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from The Wire Magazine, April 2006

Stasisfield was featured on The Wire's monthly top 15 lists page, included in the Web Labels 15 list compiled by Polymorphic's Matt Spendlove.

from ParisTransatlantic Magazine, March 2003

go to: stasisfield.com

by Dan Warburton

"Electronic music is the opium of the people", intoned the deadpan voice of the lead singer of the long-forgotten (and absolutely horrible) English punk group Danny And The Dressmakers, years ago now. While kids like the Dressmakers sought refuge from the banality of everyday existence in scuzzy guitar noise in someone's garage, youngsters today can stay ensconced in their bedrooms, download state-of-the-art software and turn out a high-quality piece of electronic music in a few hours. And once it's done, there's no need anymore to print up crappy 45s and mail them off fingers crossed to John Peel in grubby envelopes - convert to mp3 format and post it up there on the web for everyone to hear (you have to tell them it's there, first, of course). Several labels - notably 12k and fällt - and numerous individuals, from obscure bedroom mystics such as JLIAT to megastars like Bowie, have jumped at the opportunity of releasing material this way: it's up there for a limited period only, you want it, go get it. www.stasisfield.com/ is one of the best (and most elegant) sites on the web offering discriminating consumers a choice of downloadable music. John Kannenberg runs the site as an online art space as much as a record library, and his current Audible Still Life project reflects his concern for visual as well as aural excellence. A number of discs are available for purchase from the site, and an mp3 CDR featuring nearly all sixteen Stasisfield releases from the site's first year is in preparation.

If you sometimes feel like your life is being cut into a billion fragments and hurled back at you, "Audioreliquary" by J3 (Kannenberg's project with James Warchol, James Schoenecker and Ethan Koehler) is the perfect soundtrack; for old BBC Radiophonic Workshop nostalgics who grew up watching Doctor Who, Capricorn One's "Panopticon" is a must; Kannenberg's solo "Aero" project is an exploration of cunningly transformed field recordings and what the Wire magazine likes to call "critical beats"; Takuji Tokiwa's "Four Tears" is a superbly crafted four-movement symphonic poem that runs the gamut from teeth-grinding drones to church bells; Denmark's Jonas Olesen's "dis_published" is absolutely gorgeous, while "_minus one" by OK Suitcase (aka Portuguese sound artist André Gonçalves) is powerful and brooding. If references and cross-connections abound here (Brian Labycz's real-time manipulation of field recordings recalls the work of French group Afflux, and Carol Genetti's "Grain" is pure poésie sonore), so does originality: Neil Jendon and Dave Mackenzie's "Uh-Oh, Machine" is unlike anything I've ever heard. Ian Simpson's "Seite" paints it big, but Sawako's close-up recording of the family piano (love the dog barking in the background!) is as intimate as a kiss. Bremsstrahlung label boss Josh Russell (see the review of "lowercase sound 2002" elsewhere on this site) contributes the coolly mesmerising dronescape of "Ub_cus" and James Schoenecker's "Live in NYC / Open Air" gives the blokes at 12k a good run for their money, but if you think it's all 100% electronic at stasisfield, think again: Belgian composer George de Decker's "La Citta Invisibili", though heavy on manipulation and post-prod, is scored for fourteen-piece ensemble, and Crouton Music's Jon Mueller's "A Wooden Bicycle" is sourced from his beloved percussion instruments.


"Sonic Planar Analysis ::01" (Stasisfield SF-CD101) is another brief sampler of the diverse catalogue on offer, from the spitty, crackly dub of Phluidbox to the haunting soundscapes of J3 (move over, William Basinski). While some of the material is rather slight (both Capricorn One's thunky electro and Pressboard's "Corner Slit" might have benefited from longer reflection on the part of their creators), there are some wondrous things on offer, notably Psychiatric Challenge's "Echoes of Madges Kitchen", a wild, fucked-up piece which spins round so fast trying to find a direction to go in that it all but drills itself into the ground. "Meditations (on ashKroft)" by Warchol (aka Loam, also on the mp3 CDR in its entirety) is composed from samples of the US Attorney General's self-penned patriotic song "Let the Eagles Soar" (which his staff is obliged to learn by heart - way to go, Johnboy!). One imagines that Mr Ashcroft, were he not so busy disguising statues and generally being what is known in my country as a "proper pillock", would be inclined to take Warchol and tar and feather him, but he clearly has neither the time nor the necessary grey matter to appreciate such thoughtful and coherent composition. But if you've got as far as reading the end of this review, YOU HAVE - and you owe it to yourself to check out http://www.stasisfield.com/ without any further delay. Go download.

 

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