Intelligent Noise Music of the non-entertainment genre. Netlabel, Cassettes, CDs, CDRs. Free improv, musique concrete. Black ambient metal. Field recordings, experimental electronics. Drones & Pop. Since 1983.

© 2018 Zeromoon

Violet - Violet Ray Gas and the Playback Singers [zero008]

  • Artist: Violet
  • Title: Violet Ray Gas and the Playback Singers
  • Format: CD
  • Release Date: Mar, 2009
  • Price: $5.00
6Interior Ghosts11:06
5Violet Ray Gas12:55
4Snakehead Lapping7:43
3Plague Numbers3:49
1All Records Collapse3:30


Whereas violet light resides at the short-wavelength end of the visible spectrum, Violet sound projects outwards beyond the audio spectrum; from Minimalism and near-silence to full-on tonal Brutalism. »Violet Ray Gas & The Playback Singers« creates a personal soundtrack to Futurist and Avant Guard cinema, filled with clipped foreign voices, the surface noise of old vinyl acetates and film projector hum. Seemingly familiar ethnic melodies decay and drone, with subtle turns of well-crafted and honed vision. Not unlike great film art, all composition leads to that awkward moment of dumbstruck awe upon completion, bathed in the deafening silence before one, then several, and finally thunderous audience applause bursts forth. That collective moment wherein the mind seeks to process the full range of aesthetic and emotional experience laid out before it: bewilderment to recognition, disruption to blissfulness, but never indifference or ambivalence. You are now changed from this experience and exposure. Roll credits.
Coreleased with Sentient Recognition Archive SRA010.


"Very much like watching a giant wildfire consuming nature or the eruptions of a volcanoe or seeing an avalanche go down, strikes you both with fear and awe, makes you stare straight into the eye of danger without being able to move a limb." ~ Cracked

"Quite an intriguing burst of dark electronic and sample noise from Violet, whose Violet Ray Gas and The Playback Singers (ZEROMOON zero008 / SENTIENT RECOGNITION ARCHIVE SRA 10) is released in a digipack covered with Futurist-inspired monochrome images full of harsh diagonals and fuzzy dreams of the machine age. Jeff Surak arrives here from Washington DC, a hero of the 1980s cassette tape scene when he used to release music under his 1348 alias and ran his Watergate Tapes label. Consequently we can hear much stern authority and grainy power in these grim process-works. My fave so far is the opener ‘All Records Collapse’, with its implacable radio voice plucked from an indeterminate Eastern European zone, but ‘Snakehead Lapping’, ‘Plague Numbers’ and ‘Marionetki’ all communicate the requisite doses of futility. Two long tracks at the end, ‘Violet Ray Gas’ and ‘Interior Ghosts’, are somewhat more musical than atmospheric, shaped from queasy long-form drones tempered with alien sounds. Surak strives to offer ‘near-silence’ and ‘full-on tonal Brutalism’, with all shades in between." ~ The Sound Projector

"In 'Violet Ray Gas' for instance he uses quite a bit a violin like sounds, which are layered into an orchestral mass of sound, along with some obscured sounds at the bottom. The closing piece of the CD is 'Interior Ghosts' is a hissy, glitchy piece of shifting organ like tones. There is also noise, as part of the long 'Marionetki' piece, and drone like ambience. Violet creates music that defies many descriptions, and produced an album that is highly varied but at the same time also pretty unified and strong - an excellent display of what Violet is all about. Ambient, noise, musique concrete, old school industrial music and microsound, all blended together in a strong work." ~ Vital Weekly (FdW)

"When we were first told about this Violet record, it was described to us as a noise record, and we just sort of assumed Violet was the woman making the noise, when in fact, Violet Ray Gas And The Playback Singers is way more of an experimental drone record, and Violet is the name of the group, which in fact is the work of one fella, not sure what he's called, but none of that really matters, what does, is that this record is amazing. Dark and mysterious, mixing in bits of Jeck and Tim Hecker, Wolf Eyes, blending them into Violet's ominous world of sound. There's feedback all over the place, but it's far from harsh or jagged, instead it's used like color, to paint greyed out landscapes burnished reds, and melted oranges, thick tones, reverberating chimes, bits of buzz and crunch, disembodied voices, intercepted broadcasts, clouds of hiss, chugging machinery, industrial sonic detritus, warped strings, woozy synths, all wound up into dense walls of sound one second, blurred into delicate crystalline lattices the next. "Plague Numbers" is total Jeck, a skipping scratched record smeared into a gauzy washed out living portrait of sound, indistinct figures, flitting shadows, mysterious shapes, all moving as if through a thick field of static, not even four minutes, but we found ourselves wishing it would never end. Elsewhere the sound of lapping water is swallowed up by a crackling crumbling fog of burnt melodies, and slowed down riffs, a sort of sun dappled lysergic sonic swirl. The title track is a tuning up orchestra stretched out into a softly chaotic symphony of angular tones and fractured melodies, of sine waves and groaning creaking low end rumbles, augmented by curious crackles and strands of distortion arranged in patterns resembling speech, but rendered in impressionistic shards, finishing off with a gorgeous high end ur-drone, a softer Sunroof!, a field of static bagpipes, their overtones creating otherworldly patterns in the ether. Gorgeous. " ~ Aquarius Records

"Die russischen Töne - es ist die Stimme von Alexei Borisov - sind hier nicht zufällig, auch Jeff Surak aka Violet selbst, der in den 80ern als 1348 und mit New Carrollton in Washington DC in der frühen Industrialszene mitgemischt hat, lebte in den 90ern eine Weile in Russland und initiierte dort das Projekt Sovmestnoye Predpriyatiye. Zurückgekehrt, formierte er das Duo V., von dem sein Soloprojekt Violet übrig blieb. Russisch ist auch das Design mit Bauhaus-modernistischer Architektur und konstruktivistisch-suprematistischer Grafik in El Lissitzky-Stil, allerdings grobkörnig entfärbt zum stalinistischen Betongrau. Der Sound dazu ist entsprechend grobkörnig, wie von Steinfraß verätzt. Unter der Oberfläche rumort es düster und grollend, die bebenden Fundamente sind unterspült. Alles ist von Verfall und Vergessen bedroht, die alten Schwarzweißfilme klacken mit verzerrten Tonspuren, die alten Schallplatten knurschen und knacken, als wären sie aus einem anderen Jahrtausend. ‚Plague Numbers‘ weckt noch einmal die Assoziation zum Pestjahr 1348, Suraks altem Namen. Die zittrigen Geigenstriche von Lina Lapelyte auf ‚Violet Ray Gas‘ unterstreichen den dystopischen Grundton, der das Neue Mittelalter oder gar Dunkle Zeitalter durchgeistert. ‚Interior Ghosts‘ macht Suraks hauntologischen Ansatz offenkundig. Das Gespenst, das umgeht, kommt diesmal jedoch vom Friedhof der gestorbenen" ~ Bad Alchemy 62

"S’il dirige seul la structure Zeromoon chez qui il sort la plupart de ses enregistrements, on rangera certainement cet album pas très loin de nos disques Touch ou des maîtres du drone tels que Arnold Dreyblatt ou Phill Niblock." ~ etherreal