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Beside Myself (vinyl LP)

Crys Cole - Beside Myself (vinyl LP)
The Canadian artist's second album features two immersive pieces that explore ideas of compositional drift: The Nonsuch is inspired by nocturnal hallucinations while In Praise of Blandness builds on sinologist François Jullien's concept of “blandness”.
Beside Myself is the second full-length release from Canadian sound artist crys cole. Known to many through her extensive collaborative practice with artists such as Oren Ambarchi, Leif Elggren and James Rushford, in her solo work cole uses contact microphones, voice, simple electronics and field recordings to create sonic environments that linger uneasily at the threshold of perception. Demonstrating how cole's work has developed and deepened since the relative austerity of her first solo LP Sand/Layna (2015, Black Truffle), Beside Myself offers two lushly immersive side-long pieces that explore ideas of compositional drift.
The Nonsuch is inspired by the aural hallucinations experienced in the hypnagogic state during the onset of sleep. Opening with scratching contact mic textures and unintelligible vocal murmurs, the piece threads together live and studio performances with field recordings of urban environments to create a texture that is at once seemingly consistent and marked by constant transitions. Individual elements rise up from the background thrum only to disappear just as we become conscious of them; heterogenous sounds and spaces succeed one another with the unassailable logic of dreams.
In Praise of Blandness (Chapter IX) also focuses on drift and transition, but in a much more single-minded way. Over a rich, slowly-evolving organ drone, cole reads a passage from the French sinologist François Jullien's book In Praise of Blandness exploring the concept of “blandness” in the Taoist aesthetics of sound. Beginning crisp and clear, cole's voice becomes gradually less distinct over the course of the piece, the spoken words blurred by resonant frequencies à la Lucier's I Am Sitting in a Room until we are left with only the rhythm of incomprehensible speech. The text that cole reads acts a perfect description of her aesthetic project: “We hear it still, but just barely, and as it diminishes it makes all the more audible that soundless beyond into which it is about to extinguish itself. We are listening then, to its extinction, to its return to that great undifferentiated matrix”.
Francis Plagne (November, 2019)
Crys Cole (born 1976) is a Canadian sound artist working in composition, performance and sound installation. Generating subtle and imperfect sounds through haptic gestures and seemingly mundane materials, she creates texturally nuanced works that continuously retune the ear. Cole has performed in Canada, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, the USA, UK and throughout Europe. She has ongoing collaborations with Oren Ambarchi and with James Rushford (under the name Ora Clementi). She has also worked with Francis Plagne, Leif Elggren, Tetuzi Akiyama, Seiji Morimoto, Jessika Kenney, David Rosenboom, Annea Lockwood, Keith Rowe, Lance Austin Olsen, Jamie Drouin, Mathieu Ruhlmann, David Behrman, Tim Olive and many more. Cole's work has been published on labels Black Truffle, Penultimate Press, Ultra Eczema, caduc, Bocian, Another Timbre and Infrequency editions. With guest appearances published on Touch and MeGO. She has exhibited her work in Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and Thailand.
Mastered and cut by Kassian Troyer at D+M, Berlin.

Cover art: Melanie Rocan.
published in March 2020
2 tracks (21'53 / 20'04)
in stock

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