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Philip Jeck

Vinyl Coda IV


The unbridled materiality of sounds:
Philip Jeck's Vinyl Coda IV
No cracking is like another. In the world of Briton Philip Jeck, that old familiar substance vinyl takes on a reality beyond what was previously etched artificially into this industrial material. Its apparent drawbacks - the hissing and cracking emanating from its extremely vulnerable surface - are turned by Philip Jeck into an asset. Whereas the surface noise was previously only an annoying accident, it now becomes the actual substance.
Almost with the skill of an alchemist, Philip Jeck creates gramophone art from these sounds, he directs the release of the sound-emitting material, causing the surface itself to speak. Skilfully Philip Jeck guides the listener from the abstract, sophisticated composition back to an apotheosis of the pure material nature of the crafted singles and LPs. Of course one should actually watch him carefully lowering the arm with the needle onto the vulnerable and scarred surface of the vinyl, going thoughtfully to and fro between his dozen microphoned portable record players.
One almost imagines one can SEE how the layers of sound superimpose themselves and how the vinyl slowly reveals the secret of its obstinately sound-emitting materiality. But the astounding thing is that Philip Jeck's totally composed "Vinyl Codas", the fourth part of which now exists, also exercise a fascination without the visual stimulus of seeing how they are created. Indeed the hypnotic enchantment of this gramophone art becomes more intense, this art that condenses coarse hissing, the finely alienated sound track and the suddenly emerging song fragment into collages, that is now only vaguely obsessed by its own cracks and interfaces: a slowly swelling sea of sound.
Philip Jeck is not really interested in the consensus beat spoon-fed by the pop industry. He loves the unheard-of sound, the free, delirious play of fragments which attract and repel one another like magnets. The meaning shifts repeatedly, Jeck directs the listener's attention back from the recognisable - and for the most part ironically alienated - musical fragment to the sound of a needle scraping along a channel. With Philip Jeck there is no longer any antagonism between background and foreground, between the sound and its medium: rather he stages a play of continuous changes of perspective, giving prominence first to one and then the other. The musical form thus reveals itself as an advancing, inconclusive process which repeatedly abandons its assumed centre anew. Sometimes his pieces are like seductive meditations on the nature of perception, and then again they tell of the ecstatically suggestive power which arises from the enduring tension between sonic abstraction and the unbridling of material: reflections on sound and its medium.

Harry Lachner

Composed and performed by Philip Jeck
Sound engineer: Stefan Briegel, Marko Kaminsky
Assistant of the director: Christiane Klenz, Anja Scheifinger
Producer: Herbert Kapfer, Barbara Schäfer
Recorded live 13.04.2000, Bongo Bar, Kunstpark Ost, Munich
Broadcast: Bayern2Radio, Munich
Produced by: Bayerischer Rundfunk / Hörspiel und Medienkunst

intermedium rec. 008
ISBN 978-3-939444-09-1
CD out of stock


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