Not A Laughing Matter But Rather A Matter Of Laughs
2000 Fire Inc. CDEP
Special guests are Andy Diagram of Spaceheads on trumpet and the
Japanese female pop singer Hanayo. Recorded at STEIM and MostlyWood
in Amsterdam, and the MostlyWood mobile in Hannover from 1998 to
The newest e.p. from enigmatic Icelandic experimentalists contains
four untitled tracks (equalling 23.5 minutes) and very little info
(though the FIRE, inc. website reveals a bit more... "Special
guests are Andy Diagram ofSpaceheads on trumpet and the japanese
female pop singer Hanayo." A cloud of lightly squealing feedback
tones billows and drifts all around 1, then sharply breaks and fades
to reveal whispery female counting.
Brassy tones spurt and drone from the hissy, drifting core of 2
(4:16), to be joined by staticy rhythmics then fading to a wavering
whalesong expanse. Barely audible subfrequencies extend through
the first six minutes of 3 (8:42); that thin-though-murky fog slowly
grows in strength and eventually encounters some bleepy cross-tones
which fade and return. Low frequencies at low volumes also course
through 4, a deliciously isolating space which still seems to be
thrumming in your skull after the track has ended.
I actually start liking this EP format for CD (I am probably too
much influenced by the length of LP's), because of their limited
time span. Somehow it seems that a lot of releases in this format
are more concise than their longer brethren. Track one of four starts
with a high sound panning slowly, which is cut off by some clicks
and ends with a very deep bass and a women's voice reciting numbers.
This is also cut off and we're in track two, with trumpets and short
hisses. Some of the trumpet sounds have been edited and are layered
with the others. The hisses form a rhythm and some other noises
are added. There is a strange, but strong atmospheric quality to
this track. Some more rumbles and hisses enter and then a voice.
All very clear and crisp. Track three starts with a deep rumble
again. Beeps fade in and everything stops. Then the rumble starts
again on an almost Lopezian volume, although there are a lot of
dynamics in this sound. Later a mid frequencies rumble sets in and
then the beeps again. The bass stops, the beeps go on, with a silence
every now and then. A very subtle and gentle track. The last track
starts with a real subsonic bass, almost inaudible, but certainly
perceptible. A low panning hiss is later added and then both fade
away. This must be the most subtle Stilluppsteypa release yet. And
a very good one.