logo gen12 gen07 gen11 gen06 gen09 gen08
home catalog news artists contact otwo

Mogami PE08

Personnel

Ryan Smith (computer)
Jeff Arnal (amplified percussion
)

Track Listing

1. radio telescope
2. compound fracture
3. 816 bees
4. egghead
5. trilobites
6. some type of family
7. curve in the spine
8. spiral scan
9. brooklyn bandwidth
10. minor rotation

Format: CDr
Release date: 2003
Cover art: Mark Bouthilette

Recorded at Art Omi International Art Center
West Ghent, NY - August 2003
Public Eyesore Number 80

Mogami is available online

Public Eyesore
• in NYC at Downtown Music Gallery

816 Bees

 


Selected Press

(Vital Weekly no. 431) Public Eyesore strikes again, thus becoming the biggest CDR label I know of. Much of their music is based on the ideas of improvisation, but this can be straight forward band improvisations, but also computers. The latter is represented by Jeff Arnal and Ryan Smith. The first plays amplified percussion and the second computer. I don't know anything about them. Ten tracks are to be found here, two are quite long (around ten minutes) and the others are considerable shorter. In the long opening piece 'Radio Telescope' there seems to be a fine balance between the two, but in many of the other pieces, the more gritty noisy elements, generated by computer me thinks, take over. Sometimes ok, but also a bit tedious at times. For me this worked better in their more subdued moments, like in 'Trilobites' or in 'Spiral Scan', two tracks that last longer than the others, but in which with more minimal means things are worked out better. - Frans de Waard
(Touching Extremes 11/14) I love when an unexpected good CD comes in my hands; Public Eyesore often provides several of these finds. Jeff Arnal and Ryan Smith work with amplified percussion and computer to produce interesting and intelligent electroacoustic turbulences that are neither pretentiously snotty nor ear-disturbing - quite the opposite. Mogami show a certain degree of love for sound inquisition, developing a conspiracy of new timbres against the murky hollowness of academia; theirs is a world of acute integrity where sardonic looks and perilous discoveries are often more than casual appearances. In tracks like "Spiral scan", Jeff and Ryan launch their attack to "regular" computer music, obtaining fresh stimuli and good-natured resonances; their most hypnotic work is perfectly opposed to cascades of metallic sparkling and rumbling from unknown holes, like in the grand finale "Minor rotation". - Masimo Ricci

(Aiding & Abetting #259) Jeff Arnal plays percussion (amplified), and Ryan Smith does a lot of computer tricks. Yes, folks, it's weird electronic noise time again. All those lacking a taste for the supremely abstract can simply walk on by. Not that there isn't plenty of interesting stuff here. Arnal and Smith keep their pieces lively and vibrant. The parts don't always fit, but they're always fascinating. Smith's computer work really brings this one home. Not unlike Panicsville, there's a sense of impending doom hanging over many of these pieces, an unease that is balanced somewhat by the unflagging energy of the components. The sort of thing that really catches my ear. Abstract doesn't necessarily mean mind-melting. Sometimes it's more of a deep tan. - Jon Worley

(Indieville 3/18/05) Here we get more experimental, improvised music from the Public Eyesore label. This time it's Jeff Arnal on percussion and Ryan Smith on computers. Their collaboration, Mogami, seems to focus on abstract, dark-themed sound structures not far removed from labelmate Hollydrift's work. The music takes an approach somewhat akin to that of the Touch label, with lots of sustained textures and field recording noises. Both musicians are extraordinary mood-setters, as this CDR just basks in an eerie, mechanical style. However, an inherent randomness suggests to the listener that there's something beyond the merely robotic. As a dark, abstract soundscape, this release works remarkably well. Mogami is a worthwhile listen for genre enthusiasts. - Matt Shimmer

(One Final Note) Mogami utilizes Ryan Smith's computer to generate all sound not created by Jeff Arnal's amplified percussion. The opening track, "Radio Telescope", starts out thundering with computer-generated noise. A distant sound—some sort of metal percussion instrument—then begins to rumble in the background. A few minutes in, the buzz of computer blips spastically breathes in and out of the track until Arnal's distorted percussion starts to take over. "816 Bees", another one of the best cuts on the record, could easily be the 21st century remake of a Hitchcock soundtrack. Despite my usually discerning ear, I had trouble hearing what was Arnal's percussion work and what was Smith's computer work. I think that that is great for the album; too many times electronic music mixed with other styles sticks out. But on Mogami, Arnal and Smith blend seamlessly together. The cover art to Mogami is just about as stunning as the music. The artwork was done by Mark Bouthilette, a New York artist and friend of Arnal's. It features the skeletal outline of some prehistoric looking bug and is part of a series that Bouthilette has done in that style. - Ryan McDermott

(Ampersand Etcetera 7/2005) Jeff Arnal plays amplified percussion and Ryan Smith processes it through his computer. Describing the music would be a repetitive display of crunches crackles roiling echoes buzzes rumble phuts chimes noises and so on. Suffice to say that on the whole the percussion is audible at times but then stretched layered and assaulted into a suite if electronic forms. The final constructs are impressive and enticing, the natural/real sounds provide a base for the processing that keeps the real world close, and glimpsed in colourful touches, and also allows for more to happen than could in real-time processing. While listening I drew a diagram that linked the instruments with mystery machinery and electronics, and it is the interaction across this network of connections which makes this such a fascinating album. - Jeremy Keens

(Dream no. 6) Jeff Arnal provides amplified percussion, while Ryan Smith utilizes the computer to generate and degenerate his contributions; together they make some fascinating noise and/or music over the course of the ten tracks presented here. Muffled scuffling while far away pools of reverberation and sustained gongs chime over buried tribal drums. Winking kleptomaniac robots fall apart in the hardware store. Swarms of floating jellyfish aliens circle the house in an ominous humming frenzy. - George Parsons

(Neozine) This is an oddity deserved of the "believe It Or Not" category. It's very simple in execution, but quite complicated in the aural identification department. Yes, it's experimental. The sound is mostly unconventional percussion and some computer stuff. It just doesn't pan out as described. There is a strange atmosphere created by these sometimes minimal bounces, clinks, clangs, and warbles. The speed actually fluctuates from that of a super-ball at full speed in confined places to almost non-existent in-and-out of perceptions. It is pretty spacey, maybe extra-dimensional in its resonant echoes and unexplained quirkiness. Songs can range from under 2 minuets to over eleven, so there is a broad range to correspond with different tolerance levels. This is so good, that once you really get into the recording, it's like living a whole new life.- C.H.C

(The Wire 6/2005) Musicians tend to be sociable creatures and, as such, can sometimes make far too much of each other's company. That's often why seeing a live performance is preferable to hearing a recording of the same event: being part of the audience can help save you from feeling excluded. A set of ten individual pieces recorded in real time at the Art Omi International Art Centre, West Ghent, New York in August 2003, Mogami bangs and clatters away politely to itself for its 52 minutes' running time. There is, however, enough interplay between Arnal's amplified percussion and Smith's software, especially in the shifted deployment of pitches and delays, to suggest an evening spent attending one of their performances would not be entirely wasted. - Ken Hollings

(Dead Angel No. 6) Jeff Arnal (amplified percussion) and Ryan Smith (computer) appear here with ten fractured compositions of glitch noise and strange percussion. The percussion is often fed through efx gadgets, making it even stranger, and the computer noises provide an endless series of textures and disturbed sounds. In fact, disturbances in sound is probably the best way to describe the band's approach -- everything here sounds off-kilter and mutated. There's definitely an experimental / "free" approach to the noisemaking, especially on clattering tracks like "compound fracture," but they go off in other directions as well (cyclotron drones in "816 bees," overmodulated noise rumbling in "egghead," and pure blinding noise assault in "curve in the spine")... but no matter where they go or what they do, it all sounds deranged. For a band theoretically built on percussion, there's little in here that sounds like traditional beat-keeping -- the percussion is all so efx-heavy and whacked-out that it sounds more like the rhythms of a badly-damaged machine than anything else, and machine rhythms swaddled in lots of psychotronic glitch noise at that. There's some really nifty noise hell happening in "minor rotation," too, which is nice. Odd but interesting, like much of the rest of PE's catalog. - RKF

(Downtown Music Gallery) Featuring Jeff Arnal on amplified percussion and Ryan Smith on computer. Jeff Arnal is one of my favorite local percussionists and I savor each of the dozen + discs he has on labels like Sachimay, Generate, Clean Feed, Leo & Creative Sources. This fine duo disc was released in 2004, but seemed to have fallen through the cracks. Glad we started doing business with Public Eyesore. I can't say that I am familiar with Ryan Smith, but he does come up with some fascinating sounds here. "Radio Telescope" opens and is the longest track. It features what sounds like samples of cymbals, slowly manipulated with a layer of electronic static. Amplified electric percussion perhaps? Slow moving, ever-haunting, drums and assorted percussion, being twisted into different odd shapes. Gunter Muller used to generate similar sounds when he had small mics taped to his cymbals. Slowly swirling layers of electronic and acoustic percussion and strange electronic sounds. What amazes me here is that the blend of acoustic percussion and electronic sounds works so well throughout this disc. Textures and timbres are often quite similar and it becomes difficult to tell these instruments apart. 52 minutes long and often breathtaking. - BLG

(Touching Extremes 11/14) I love when an unexpected good CD comes in my hands; Public Eyesore often provides several of these finds. Jeff Arnal and Ryan Smith work with amplified percussion and computer to produce interesting and intelligent electroacoustic turbulences that are neither pretentiously snotty nor ear-disturbing - quite the opposite. Mogami show a certain degree of love for sound inquisition, developing a conspiracy of new timbres against the murky hollowness of academia; theirs is a world of acute integrity where sardonic looks and perilous discoveries are often more than casual appearances. In tracks like "Spiral scan", Jeff and Ryan launch their attack to "regular" computer music, obtaining fresh stimuli and good-natured resonances; their most hypnotic work is perfectly opposed to cascades of metallic sparkling and rumbling from unknown holes, like in the grand finale "Minor rotation". - Masimo Ricci