disc 1: the infant cycle
1. Unrelated Work Tapes 7/7/04 20:22
disc 2: uphold
1. Folded Memory Syndrome 8:52
2. Shut the Fuck Up, Delia 3:38
3. Shut the Fuck Up, Dmitri 7:24
4. Bedwetters 4:44
Following "Gravescapes" by Anofele and Logoplasm, unleashed in 2006, this is the second split release appearing on Afe. It comes in the form of two different 3" MiniCD-Rs published together in our standard package.
Jim DeJong (The Infant Cycle) and Muffy St. Bernard (UPhold) are pleased to be partnered with each other for "Our Past Present (Now Then)". Their friendship dates back to the early '90s Canadian experimental tape scene, and they have worked together on occasion.
The Infant Cycle was begun in 1992 by Jim DeJong, as a 21st birthday present to himself. Previously, he was a member of Chronic Remorse, and Mind-skelp-cher (replaced by Muffy / UPhold).
Since then, The Infant Cycle has steadily created a large number of releases working with both "musical" and "non-musical" objects to create soundscapes that don't easily fit ready-made descriptions.
He has worked with Orphx, Aidan Baker, W.A. Davison, Delphium, Neboysha Rakic, Dronæment, Antmanuv, Phycus and Jared Davison, to name a few, and has released recordings on numerous labels worldwide, including EE Tapes, Blade Records, Moloko+, Locus of Assemblage, etc.
UPhold was formed by Muffy St. Bernard in 1993, growing out of early-morning radio experiments on CKMS, the University of Waterloo's campus station. Those experiments were honed in the group
Mindsculpture (a.k.a. Mind-skelp-cher) and have matured over time.
During the years UPhold has worked with Jim DeJong (The Infant Cycle), Neb Rakic (AER), Eli McIlveen (Flickershow), Detlef Burghardt (Fond of the Drone), Jade (8-Bit Logik) and others.
Right now Muffy is working on an upcoming release with a focus on memories (forgotten, cyclic and falsified) and an ongoing escape from noise (inside and outside). He is is also performing in drag shows and producing a weekly program about classic radio, just to keep busy.
His music has been released through his own label, Dangermuff Enterproses, and through Jim DeJong's The Ceiling.
"Unrelated Work Tapes 7/7/04" by The Infant Cycle is a new chapter in his series of aural collages based on his own past, present, future and non-existant releases, where he explores the wide possibilities offered by manipulation / juxtaposition of different portions of audio materials taken out of their original context.
track is about twenty minutes long and is divided in several movements where a lot of different instruments and recordings are used: cymbals, water tank, record player operational sounds, synthesizers,
lovebirds and carved vinyl record playout grooves.
A different version of "Folded Memory Syndrome" was already included on our 10th year celebrative on-line compilation and it's the opening number of the second disc. Like the three following tracks, it showcases the good cinematic qualities of Uphold's music. It's a very complex track that includes assorted synthesizers lines, field recordings, found sounds and voices, metal percussions, etc.
Originally merged together, "Shut the Fuck Up, Delia" and "Shut the Fuck Up, Dmitri" keep up the good work of the previous track and introduce an even more effective use of field recordings and low-budget electronic paraphernalia to tell complex and engaging stories.
Coming at the end of the disc is "Bedwetters". Althought we're very fond of this whole work, we can't help to pick it up as our favourite number: "a story of paranoia in The Grey Yonder about how one malevolent spirit in an apartment can ruin life for everybody... Even if that spirit is only doing his laundry."
When writing about our releases, even the most obscure, we really hate to compare them to other more famous works but we'll make an exception here pointing you to nothing less than the best moments in John Carpenter's movies and soundtracks.
All the images adorning the artwork of "Our Past Present (Now Then)" are found pictures courtesy of Gene McSweeney, they are an added bonus to this quite interesting split release.
"The roots of both projects involved in "Our Past Present (Now Then)" go back to the early 90s, to the tape scene of their native Canada, to the same ideals and engagements in the same bands. Their personal friendship and musical understanding has somehow only translated into occasional collaborations. And yet, after 15 years at the frontline of the underground, here it is: A joint release that proves none of these years has been in vain... The compositions were obviously not written with a split release in mind, nor are they conceptually linked. Their diverging scopes also suggest that the approaches of St. Bernard and DeJong differ greatly and are no onbvious matches. That is exactly why "Our Past Present (Now Then)" works as a collaboration: each party brings himself in completely and yet accepts the presence of the other in a highly personal space. That, too, is at conflict with the rules of our times: market forces preach the gospel of egoism, yet artistic endeavours such as this one demonstrate the benefits of sharing."
"De Jong's "Unrelated Work Tapes 7/7/04" is a piece for cymbal, water tank, record player operational sounds, Korg Poly-800, lovebirds and carved vinyl record playout groove, quite typical for The Infant Cycle in its bewitching allure that meshes various ingredients into a cauldron where hypnosis, turntablism and industrial features become a single colour, the final result highly engaging and definitely personal. St.Bernard's four tracks give instead the idea of a mini-movie, as instruments, field recordings and pre-existent voices lead our brain towards the nowhere of significance. At one point, I was so mesmerized by the apparent nonsense of certain repetitions, I couldn't decide if what I was hearing was too simple to accept a description or just nullifying my thoughts; one's left even more anguished in the final minutes of the disc. Music that is intense and uninviting at one and the same time but, this notwithstanding, we all know that - aesthetic pleasures or not - if something stimulates a reaction, then it means that it's good enough."
Touching Extremes [more]
"...per chiudere lo split tra i canadesi The Infant Cycle, ovvero Jim DeJong, e UPhold, ovvero Muffy St. Bernard. Per The Infant Cycle un lungo brano di venti minuti in cui condensa varie manipolazioni di registrazioni fatte in passato, cercando di ricollocarle in un diverso contesto sonoro, mentre UPhold si affida a sintetizzatori campioni per produrre un suono molto cinematografico come ben esemplifica l'ultima traccia in cui è presente un dialogo molto visionario."
"Two very different Canadian sound artists are paired together on this double 3" CD-R release from Italy's Another Friendly Edition (Afe) Records... Jim DeJong, has created a 20:22 track of drones, looped scratches, abrasive and organic noises and glitches based around "his own past, present, future and ‘non-existent' releases," organised into a series of distinct movements. Much of it is bordering on the clinical and determinedly noisy, but the hard edges that are there are softened somewhat by the use of reverb and the inclusion of some shimmering tones and natural sounds that renders it almost fuzzy and organic in atmosphere... UPhold's contributions on the other hand come from the other end of the spectrum. Using a variety of sources such as found sounds, field recordings, voices and metal percussion combined with some appropriately placed lines of synthesiser textures, Muffy St. Bernard creates creepily atmospheric soundscapes that have a wonderfully expansive and cinematic flavour to them..."
Heathen Harvest [more]