. 10.2k1
xingu hill - maps of the impossible. cd/dlp. nova zembla. 1995
xingu hill - fiction. cd/lp, nova zembla. 1996
xingu hill - relay. cd. nova zembla. 1997
black lung and xingu hill - the andronechron incident. 10 vinyl. ant-zen. 1999
xingu hill - alterity. cd. hymen. 1999
xingu hill/m2 - this anxious space. cd. hymen. 2001
m2 discography. 10.2k1
m2 - 14id1610s. cd. ant-zen. 2000
m2 - sinecore. cd, mille plateaux. 2000
m2 - kopyright liberation. lp. ant-zen. 2000
m2/needle sharing - mono brutal. lp. hands. 2000
m2 - parsec. cd. hands. 2001
m2/xingu hill - this anxious space. cd, hymen. 2001