Ideas are suggested and quickly abandoned. In their wake chance becomes intention. Clues that reveal themselves upon repeated listenings. This is not background music or audio as utility. Repeated plays will unfold their rewards and spaces yet unexplored. For this is the last piece of graphite.
Recorded in the studio, in the woods, and on river banks using analog electronics, prepared objects, bass, double bass, guitar, and tapes, in
Hamburg/Washington DC, in the autumn of 2022.
released January 18, 2023
All sounds by Kris Kuldkepp and Jeff Surak
A.P./G.S. Mastering & Post
"Jeff Surak is one of those solid and reliable forces in the world of experimental music, and yet not a name that appears a lot in Vital Weekly. In the mid-80s, he started solo as 1348, and had a group New Carrollton, and various labels, including Watergate Tapes. Later, he worked under his own name and organized the Sonic Circuits Festival. Zeromoon is his label. I hadn't heard of Kris Kuldkepp, a Hamburg-based Estonian free improviser. She plays the double bass, bass guitar and electronics. I would think mainly the latter in her work with Surak. 'The Last Piece of Graphite' is their debut album. According to the information, they used "analogue electronics, prepared objects, bass, double bass, guitar, and tapes" and recorded "in the studio, in the woods, and on river banks", which gives an interesting perspective. While the four pieces, starting with the shortest (three minutes) and ending with the longest (twenty), have an unmistakable feeling of improvised music, there is another overall sensibility of something more lo-fi and experimental. This music is more akin to a collage, played in a concert setting (but maybe with some alternative takes and editing thrown in?) than a straightforward work of purely improvised music. At times loud and very much present, this isn't the type of music to escape from; or to play as a piece of an ambient backdrop. Full-on listening is required, and it's rewarded. There is quite a bit happening here, most of the time. In each of the pieces, there is a very dynamic set of sounds going on. There is delicate electro-acoustic sound processing next to sharpish sine waves, crackles and rattles of electronic sound. I didn't hear much by way of the musicians sitting outside, but I admit it looks good on the information. There is a lo-fi aspect to the music, which combines with more noise and improvisation pretty well. I think this is a pretty amazing debut release, and I would be curious to see them in concert." ~ (FdW) Vital Weekly
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