Monday, 13 July 2015

ORPHAX


























"sand in boxes"
Year:    2005
Country:    Netherlands
City:    Amsterdam
Label:    Verato project
Format:    CD
Tracks:    4
Time:   50 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Ambient            Noise













Amsterdam based musician and trained drummer Sietse van Erve was introduced to electronic music in the early nineties. After playing around with tracker software, he eventually recorded his first music with beats and melodies in 1998, but soon lost interest in both. He started researching new sounds and new ways of working – always with an organic touch, including incorporating sounds that would be regarded by others as errors or mistakes, as life isn’t without errors either. Most of his work is improvised, using a laptop and random objects ranging from keyboards, plastic cups being played with a bow, to vocals. The result is an organic lo-fi form of drone and minimal music. Besides being organic most of the Orphax’s releases are melancholic and even sad. Musical influences are Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Catherine Christer Hennix and Kassel Jaeger as well as folk and classical music from India and Tibet, mainly throat and overtone singing. Besides making music, Sietse van Erve runs Moving Furniture Records and curates concerts at home, at Amsterdam institute STEIM and concert venue OCCII and is involved with SOTU Festival. Sietse van Erve is a proud user of the audio software AudioMulch and Reaper.
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"oniscus asellus"
Year:    2014
Label:    Moving Forniture
Format:    CD
Tracks:    6
Time:    40 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Abstract            Drone












Sietse van Erve, man behind Moving Furniture Records and Oprhax, is an active bee. Here he has two new releases on his label of which the first, with his own music, was previously released in 2003 as a MP3, but now, eleven years later, it has been remastered and is no doubt available also on the net, but make sure to download the right quality. With lots of this kind of music it is a pity that you could, ten years, ago only download compressed versions. Music like this, with a lot of dynamic range, needs to be heard in the best possible quality. This is Orphax in its early days. His first releases were from 2002 (also internet only, so who knows? More re-issues) and it's already dark, it is also partly inspired by the humming of machines; despite the title being about insects and such like. Maybe you can imagine a population of crawling insects when you hear this, or perhaps not. It's densely orchestrated music, no doubt already in those early days already all about computer treatments, but does not yet have the refinement of the latter day Orphax. Maybe it's the use of reverb that is an obvious point of atmospheric sound? It's not bad at all, actually, especially from a historical point of view. Nice one indeed. Did I ever of TVO before? I am not sure. It's not easy to find using the search function on the computer. I have no idea. Here we have a twenty-two minute piece of music, which can serve as the soundtrack to the book of the same name written by the composers' mother, Morag Law. Its published in Gaelic and English and "is both an edited selection of my grandmother, Barbara Satchel’s, writings, and also a brief biography of her life" says TVO. If you download the thing through bandcamp you'll get also a bonus piece and a six-piece PDF booklet. The book is, I understand, 'a meditation on memory, the past, threads of creativity and inspiration and an attempt to hold moments of time in audio'. For his piece here (and a longer bonus piece found on the bandcamp release of this), TVO had access to family archive recordings, his mother speaking, himself singing when he was six years old and such like. These sounds are processed using max/msp through Ableton Live and performed twice. The PDF tells us how these performances went. The second concert is the bonus here, and the first is, I believe, the CDR itself. This is all quite nicely processed field recordings, including singing and such, which provide a nice choir like sound at times. TVO mixes in spoken word, which act as voices, rather than as texts one should fully understand. Both pieces end rather abruptly, which is a pity. TVO takes the listener on a fine walk through hillsides, coastal lines, crackling of leaves, seaside sounds and all of that processed into the mild microsounding music of a general quiet and easy world, in which time seems to be moving slower than usual. No real big surprises here, but throughout an excellent execution of a fine piece. (*Review by Frans de Waard)
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"over hoe de regte heide"
Year:    2015
Label:    Barreuh
Format:    cassette
Tracks:    2
Time:   
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Minimal




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"warschauer "
Year:    2017
Label:    Opa Loka
Format:    CD
Tracks:    2
Time:    46 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Ambient            Drone












Warschauer Straße in Berlin's Friedrichshain district is one of the top addresses for enterprising visitors from all over the world. Hardly imaginable that there could ever be peace between Asian snacks, well-stocked late risers, skateboarders, dealers, street musicians, and crowds of bottlers. All the more surprising that Sietse van Erve named his drones, created under the impression of his first visit to Berlin, just after this hotspot. Personal reasons and memories played a role here, but even without a detailed knowledge of this, "Warsaw Street" is worth listening to. For a good three-quarters of an hour, van Erve aka Orphax (not to be confused with the Canadian Orphx) layers many acoustic memorabilia on top of each other, causing the resulting sound current to rise and fall. It does not create the hustle and bustle of Warsaw street, but a mix of pleasant and harsh listening impressions, bundled in two soft drones with intermediate tones (*Review by Sasha Bertoncin).
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