Review: The music of Chel White is celebrated in Automaton, a collection of mostly unreleased recordings from 1985 to 1991, by this innovative animator, film maker and visual artist.
Having studied music theory in grade school, White taught himself drumming and played in a new wave band until, in 1981, together with Dan Gediman, they formed the minimal wave duo Process Blue (Alternative Funk, 1985 / Dark Entries, 2018). Here their experimentation went way beyond playing drums.
His interest in industrial music, fostered in the late '70s and early '80s while working in factories as a way to put himself through college, informed his use of electronic instruments, tape manipulation, noise and unconventional percussion.
By 1985, as a now solo artist buoyed by newly affordable audio sampling technology, White tapped into his earlier teenage fascination with the art and films of both the Surrealist and Dada movements - in particular their disparate and fragmented imagery and sound - as a means to create striking new sonic palettes.
Science & Industry - a track largely influenced by Balinese monkey chanting and the consumer excess of American in the 1980's - is a clear example of "music collage". Photocopy Cha Cha, made for the short animation film Choreography for Copy Machine (Berlin International Film Festival, 1992 / Sundance Film Festival, 2001) moved his music into the realm of early multi-media.
Experimenting further, tracks like Liquid Shadows and Pensive provide minimalist moments, before the drone-like Dream #630 and Forest Song point to a future that included music video works (David Lynch/Thom Yorke).
Review: Dark Entries continues celebrating our 10 year anniversary with 'Preservation Bias', a compilation of lost songs and rarities from Linea Aspera out June 28th. The group formed in London in November 2011 by Ryan Ambridge (Synths/Programming) and Alison Lewis (Vocals/Synths). Within the duo, Alison writes and performs all vocal elements, while Ryan is responsible for producing, recording and mixing the electronics. We released their debut self titled album in June 2012 that was followed by a posthumous vinyl reissue of their tour cassette "II" on Weyrd Son Records in 2013. For all recordings Ryan utilizes an analog synthesizer set up: Roland SH-09, Roland Juno 6, Vermona DRM MKiii, Korg Poly 800 and Analogue Solutions Semblance. Linea Aspera's sound includes clear influences from 1980s electronic body music, synth-pop, industrial and noise. Lyrically the band incorporates the sciences of osteology, neuroscience, and anthropology weaving a new medical language around themes of desire, despair and renewal. Linea Aspera is the muscle attachment on the back of the femur and translates to 'rough line' in Latin. 'Preservation Bias' features all three songs from the limited 'II' tour cassette EP, four songs from the 2012 self-titled limited cassette EP and one song from the Desire Records 2013 compilation 'And You Will Find Them In The Basement'. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each LP is housed in jacket designed by Niall Greaves and includes a double-sided insert with lyrics.