Concentrics SIX ___ [tape]

this project came about thru community effort and friendship…it’s my follow up to muqarnas on the label i found thru the music of karl fousek [@analogue01]…@Olivier has been working w/ me on the visuals and cover collage since december 2019…@sellanraa did invaluable work to enhance the spatial dynamics of these tracks…and liners were arranged by @dan_derks!

songs made by fusing tools of @randy @Justmat @andrew @zebra @tehn

i’m deeply grateful to them and, as always, happy to answer questions about the collection

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CASSETTE LINER NOTES


Jonathan is a time traveler. Concentrics is a collection of past and future artifacts, converging on the present with deep love.

Within this sixth iteration, tradition and trailblazing dovetail. For those familiar with Jonathan’s masterful studies of rhythm, SIX boldly reframes his virtuosity in the domain of melody.

What amazes me about each new entry to Concentrics is that its thesis continues to deepen. VI features gestures and experiments that can be found across the body, which are here presented in staggering detail and technicolor. In many ways, it completes the missing fragments of its predecessors – metaphors that were half-formed throughout the series find their proper phrasing.

As you listen, take notice of the care with which these offerings are delivered. They unfold the way good sermons do. For those that have attended before, the themes are recognizable, but the word choice is more precise. And it lands differently depending on what you need from it.

Lastly, here are Jonathan’s own thoughts on some of the themes I’ve carried with me from listening to his work over the years.

Dan Derks
4/23/2020

RE-PITCHING

As a kid looking through either binoculars, a telescope, or microscope it became clear that things exist differently (or reveal new things about themselves) at various scales.

By the time you hear a song I’ve made there’s a high chance the whole track has been stretched, squeezed, and pitched either up or down to suit my taste. Also, I never ever use drums at the ”normal" pitch at which I found them.

PHYSICAL

You can imprint a certain amount of physical presence on any sound by employing tools that adjust aural perception of space or create sense of motion: reverb, compression, EQ.

But, honestly, the simplest technique has to be use of a proper delay. It doesn’t matter if the delay matches the signal (e.g. analog-analog, or digital-digital). Probably what matters more is delay time, feedback and how many other delays you stack onto one another.

TEXTURE

I see texture and rhythm as equivalent: simple means to control tension.

TIMELINE

I constantly make connections to my past: methods, tools, priorities etc.

These are things that have shaped me and I use creation of new songs to reference and examine what is still important to me.

This provides both tension and fulfillment for me when I can integrate familiar themes, ideas and techniques with things I never knew or was not capable of doing before.

It gives me a thrill while still remaining a source of emotional comfort in some ways.

BALANCE

The initial idea for the series was based around the natural pleasure of watching concentric circles expand or causing them to ripple outward by some deliberate action.

Because of this, I like to say that a concentric song is found and documented.

COLLABORATION

Collaboration has become integral to my work as I’ve sought knowledge about the tools I use (leaning heavily on independent/individual designers of hardware and software).

Members of the lines community have become partners in an intimate form of collaboration. When I think of things openly shared by Andrew Shike, Olivier Creurer, Mat Daniel, and Igor Baranov…it’s undeniable each one has contributed significantly to my growth and I’m more invested in the short term and long term impact of their projects.

Because of these bonds, I reach for their tools more often (they fit my way of thinking and musical priorities) plus feel a sense of pride to participate in showcasing their tremendous work. When I use Prosody (m4l suite), for example, I often think of the developer Andrew, but also Ezra Buchla or Rodrigo Constanzo and hope to push the boundaries of what’s possible with their instruments.

TRADITION

My main source of inspiration, which might surprise some listeners, is my optimism for the future of this planet and the people living on it (which is based on my spiritual beliefs).

LANGUAGE

I’m more concerned with sharing a vibe than communicating any specific message through music.

I think my excitement about certain sounds and their relationship to one another is important. People should feel some of what I did when I made the piece, regardless what that “feeling” might be…

I also strongly feel like people need to acknowledge their imperfections as humans so generally, I’ve embraced some level of failure in all songs in the Concentrics series.

Maybe the message I convey is to embrace a healthy pace of life to whatever degree we possibly can. Music like this may help…

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I preordered mine :slight_smile:

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@bobbcorr thank you so much for your support :grinning:

the tape is out!

physical copies (75 cassettes) can be purchased thru phinery
digital copies can be found on either bandcamp page

as we planned the release ben and i worked closely to provide a unique listening experience in any environment

my page preserves the original track order for the collection while the cassette includes a bonus song on the the b-side (with slight shuffling of the tracks)


before doing a breakdown or discussing technical details i’d like to say that this is the easiest album for me to describe to others because it feels like a warm blanket

it was created before covid-19 fully gripped the planet and so when i returned to it recently i wasn’t sure how timely such mellow sounds might be…surprisingly, the warmth and unhurried pace of the songs have provided a bit of comfort when i’m stressed out

I hope you feel similarly about them


OYENU - this was an ableton jam with aalto which reminds me of an older track called vaximily…it was made with a similar mindset and strategy (printing each section and stacking layers, use of unquantized pitch manipulation, saturation/softclipping + reverb) but unlike the older track all of this processing took place “in the box”

ASSIM - mellow cheat codes meditation with two simple samples

CUBLET - another ableton session with aalto + kaivo…this represents my view of ambient music as a glitching/paused vhs frame

OVERTAUT - my first experiment using otis to capture spirit of dakim looping, totally raw, live improvisation with a cluster of samples . texture and rhythmic tension are the focus

WOODEN WIRE - the track that started it all…after hearing a snippet of this Ben contacted me to discuss releasing the next album in this series . the track was also created inside ableton with a mixture of old field recordings (in ekphras), aalto, kaivo and aaltoverb being manipulated by hand

OMOTUO - cheat codes improv, the title is important…i suggest you google it

ASHK E SHIRI - minidisc recording of one of my fav instruments: a pentatonic xylo that i’ve had for years, some additional processing applied (prosody m4l) but this excerpt was largely untouched

SOOSU - another instrument i’ve had for decades, my kalimba…paired with 856 for zellersasn for this loop sequence . the song captures a spirit of optimism i try to maintain despite world conditions

OVERTAUGHT - same tools as the related track but i chose to also add synths to change the tone to somethin more solemn . made w/ otis, samples, and two instances of aalto

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Ordered the tape and finally subscribed to spools. I look forward to your releases more than that of any other artist, such continually inspired/inspiring work. Thank you!

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Dropping by to say I have been listening to this all weekend and it is on another level. So delicate and inspired and every minute detail has soul. Congratulations and thank you

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I’d really love to know what’s happening in soosa? There is so much going on with a single sound source(?) and speed changes. Its all so fluid but pitch is maintained throughout.
Also there is a comment on your thread for your twitch session (that I missed) that refers your looping and copy/paste approach in Ableton. I would love to see/read/hear more about this. Thanks

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I really appreciate your feedback and the time you’ve spent listening to C6…it was made with love :slightly_smiling_face:

Yeah the 856 is a crazy pedal (not sure if you’re familiar with it…or Count to 5, it’s predecessor). I can’t recall exactly how i made this track but it was soon after i got the new device and was exploring the controls.

Later I did some editing in ableton but don’t think i added anything more than eq + compression

It’s a bit hard to describe so if I don’t have time to stream again soon I’ll make a quick youtube clip to demo the technique

Been wanting to stream again but so much has happened offline in the past few weeks (and i’m behind schedule recording new albums). I’d feel guilty streaming even though it’s relaxing for me to chat about music and make stuff on the spot on twitch

Thanks for asking!

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So is the 856 stereo? There is some great panning going on in the track which sounds like panned delay/loops. I think the count to 5 is mono but it sounds ace anyway.
Would love a demo video but love all your work so happy anyway :blush:

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Actually
come to think of it you’re right (to my knowledge…856 is mono)
I must’ve used norns compass or some other app for panning

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sounding great. ordered :slight_smile:

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i picked this and noemie up last night and had it in the headphones today. so lively. thank you. reminded me in moments of a couple of artists who have had a huge influence on me.

yea the imperfection thing adds a lot of depth/value. more lifelike. easier said than done though but you’re doing it for sure : )

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That’s tonight’s soundtrack sorted :slight_smile:

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reviewed by wapo today! hard to overstate how nuts this is for me

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