All posts by Primoz Pucelj

Show 715: From side A to side B of the Climate by Staš Vrenko (Radio Student)

From side A to side B of the Climate

Two presented compositions are taken from an album Klima (Climate) by Staš Vrenko released in March 2018 under a Slovenian label for improvised and experimental music “Zvočni prepihi”. Author holds a degree in sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana but in his interdisciplinary practise he is intensively dealing with field recording and its performative aspects, as well as the technological and media specifications of the sound itself.

Presented composition from side A – Osončeno (Sun-drenched) is the longest one out of three pieces that in Vrenko’s words…

“…summarize the past two years of the creative work and research. The condensation of fragments and recordings is tracing the boundaries of field recording, plunderphonics, engaging in and creating electronic instruments and sound design. The complementing and intervening of recordings opens up the possibility for diverse audio material, of simultaneously being documentary and musical, even if it is usually not perceived as such. The principles of re-amping and recording, add their own acoustics to the material, such as sounds of various surfaces recorded with contact microphones, vinyl record manipulation, DIY modular synthesizer and others that usually don’t have it. Field recordings are thus placed in the same order. They, as real acoustic spaces, become subject to certain strategies of sound design and other media manipulations. Such ‘equalization’, which deals with all the recordings from a standpoint of the final reduction to the vibrations of the speaker membrane, complicates the relationship between contingency, that is usually ascribed to found sound and field recordings, and desire and composition, which are usually associated with the creation of electronic and composed music.” *

The 18 minutes long side B’s last composition Tehnike posvojitve (Adoption Techniques) juxtapose with the wider art project that holds the same name and was presented in Gallery P74, Ljubljana, Slovenija as a sound installation in September 2017.

“In the Adoption Techniques, documents of highly processual and site-specific research and creation, are regarded as the explications of the acts of sound recording and playback.  They, as specific forms of performativity, enable the re-thinking of the position of the sound creator and the musician. The selection from a vast heterogeneous mass includes, among other things, examples of different occurrences of mediated sound, replay and consequent changes in the source locations and the time of the sound. The sounds are tied by the last stage – the final “recording” and the flattening of each fragment into a self-standing representation.  Emphasis is placed on the recordist – the listener who in the process of gathering recordings, recognizes events in the sound environment as signs. This necessitates the determination of the sound’s sources and echoes as well as the differentiation, arrangement and separation of sounds and their relations to meaningful and meaningless. Exactly tracing this unsustainable line, thinking about the acousmatics, transparency of the media, and the non-selectivity of the recording process of a recorder, which creates a complete (meaningful) whole from an inconceivable time-and-sound stream, brings on the reflection on what and how the audio documents can be ‘read’ by the listener. Repeated capturing, playback, re-recording and dubbing, results in an unfaithful tracing of the sound sources and in thinking about what the potential of a recording act, that for its audibility demands and creates a new, future playback site, is. The pursuit of these simultaneities, due to the temporal nature of the sound, intensely places itself on the point before and after sound, in the place of constant anticipation and distance from the moment of capture.” *

* text by Staš Vrenko

photo by Maja Burja

Show 687: Excerpt from Ptičji Mozak by SsmKOSK (Radio Student)

Excerpt from Ptičji Mozak

The presented material is an auditory stream of 4 compositions – a segment of the recent sound work by the audiovisual artist, poet and linguist Blaž Božič, released under alias SsmKOSK in the form of an album by Zvočni Prepihi record label in 2018.

Inter alia, it serves to exemplify his creative methods dealing with semantic multiplicity of music genre fusion, topologically specific to post-transitional Eastern Europe soundscape, most noticeably – turbo-folk. During the process of critical observation of the latter and working in the field of contemporary electronic music and sound art, the artist developed conceptually intricate techniques of working with sound, which further accelerate genre fusion by juxtaposing various found samples and usage of classical and non-classical instruments alongside spoken word, circuit bent equipment (guitar pedals, portable CD and VHS players, drum machine, etc.) and DSP tools for medium reconfiguration.

photo by: Blaž Božič

Show 656: AMonFM::: underground_acceleration by beepblip (Radio Student)


The track was recorded live on Sound Topographies Festival at Škuc Gallery, on 1 October 2017, by an invitation of the festival’s curator Nina Dragičević. The track is based on various field recordings, which in their raw form often sound quite piercing for the ear. Field recordings are most interesting for the person who finds them, in simultaneity with the sound-event, in direct contact with the sound-field source. Such encounters are marked by an element of surprise in a unique event, a non reproducible moment in time. With repetition this moment becomes an object in the archive of memory, of something known and transmittable. In my relation to sound, the element of the unexpected plays a significant role, as though I am making sounds in the tension between repetition and surprise.

The track plays with various frequencies in audio or electromagnetic spectrums, which are outside the range of a human hearing. Often, such frequencies come in extremely high and sharp form, when they are transposed to the human hearing range. These are exactly the frequencies that attract me most. I am producing such sound in an attempt to shift the flow of conscious thinking.  In this way, the production of such persistent sounds is political, because they nullify the capacity to be productive and efficient; the two imperatives imposed by capitalist mode of reproduction. At the same time, these sounds are not particularly entertaining, and they offer relaxation only to the people who refuse to be relaxed in an anesthetic way. The track ideally works as a jammer for thought pollution.

A few words about field recording. In the immediacy of listening when recording, I am using amplifiers, catchers of frequencies, different antennas, coils, transducers. I record either outside of the hearing range, either in the electromagnetic fields or on the radio frequencies outside of the advertisement-polluted FM (AM or VHF). To walk through space with headphones and an amplifier of sort is like floating in some virtual inter-space, which is not connected to online or digital virtuality, but a virtual space on the level of electromagnetic waves, for example. In my utopian thinking, I imagine that computers and the web are not optimal carriers of virtuality. If we are ever to develop interfaces, which are more comfortable for our human bodies, we would have to invent new way of virtualisation. I am not interested only in producing sound compositions, but propose sounds, which would say something about the future. As a representative of contemporary cognitariat I feel flattened in two dimensions of a computer screen. And sometimes I am in awe with the 3D world with its forms and possibilities. An ordinary view of the world is virtual reality to me. My listening of electromagnetic waves is a way of opening the virtual space into more spatial and temporal dimensions.

The track consists of modified fragments recorded with a radio receiver on AM waves. Mostly they are without narration, and sometimes a word or a melody creeps in. I listen to these tracks like they would be arias of some sort. The tracks also consists of sound layers recorded with a coil for sound detection of electromagnetic waves. These recordings were mostly taken in 2013 and 2014 in New York City, where the EM waves are omnipresent. This part of the recordings is also the reason to call this track Underground Acceleration. What interests me in this sound layer is the tension of constant acceleration with few releases. This constant electromagnetic tension works like an illustration of capitalist depletion and accelerationism.

There is also a really beautiful example or an acoustic citation of light installation by Kurt Laurenz Theinert: Gespinst, exhibited a few years ago at the Lighting Guerrilla Festival in Ljubljana. In addition to these field recordings, there are also several sound levels produced live with analogue electronic synthesisers.

For the conclusion, perhaps a short explanation of the title AMonFM. Not only are some AM transmissions now channeled on radia-FM, the FM in this case is also the Shape of a dozen of analogue patches.