Material
2002
Tracks
  • Uniform Random Variables
  • Layer Parallelism
  • Whispers, Murmurs, Mumbles, Grumbles and Gurgles
  • DLY
  • What You Want
  • Focus & Decay
  • Home Base 2
  • Milling Direction is Illegal
  • Home Base Variation 2
  • Constant Bit Select Of A Vector Net
  • OS2
  • Home Base Variation 3
  • Live At The Mercury

A collection of rare tracks from Intonarumori collected over the last ten years. Includes unreleased tracks and music previously released only on compilations and cassettes or as soundtracks for theater and film productions.

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Reviews
Grooves Magazine - Issue #9

The subtitle to this 10 - year overview from Seattle experimenter/cellist Kevin Goldsmith is "rumbles, roars, explosions, crashes, splashes and booms." Since Goldsmith adopted his moniker from Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo's early 20th century noise machines, which were to reproduce industrial sounds, it seems fair to assume that the moniker and subtitle would act as an effect summary of Goldsmith's sonic investigations. But that would be a simplistic assessment, to say the least.

Certainly, there is a fair bit of banging, clanging, and dark rumblings, but these pieces are less restricted to a rythmic cul de sac and more improvised and open. Not to mention more dynamic. Indeed, these collages range from monolithic pits of dark noise to more modulated, sculpted ambience to bold cinematic soundscapes to solemn piano requiems. But Goldsmith is no labcoat asthete and possesses a sly sense of humor, such as when he drowns a sample of Public Image Limited's "What You Want" in rush of running water. Goldsmith has a flair for juxtaposition and editing that makes his moniker seem a little bit like false advertising.

- Richard Moule
The Wire - July 2002
[joint review of Material and Intonarumori] Noise machinery unpacked in Seattle via the absolutist past of futurist klang (Intonarumori = 'noise intoners' = 'machines built to mimic industrial sounds') through the flexible fingers of Kevin Goldsmith, whose suitably alchemisty name proves to be no disappointment. The 'industrial'/futurist clue is a dead hearing, because this is far richer work, ghostlier, more freeform. (Echoes of Nurse With Wound in the light touch, and low key humour and pert use of sampled vox.) Goldsmith is primarily a cellist (manipulator of cells?), but his variegated scapes straddle old-skool Improv and nu-school electronica, modest except in inventiveness, somehow very likeable and surprisingly touching: a real pleasure. - Ian Penman
Outburn - Issue #19
DRAMATIC SOUND EXPLORATIONS: The intriguing experimental soundscapes and creative noise laced with vocal samples form a distinct sound and vision of this complex body of work. The 14 compositions on Material: 10 Years of Sound are compiled from unreleased tracks or rare songs previously only available on compilations and cassettes or as soundtracks for theater and film productions. This second CD release from Intonarumori contains both chaotic collages and soothing ambience held together by the subtle tones, instruments (such as cello, bass, electronics), and vision of Seattle based composer Kevin Goldsmith, who also runs Unit Circle Rekkids. The striking opening piece, "Uniform Random Variables" sets the mood with a multi-layered mix of dynamic noise and melodies with vocal samples welcoming the listener to the computer age as well chronicling a brief history of India and its music. The second track, "Layer Parallelism," forges through immersive drones, composite vocal samples, dissonant rumblings, chugging undertones, and scraping blips. The remaining tracks of the album provide just as diverse a palette of sounds including soothing waves, frenetic squiggling electronics, forboding darkness, political samples, plucking strings, and creaking warblings. Overall, Material: 10 Years of Sound is an inventive and entertaining audio journey. - Octavia
ambientrance.org

Difficult listening, though not without rewards, the 13-track disc is subtitled "10 Years of Sound; Rumbles Roars Explosions Crashes Splashes Booms" and that only scratches the already-torn-into surface... Uniform Random Variables (8:11) spews forth layers of mediaspeak in assorted languages and topics (though leaning toward computers and technology), slow metallic clangs, irradiated glares, crazy piano activities, rock music, sirens, traffic, sing-song murmurs, and more, melting into weird grumblies. Less-littered with sample-debris, brooding a/tonal chaos grows in Layer Parallelism... then the floodgates of muted conversation opens, pouring wordstrata into the churning turmoil, with occasional shouts punctuating the dense vortex.

A much quieter intro leads into DLY where light drifts and rhythmic plucks coalesce into something actually quite sedate and lovely. Home Base Variation 2 (1:12) softly spirals on relatively straight (though a little spooky) piano interludes. I won't give away all the other surprises, but be assured they're there in the guise of synths, beats, polititalk, ominous chords, rainy cityscenes, sci-fi squigglies, timpani, echoey guitar strings and much, much more... With spurts of feedback and what sounds like electric guitar strings being randomly fingered with gloves on (then actually strummed), Live at the Mercury closes the disc (well, not counting the 14th track of a 13-second silence...). Challenging stuff; some of the juxtapositions are inscrutable and it takes a certain degree of audio-masochism to go deep (I recommend headphones for utter immersion)... thus recommended to the heartiest of the adventurous.

Dead Angel - Issue #52
This CD, the second by this "band" that is mainly one permanent member (Kevin Goldsmith) plus others who come and go, is pretty much what the name implies: a collection of ten years of scattered tracks originally appearing on various cassettes and compilations between 1991 and 2000. The thirteen tracks here aren't presented in strictly chronological order, but there is a definite progression of ideas and obsessions. The first track, "Uniform Random Variables" (from 1994), is a complex sound collage of music and found sound (noises, tapes, samples) with enough ideas and structure to remind you that the entire tape-noise culture originally descended from people in academia who actually knew what the hell they were doing. Goldsmith knows what time it is. "Layer Parallelism" (1996) is a considerably more drone-oriented affair, with everything -- instruments, tapes, voices -- fed through cascading layers of drone-o-tronic reverb. Notes dying away sound like avalanches in the hills, everything sounds like it's coming from far away through layers of smoke as machinery pulsates.... "DLY" (2001) is, as its name implies, the sound of experiments in delay. Delayed notes reverberate, growing in intensity, until a minimalist keyboard drone enters, suspending the track somewhere between ambient and experimental music. "Focus & Decay" (1995) is also squarely in the ghostlike ambient camp, with overly reverbed drones and strange wails and shuddering percussion in the background. "Home Base Variation 2" (1996) is nothing but a brief (but nice) piano melody soaked in reverb. The brooding drone-o-tron returns (actually, it never really goes away for long on this album) in full force on "OS2," flanked by all sorts of near-random noises happening from time to time in the background. It's interesting to hear "Live at the Mercury" (2000), recorded in Seattle, WA, where everything has to be done in real time -- the results are a bit more minimal at times, but certainly no more predictable. Strange, alien sounds so thematically and organically linked that you'd never guess the tracks were recorded years apart. A good place to start for the seeker of sounds.
Improvijazzation Nation - Issue #57
We have enjoyed this group since the late '80's (hard to believe it's been that long), but this album of 13 compositions is th' densest & richest yet! Lots of vocals layered in (sneaky little things) that will have you scratching yer' noggin for daze! Definitely avant-garde, with industrial overtones... what makes it stand out for these ears are the symphonic shadings Goldsmith is able to achieve; that is particularly true on track 9, "Home Base Variation 2", and 10, "Constant Bit Select of A Vector Net". You should listen to this with headphones, to get maximum effect... & don't even think about putting this on as background... it deserves your full attention. This is "Unit Circle Rekkids'" first release for 2002, & ALL listeners who thrive on the new and unique will want to have this one - it gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us (the weak-kneed need not apply).
History of Rock Music
Material (Unit Circle Rekkids, 2002) collects rare and unreleased material, some of it dating from 1991 and provides a good overview of Goldsmith's chaotic collage technique. Several pieces are layered organisms that emanate a sense of horror and/or extra-terrestrial.
Splendid E-Zine
The found-sound collages that populate Material can be sneaky little bastards. Just when you've had it playing in the background for a while and your mind's drifted off, they threaten to become songs when you're not looking, with ominous little synth lines converging into almost-melodies... And then, just as you return your full attention to the record, they back off, collapsing into the free-floating soundscapes they'd been before. That's probably the most honestly creepy part of this record, which often goes out of its way to be so, yet never quite succeeds except in that (perhaps unintended) respect. At times, with the heavy use of sampled dialogue and speech excerpts, the record feels like the soundtrack to fitful, unpleasant dreams with the TV on in the background, or a shortwave radio constantly being tuned and re-tuned. It's not pleasant. A generous adjective might be "interesting". But when emergent keyboard lines tap you on the back and run away as they do here, you can bet you'll be looking over your shoulder for a good long while. - Mandy Shekleton