Title: Auld Cove
Artist: Period Three (aka David Turgeon)
Release Date: 2014 March 6
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: No Type
This is an old work. How old? 1999. However, it hasn’t seen release (except as a very limited CDR) until this year according to the notes on the No Type website. Why so long for a release? Well that isn’t noted. However, I can say that I am happy to hear it come to light now as the Auld Cove experiment surprises me.
Auld Cove Experiment Surprises
So, the main method used in the production of this recording is cut-n-paste (from No Type’s notes):
David Turgeon …copy-pasted a bunch of samples from various sources within the Acid 1.0 sequencing software.
This was, in fact, something of a common idea back in the late 1990’s – generating music by taking different selections and layering them on top of each other to create a collage. Of course, this was just an updated version of tape manipulation techniques that existed for many decades.
The difference now was that it was possible to do it on a computer instead of using physical media (vinyl albums, tapes, etc.). Where this recording surprises in its use not just of analog sounds, but in using sounds from analog sources that are faulty or expose limitations of the media. This is a precursor to its digital equivalent: gltich. Glitch is the style where digital sound artifacts are introduced into the recording as part of the composition, often taking on a counterpoint part, or some purely ambient role.
This recording does contain digital artifacts as well as analog artifacts. It also freely mixes analog and digital sources side by side. In essence this could be seen as a meta-version of glitch. While glitch emerged in the 1990’s in Germany, it was mostly done in digital form, mixing analog and digital forms was not something widely experimented with.
This is a more abstract recording than the works of Aphex Twin or Oval. This is a work that remains more purely in the noise collage category, than the more melodic and ambient integration of glitch that marked its emergence as a distinct movement.
I normally get tired of these types of recordings. In many cases it almost feels like the artist is out to prove something. They’ve got some idea and are going to go out of their way to make you hear. But that isn’t the case with this recording. ‘Auld Cove’ is put together in such as way as to allow you to tease out the details in its arrangements.
This is one of those recordings that is also slightly deceptive. While you listen to it you start to hear relationships between organic samples, the noises, and the artifacts. However, there are many spots and places where you have to wonder if these relationship were actually planned, or they were a happy coincidence of the cut-n-paste nature of the work. This makes for an interesting challenge in listening as each of the pieces is engaging, and trying to tease out the relationships will keep your ears active for a long time.
This is an interesting time capsule that No Type has released. The Auld Cove experiment surprises and challenges the listener on many levels. In a respect it can be seen as something of a missing link between the early tape-manipulations (or musique concrete) of the 1950’s, and the digital manipulation techniques of the 1990’s. But it also mixes analog artifacts (mostly heard in the 1960’s & 1970’s) with the emerging glitch movement of the 1990’s. Add on top of this a question boundary between planned and un-planned relationships between sounds, and it makes for an almost hallucinatory experience.
This is the type of recording that isn’t for the widest of audiences. However, if you have the ears for it, you should give it a listen or five. You will likely find yourself as immersed in this recording as I am.