Philip Jeck

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AllMusic Review by

There is something ritualistic in the way Philip Jeck's music slowly gathers momentum. One imagines the man engaged in a ceremonial, using ample gestures full of symbolic meaning. Host shatters this image in a very nice manner. The enhanced CD includes a 21-minute video taken from a double-screen film by Guy Marc Hinant and Dominique Lohlé entitled That's What She Wrote: Portraits of Philip Jeck and Robert Hampson Performing. Serene and peaceful like a granny knitting a sweater in front of the fireplace, Jeck is seen setting record players in motion, slowly turning knobs and flipping switches (the double-screen technique answers Jeck's use of parallel time-lines). And despite the mundaneness and lack of grandiosity of these gestures, amazing music reaches one's ears. The video comes from a live radio session in November 2001. The three audio-only pieces were recorded in 2001 and 2002. The audio portion is sequenced to help the listener dive into Jeck's refreshed sound world. From the short "Community" down to the 24-minute-long "Skew," they increase in duration, each one pushing the art further into more destabilizing territory. "Community" is delicate and dreamy, reminiscent of the Vinyl Coda series. "Accommodation" gets nastier in the sound manipulation department -- a choir gets severely mutilated by signal overload, creating an eerie atmosphere. And "Skew" is the most extreme piece Jeck has committed to disc yet. It has a couple of overlong passages, as if the artist had been tentative at first as to what path to choose. In the end, he lets the records escalate into an orgy of noise, over-amplifying to the point where the last six minutes or so sound like genuine analog-era Merzbow. This piece will surprise more than a few Jeck followers.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 5:10
2 12:10
3 24:10
4 21:13
blue highlight denotes track pick