Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jedediah Logsdon - Ancillary (Laser Palace)

Ancillary, by Jedediah Logsdon, is a musique concrète piece in 3 parts, released on Laser Palace, a label run by Ryan McRyhew and Kristi Schaefer, formerly out of Denver, now located in Chicago. On Ancillary, recorded over the span of 2 years, between Seattle and Chicago, Jedediah Logsdon utilizes every trick available to the modern experimental artist: field recordings, MAX-MSP patches, dithering digital noise, laptops, tape recorders, and lovingly sculpts them into an audible narrative.

Ancillary is about leaving, and returning. It starts out with 'Take Steps' which is full of mangled bird sounds and lapping waves, that were probably recorded here in the Pacific Northwest, and then segues into 'Let's Try That Again' which is nearly 7 minutes of polychromatic digital fog, floating tone colors that feel like being in a pressurized airplane, at 12,000 feet; speculative, inconclusive. The pièce de résistance comes with 'Mention', the artist at his most mature and refined, buzzing insects and disembodied vocals, squeaks and rattles, fiddling with a radio. Leaves you wondering what the fuck he's doing, not really ominous, just curious. Strange worlds, visually rich, pleasant drones, its a time-lapsed simulacra of a day in Chicago, walking, wondering, and watching.

Jed's a serious dude, enthusiastic about concrète and tape music; he pores over Paris Transatlantic, he builds his own modular synths. We kicked it pretty hard in Colorado, and he turned me on to giants such as Bernard Parmegiani, Luc Ferrari, Otomo Yoshiide (this kid's got the most authentic Japanese pronunciation this side of the Pacific), Delia Derbyshire. He's investigating the question we're all wondering about: 'Where do we go from here?' How does one discern a quality noise/drone release, in the sea of offal? In the past, electronic musicians would spend a month of 18 hour days to make a 3 minute piece. Xenakis didn't take on another architectural project for a decade, after helping to construct the Philips Pavilion during the Brussel's World Fair, in 1958.

An artist in 2012 must be self-accountable, striving for excellence, on guard against laziness and self-indulgence, especially if one is outside of the academic circles. Few will call you on yr bullshit, and many will praise it. Jedediah Logsdon just wants to make interesting art, something that will stand the test of time. He's constantly dis-satisfied with his own work, always moving forward. He's steeped in tradition, almost in awe of it; he has exquisite taste and discerning ears, for almost every style of music you could imagine. It comes through in his music, and Ancillary is an interesting snapshot of a young artist, coming of age in the early part of the 21st century, standing on the shoulders of giants, but sweeping out their feet at the same time.

No comments:

Post a Comment