Out now: Carl Stone – We Jazz Reworks, Vol. 2

We Jazz Records presents the second volume of their reworks albums dealing with source material from the Helsinki-based label’s catalog. This time around, it’s Carl Stone’s turn to tackle the source albums at hand and filter the label’s output through his musical lens.

We Jazz Reworks is an idea that repurposes some of the label’s output 10 albums at a time. That is, the label invites producers whose music they love on board, and one by one, they tackle 10 albums worth of source material, of which they are free to use as much or as little as they choose. The series evolves chronologically, so this volume being number two, the source material is pulled from We Jazz LPs numbers 11 through 20. The artist has complete freedom.

Volume 2 in the series happens with Carl Stone, a legendary figure in creative music. His career spans decades of unlimited musical innovation. Stone’s recent output on Unseen Worlds, the label who has also been instrumental in issuing some of his remarkable earlier work, ranks among the most original art of our time and renders notions such as “genre” virtually meaningless.

Here, We Jazz originals by Terkel Nørgaard, OK:KO, Jonah Parzen-Johnson and more are met here with a fresh sense of discovery, spun around and delivered ready for the turntable once again.

Carl Stone says:

“It was wonderful that We Jazz gave me carte blanche to work with any materials from the set of ten releases in its catalog. This freedom to work with everything could have been a mixed blessing though, as it could be a challenge to try to deal with so much musical information. In the end I did what I almost always do: Let my intuition be my guide and to seize upon any musical items that seemed to fit into an overall approach.”

“To make a new piece I usually start with an extended period of what really is just playing, the way a child plays with toys. Experimentation without necessary expectation, leading to (hopefully) discovery of things of musical interest, then figuring out a way to craft and shape these into a structured piece of music. Each track uses a different approach, which I found along the way during this play period.”

This conceptual approach becomes complete with the design, in which album graphics are treated in a similar fashion, reworking what’s there. This time around, the artwork is reinvented by Tuomo Parikka, a regular cover collage contributor for the We Jazz Magazine.

CURACAO BLUE TRANSPARENT VINYL, INSIDE OUT SLEEVE, OBI W/ LINER NOTES, PRINTED INNER SLEEVE WITH SOURCE ALBUM DESIGN REFLECTIONS.


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Zurkonic Reviews Our Brooklyn Concert March 2017

“I’ve never been moved to jump out of my seat at the end of the performance but I’ll be damned if I didn’t even realize I was standing until I had been clapping rapturously along with the rest of the crowd for a couple minutes.

“The show’s last piece would be the one that solidified Stone as a master of the craft. What unfolded onstage was both sonically accessible and temporally exhaustive as the singer (Akaihirume) and the composer entered into what could be described as an esoteric and aural courting dance that entranced the entire audience.

“I’ve never been one to really romanticize the idea of traveling with a band around the country, but if Carl Stone ever gets the mainstream recognition that elder statesmen like Steve Reich and Philip Glass enjoy, then I might find myself on some strange trip to have my preconceptions about music challenged at every chance.”

Read the full review here.

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Latest Release Gets Picked by The Wire as Best Album of the Year 2016 (Archival Category)

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“West Coast composer Carl Stone was one of the first to plug in to the possibilities of digital synthesizers, samplers and effects. Electronic Music included “Shibucho”, an audacious sample flip of The Temptations’ My Girl that connects Steve Reich’s Come Out to Chicago footwork, and two explorations of the possibilities of the Buchla synth. Julian Cowley said “While Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa were flamboyantly promoting sample based hip-hop, and Joh Oswald was openly flaunting the art of plunderphonics, Carl Stone developed his own idiosyncratic take on sonic bricolage.”

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Boomkat Loves Our New Release and Makes Us Laugh Telling Us So

“lights up our pleasure centres like a quid in a fruit machine, using a palette of eastern-tuned scales, processed vocals and pop samples to conjure a majorly playful array of idiosyncratic, angular and intriguing arrangements that resonate with Robert Ashley’s mercurial cut-ups as much as The Automatics Group’s incisive dance pop detournements and the proto-glitch music of Nicolas Collins. 

It’s all totally new to us and feels like somebody just opened a big skylight onto our listening lives, flooding us with new sensations between the baroque computer music of Sukhothai (1977) and the wormholing drone of Chao Praya (1973), taking in the soothingly ethereal Shing Kee (1986) and strobing structure of Don II Jang (1982), along with the haunting nocturnal transition of Kuk Il Kwan (1981) to lay out whole new worlds before your ears.”

You can read the full review here

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Our Latest Release Score’s Bandcamp’s “Best of Contemporary Classical” November 2016

“This astounding anthology collects two-and-a-half hours of the early electronic experiments of Carl Stone, an L.A. composer who studied under Morton Subotnick and James Tenney and worked with Buchla synthesizers back in the ‘70s before finding his true passion: a kind of experimental sampling approach that presaged the developments of folks like John “Plunderphonics” Oswald and Paul Lansky. There are a couple of those early analog synth pieces—thick, long tone drones—made as a student at Cal Arts, included, but the real thrills come from the sample-based work. Stone’s work relied on tape machines, building layer after layer of the same passage of music—like the minute or so of Renaissance harpsichord music in “Sukothai” that folds in on itself until there are 1024 simultaneous layers of the music piled up, and rhythms disappear in a buzzing haze of abstract sound. Towards the end of 1982, he began working with the now-primitive Publison stereo digital delay unit to create dizzying hall-of-mirrors refractions built from tiny fragments of Asian pop, American R&B and classical records that he manipulated with a maniacal rigor to generate sound profiles that drifted toward fleeting recognizability—such as the lick of “My Girl” in “Shibucho”—before pushing off into different chopped-up patterns. Today’s technology could tackle these time-consuming time experiments with ease, but Stone’s resourcefulness and originality is unmistakable, and these sounds remain fresh decades later.”

Bandcamp is a global community where millions of fans discover new music, and directly connect with and fairly compensate the artists who make it. Their mission is to provide all artists with a sustainable platform to distribute their music, while making it easy for fans to directly support the artists they love. This review is from the Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: November 2016 listings

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Textura Reviews Our New 3-LP Release

“The only prosaic thing about Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties is its title. Otherwise, the eight pieces (one a digital-only bonus) on this three-LP collection of pioneering work by American electro-acoustic composer Carl Stone constitute an oft-mesmerizing two-and-a-half hours; in fact, of the seven album tracks, five are so extensively explored they each take up a full album side. What makes the release especially significant for students of electronic music’s history and development is that all are previously unpublished pieces, the sole exception being “Shing Kee,” which surfaced on a 1992 New Albion CD release.”

Full review here

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