Reviews & radio play
Recorded on a balcony in Los Angeles so therefore I’d like to reimagine this as the alternative soundtrack to Michael Mann’s 1995 classic movie ‘Heat’. The analogy might work! A single near-hour long piece of shortwave band frequency manipulation. Too engaging to have it on as background company, the fluctuating crackle’n hum seem to represent air particle movement. Changes in atmospheric pressure are signalled by radical shifts in mood and timbre as we edge closer into space. Pzzzzzzzzt.
venoztks is the alias of one of the three founders of The Tapeworm, though we don’t precisely know which one. How It’s Not Meant To Be is an exploration of electronic improvisation, full of prowling frequency fluctuations, gravelly static, sibilant hissing, clicks, unpredictable tone formations and rapid oscillations between noisy rumbles and quiet, occasionally flute-like intricacy. Scratchy noises appear, flutter violently at your ears and then recede, once more becoming inchoate and elusive.
While a lot of this tape is reminiscent of the earliest recorded electronic experiments, somewhat randomly, the spiralling, endless ebb and flow of sounds and the way they constantly wriggle (worm-like?) out of your grasp makes me think of those poor contestants on The Crystal Maze trying to snag as many gold foil tokens as they can before time runs out. Unlike that torturous final stage of the gameshow, however, there is plenty of time on How It’s Not Meant To Be to try and clutch at these sounds – an hour to be precise.
The venoztks website helpfully lists all the frequencies used in his works should you wish to attempt a cover version. Read more about The Tapeworm in our interview here. [Mat Smith]
and on 30th August 2021
California Dreaming: The Underlying, by sound artist Bethan Kellough and light breaker, by the anonymous venoztks, offer two very different sonic impressions of California…
…light breaker is the latest missive from venoztks, an artist who doesn’t so much operate at the margins but within the interstitial frequencies of shortwave radio. The fifty-minute piece that light breaker consists of (‘Indent’) is structured from captured radio recordings – voices overheard as fragmentary mid-conversation non sequiturs, howling white noise, brittle static and resonant bass sounds that ebb and flow as menacing slow-motion pulses. The effect is like listening to an intense analogue synthesiser improvisation, but everything you hear came from the radio and the manipulation of its dials.
As well as being an intriguing, absorbing listen from the outer edges of found sound, the album also acts as a highly effective sonic screen. I found myself listening to this while undertaking an array of tedious domestic chores, where the barrage of abrasive, sculpted sounds and found drones also provided a useful means of drowning out the tedious mumbly hip-hop music that my wife was playing far too loudly elsewhere in the house.