Drone Records
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Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Korm Plastics
Release Year: 2023
Note: a surprising discovery from the archives, this album with five studio tracks showing IOS as a duo in the 90's (DAN BURKE and KURT GRIESCH)=> concrete object sounds merge with analogue electronics, very versatile tracks + perfect for multiple listening sessions... *showcasing a less aggressive stance from the project, a more organic subdued presentation, sounds to make a clearing, & open space..* - "40 minutes of absolute poetic sounds.* [Bauke van der Wal]" - lim. 200
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Illusion Of Safety - Pastoral
CD only, 200 copies, Korm Plastics

While Korm Plastics publishes books these days, this is a surprise CD only release. We sent him this demo in 2011 & we all forgot about it. Pastoral is a welcome edition to the catalog showcasing a less aggressive stance from the project, a more organic subdued presentation, sounds to make a clearing, & open space. The recordings history is a bit blurred now but it is very likely tracks 1, 2, 3, & 5 are Kurt Griesch and Daniel Burke, post 1995 tour work. Track four uses an instance of Reaktor 5 VCS-3 software emulation.

Illusion of Safety
Since 1983, Daniel Burke and his many conspirators under the Illusion Of Safety banner have over the course of 40+ full length releases traversed most every facet of the avant sound plane, from early industrial pop deconstruction to blindingly minimal sound art to densely surreal found-sound collage, each unique approach bending and reconstituting the expectations and possibilities of each realm, creating uneasy music that is dense and dystopian and yet also beautiful. Performing over 300 live concerts throughout Europe and the states included No Fun 2008, the Wroclaw Industrial Music Festival 2009, Sonic Circuits in 2010, with Shen Wei Dance Arts in 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and at the Crisis Data Transfer Pre-Party October 2023. Outside of IOS Burke has collaborated with Jim ORourke, Jon Mueller, Randy Greif, Darin Gray, ZEV, Cheer-Accident, Thomas Dimuzio, Kevin Drumm, Bill Horist, and others.


"I don't think it's a surprise that here at VWHQ, there is a person that likes Dan Burke's aka Illusion of Safety's output. Earlier this year, Korm Plastics (who said they'd never release music again) broke
the dry spell of releasing music by co-releasing the IoS/Z'ev collaboration on vinyl. Now they have a CD by Illusion of Safety. Combine that with a few other releases like Muziekkamer and the BOH Sampler, and those first words on the Korm website raise questions: 'Korm Plastics was a record label. These days, we publish books. About music.' Maybe Frans will explain it to me at some point.
But, back to what it is all about. Illusion of Safety / Dan Burke. It's a blind spot in my collection. I've seen him perform once in Aachen, but since that was something like 25 years ago, I really can't remember the details. So, it's Dan's recent output that I started to know and respect. And with this new album, "Pastoral", the concern is only getting stronger. Though I must say, it took me several listening sessions before it struck me at the right spots.
The five tracks with a total playing time of 58 minutes are hidden in serene packaging. Pictures of a morning or evening stroll in the countryside and the first sounds of "Invulnerable" are concrete staccato sounds. There was something wrong with the combination of those in my head. Still, as the track continued, field recordings started building a backing drone, and additional sounds formed the actual composition with a massive piano/guitar intermezzo, which has to be mentioned. All kinds of manipulated musical instruments create a flawless transition towards the second track entitled "Neolithic", and from here, it only gets better. Tracks 3 to 5 are droney soundscapes with a perfect balance between layers of minimal noise and drones and additional sounds projected on top of it. In total, 40 minutes of absolute poetic sounds. And there it struck me how I see Dan's music, in this release at least. Looking at the picture on the cover, you get an emotion, but zooming in on the picture, you can extrude air, sun, grass, sand, and a little forest in the back. And zooming in on the woods, you can see trees and then
branches... But zooming out, you get a 'walk in nature'... But what if you zoom out from there... "Thermogenesis", "Ground", and "Compelling" all cover a particular aspect of switching perspectives like this. At least, that's what I think.
Pastoral (noun): a work of literature portraying an idealized version of country life. For me, the first tracks are about escaping what's terrible, and the last three are about embracing what's good. The illusion of Safety presents in one album that you can't make just one of those choices (escape/embrace) and that the result is great if you follow your heart. (BW)