Title: Environment Pressure
Artist: Art Electronix
Release Date: 2014 Sept 10
License: CC BY-ND, BY-NC-ND
Label: Art Electronix
[Ed. Note: This review is retracted. Artist has chosen to remove the Creative Commons license from this release. This is an automatic 0 rating.]
Introduction Environment pressure art is something of a new concept to me, and I don’t know if I completely understand it. Art Electronix has put together a what I would, at best, call a series of sounds that are related and seem to consider it to be an artistic work. Let’s examine this concept in the main portion of this review.
Environment Pressure Art Electronix So, I think the place for starting to consider the substance of this release is to understand how Art Electronix defines themselves and what they do. To quote from their BandCamp page:
Creative circle composed of two people. Our activity connected with music programming, constant search of original sounding, development of art performances and live concerts, experimental quality music production, and many other art forms. So, in many respects, what we have on this recording is a series of tracks that this collective would use in their performance pieces. Normally I would think this would make this work a series of stems, but it really isn’t presented or licensed that way, given that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons license with the No Derivatives clause. So, these aren’t sounds that can be used for mixing by anyone (unless you get a separate license from Art Electronix). No I am down with the idea of experimental musical works. In fact, I actually get into some releases that aren’t normally considered by many people to be music. For example some of the works that are considered ‘musique concrete’ — basically found sounds that are manipulated in some manner. But these recordings aren’t really in that category either — many of the sounds are synthesized, and only a few tracks use highly manipulated samples of real-world sounds. While some of the tracks have a certain amount of ambient quality to them, like, ‘Opium Dream, many of the tracks aren’t the kinds of pieces I would listen to as normal musical selection. Examples of the pieces I wouldn’t normally listen to: ‘Up/Down’ and ‘Air Burn’. So, honestly, this release just kind of leaves me stymied with how to assess its qualities. It is well produced. There are occasional musical elements, but not always. It’s not a something that falls into a found-sounds type of work. Art Electronix does feel there is something of a narrative that goes with this work, based on the notes about each track on their release page. However, if you had asked me to find even a thread of that narrative from just listening to this work, I don’t think I could have come up with even a piece of it. Yes, I can say that there is a definite intent within this release. It is a grouping of soundscapes and environments that have a feeling of being related to each other.
Conclusion By the very idea of having an internal consistency to this work, it is an artistic expression, somewhat. The problem is that the individual works are really designed to be used in another context (within Art Electronix’s performances), but in terms of being standalone pieces they don’t really offer anything all that interesting to the listener. Sure, there are bits of musicality here and there, but it is nothing consistent. I would have preferred to think of this release as series of stems instead of as an artistic expression, but it isn’t presented in that manner. So, I’m back to that phrase I used earlier: I’m stymied by this release.