act 315 · paul kendall · family value pack · cd

tracklist:
1 scuba dis dat
2 water. it must be
3 it's ok
4 family value
5 ex.posed
6 there min major
7 uninterrupted monday

upc 821272212829 releasedate: 12.09.2014

mastered by frank riggio at doznexist.com
photography by salt

paul kendall is an engineer, mixer and sonic producer who has contributed to a number of iconic releases by artists such as barry adamson, renegade soundwave, nitzer ebb, recoil, wire, loop and as a footnote with nin and dm. he worked for many years for daniel miller's mute records and during this period curated an experimental electronic label, parallel series. four cds were released, featuring bruce gilbert, robert hampson, simon fisher turner and andrei samsonov. in 2002 he relocated to paris and spectacularly metamorphosed his art into an electro-acoustic expression, managing to miss arsenal's double winning glory as a result. this enforced sojourn saw him developing his compositional skills writing sound for the ballet and theatre. the album 'capture' was released in 2003 through french label 0101 (ici d'ailleurs), to date, the only digital intervention object available. after returning to the uk in 2007 kendall helped alan wilder develop a live incarnation of recoil. and from 2010 they toured across half the continents of the world with 'a strange hour' allowing kendall to experience the thrill of 'live performance' and refine his shapes and dance moves. on 01.10.11 saw the release of 'angleterror' a digital only release of 7 compositions loosely built around various guitar sounds. september 2014 sees the new long-playing record available on cd from ant-zen, 'family value pack'. this solo artistic exposure is a precursor to the coming solo exhibition via 'live' performance.

the seven compositions on this album transport the artistic spirit of the british avant-garde heard in projects like dome / wire and very early clock dva towards the end of the seventies when a specific splinter group of the punk movement was exploring the length, width and depth of musical freedom / expression. in his previous work paul kendall put the emphasis on the guitar, on 'family value pack' it is more focused on the human voice, his own voice as well as samples of family members and a secret celebrity. except for track one, 'scuba dis dat' with its pushing technoid beats and horn-supplied art punk approach, this release offers collagistic, structurally unorthodox and abstract atmospheric sound spheres chimed with dark ambience - contemporary musique concrète orbiting between warmth and chill.

this album may not set the charts on fire, but it contains an amazing aural experience. the full background story: the intrigue, the denouements, the highs and lows, the cruel and the tender, will be diffused / published on paul kendall's official webpage. for now, enjoy the headphone paint!

discography 09.2k14:
family value pack. cd. ant-zen act315. 2014
angleterror. digital album. cat werk imprint cw02. 2011
capture (w/ the digital intervention). cd. parallel series 0101.ps1. 2003
displaced links (w/ kendall turner overdrive). cd. mute / parallel series cdpsst4. 1997
orr (w/ bruce gilbert & robert hampson). mute / parallel series cdpsst1. 1996

paul kendall on the internet:
www.penmankendallinterlude.tumblr.com

reviews:

santa sangre
from nowhere he eases back into the frame. he's not one to give any sort of notice, which makes what he's done here a pleasant surprise. as he's done this album on ant-zen, perhaps more will discover pk as an artist in his own right; you certainly could just fall back on his track record in the studio with others for reference but what fun is that? paul kendall's a guy who doesn't really do interviews and is more than happy to just remain in the background while others take the bow but as it's only been three years since his solo debut (a mind-warping collection, to put it mildly) it seems he's feeling a bit more sociable. we're going to take full advantage of this, because who knows when it'll happen again. the opener on here is quite direct, it's almost recognizable as the sort of work that ant-zen's evil twin hymen would release but there are these lapses between the beats which could only come from him. while others would stuff a bunch of unremarkable pops and glitches in the cracks to fill up space, he's fine just letting them glare out at you. don't be fooled, however, the rest of 'family value pack' isn't like this one. he's luring his listeners in, i think because he knows that the majority of those who are playing this aren't aware of what he's done in the past. it's a wise move to blend in at first, even if you don't really fit with the rest. which in his case, would be putting it mildly. the rest of his new one packs a punch, but not one that rests on the crutches of rhythm or distortion. the classic touches are certainly in abundance; sampled voices manipulated in an imprecise yet disturbingly inhuman manner... twisted, maliciously contorted sections of atmosphere reach down from the skies and strangle those below. all the while, kendall cleverly holds back the flood, building up tension and discomfort until the end is reached. you must hear this from start to finish, jumping around won't bring any satisfaction; people who read the last page of a novel are going to hate this album, there is simply too much patience required. and yet, compared to what he's put out previously, this is downright accessible. for me, at least. some are going to term this "difficult" or "challenging" when it is neither. this is an introduction, a very astutely composed way towards the path not taken. i'd wager there may be some asinine gibberish over the title he's picked but i think the idea of pk hanging out in a supermarket when inspiration hits is fantastic. it proves that when you're truly talented, you don't need a place and setting for the ideas to flow; they will find you wherever you are. and so this album has found me, happily gorging in the audio aisle on the offerings from a man who cannot be categorized. (peter marks)

release music magazine
paul kendall has pedigree. check out the people he has worked with as an engineer to see this. even more importantly, he curated the mute offshoot parallel series. he even helped alan wilder develop a live incarnation of recoil. spending time as a studio engineer amongst other things, it is easy to see why the lure of the spotlight had to happen. "family value pack" is a further product of this freedom - and it is obvious that this is an artist's album - as in it won't bother the charts, but will excite those who make music, and especially those who like electronic music with high production values. the best way to describe what you are listening to is a set of different soundscapes, with the focus being on the voice. the interesting thing is it feels like you are not actually listening to the music, more like you are "in" the music. take the second track "water, it must be", or "ex.posed", where you are placed right in the centre of the swirling synths, the spoken narrative making up the majority of the track playfully moving from left to right ear and back... some tracks do move into rhythmic areas, for those who miss their beats "it's ok" becoming a slow dubby track around halfway through, and the opener "scuba dis dat" being probably the most upbeat and rhythmical of the whole set. for me though, it is tracks like "family value" that are the most satisfying, with layers of sonic clicks, fragments of found sound and half-whispered words swirling around your ears like a kind of sonic soup keeping you listening, though you don't really know what for. it is an interesting album, quite undefinable, but sonically very interesting, thanks to the quality of the sounds involved. i enjoyed it, but would bet that many wouldn't consider this music and give it a wide berth. for me though, i'm glad it exists, and at a push would describe it is freeform ambient electronic jazz - is it possible i've just labelled yet another strand of electronic music? you listen, you decide... (mike whyte)

documentary evidence
family value pack is the follow-up to 2011's angleterror (catwerk imprint) and finds paul 'pk' kendall on typically inventive form. kendall has always been capable of manipulating technology, whether that be as an engineer, on his own recordings or through his countless remixes for the mute roster and other artists, and family value pack is no different: this is a super-sized audio trip filled with complex twists and turns and strange juxtapositions. at the heart of this album is a thoroughly plunderphonic vibe, a series of controlled explosions of sound sources set off against one another and the results carefully documented and presented across the seven tracks presented here. some may argue that the result is a sprawl, a messy stew of grating rhythms, uncomfortable phrases and harsh dissonance, and that isn't a million miles from what it really sounds like. but what makes family value pack an album worth persevering with is the depth of vision. tracks like the buzzing, hyperactive opener 'scuba dis dat' take a familiar rhythm notion - on that track the beloved 4/4 beat-grid of techno - and thoroughly twist it into new shapes, creating a sonic gumbo of seemingly incompatible elements, in 'scuba dis dat' those being fuzzy guitar riffs, skronking sax solos, dubby happenings and snatches of kendall reading what sounds like some sort of heavy, expressive poetry. it is restless, certainly, but that's no bad thing. elsewhere the vibe is one of muted ambience or beds of glitchy electronica, all tied together by kendall's evocative and imaginative word pictures and his accomplished sense of space and texture. every sound feels like it was created or delicately positioned within a mix so as to maximise its emotional and sonic impact, feeling more like a soundtrack composer's work in intricate sound design than an electronic music album. 'family value' is a clautrosphobic piece of electronic musique concrete, all hissing and clanking noises, underpinned by a arrowing sound that sounds like breathing - if that sounds like an eraserhead-esque exercise in industrial terror, a segue into a small child singing is a careful gesture that heightens the dark mood perfectly. the amount of detail here requires repeated listens and patience to fully appreciate. 'it's ok' is a lot like watching a time-stretched film of a high rise tower ascending upwards; in the first few minutes it's all about deep excavations or putting in foundations, all of which is necessary for the building to take its final shape but not as attention-grabbing as the building rising up vertically floor by floor. in the case of 'it's ok' the first half is all about individual sounds and tentative structures, those foundations finally leading to the rhythm and atmosphere that takes the track through to its final ascendant form. without patience you'd miss the conceit completely, and it's a trick that kendall pulls off repeatedly on this album. thanks to pk. (mat smith)

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