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act 82 · silk saw · preparing wars · cd

silk saw (marc m■dea and gabriel séverin), a remittent duo who's working desperately hard to cut the edges of music, like this: peregrinations through the abstract, shuffle and superposition of cards, movements of objects, scissors that we grind, tamping, clean sweep of the idiots, pretences, confrontation between the weak and the strong, smooth and rough, pillage and recuparation, laugh at first, then destruction of the mountain according to rule. this enterprise requires the refusal of compromise. thus, silk saw is not a turkish delight for everybody. seriously, let's say that the duo is trying more and more to translate in sounds an intern climate, the humming of the body singing of his own way, the basic vibration, deaf and omnipresent, but that words can't almost never formulate. then, music (in the ordinary meaning) doesn't have so much importance; remain only the impulse, the beating/recognition signal of the body, the ultimate billow wich 'll make us overturn: it gets tipsy and is about to provoke nausea.
all this was already present in jardin d'usure, first project of our two noise makers, but without the groove. a more dadaist (more impertinent) process and in french, wich started 10 years ago. the result at this moment: some performances, a cd (with interpretations of dada poems from hugo ball), refered in marc dachy's book about dada (nrf) and some tracks on compilations (see discography below), 1 hour video (radio days of panic), a t.v. appearance of 7 min. in a broadcast about chaos (intérieur nuit, rtbf (belgian t.v.), 1996 and the soundtrack for le paysagiste, a short by dominique lohle (b.)
1995. after (during) this adventure of jardin d'usure, the duo wanted to become different and to turn towards a larger scene, taking advantage of the opening made by new musical currents. so, at the original project of jardin d'usure, the duo added a more rythmic work. further more, some references to scientific research, especially in the nuclear domain, clearly appear in the silk saw recordings wich stigmatise, non without a touch of humour, the utopia of the scientific process and the inherent dangers in it.
a remark: the cost of all expenses for the 2 first years of silk saw was kindly support by the fonds de la sécurité technique des installations nucléaires du ministère de l'emploi et du travail and by the fonds pour la protection contre les radiations ionisantes du ministère des affaires sociales, de la santé publique et de l'environnement, by way of an exceptional ground. it allowed us some concerts, a live recording for the dutch well known broadcast vpro radio 5 "de avonden" (july 1997), 2 albums, a 12" and some tracks on compilations (see discography below). 2 albums (1 cd and 1 vinyle) will be soon published by ant-zen (september 1998) and later a third cd on sub rosa: the music is now more bare, dense and abstract.

preparing wars · cd · tracklist
blank clank, smooth as silk, sunk fence, this machine kills, antechamber, accu/ammo, cut the king (jumbled vers)

this time it's war · lp (released on hymen records) · tracklist
dedicated to fulci, long live the king, tamping, pounding to pieces, syncopated jags, slow scraping, late fat kings

jardin d'usure discography
musique du garrot et de la ferraille (sub rosa sr 65)
continuum asorbus 2 (perforique, one track of 26 min.) (sub rosa sr 85)
continuum asorbus 3 (how to dismember: a little anthology, one track of 20 min)
(sub rosa sr 106) late december 1998
a sub rosa sampler (one track taken from the album, sold with the gonzo circus magazine, the netherlands)

silk saw discography
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)

silksaw homepage
hymen homepage

reviews:

Re:Mote Induction
Silk Saw are a Belgian duo who have had two previous albums, which are available from Sub Rosa. Though from what I have heard of their previous work, this is by far their best work to date. Released for the first time by Ant Zen with a vinyl remix release to accompany it released on Hymen.
A dull buzzing, a swallowing darkness - slow motion breakbeats provide the sounds of Blank Clank. The sound is absorbent - an ambient drum and bass. With the little interruptions of silk saws we glide into Smooth As Silk - a wash of motion. Little clanks give rise to periods of mechanical sounds, but it is all lost to the bubbling melody.
Smooth As Silk seems to spiral fluidly out into the confines of Sunk Fence. Dull metallic noises reverbrate - each time culminating in vibrant movements. All the while a crackling electronic line builds into the forefront. Speeding up as we start to develop a beat. For the remainder of the track a steady pace is held and the sounds mix providing music to listen to or simply take in. Approaching the eleventh minute it strips itself down again and i am left with no doubt that this is one of the albums highlights.
This Machine Kills has an electronic edge - threatening from the background. While a tip-tip-tap of a cymbal sound and muffled voices commit the listener to an atmosphere. The threat of the track's title is never realised - but is that not what fear is about?
The collection of sounds that form Ante Chamber seem to represent spaces. Blips of a submerged space. Voices, half heard as though from a space outside yours. Deep pulses providing the mysterious echoes of a void. An eternity of anti-sound, which just stops... suddenly. To soothe against any vertiginous feeling Ante Chamber may have induced, Accu/Ammo is more relaxed and mellow. Based around a repeating beat which echoes for a couple of steps fading out. With progress it feels like the universe speaks to us, the deep bass overwhelming all else. This becomes less prominent under the influence of warbling but not discordant string sounds. As with Sunk Fence, this for me is one of the moments which particulaly speaks to me. Though at 18 minutes long, this brief decription is inadequate.
In contrast to the rest of the album, Preparing Wars is concluded with Cut The King (Jumped Vers) which is rather rhythmic and distorted. While I would doubt that this would classify as a dancefloor track, it is certainly the most upbeat track here acting as a fine contrast to the sound to this point and as conclusion to this album.
RVWR: PTR, February 1999

the last sigh
by now most people are probably familiar with germany's ant-zen, a diverse label synonymous with two important things: quality and innovation. for those of you unaware of the thriving ant hill, hopefully this will provide you with a brief glimpse of what you're missing. silk saw is the duo of marc maedea and gabriel severin, and "preparing wars" follows a pair of releases on belgium's sub rosa label. they create a bare, dense and abstract form of music that is skilfully drawn out in lengthy compositions. some of it even reminds me of the percussive musical "stomp". "preparing wars" isn't nearly as harsh as the title might suggest. the carefully constructed, slow moving tracks are textural, melodic, and rhythmic. at times static infused beats creep into the mix, which is the case with the first track, "blank clank". this is a complex clash of slow motion break beats and a dense backdrop of cackles and drones. some tracks feature some interesting abstract percussion while others lack a beat entirely and consist of mainly drones and odd instrumentation. the second track, "smooth as silk", is basically a simple low-key organ and a faint engine hum, all centred around a slow collection of percussive noises that fall somewhere into the grey area between orderly and sporadic. each of these seven instrumental tracks has a serious tone to it, and they're written in an infectious style that grabs your attention and holds your interest. smooth and minimal, ambient yet percussive, "preparing wars" can best be described as intelligent noise. ben didier

artefakt, sommer 1999
das duo aus belgien hatte seine musik vor silk saw als das summen des eigenen körpers bezeichnet. diese unter dem namen jardin d'usure veröffentlichte einstellung ist auch im nachfolgeprojekt wieder zu finden, nur daž man anscheinend diesmal den biorhythmus des körpers mit einbezog. so durchzieht die tracks neben der wohligen emsigkeit der geräusche und melodieschnipsel ein latenter groove, der brüchig ist, verkrüppelt, und in manchen tracks vor lauter mattigkeit ganz versagt. durch das anhalten des drones und der vielen gesampelten, organischen instrumente entsteht eine sehr atmosphärische musik der selbstkontrolle, immer kurz vor dem aggressiven ausbruch. trotz der spärlich eingesetzten rhythmik entfaltet "preparing wars" eine ungeheure dichte, die in der harten rhythmik des letzten tracks "cut the king" endet. wer, wie ich, mehr davon sucht, wird bei der parallel auf vinyl erschienenen remixplatte "this time it's war" fündig. da wurde der ausbruch in allen seinen rhythmischen facetten gefeiert.

elegy 3 3-4/99
il est des disques qui s'écoutent, d'autres qui se fredonnent, et d'autres encore qui se dansent. preparing wars, troisième album de silk saw, n'appartient à aucune de ces catégories; car c'est un disque qui saisit aux tripes, vrille l'estomac, glace les sangs et fait crisser les os, un disque qui noie, qui étouffe. après deux albums de dub industriel plombé dans la veine des productions de scorn, en nettement meilleur, le duo change son fusil d'épaule et radicalise encore davantage sa démarche. plus abstrait, plus dense, plus profond que ses prédécesseurs, preparing wars ne souffre plus aucune concession. première victime de ces guerres en préparation, le rythme, qui jadis relativement en avant, cède ici souvent la place à de vastes nappes arythmiques, ou se transforme en rouleau compresseur irrésistible (le terrifiant 'cut the king', hymne martial post industriel); seconde victime prévisible: l'auditeur. difficile en effet de résister à la techno déphasée et malade de 'this machine kills', aux dissonances de 'sunk fence' ou à la lente plongée en eaux profondes d"accu/ammo', 18 minutes inoubliables de profondeur abyssales qui resteront comme l'une des plus belles réussites du dark-ambient. nouvelle pièce maötresse dans le jeu de l'incontournable label ant-zen.

black #15
silk saw sind ein belgisches duo und bis dato ein für mich unbeschriebenes blatt, obwohl sie schon auf dem kultlabel sub rosa zwei alben veröffentlicht haben, ebenso wie ihr vorgängerprojekt jardin d'usure übrigens. auf "preparing wars" bereiten sie nun anhand von vor- und rückwärts laufenden distortion, die ständig die richtung wechseln und mich etwas nervös machen, den krieg vor. ein weiteres stilmittel ist arg verrauschtes plattenknarzen und darke noisesounds, welche ähnlich wie die distortions moduliert und eingesetzt wird. nach den rund 70 minuten dieser cd werde ich das ungute gefühl nicht los, daž hier auch psychologische kriegführung mit im spiel ist und die tatsache, daž im booklet einer reihe von professoren und doktoren gedankt wird, nicht gerade abträglich! übrigens ist der letzte track "cut the king" in der jumbled version am tanzbarsten und erinnert ein wenig an ihren landsmann olivier moreau alias imminent starvation. der zweite teil des konzeptwerkes ist dann als lp bei hymen erschienen (nur echt mit briefmarken!) und irgendwie unterlag ich dem trugschluž, daž es jetzt beatlastiger und rhythmischer wird. doch entgegen dieser vermutung ertönen über die erste hälfte der a-seite rauschige wortfetzen, nebulöse sounds und monotone klavieranschläge, was dann eher in richtung blood axis und blutharsch deutet. in der zweite hälfte wird langsam etwas mehr rhythmus aufgebaut, jedoch so richtig geht es erst auf der b-seite zur sache. trotzdem ein schwieriges und verstörendes gesamtwerk, dem im frühjahr noch ein compilationsbeitrag auf der hymen-dcd "teknoir" folgen wird. (m.f.)

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