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(61 min, Burning Shed)
TRACK LIST: 1-9: Scape 33:23 10-20: Cluster 27:32 SOLO PILOT: Marvin Ayres - violins; sound design
Prolusion. Marvin Ayres is a contemporary English composer, violinist, pianist and producer. Apart from a few collaborative projects, the latest of which, MASK - "Heavy Petal", is Marvin's joint effort with the famous former Curved Air singer Sonia Kristina, he lists five solo albums on his website: "Cellosphere", "Neptune", "Sensory", "Cycle" and "Scape", which is the hero of this review.
Analysis. There is nothing on this release to describe. Well, according to the artist's website, "Fusing orthodox and off-kilter beats with city-scape cacophony, yet remaining defiantly ambient in its approach, "Scape" is a hybrid of strings-driven music specifically developed for the DVD film "Scape" and Marvin Ayres unique take on the art of the remix". Indeed, the first nine tracks, united under the common title of Scape, are nothing else but the evenly rumbling cacophony of intermixed electronic noises, slowly droning to the accompaniment of incredibly monotonous (and really awful sounding) programmed percussion. The art of noise? Hmm! This is not music anyway. This is not music in any stretch of the imagination. What differs Scopes from the following set of eleven pieces is that the Clusters represent at least a scarcely well ordered chaos of sounds, not featuring those maniacal percussion rhythms, and where the processed violin sounds are at times audible, though all being worn out. Soundscapes? All right. But this is not music either.
Conclusion. It's a kind of eternal question already: Why do the people working with so-called sound design regard (and present) the works they make in this field as music? These things have nothing to do with music. Once and for all, music must be composed, at least improvised, but it cannot be built or designed either, which is certainly not only due to its non-material substance.
VM: February 1, 2006
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