Nevermind Your Palaver . . . [2]

Part 2 [of 2] – the slightly rougher, audiologically feisty, younger brother of part 1 that closes with a custom landscaped & extended version of the far too short scorcher by ProjeKct Four (Mastelotto, Fripp, Levin & Gunn).

01 Otto Lindholm – Nilindigo
02 King Crimson – Industry
03 Ynos – Tears in the Rain
04 The Cotswold Gnomes – Ringing Beat
05 The Fireman (Paul McCartney) – Bison
06 Brian Eno & Robert Fripp – Dirt Loop
07 Robert Rich – Electric Ladder
08 King Crimson – Discipline
09 The Cotswold Gnomes – Sneering Loop
10 David Bowie w/ Brian Eno – All Saints
11 Robert Fripp – Breathless
12 Fripp & Eno – The Idea of Decline
13 Andy Summers & Robert Fripp – I Advance Masked
14 David Torn – Sink
15 The Cotswold Gnomes – Tripoli 2020
16 ProjeKct Four – Sus Tayn Zee (extended crimson red-exit edit)



original album cover
The Cotswold Gnomes


Somi is the new full-length from Taylor Deupree following 2014’s Faint (12k1073/12k2025).

The release comes packaged as a CD inside a 20-page hardbound book of Deupree’s photographs that inspired the creation of the music. For the music, made with a small number of instruments (electric piano, glockenspiel, DX7, handheld cassette recorder) Deupree originally set out to create a follow-up to his classic album Stil.. Steeped in subtle repetition and soft electronic sound, Stil. explored themes of time and change. However, Stil. was created with purely electronic means – software synthesizers and looping algorithms which explored the then-novel frontier of DSP based “microsound.” With a strong desire to bring the aesthetics of Stil. to his current way of working Deupree used no software or automatic looping, instead opting for the imperfections of creating “loops” by hand. The result is warm and quietly decayed work of spare, discreet tones and dozens of interwoven slow polyrhythms that create repetitions that constantly fall apart and shuffle themselves back together. While these ideas of phase relationships are not new in music, nor to Deupree’s catalogue of work, it was the way he approached the composing that was different, and more challenging, than his work in the past. Wrapped up warmly in the sonics of cassette players and cheap built-in speakers, Somi’s dusty melodies sit quietly, but uneasily, and question the passing of time and present one of Deupree’s most alluring albums to date.

The process used to create Somi is discussed here as excerpted from Deupree’s writing inside the book:

In my early experiments with repetition I used a host of software-based looping tools which allowed me microscopic control over timing and repetitions. As my aesthetics and work veered toward the more natural and organic I began to incorporate acoustic and found sounds into my compositions. I found the natural variation and irregularities of acoustic instrumentation gave my loops a fragile subtlety that wasn’t available in software. Likewise, moving from software to hardware-based looping devices, and eventually tape loops, introduced a whole universe of beautiful imperfections that only made the repetition more varied and alive.

When I was conceiving the ideas for a new album, that would become Somi, I wanted to take the looping another step further into the imperfect and started experimenting with “hand-made” or manually created loops. With this technique, instead of using any looping devices at all, software or hardware, I would simply play phrases over and over, at a specified temporal division, for the length of the composition. What I found was that my “loops” still remained repetitive but now had the added irregularity of slight timing and timbral variations, because every note and every cycle was played by hand.

The further I explored this technique the more I found that the fewer notes I played during each cycle the better multiple passes and tracks would layer with each other. Each layer, each manual “loop” would also have different lengths. Perhaps the first would repeat every 19 seconds, and then the second every 12 seconds, and another at 64 seconds, and so on. I found as I stuck to a strict looping timer (as much as I could by watching it and playing by hand) notes from each layer would fall on top or in between previous tracks at random locations and create interesting relationships and phrases. Each layer would repeat at different intervals, the equivalent of having a dozen different time signatures in one piece of music.
– Taylor Deupree, April, 2016


The Stick Men are releasing a free digital download companion album to the limited edition promotional CD “KOLLEKTED” (Blue), which is currently available KonneKtedexclusively at King Crimson concerts. For this download version we’ve assembled some other favorites under the name “KONNEKTED” (Red), and included are also some rather odd tracks from the catalogue.

Enter “0” (zero) to download for free. And please tell your friends!

The Ambient Landscape mixological studio crew (Semi-Red) is hard at work remixing this KOLLEKTION as the track selections, though stellar, were not well segued and are merely a kollektion of kompositions…not a well thought out mix.
Thus, we’ve have dragged the composite tracks into our secret studio & have remixed it (and it sounds so much cleaner & smoother without the gaps) and have added a bonus track at the end, Sus_Tayn_Z (ProjeKct Four).


  • Released June 13, 2017
  • Written by Tony Levin, Markus Reuter, Pat Mastelotto, except “Breathless” (Fripp) and “Sailor’s Tale” (King Crimson)
  • Personel:
    • Tony Levin: Stick and Voice
    • Markus Reuter: U8 and AU8 Touch Guitars and Voice
    • Pat Mastelotto: Acoustic and Electronic Drums and Percussion
    • Guests:
      • David Cross (on “Shades of Starless”)
      • Mel Collins (on “Sailor’s Tale”)
      • Artwork/illustration by Maria Picassó i Piquer

Produced by Stick Men

Swept to Only Skye

I could almost see the mix

It began as 2 separate projects, made for personal listening via phone + ear-buds, neither of which would have achieved mix status – but they were similar enough that, to save space on my phone’s hard-drive, the 2 halves were combined.

Then a request for review from John Reedy (the lead off track) compelled me to add one of his compositions to the front of that combined project. I then added the Dreissk piece (thanks to Mike @ n5MD) to the end (post Torn) &, after a Tweet from Dave over @ low light mixes, decided to insert the High Plains composition at the mid-section and…I realized that I could almost see the Room*   uhm…mix!

The cover art was morphed from the Dirk Serries release, the mix title a reference to same plus David Torn‘s excellent album – have a peek into the windows & see if you’re reminded of something…long ago!
;- )

01 John Reedy – Lost Dog
02 Ambient Landscape -Washed & Treated Twine
03 Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer – Buoy
04 Fictions and Poetics – A Cure for Sorrow
05 Last Days – Fading Shore
06 Kloob – Haunted
07 Mathieu Lomantagne – Tanto Loin Tanto Pres
08 High Plains – Hypoxia
09 36 – Saphron
10 I am Esper & Mystified – Disintegration 3
11 Svarte Greiner – The Marble (glass eye  remix;
interpolating Metro, Pt. 3A Winged Victory for the Sullen)
12 Dirk Serries – I Communicate Silence
13 David Torn – I Could Almost See The Room*
14 Dreissk – Find and Lose Again



[window treatments courtesy of Physical Graffiti]

Falling For Ascension

by Markus Reuter featuring SONAR and Tobias Reber

Falling For Ascension is the latest album from Germany-based composer and Touch Guitarist, Markus Reuter featuring SONAR & Tobias Reber.

Since the late 1990s Markus Reuter has steadily made a name for himself as a formidable player, a gifted improviser and a a composer for both rock and classical music ensembles. As one third of Stick Men, since 2010 Reuter has toured extensively across Europe, Asia, Australia, and in North and South America alongside with King Crimson’s Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto. In 2013 his large-scale composition for orchestra, Todmorden 513 received its world premiere performed by the Colorado Chamber Orchestra.

Falling For Ascension finds Markus Reuter working with Switzerland’s post-minimal quartet, SONAR and live electronics specialist, Tobias Reber.

Reuter leads this acclaimed ensemble through a series of compositions that are amongst his earliest, having all been written between 1985 and 1987. “For me the striking thing about this album is that the themes and melodies and rhythms that you’re hearing were written when I was 14 years old,” explains Reuter. “I had these little motifs set aside for such a long time and I never knew what to do with them.”

When the opportunity arose to work with SONAR in 2014 these pieces seemed the perfect fit. “I rediscovered the beauty and power in them and also a kind of timelessness in them. It doesn’t matter that I wrote them when I was 14. I would still write the same thing now. Falling For Ascension has this openness to it which is a new discovery for me. It’s interesting that I’m discovering this on very old material,” Reuter explains.

Perhaps sharing similar strands of the kind of polymetrical DNA that informed the interweaving knot-work of King Crimson’s Discipline, the pointillist components with Reuter’s pieces, interacting across the group, resembles a series of interlocking constellations whose orbits and traversals connect to create new variations and associations. Hypnotic and beguiling, the music comes with a guttural punch that’s felt as much as heard.

Recorded in just one day under Reuter’s direction, the pieces were prepared as modules, most of which contain a 12-tone row and assigned to an individual player. “They had the freedom to decide when to move to the next stage within the module, independent of each other,” says Reuter. Within each module a finite number of choices are available. “The choice is limited to the ‘when’, not the ‘what’. There’s a specific thing asked of you but you can decide when to move to the next element in the series.”

The music offers deep explorations between tension and release, between the gravitational pull of grooves and floating freefall in space. There’s contrast between stillness and grace next to the ever-changing motion.

Falling For Ascension appears on Ronin Rhythm Records, the label owned by internationally renowned zen-groove pioneer, pianist, Nik Bärtsch. Working with Reuter is something he’s been looking forward to and perhaps inevitable given the overlapping nature of their respective work.

Of this release Bärtsch comments, “We can hear a sensual performance of the high art of abstract creative thinking played by a real working band like SONAR and by Tobias Reber, a close companion of Markus, and a mastermind himself,” says the ECM recording artist, adding ”What we hear is a mystic materialisation of a visionary abstract mind that can dance.”

Across the 70-minute album these pieces possesses the same metronomic intensity of groups such as Can in full-flight, in which intense, pulsating grooves are strafed by Reuter’s smouldering solos or wreathed in luminous clouds of soundscapes. Without recourse to showy grandstanding, his playing possesses a remarkable, unerring accuracy when it comes to finding the emotional heart of this music. Much like the sparse acuity of a haiku poem, when he plays Reuter understands that less is so often very much more.

The hypnotic quality dominating many of the pieces opens the possibility of trance states, of surrender, of losing yourself in the maze of interconnecting corridors and spaces. That’s as it should be Reuter is careful to leave room for listeners to be able to fill in the both rhythmic and harmonic spaces for themselves. “As you listen you kind of get drawn into it but what is actually happening is that you draw the music into yourself.”

“Reuter institutes Robert Fripp-like steel shredding leads with the Touch Guitar methodology…”
–All About Jazz

“Amazing! One is instantly reminded of Frippertronics…nice one Mr. Reuter!”
–Ambient Landscape