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act 106 · silk saw · 4th dividers · cd

angledozer, safe area, empty plug, no twists no turns, pave the way, secretive carillon, hinterland, ratchet mechanism, contre-porte, division, parapet walk, wrong door

division systématique du paysage sonore: à savoir : découpes de terrain, angledozers en vrac, marche dans un terrain lourd avec des chaussures cloutées, lapidation des oreilles, portes et contre-portes, holzwege, paysages et glissements de terrain syncopés, basse contrainte, culs-de-sac, interdiction de sonner la retraite.

systematic division of the soundscape, namely : cuts of the ground, angledozers in bulk, walking on a heavy soil with hobnailed boots, to stone ears, doors and inner doors, holzwege, syncopated landscapes & landslides, ground bass, blind alleys, ban on sounding the retreat.

peregrinations through the abstract, shuffle and superpositions of cards, movements of objects, scissors that we grind, tamping, clean sweep of the idiots, pretences, confrontations between the weak and the strong, smooth and rough, pillage and recuperation, laugh at first, then destruction of the mountain according to rule.

silk saw is the duo of marc maedea and gabriel severin, and follows a pair of releases on belgium's sub rosa label and the album 'preparing wars' on ant-zen. a collection of percussive minimalism that fall somewhere into the grey area between orderly and infectious sporadic ambient. '4th dividers' is carefully constructed intelligent noise with a complex clash of bare cackles, abstract beats and smooth drones.

these enterprises require the refusal of compromises. thus, silk saw is not a turkish delight for everybody...

silk saw discography. 09.2k
come freely, go safely (sub rosa sr 107)
dystopia (sub rosa sr 116)
underwood, sr sampler (one remixed track from the first album) (sub rosa sr 100)
war smash hits-calling n.y., one track on this compilation with laibach, b. laswell,... (sub rosa)
welcome to my house, 12" (sub rosa qu 242)
preparing wars (cd, ant-zen act 82)
this time it's war (vinyl, hymen ¥010)
cut the king (one track on the cd compilation teknoir, hymen ¥701)
houseman (one track on the cd compilation / magazine fear drop, lagr007)
wreck this mess 2 - silk saw

silk saw webpage :


4th dividers, the appropriately titled fourth release from the belgian duo silk saw, is the project's first release since preparing wars, their impressive ant-zen debut. whereas that disc struck me as very arcane and surreal, this new material actually lets me visualize two guys experimenting in a huge studio riddled with gadgets, broken instruments, found objects of metal and plastic, microphones at every turn and a chaotic bed of wires. it has a 'real time' sound, as if it could be recreated live without any tapes or computer playback. 4th dividers has a strong percussive focus, with simple, repetitive beats used as a foundation for most of the disc. at first it struck me that they had discarded many intricacies in favor of a more basic, rudimentary feel -- unsophisticated, persistent, abstract beats with a deeply hypnotic bent. after these beats sink in, however, with the consistency of a curdled metronome, the true colours and details become more apparent. the beats merely become a springboard for layers of methodic, textural noises and subtle, melodic tinkling, chiming and strumming. on the surface it may seem simple, but the collection of unique elements that diffuse over the skeleton of percussion is quite engaging, in a layered, disheveled sort of way that's organized only by repetition. i can't tell whether or not "ratchet mechanism" is just a clever name for the song, or a clever instrument they invented to create the song. that's part of what defines 4th dividers. most people will look at a sack full of junked toys, smashed appliances and broken glass as useless garbage -- silk saw would see it as another instrument. it's that unique perspective that helps them achieve such unique compositions

a note by dsbp
...the silk saw is also their strongest work to date..imo.. i love the way it reminds me of insects underground fighting and marching..this is the soundtrack for ant-zen when i think of you guys all marching and stomping around like madmen/ants!

re:mote induction
4th dividers is the fourth album from the belgian band silk saw, following two previous releases on sub rosa and the album prior to this on ant-zen. in some ways this album can be heard to be a direct progression from preparing wars - seeming to have some of the same structural principles. but on the whole it offers a more stripped down sound - working on the bass levels and de-emphasizing the random beat work that was there before. at the same time there is a lot of detail going on within the sound, much of which is buried within the whole for the listener to discover at their leisure. with a buzz we move into the warm hum of the first track angledozer. sustaining while dull thuds strike. a humming pattern grows, with snapping beats - this creates an increasing vibe. tones creep into backing levels - plinking and burbling increasingly. bass draws out in a sweeping yawn, the detail building into a subdued intensity. progressing there is a more minimal feel to fade - drawn out strings and click detail. building into a slow peak is safe area - click and jangling beats doted across that. the beats form an easy rhythm, the bass intensifying - one layer a buzzing whine the other a low drone. the bass levels smooth and soothing while the beats are a constant mechanism. as with the previous piece, a point is reached, where everything starts to slow - a sound stretch. though the whine separates, accelerating up as the beats slow down another step. notes play out, while the last of the bass thrums, and i note we've somehow travelled through empty plug and into no twists no turns. which builds up in percussive levels, jingling toy sounds, playful. bass layers compulsively, blunt troughs and swollen waves. the mass becoming a physical motion as jingling chimes work in a lighter contrast to the steady bass vibe. hints of bass string twangs can be heard, bells and chimes layering up. a solid vibrating bass string leads into pave the way, crackling between the strums. lighter structures are played in a melodic fashion - droning strings. this is more stripped down than the previous tracks, working with its clean sound. vibrating details, shimmering cymbal strokes - offering the counter to the continued reverb of string. crackling the sound breaks up - drawn into blipping signal, shifting into secretive carillion. a steady tump-tump beat, a tingle-jingle chime. in the background a deep vibration, adding to the thick sound - a feeling of tightly reined energy. once more chiming elements play out - ringing layers a delicacy, then sighing voice effect. from this a rotary drone starts to build, a slow hypnotism. crackled beats, snapping planks of percussion expand as whiplash motions in the dense sound. this element falls off and we shift pace again, noting that we are already into hinterland. buzz and clump loops, a thrumming bass, with ticking strokes and a background chatter. key sounds are drawn out to provide a minimalist structure - micro sounds clicking over the call of bass and punctuated bass beats. a clean pause separates hinterland from the curious loop of ratchet mechanism. stripped elements, constructing, into some semblance of traditional tune structure, but remaining off-kilter. the layers double, emphasizing the "off" feel, while a thick bass works in short shifts. the pace starts to accelerate on the percussive level, pulling the bass along a couple of steps behind. providing a tapering progress, again encouraging physical response - intensifying to a buzzing whole. drawn out in a dwindling buzz we shift to contre-porte, a low strum of bass string. a mildly oscillating tone working behind that, slowly rising with light taps. the beats work as trigger sounds, leading the sound evolution. springy at one stage, suggestion of reverb on another - clear string influence continuing through the minimalist percussive tracking. pulsed round beats bring change - a tight click line and wavering bass, with a vocal sample flipping us into division. radio tuning, rising volume hum, dial twists and stray words. tap beats click over sighing seesaw motions. beats generate into pattering electron forms - frequency stepping up, leading the seesaw into a low drone of the edges of bass capacity. this stepping up continues, leading to a tight molecular motion. crackling edges add a harder element, suggesting a strain, the core breaking up. though intensity is maintained within this rhythmic flow. a focus creeps in, the sound a degree tighter in its vibrancy. winding down we embark on the droning parapet walk - straightened lines work with a regular clap-bump beat work. the initial intensity shifts, the drone tighter and lower while the beat strokes fall deeper. the beat backed a slight crackle, the drone shifting a step. we come down to a bare beat form, sections of bass quick sighing strokes. notes play in hints of melodic progression, subtle in their swelling interludes. bass slips in as a sheet, everything else over that - summing up so many of the elements of 4th dividers. this fades to the conclusion of wrong door - a stuttering tear, with plinking notes. this builds to a cut-up melody - a self-interrupting vibe construct. buzz and rattle contributing to that, with a mounting bass lash leading to a pulse form. all these sounds playing out together - mounting in silk saw melodies - dizzying. building to emphasize a seesaw effect, jingling rain of notes poured across that growing buzz

modulazioni industriali
silk saw è il nome di un progetto belga , già attivo da alcuni anni con alcuni lavori pubblicati su etichetta sub rosa .in questo "4th dividers" le sequenze circolari e minimali della band disegnano immaginari sonori astratti e irreali , non cercando la distorsione ritmica o melodica , ma l'iterazione di pattern strumentali secchi ed asciutti sostenuti da ritmiche che non si lanciano verso corse sfrenate ma creano la "giusta" atmosfera di attesa e straniamento . in poche parole un'ansia che non si trasforma mai in paura sfrenata , le nenie inquietanti e il minimalismo astratto danno coscienza del disastro imminente ma ci inducono anche all'autontrollo delle nostre pi intime paure . non per tutti , un album che ti cresce dentro ascolto dopo ascolto ."silk saw is not a turkish delight for everybody".

wreck this mess on radio 100 o amsterdam o 99.3 fm + live webcast
"4th dividers" on ant zen is hypnotic machinery music. geared to approximate the dulling and yet hypnotic, mantra-like repetitions of work in a factory. to my mind. this percussive pneumatic pugilism creates elegant minimalist abstract beats. in the same realm as starfish pool. corrosive yet engagingly hypnotic. i can write fiction to this late at night. the discs i turn to again and again must keep audio aspects of brain wide open but must not be too in-your-face. the music must accompany without distracting. immersive without losing me_and silk saw like gas or biosphere or maju or starfish pool all in their own ways do just that

"4th Dividers" is the fourth album of the Belgian duo Silk Saw, and the second to be released on Ant Zen. It features 12 new tracks ranging from delicate ambient to fast rhythms. The atmosphere of this CD, however, stays quite calm, and the background noises never reach the level of brutality that comes in many Ant Zen releases. "4th Dividers" is, in a way, quite different from what you could expect from this label. Silk Saw's music definitely has an accoustic touch, using what seems to be real percussions and guitars. Moreover, the fragile side of the music reminds a bit of Ultra Milkmaids's "Peps", but with a more intense sound. Industrial in the way they build songs that don't seem to have any structure and in their choice of texture and loops, these two musicians have also something to do with post-rock. Their combination of melodic bleeps and very deep beats reminds of some experimentation by modern rock bands. "4th Dividers" is a difficult CD to listen to. Not very seducive at first glance, it gets better and better every time you concentrate on it. It eventually sounds rich and very well conceived, even though it may lack a bit of diversity. Anyway, this gets very pleasant and should be a treat for fans of calm and almost soundtrack-like industrial experimentations.

orkus nr. 11 november 2000
aller euphorie für progressives industrial-techno-gedüdele zum trotz sei hier festgehalten, dass auch etwas konservativere ansätze immer noch zu exzellenten ergebnissen führen können. die beiden belgier marc maedea und gabriel severin setzen auf ihrem vorliegenden vierten album auf die hypnotische kraft monotoner ritual-rhythmik , die trotz moderner ābreaks' den alten gesetzen der minimal- und ambient-elektronik folgt. während die beinahe omnipräsenten percussions den hörer langsam, aber sicher in trance versetzen, gibt ein fein und flächig gewebtes netz aus dunklem dröhnen, rasselnden noise-samples, unterschwelligen melodien und natürlichen instrumenten der musik eine sehr gro§e atmosphärische dichte. unterschwellige spannungsbögen und eine unübersehbare vielfalt von klangmutationen turnen munter durch die synapsen des ambient-freaks, die ob der filmischen ausdruckskraft von 4th dividers zu einigen verzückten spontanentladungen bewegt sein sollten. silk saw halten sich scheinbar bewusst zurück und versuchen nicht einmal ansatzweise, so etwas wie einen industrial-clubhit abzuliefern. wer pure gehirn-musik nicht scheut, sollte nicht lange zögern! (alexander maciol)

equinoxe ausgabe 14
silk saw kannte ich bisher nur von diversen compilations, wo sie mir unter all dem elektronischen gerümpel durchaus positiv aufgefallen sind. hinter diesem seidigen namen verbergen sich zwei experimentierfreudige musiker, die dem einerlei des genres den kampf angesagt haben. es ist schon bemerkenswert, wie das duo aus den gleichen zutaten wie ihre konkurrenz so etwas völlig anderes zaubern kann. dumpfe beats werden von bizarren klangskulpturen durchbrochen und spontane wendungen verleihen ā4th dividers' den hauch des besonderen. treibende rhythmen und abstrakte strukturen werden ebenso bestandteil der tracks wie hohe glockentöne und vibrationen. die palette der verwendeten klänge ist sehr gro§zügig und lässt keine langeweile aufkommen, aber die eigentliche leistung von silk saw ist die verschmelzung dissonanter und harmonischer elemente, ein experiment, das wahrscheinlich in dieser form noch keiner gewagt hat. (alexander götzke)

side-line no.34 january/february/march 2001
after some releases on sub rosa, the silk saw-duo joined the big family of ant-zen. '4th dividers' is a piece of music that can be labelled as ambient in conjunction with other influences coming from the techno, tribal, industrial and especially experimental music!! their mix of ideas sometimes becomes a bit chaotic, but the result is pretty cool. a track like 'secretive carrillon' is the perfect illustration of deep, groovy sounds in conjunction with some few crystalline parts, a slow cadence and hitting industrial assaults. the result is ambient and experimental, too. i have to recognise that silk saw tries to create something different, but unfortunately they don't really convince me! as most ant-zen releases, we're facing here something very special and extreme, so leave it for the lovers of extreme sound-sensations! (dp)

sonic seducer 03/01
um es vorwegzunehmen: '4th dividers' gehört zweifellos in meine persönliche top 5 der vergangenen monate und stellt eine der besten veröffentlichungen auf ant-zen der letzten jahre dar. nachdem silk saw ursprünglich auf dem belgischen sub rosa-label veröffentlicht haben, wechselten sie bereits vor einiger zeit ins bayrische lager. das album dürfte für alle jene ein akustischer leckerbissen erster güte sein, deren herz schon immer an monoton, klopfenden und pochenden tracks hing. ähnlich wie pan sonic erzeugen silk saw aus sehr rohen sounds und minimalen strukturen ihre eigene form sehr reduzierten technos, der sich in der off-galerie ebenso gut machen würde wie im finsteren bunker-club. sehr langsam, mit bedächtig vonstatten gehenden änderungen, aber auch sehr nachdrücklich bei§en sich die klangmuster in den gehörgängen fest. da§ silk saw dabei erfreulich selten auf all die formeln zurückgreifen müssen, die häufig an der schnittstelle zwischen industrial und techno greifen, hebt ā4th dividers' deutlich aus dem mittlerweile alles andere als übersichtlichen menge prinzipiell ähnlich orientierter veröffentlichungen hervor und macht definitiv neugierig auf den weiteren schaffensweg dieser künstler. (sascha bertoncin)

auf abwegen #30 winter 00/01
silk saw auf den spuren von pan sonic, besser könnte man dieses album nicht charakterisieren. die belgier haben ihr rhythmusgerüst bis auf die knochen entschlackt, so da§ nur klare, nackte pulse übrig geblieben sind. die schieben sich bestimmt und unbeirrbar durch den raum und nehmen dabei immer mehr fahrt auf. geräusch- und melodiebehangene zwischensprengsel können sie nicht aufhalten. für freunde der minimalen, technoiden elektronik ein echter leckerbissen. dagegen wütet celluloid mata ganz beträchtlich im heimischen gemüsebeet. die von der 10" mit ultra milkmaids gewohnten, langsam flie§enden klänge mussten doch grö§tenteils ruppigen beats weichen. da§ celluloid mata so brachial klingen wollen, hat mich überrascht. knirschende, brockige schläge setzt es ein ums andere mal, natürlich mit eleganter kurvenlage. die verzerrung ist dennoch so stark, da§ der langersehnte track mit ka-spel wieder nicht auftauchen konnte. bestimmt demnächst. (zipo)

blackharvest 4.0
it has to be said, there hasn't been a release on the ant-zen label that i have not liked to date. silk saw are no exception in this story. low key electronic patterns creep under steady tripped out beats. this is one of those albums i like to sit in the dark to with the curtains open in my bedroom just watching the world go by while having a smoke. silk saw like to experiment with background noise on the whole, from a whole range of tweaks and bells that are structured and weaved into a beat that threatens to pick up and immediately halts at eruption point. nothing to challenge the norm in the world of noise on a whole, but listen carefully and you truly can spot some moments of pure magic and genius. (tony)

4th dividers est le 4e album du duo belge silk saw ainsi que le 2e à para”tre sur l'étiquette technoïde ant-zen. mais il se différencie du reste des parutions sur ant-zen en étant plutôt tranquille, avec beaucoup moins de rythmes. le groupe travaille avec des vraies guitares et des vraies percussions, donnant une touche accoustique à cet album. c'est un album difficle à écouter. les rythmes et la musique sont tellement différents de ce qu'on habitué à entendre. des sons presque cthulhu-esques, faisant penser à des cultes sans nom adorant un dieu enseveli. une atmosphère cinématique se dégage de cet album et plus on l'écoute, plus on l'aime. les ambiances sont froides faites avec des sons chauds. certaines chansons sont liées par des sons communs, qui pourrait sembler devenir répétitifs, mais une évolution certaine se fait ressentir. comme empty plug qui est en fait la pièce liant safe area et no twists no turns. un album pour les amateurs de dambient et de musique expérimentale. peut aussi facilement plaire aux fans d'idm

silk saw succeeds, perhaps unintentionally, in tearing out the roots and gouging out the eyes of rhythmic industrial music from the first minutes of 4th dividers, the duo's latest album. i've always wondered how silk saw fit in among the power noise all-stars and dark ambient stalwarts of ant-zen, and this album doesn't explain it any better. what sounds like a broken guitar amp opens "angledozer," the first track on the album. from there a machinist's concept of dark hop invades the mix, something like having mick harris of scorn make beats with a broken sampler. perhaps this is just my interpretation, but i smell some ragga and dancehall among these clinical drones and clips. futurist reggae? if dub is stripped down (no pun intended) to its technical meaning, this is dub. along these lines, "secretive carillion" begins with a scorn-like beat that soon merges with a pretty bell sound that turns piercing all-too-soon. naturally, this seven-minute track is severely manipulated and actually evolves into clicks and cuts territory. "safe area" and "no twists no turns" sound like muslimgauze fused with some strange alien technology. i can't be the only one who hears the sounds of jamaica here. listen to the bass! at times the music here moves beyond that dub aspect, and incorporates more traditional instrumentation. on "pave the way," a sad strummed guitar, perhaps leftover from the dead hollywood stars project, is played over what seems like a downtuned bass drone. these looped organic sounds are joined by other variations into a grim and pensive collage easily likened to the post-rock genre. "contre-porte" follows along the same lines, although that clinical influence takes more of a role. surprisingly more song-oriented than the epic and drawn out preparing wars, 4th dividers manages to uphold their experimental and industrial spirit, while including what i swear is a dub aesthetic. i can't say that this album is incredibly listener-friendly, but it does call for repeated listens in order to appreciate the textures. if you're hung up on melody or are expecting an imminent starvation-style power noise fest, you're better off without 4th dividers. still, it happens to be one of the better ant-zen parent label releases of 2000. anything would be a step up from that awful squaremeter cd! (djgyn)

guts of darkness
repentez-vous âmes impures ! la fin est proche. dieu est mort et ses séides de destruction ont pris le monde sous leur coulpe malveillante. entrez donc dans la 'maison du seigneurh', poussez les larges portes dont l'ouvrage rouillé est froid comme l'abandon divin. aucun réconfort en ce lieu désacralisé par la lâcheté des hommes et leur incapacité à comprendre leur insignifiance en ce bas monde ! 'the house of the lordh' est du ah cama-sotz très sombre, ambient à souhait, industriel à ses heures. voix incantatoires, nappes éthérées se mêlant en harmoniques néoclassiques ('god is dead', le surprenant et symphonique 'bleeding crosses'), comme si in slaughter natives et megaptera avaient fusionnés en une seule et même entité. bande-son millénariste d'un film post-apocalyptique, cet album est une parfaite introduction au néant et à l'oubli. l'excellent 'prophetic vision' (15 min!) et ses voix désincarnées à l'extrême et ses samples d'orange mécanique (du moins le thème de walter/wendy carlos) vous fera regretter d'avoir douté de tout cela. il ne vous reste plus que le bizarre et rituel 'i believe' pour vous rattraper, mais ça n'est pas en quelques minutes qu'on rattrape tout une vie d'impiété...très très bon ! (marco)

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