PBK + ANLA COURTIS – INVASIVE SPECIES C40 (Green Records)
On this recording, an artist I’m relatively familiar with collaborates with an artist I had previously not heard of. I will begin with the one unfamiliar to me; Anla Courtis.
“Alan Courtis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on February 22, 1972. He studied classical guitar, piano, theory and composition. He holds a degree in Communication Science from the University of Buenos Aires, where he currently runs an annual music workshop. He played electric guitar in diverse bands and in 1993 he co-founded the group Reynols. With this group he has released more than one hundred CDs and vinyls worldwide in labels like Trente Oiseaux, Digital Narcis, Drone Records, Locust, Sedimental, Beta-Lactam Ring Records, Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, RRR, Audiobot Records, Roaratorio, JDK, Reverse, Matching Head, American Tapes, Last Visible Dog, Carbon Records, Mikroton, etc.”
This artist has been around since the early 80’s just as PBK has. Exciting. It seems that his extensive discography has much character to offer.
Phillip B. Klingler has been active in the home cassette scene since the 80’s. (You can read a little bit, view some images, and learn about him a bit more here.) His recordings are careful weavings and structures of distinctively engineered sounds, moving between notions of dark ambient, industrial, drone, and noise music.
Invasive Species fits precisely with my impressions of PBK’s earlier work, with some of the organization of the 4 pieces being tighter and more carefully composed in comparison. Ominous noises and guitars loop asymmetrically, utilizing the the more straight forward musical tactic of repeating note / chordal phrases, rather than randomly shifting irregular sounds. The rhythmless loops repeat, and their happenstance tonic notes harmonize with some other element(s) of the piece. So strangely subtle (and perhaps unintended) is the tonal content that it may go unnoticed, but I perceive strange intervals of major 7ths, 9ths, 5ths, triad tones, and other combinations ricocheting and lingering through sections of these pieces. The two sides here differ in ways beneficial to listen-thru pleasure in their textural variety and dynamics. Two 20 minute sides divided into shorter pieces from 6 to 12 minutes each splits up the listening experience, giving good time and space to absorb the sound works.
This is an enjoyable dark industrial noise listen that expounds on classic themes of industrial culture – industrial degradation of society & human life, hopelessness, terror, fear, tension, anticipation, visceral life-grit, textural sensations of the passage of time…