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BLACKHUMOUR - Selected Pieces

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Noise Below
Release Year: 2014
Note: selections from the archive of this great project known from numerous tape only releases in the 80's / 90's, always using only human voice as source material, with astonishing effects - ultra repetitive / hypnotic structures and loops, very minimal changes playing with your perception.. "the sound of found object spoken human voice - no effects, no reverb, no speed or back-masking - to create a four-dimensional poetry" [M.Andersson] lim. 300, mini poster-cover
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"since the time i came across romance LP (on korm plastics, netherlands) and the two women tape (on sph, spain) almost 20 years ago fell in love with the work of blackhumour, and his simple but Immersive way of playing with the human voice (be it found sound or recorded by himself), its transformation and the way he perceived his universe and his approach. in selected pieces we find recordings done mostly in the 00s culled from his archives for this release showing in almost the best way his sound in various manifestations (be it harsh, bizarre or mesmerizing like the incantatory piece based upon the sounds of a hypno-dominatrix). and couldnt find a better release to coincide with the outbreak of my new fanzine emvoes. housed in a foldout poster this release can be seen either as a cd, an audiopostcard, an audiozine or whatever situation the listener wants to find himself into" [label info]


"probably one of the more curious careers in music: blackhumour, who spells it without capitals, like any thing he writes really. so we humour him with this review without capitals. curious career, since in the late 80s he was active on the cassette scene, released a lp even, and then seemed to have disappeared and releases have become more sparse since then. what i enjoyed back then about the music of blackhumour was the consistent use of only voice material, which he cut into loops and layered them together, very much like steve reich did with his 'come out' and 'it's gonna rain'; in later he work blackhumour cut phrases out of conversations and moved them around, creating new contexts. that work appealed less to me, i must admit. the six selected pieces here are from the period 1996 to 2002 and hold the middle ground between those 'heavy' drone like pieces from the early years and the cut 'n paste pieces of later. repetition plays a big role here, and most of the time it seems like not much is changing here - except for 'arbitrary', which seem to contain glitches from the digital audio tape it was once recorded on (unless this is a dirty cd), which add something to the voice material. Otherwise these pieces are as minimal as you can get, and it's the blackhumour i like very much. it has that fine hypnotic sound, with enough information to concentrate on one thing for a while and then something else. 'le mot juste' is the piece in which things change around into something entirely different. 'revision' adds in density over the course of seventeen minutes before changing over, in order to grow again, which is pretty much a standard blackhumour compositional technique. this is a most wonderful release. it should have fitted on monochrome vision (blackhumour has a strong black and white aesthetic too), but on noise-below is equally in the right place. if you have no idea who blackhumour is or what he does and if 80s unsung cassette heroes is your 'thing', then this cd is the best place to start. my pick of the week." [Fdw/Vital Weekly]