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VAN GULICK, JASON - Concrete

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Silken Tofu STX.58
Release Year: 2018
Note: the Brussels based label is a great place to discover new names & artists: JASON VAN GULICK is a drummer who presents recordings entirely made on / from his drumkit, creating atmospheric drones with a bow or other unusual tones and noises with sticks and objects..."Quite a bit of work went into balancing the various recordings and Van Gulick delivers a beautiful record. Loud and dark, light and quiet; he knows how to built excellent soundscapes in space.." [Vital Weekly] /lim. 100 first screen printed ed.
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"Jason Van Gulick is one of the most inventive drummers on the contemporary music scene. For more than a decade, he has used his education as an architect to explode the foundations of drumming. Maintaining a distance from all aesthetic, disciplinary or formal limitations, he has developed his artistic approach in the confrontation between the acoustic character of his chosen instrument and architectural resonant spaces.

This piece is the result of several years of research on the deep existing connection between the production of sounds and their dffusion in space.
It has to do with our primitive bond to music, with the concrete experience that is specific to every diffusion of sound and explores the acoustic specifities of an architectural space through percussions.

The work combines, through the process of improvisation and of composition in situ, the idea of the metamorphosis of material : Halle B due to its volume, its ability to reverberate the sound and its echoing faculty, transforms the sound of the percussions following the example of former places of worship. This industrial nave made of concrete has forged the creation of the music by imposing to the latter a specific temporality and an almost spiritual depth." [label info]






2More along the lines of Vital Weekly is the work of percussion player Jason van Gulick. I didnt review his previous release, 'Entelechy' (Vital Weekly 930), so this is the first time I hear his music. I believe he is from Belgium, but recorded his CD in Halle B of the 'La Condition Publique' in Roubaix. It is apparently a space with some great acoustic proportions and Van Gulick has an interest in using sound and the way it travels through a space. Interestingly enough not all of the five pieces here have this massive, natural reverb. In the opening piece everything is very close and quite direct. The ringing of cymbals open up and at one point in this (untitled, all are) piece the sound is being picked up from a bit further away and we hear a massive drone like. Van Gulick shifts back and forth with his playing,
using sticks, bows, and objects on the entire kit. This results is an occasional thick, massively sound, in which Van Gulick's playing blends refined with the travels of those sounds through that space. I can imagine he used quite a bit of microphone set-ups in this to come up quite close or, as a total opposite very far away and in the process of making this CD, Van Gulick mixes these recordings together. While
it may sound like a 'live' record, I am pretty sure it isn't. Quite a bit of work went into balancing the various recordings and Van Gulick delivers a beautiful record. Loud and dark, light and quiet; he knows how to built excellent soundscapes in space, but also he knows how to transfer these to the listener and give him a similar experience." [FdW / Vital Weekly]