воскресенье, 24 сентября 2017 г.

Nervöse Leute — Insane Cassette [Now available online]

Hi everyone, you might remember we've released a cassette in December, 2016, which included new albums by Nervöse Leute & Snowbringer. After a while, the 2nd album by Nervöse Leute is finally uploaded and available for free listening and download though some copies of the tape still can be purchased.


The picture for a cover was taken by me this summer, but the album was completed by me in 2016.

Online version differs from the physical one, and such long expectation has some benefits: online listeners get an extended version of the title track "The  Queen" and of the sound collage "Tonic Seizure" plus bonus "Bury Me Dressed Like a Chanson Star".

Now let's talk a little about the record. As you may know, Nervöse Leute (Nervous People) is a web project making sound collages from samples and occasional musical / spoken word pieces and live found objects recordings.

The main aim is to put different pieces into logically built compositions. We consider sound collage a form of art. No effects have been applied to the samples except changing the volume and the speed of the records, and occasional delay effect. The additional information and disclaimer can be found in an archive file below.


The album messes around tape samples and tape manipulations. Some of these tracks are tremendous tape manipulations, others are collages, some mix these two tactics, adding occasional lyrics, original musical pieces and found objects. The tape samples are all authentic and made using analogue equipment. The samples have been recorded in 1997-200? by a variety of people, whose contribution remains anonymous but not forgotten (some tapes have been found, so they performed as found objects, too). There are samples of what have been popular in this period in Russia. We are still faithful to radio samples, too. This is a solid nostalgic record.

Title track "The Queen", tracks "Give Me Your Hands" and "I'm Allergic to Music" are "tremendous tape manipulations" of pop music, while "Tape Sonata" is a manipulation with classical music.

Sound collages include "Postapoc in a Nutshell" and "Tonic Seizure". There is also an unique field recording titled "A Trip into the Past" which was recorded by an anonymous little boy in early 2000's, probably at school, — this tape had been found and turned into a collage by me.

For those who know Russian language, there are 2 humorous collages — "Unbearable Humor" and "The Art of Advertisement" which contain collages of Russian FM radio samples recorded (probably) around 1997–2004 by anonymous people and me — some tapes had also been found. These samples had been edited by me into humorous stuff, using basically "cut-up technique". I believe it's a proto- audio version of future video "cut-up" jokes (YouTube poops). "Unbearable Humor" includes DJs' conversations and funny song cut-ups, while "The Art of Advertisement" tries to make fun of awkward and sometimes risky 1990's Russian radio ads.

I am sure Nervöse Leute will go on and ahead, and I even hope to perform live again under this moniker; moreover, I'm sure this project will continue to explore weird spaces and release new stuff.

Stay tuned and check out this work of Art!



 
(instant download link, please change file type to .rar if you have some issues opening it)

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 29 августа 2017 г.

Nervöse Leute / Snowbringer — 2nd Split (EP) (2017)

Hi everyone, we're happy & proud to present you our latest release, a web-EP split of Nervöse Leute & Snowbringer.

(click to see the album cover; images refuse to be imported by some unclear reason) 

This is like a large bonus to a split cassette released last year (still available for purchase). The picture for the cover was taken by me in 2015.

So, the tape is almost out of print, so we're preparing to upload albums from it, and while it's not done yet, you may enjoy watching all the covers (each tape had an unique cover) and listening to these tracks.

Nervöse Leute present here a 10-minute exploration of Russian chanson, a musical genre quite separated and distant from original French chanson. In Russia, chanson is supposed to be the music of criminals and young criminal wannabes subculture. This music has enormously big radio and TV rotations, and even the most respectable people tend to enjoy it, especially somewhat called post-chanson or chanson pop. Emigrants feel huge nostalgia while listening to it live in some Russian restaurants abroad.

A tremendous tape manipulation by Nervöse Leute distorted the structure of typical chanson cassette, making it totally noire, close to Bain Wolfkind, and maybe even apocalyptic. Above these distorted layers (by the way, no actual distortion effect was applied) there is a song, "Bury Me Dressed Like a Chanson Star" sung by me imitating typical chanson singers' intonations. I also played guitar here. After it goes apocalyptic folk version of this song, resembling some of David Tibet's whispers.

You know, the idea of being buried "dressed like a chanson star" is some kind of dream of getting rich and die, not having a chance to use benefits of being prosperous. The dress code is extremely important here because "chanson stars" dress like kings of far 3rd world countries, their look represents success & wealth, not style. Also, I can tell you it's some kind of dialogue with Nick Cave's "Higgs Boson Blues" where he expressed wishes how he'd like to be buried. Irony, irony everywhere.

Regarding Snowbringer, I gotta confess I don't know what else to say about it. He presented his classic untitled work, "bright ambient", "Andromeda music", "Northern lights soundtrack" — and there's not much to add. I believe now he moves to a different sound, cruder and firmer, and this split shows more a glance to his past than to his present. I hope this autumn or winter I'm gonna tell you about his latest release which, in my opinion, is so far his best.

And now you may download this sampler for free (flac; instant download; if broken, please change file type to .rar) and check it out!

Stay tuned! I'm sorta worried we release only a couple of projects this year, but I keep dreaming of expanding our label and of new physical releases.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 27 июня 2017 г.

Grey Lenses — Heaven Accepts Ordinary People


Hi everyone, we're back again with my another album. This, "Heaven Accepts Ordinary People", is actually a lossless recording of my live set played this June.

The covers are my photos taken in the centre of Moscow in 2015.

I gotta say that, despite the fact "Grey Lenses" exist for 9 years, this was the very first gig for such a long time. I presented classic laptop dark ambient and some classic laptop noise.



The first two pieces, "Teleport Me Home" and "Heaven Accepts Ordinary People", represent more ambient side of my music. "Teleport Me Home" was inspired by the idea of despair, homesickness and nostalgia. Pretty much same things and same emotions. "Heaven Accepts Ordinary People" was inspired heavily by David Lynch's "Eraserhead", and the famous radiator scene.

The last two pieces, "Searching for Cats in Dark Rooms" and "You Were Out Again", represent more noisy, (post-)industrial side of my music. This is a very rhythmic noise, dymanic and active. Almost a music. "You Were Out Again" is made probably more in an oriental style, a friend of mine compared it with works by Kazumoto Endo, that's why I picked such name for this track. But that's not the only reason for such title: I thought it's a piece of a thought, very peculiar for outsider music and especially for Jandek, whose way of lyrical thinking I sincerely respect.

In the end of the show I performed my minimal synth song "External Approval":



And yeah, the show was filmed, but it's an incomplete version. On the other hand, this video version contains occasional vocals, inspired by abovementioned radiator scene and Japanese noise influences.



You can download the album in any possible format from BandCamp:




Stay tuned, we're working hard to present you new releases soon!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 2 мая 2017 г.

VA — ColdSpot Muzak (2017)



Hi everyone, we've just released our new annual sampler, and here's the information about it!

TL;DR? Then check out the video version!

 

It's called "ColdSpot Muzak", and even the title can already tell you a lot. Cold spot is a place in space which is extremely cold (well, that was obvious). It's a relict of very ancient times, and it may be a sign of presence of another universe or a "great void" — such a perfect term for us.

Moreover, "cold spot" is opposite to "hot spot", which is associated with electronics, so it can give you a sign that the sampler is purely electronic and minimalistic.

And "Muzak" might imply irony, and it's actually a sardonic word: this is background music which wasn't meant to be background music, this is the music listeners never pay attention to.

The cover also follows this "Coldspot" strategy, this picture was taken by me in Northern Russia about a year ago.

OK, let's check out the tracklist. We begin with my remix of a song "Money" by Пророк СанБой. It's rather enegry-filled track you can even dance to, and the lyrics are actually a nursery rhyme "Work While You Work" sang with significant accent. The intention of adding a chorus "Oh, money" is unclear to me, though I realize it has some sense. Our collaboration goes on, so maybe one day we'll release the 2nd album of remixes.


The second track is a new electronic song by Лосины Маршала Потемкина. This project exists as a real band for several months now, and the live sound differs greatly from what you can hear on "recordings". Anyway, fortunately, we play live quite frequently, so you can also check out our live sound. The song "Рив гош" ("Rive Gauche") tells a story about irritation connected with constant visits paid by narrator's interlocutor to Rive Gauche (fancy cosmetics store). There was also a song with similar name, so Лосины... tend to deconstruct it by humor, and its humor is based on a pointe (wendepunkt), an unexpected turning point, so if you study Russian culture and language, you might enjoy it.


The third track is a sound collage by Nervoese Leute "I'm Allergic to Music" (opposition to music / melodies has always been important to us), which can also be found on a tape split (still available for purchase!). This project is also developing and may even see its live debut soon!


Then goes the very first appearance on our releases: the artist's name is Jo Har Key, and the track is my mix of his 2000 song "Виктория" ("Victoria") is a superb synthpop recorded using analogue equipment.


Our friend from Moscow Hipstor Smith recorded an instrumental "My Favourite Dance Machine" especially for the sampler!


The next track is a very interesting electronic work filled with Soviet speech samples. It's called "Другие миры" ("The Other Worlds"), and the project which released it, is called "Диспозиция Линча" ("Lynch's Disposition"). Thorough work with samples, pads and synths makes its sound so profound.



Then goes surprisingly noisy track by Snowbringer:



And the final track is by project Concern Void, its it's 2nd song, and I want to believe, this project will go on. It's called "In Disguise", and you may consider it as both our manifesto and a lamentation.



Hope you like our new sampler!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

воскресенье, 23 апреля 2017 г.

Snowbringer — The Places I've Gone Without Going Anywhere (2016)

Hi everyone, I've just noticed I hadn't posted one of albums by Snowbringer released by him in 2016.

This "missing" album is called "The Places I've Gone Without Going Anywhere", and it's a classic "bright" ambient record divided into two parts: "The Places I've Gone..." and "...Without Going Anywhere".

Each part lasts more than 1 hour 16 minutes, so this journey is about to be long, though, I believe, it would be rather calm and inspiring. Even the idea of "remote control" journey is something which really seduces the mind, when one allows oneself to dream without limitations. Anyway, the author could imply something different from my interpretation.

So, check out this album — and stay tuned!

 

Sorry for brevity, got too much work these days.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

среда, 15 марта 2017 г.

Grey Lenses — Demotivating Tunes (2017)



Hi everyone, we're back with my new release, "Demotivating Tunes". The title says it's the opposite to my previous record, and actually it's a commission record, a soundtrack for my fiction story, published recently as an electronic edition.

The story has 7 chapters, and for each chapter there's an instrumental track lasting 5 minutes, so it's supposed that you should read a chapter in 5 minutes. The track's titles are actually the chapters' titles. Unfortunately, the story hasn't been translated in English yet, but I hope one day it will happen.

The photos for covers were taken by me in my native town in Siberia, in 2015–2016.



Musically, it's some dark ambient with some industrial and melodical pieces, and the mood of the tracks somehow reflects the mood of a chapter and even some events happening there.

There's not much to add, fellows. Hope you like it!



 

Instant flac download

Or check out YouTube playlist or SoundCloud set


Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 14 февраля 2017 г.

Nervoese Leute / Snowbringer — Split (2016)






 Hi everyone, I finally managed to put everything together and tell you about our 2nd and last (so far) physical release. I’d honestly say in the very beginning that I feel sort of pessimistic regarding the possibility of releasing cassettes in the future, but this tape has become some true piece of art.






 

First and foremost, this C80 tape looks very rich. Hipstor Smith, who designed the cassette, has made truly huge amount of work. Just look: this tape is a very limited edition (37 copies), made manually recording analogue equipment, even the tracklist, included in a tape, was printed manually using a typewriter, and it was printed on authentic tabulating cards. Moreover, each copy has a different, unique cover which has originally been a part of geological map. 

Hipstor Smith was very enthusiastic in putting Nervoese Leute’s music back to analogue form, when he has found frames from analogue photo film, and the pictures were taken in 1983. I thank Hipstor Smith for such great work! You may purchase a tape or two directly from him, the price per copy is somewhat around $3.5 + shipping costs.







Now, let’s switch to music. Side “A” is filled with the second album by Nervoese Leute. It was meant to be called “Insane Cassette”, as it consists of tape collages made using analogue equipment. Sometimes humorous, sometimes scary, these 40 minutes hopefully demonstrate the further development of the project. Tape samples include ones recorded from FM-radio in 1990-2000’s and it shows the atmosphere of Russian mainstream radio back in those days. Nervoese Leute, as always, worked under Creative Commons License (Some Rights Reserved), and, as always, worked in a style somewhat similar to bands like Negativland.

On the side “B”, there’s a new album by Snowbringer. It’s untitled, and all the tracks are untitled. Snowbringer did it on purpose as he believes that listeners can name them whatever they like. He also claims this album is a result of long experiments, and the final track represents a darker side of this project.
So, this album is not available online, and, at least for Nervoese Leute, will not be available online at least for 2–3 more months, so the only chance to listen to it now is to buy it. Please support us, as it may play a significant role in a decision we have to make soon: if we continue to make physical releases, or not.


And stay tuned, we have some encouraging plans for future web-releases!


Sincerely yours,
John “Grey Lenses” Grey

понедельник, 23 января 2017 г.

Snowbringer — The Sadness of Beauty (2016)



Hi everyone, we start the New Year with a brief review of a LP “The Sadness of Beauty” by Snowbringer which was released in the end of 2016. It’s not a Concern Void release, but Snowbringer is our long-time collaborator.

 Album cover (textless)

This release represents typical “bright ambient”, peculiar for Snowbringer. “The Sadness of Beauty” probably shows not a great difference from earlier releases, and even the title might seem a little bit cheesy, it’s like naming the album “Love” or something.

Moreover, as far as I know, only 2 tracks were recorded specially for this album, the rest was recorded in 2014, but somehow these tracks were lost for a while.

But this release deserves your attention, mostly because of some topics mentioned here. Firstly, there’s a new part of “Becoming Invisible” (actually, the 4th part), and tracks dedicated to such topics as Orgone and Apophenia.

Apophenia, to my mind, is the most certain word to describe Snowbringer’s music. You may see there something, or you may not. There may be something in it, or there may be not. Kind of a game, you know. It’s like seeing faces on the surface of Mars, there will always be people who would recognize it, and there will always be people who’d claim it’s a coincidence. So, if we follow such logics, Snowbringer should always have listeners, and I believe you might become his new listener.

Check out this album and stay tuned!

Sincerely yours,

John “Grey Lenses” Grey