This is the final BABEL album. At least for a while. I’m putting the project into hibernation as I did in 2006 until I resurrected it in 2009 for the ‘RILE’ album. When I started making music as BABEL again, I had a very specific idea of what kind of music I wanted it to be. Something at the nexus of Einsturzende Neubauten and Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ. Over the last 7 years I’ve tried to get there from a number of angles and this album, ‘Sofandi’, is where I finally achieve the sound in my head (or as near enough as to satisfy my intentions). It collects the clanging industrial guitar of ‘Heurter’ and ‘Zwerm’, the lone endless reverb piano notes of ‘Morpheum’, the guitar drones of ‘Maze’ and ‘Cosmos Bleu’, the tinkling chimes of ‘Glockengeister’, the plaintive reeds and abstract percussion of the ‘Sacred Fire’ albums and the kosmische synths of more recent works. Every idea I’ve had converges here, so what is left to say? Time to put the project to sleep and watch the fire die. 

Three drones for Drone Day 2017 (May 27)

Experimenting with analog synths and harmonic reverb patches. Ice music, winter’s a-comin’.

 

Electro-acoustic kosmische drone.

Cosmic desert drone.

Desert meditations.

Gamelan-inspired junk jazz and meditation.

A collection of fake jazz recordings.

 

Cosmic analog synth and electric guitar drones.  In honour of (inter) National Drone Day 2016.

The complete “Grid Series” recordings: APRAXIA, LEBENSUHR, METROSCAPE, and APOGEE. A four volume series of retro-minded analogue synthesizer albums. Very Froese meets Jarre meets Schulze in approach.

Volume 3. Every need met. Every desire granted. Every dream a reality. CAN THEY ESCAPE? A soundtrack for the classic 1982 film. John Tangerine’s Carpenter Dream?

Volume 4. The crowning achievement of the Grid Series, a 35-minute epic drone journey designed to guide you into altered states.

Though not officially a Grid Series release, DANKEN was recorded during the same period and in the same classic-electronica influenced style. Four tracks I recorded for (and given in the form of an exclusive limited deluxe-edition CD-R as a gift to ) four unreasonably dedicated Arachnidiscs Recordings/BABEL patrons.

Vemödalen – the fear that everything has already been done. Double album. Another 2.5 hours of music culled from the same sessions that produced the “ZWERM” album. All sounds produced by a Telecaster and recorded live direct to 2-track digital during rehearsals during Spring of 2014.

While rehearsing for live dates in Winter of 2013 and Spring of 2014 supporting the Rillingen and Heurter albums, BABEL recorded over 11 hours of prepared guitar improvisations (direct to 2-track stereo). These sessions were distilled those hours down to one 79 minute album titled ZWERM. The word is Dutch for “Swarm” and is a reference to the buzzing, wasp-like sounds created by placing an electric toy insect near the pick-ups of his Telecaster. Those familiar with BABEL’s previous work, will know what to expect from these solo guitar explorations—percussive, almost industrial rhythms blended with harmonic drones and sparse, lyrical melody lines.

RILLINGEN (meaning “Shivers” or “Chills” in Dutch) is part 3 in BABEL’s trilogy of improvised, solo pieces for electric guitar using extended techniques and echo loops. This outing is more lyrical in approach than parts 1 & 2, with an emphasis on drone and ambient texture. Recorded live, direct to 2-track on Mothers Day, 2013, in six takes (three of which make up the 37-minute closer) using echo loops and, fittingly (though pun not intended), an Electro-Harmonix “Freeze” pedal.

Part 2 in BABEL’s trilogy of improvised, extended technique pieces for prepared electric guitars. As with HEURTER (part 1), guitar and bass are primarily treated as percussion instruments. These pieces also feature delay loops, junk percussion, wind instruments and electronically manipulated vocal performances.

Limited edition CD available in the Arachnidiscs Recordings Store.


Three track EP. Solo electric guitar improvisations. Telecaster, mallets and loop effects. Recorded live direct to two-track, late 2012. Limited edition CD available in the Arachnidiscs Recordings Store.

“Performed like some ancient rite to awaken the demons chilling in his Fender Telecaster, Babel gives voice to evil through mallets, loops and delays. However, this ain’t your regular evil, this is a special side-show blend: Evil music that lures you into an oxymoronic vortex of warm and fuzzy dread, yet never without moments of light within its droney darkness. Although not proggy enough to score a Dario Argento film, there is definitely a horror show aspect lurking within Heurter. Do yourself a favour: listen to this before you sleep to soundtrack your sweetest nightmares.” ~ JT Stephenson, Weird Canada


Improvised/decomposed works for mixed percussion and glockenspiel. Limited edition CD available in the Arachnidiscs Recordings Store.

“Glockengeister finds BABEL in a quiet, minimal mood, experimenting with a recently acquisitioned glockenspiel that acts as a centerpiece for the album. Joined only occasionally by sparse percussion, that is similar to the backing bells of his Moonwood work, these pieces take all the time they need to mature, lasting anywhere from one and a half to thirteen minutes. There’s a real feeling of exploration on this disk, as if his new fond instrument were a huge cathedral he had just inherited, and he was wandering threw all the rooms, discovering their particular personalities. Some require more attention than others. Some are busy with bells. Some are barely there. Overall, it’s a very soft, spiritual atmosphere that should be your next soundtrack for falling asleep into lucid dreaming.” ~ Hippie Cult


Limbus: Inspired by the lifecycle of a tree—from seed to recycled paper—the Limbus suite sprawls skyward while rooting itself deep in the rocky murk. Drawing parallels between the root systems of plants and our own limbic system, harsh, bowed guitar drives over delicate, leafy arpeggios backed by percussion textures ranging from sparse to pummelling. 59 mins. Limited edition CD available in the Arachnidiscs Recordings Store.

“The representation of tree life cycles is mostly very dark here, with sludge metal signifiers – in the beginning, very repetitive chord progressions with layers of distorted and bowed guitar, and various heavily reverbed percussion interjections. Section VII is slower and less rhythmic, with sadly drifting bowed notes entering and leaving in almost classical fashion; it’s an interesting mixing in with a more abstract sound field. Bright plucked guitar enters in section VIII, with piano progressively driving section IX. One interpretation here is that the dark, brooding music is somehow a representation of what a tree “sees” in its lifetime, i.e. human activity. As the sections pace onward, the suite seems to get more organized somehow, as if the tree is gathering wisdom or looking more and more forward to the next part of its life cycle. Or that the entrance of piano actually occurs after the tree’s death, and the brighter sections represent its decay or afterlife, as it were – which would be an interesting commentary on life and death per se. Either way, the sparseness of the final section (XIII) is an unmistakable hint at ultimate nothingness.As with all Arachnidiscs releases, rendered and packaged with extraordinary devotion and craft.” ~ Foxy Digitalis

Morpheum: Situated somewhere between the 20th century minimalists and the no-wave noise composers of the 1980s, Morpheum explores the tranquility and violence of dream states though a suite of duets and quartets for piano, mallet instruments, electric guitar and Taiko-inspired percussion. Languid, evolving melody lines sleepily weave through each other before cascading arpeggios awaken like a tsunami crashing through a nuclear reactor. Subtle and epic, peaceful and cacophonous, safe and perilous as an ocean or a dream. Limited edition cassette available in the Arachnidiscs Recordings Store.

“Part of Rehlinger’s distinctiveness is certainly due to his prominent use of atypical instrumentation (like metal bowls and woodblocks), but his aberrence runs pretty deep stylistically too, as he seems to draw inspiration equally from brooding post-rock, classical minimalism, Harold Budd (particularly his love of heavily reverb-ed piano), and probably even Martin Denny-style exotica. The four-part title track takes up the bulk of the side and sticks mostly to delicately melancholy piano motifs, but the many curious and sudden dynamic shifts and detours make Morpheum feel more like the soundtrack to a film than a stand-alone suite. I think it’d be a pretty compelling film though.” ~ Foxy Digitalis

Ten pieces composed using ratios. Written for hammered guitar, kitchen utensils and various metal objects. The music falls between John Cage‘s Three Constructions, traditional Japanese folk music and a manufacturing plant. Limited edition CD-R available in the Arachnidiscs Recordings Store.

The impromptu sessions that resurrected BABEL, one of the monikers used by guitarist/improviser JAKOB REHLINGER. Intended to be an homage to Terry Riley’s tape delay/loop technique by MOONWOOD, the recordings evolved into something significantly darker and harsher. The result is a little more Neubauten playing Steve Reich and a lot more No Wave noise meets a Taiko drum ensemble who’ve had their drums replaced with oil barrels and backed by guitars played with mallets. Three movements, 51mins/51secs total.

From 2001, the third recording I released as BABEL. Less use of the brass chalice as a tone generator, instead using guitars much the same way. A little percussion is creeping in and a lot of found-sounds and samples which would (mistakenly in my opinion) detour BABEL into a more standard electro-industrial format afterwards (those recordings can now be found over at tranzmit.bandcamp.com). Originally came with a 16 page zine of comics similar to the cover drawing.

his was the second recording released as BABEL (some time in 2K). Many of the same samples as the first album were used, further stretched out and manipulated. As I was still learning how to use computers to make edit music, there’s a naive experimentation I enjoy hearing in this. Also a few bad habits (lazy tricks, corners cut) I’ve never shaken. The cover model was a co-worker’s niece or nephew I secretly used to learn how use Photoshop with.

The first album released under the name BABEL. Recorded in 1999, perhaps a bit of pre-millennium tension. Tones are almost entirely sourced from a brass chalice picked up from a church thrift shop. A lot of Coil worship going on here.

 

 

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