0comeups delves in the depths of old school internet culture with the cycling melancholy of his ‘Herd (Tormenta)’ MIDI composition

31 January 2020

0comeups is releasing EP Creek Don’t Rise via Brussels’ Slagwerk on February 7, with preview track ‘Herd (Tormenta)’ premiering on AQNB today. This will be the second release by the London-based Belgian producer, whose debut came out on New York’s PTP Recordings in 2016.

This record consists of four MIDI compositions, drawing on 0comeups’ experience in the gaming industry where he works with real-time sounds, ambience and music through an audio engine. Most recently, he collaborated with Yannick Val Gesto on a similarly CGI-led video piece called Idol (idle), which not only takes from the soundscapes of gaming but what the press release calls “the lost caverns of internet culture”. That can be heard not only in the track listing—reminiscent of an easier listening James Ferraro experiment circa 2011’s Far Side Virtual—but in the cycling, atonal melancholy of what sounds like a tuned-down harpsichord patch on ‘Herd (Tormenta)’.**

0comeups’s Creek Don’t Rise EP is out via Brussels’ Slagwerk on February 7, 2020.

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3hd Festival 2016 recommendations

10 October 2016

The second edition of 3hd Festival, hosted by Berlin-based event-organisers Creamcake, is happening across the German city this week at venues including HAU Hebbel am Ufer, OHM, and Vierte Welt, running October 11 to 15.

This year’s theme follows the title ‘There is nothing left but the Future?’ and will come accompanied by a live Creamcake Boiler Room Berlin set on October 13 and a series of broadcasts on Berlin Community Radio called 3hd Presents… and moderated by music journalist and writer Steph Kretowicz throughout the week from October 11.

Some events to look out for include the following :

The Heal the World exhibition @ Vierte Welt with an opening featuring a program of talks by Rianna Jade ParkerRuth Angel Edwards  and Vika Kirchenbauer among others – Oct 11

Kara-Lis Coverdale @ Vierte Welt will present intimate solo piano concert PICL (Pieces in Caps Lock), followed by a conversation with journalist and music theorist Raphael Smarzoch – Oct 12

‘Speculative Futurism’ @ OHM Berlin featuring music by coucou chloé, Ssaliva and Music For Your Plants among others, as well as an installation by Ink Agop – Oct 12

Claire Tolan, SHUSH-to-come: SHUSH choir & performance @ Vierte Welt – Oct 13

‘Acting under Capital’ @ Hebbel am Ufer featuring media based artwork Inga Copeland / Lolina, Soda Plains & Negroma and COOL FOR YOU among others – Oct 14

‘Present Sense’ @ Hebbel am Ufer featuring Aïsha Devi & Emile Barret, Easter and HVAD among others – Oct 15

‘There is no time! Let it go’ @ OHM Berlin features an evening of DJs and producers – Oct 15

See the 3hd Festival website for details.**

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Introducing ssaliva with a premiere of ‘spellbound’

14 September 2016

If an artist alias can serve as a hint, the slightly misspelled word ssaliva certainly evokes a clammy biological imagery. It belongs to François Boulanger, a seasoned producer from Liège, a middle-sized city in eastern Belgium. Boulanger has operated over the last few years under different monikers including Cupp Cave and Kingfisherg. In the past his watery sounds have leaned in different directions, from synth ambience through retrofuturist vaporwave to sample-based sci-fi. It’s often playful and makes you think of eating gummy bears. His output is prolific and has been released on labels like Brussels’  Vlek, as well as Not Not Fun, Ekster and Bepotel. For his latest record 4s4 —a limited release 12-inch 180 gram vinyl launched via Berlin’s Edition Société at the gallery space on September 15 —inaugurates a release and event series curated by Berlin-based producer Club Cacao.

The cover of ssaliva’s EP features a green jelly font sign spread across a hyperrealised bed of sand and minerals reflecting artificial light. It’s the artist’s joint effort with Brussels-based artist and sculptor Xavier Mary, who’s interested in the ever-evolving dichotomies of things like history versus modernity, online and offline, candor versus irony. These contradictions are reflected in a song like ‘spellbound’ premiering through aqnb, and sounding like a lazy lake cruise scored by an unknown string instrument sonically resembling drops dropping into water. ssaliva always keeps his listener in doubt of whether we’re dealing with the natural or the artificial, inviting us into a world of his own.

4S4 comprises four other-worldly tracks, viscerally organic and soft but at the same time mechanically cold. The title song sneaks in slowly like futuristic cyberbugs parasitizing a grand piano. ssaliva continues to explore a sonic world stretched between the human and non-human as he did in the past on his album Pantanin for Leaving Records. In 4s4, Boulanger fuses stone-cold voice synthesizers with the unbridled chaos of nature’s microcosm. ‘no’ rattles and shakes with motoric squeaks similar to the insectile sound-palette of Lotic’s ‘Agitations’. Then again, ‘protection 2’ simulates the gentle chords of an acoustic guitar, taking the listener back to the immediate here and now and the idea of human agency. ssaliva multiplies layers of the song with background noises akin to a hissing smoke machine. It fuels our imagination with visions of AI objects gaining human features and subjectivity, a suspended state of becoming.**

ssaliva’s ‘4S4’ limited edition 12-inch is launching via Berlin’s Edition Société on September 15, 2016.

Header image: Courtesy ssaliva.

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