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Artist: GULBENKOGLU, AREK
Title: Of Cruelty
Format: CDR
Label: Tristes Tropiques
Country: Australia
Price: $12.00
Edition of 77. “Arek Gulbenkoglu and I were sat for dinner having ordered the same meal, discussing its merit. Its an expected conversation in such moments, but one at odds with the musical output of the man sitting opposite me. The sound of Arek Gulbenkoglu defies anything remotely aligned with the notion of expected. Having just met the man at a friendly dinner, I wondered how appropriate it would be to assail him with questions inspired by many years of trying to absorb his output. Then, after reflecting on these questions, it became apparent there was only one. “Through a mouthful of cooling fries, I found the gumption to ask, “Whats the point of what you do?” The question wasnt intended to cause offense; rather it was an attempt to gain insight into a seemingly confusing sound world. Arek thought about this for a moment before replying, “I respond to the world. The world gets the sound it deserves”. This answer surprised me. I was immediately reminded of German filmmaker, Jörg Buttgereit who, when asked to defend the films he made, simply replied, “society gets the films it deserves”. Arek Gulbenkoglu is a man who creates in quiet response, rather than a provocateur like Buttgereit, but his response is no less brutal and unapologetic. “of cruelty could be considered a continuation as much as Gulbenkoglus oeuvre can constitute such a concept. The interaction of shimmering tones on A foregrounding makes a mockery of the beauty typically suggested by shimmering. When the spasmodic electronic chirps give way to a thick wall of absence in Innards, the only joy one can feel while listening is in the tracks decision to give you none. This theme reaches its apogee in Haste where, using primitive dance music conceits, Gulbenkoglu forbids rhythm and groove, creating instead a loaded stasis – a dance floor of the nearly-dancing. “By the time the final track, Consequences reaches its conclusion, ones head has already been scratched into flakes – the questions so many they become white noise. I am reminded of my first dinner with Arek where I received the answer to a question I had been asking since Points Alone [Impermanent, 2005] and realise, no matter how many answers he gives me, I will likely never stop asking the same question.” – Matthew Revert.

Artist: REVERT, MATTHEW
Title: A Discussion Was Had In Your Absence
Format: CDR
Label: Tristes Tropiques
Country: Australia
Price: $12.00
Edition of 100. “Of the myriad audio documents produced each year inspired by routine dental surgery mishaps, Matthew Reverts A discussion was had in your absence must rank among the best. Never one to rest on his laurels, Revert makes advantageous use of drilled tongue to craft a lisping, protean sound world that devalues any reasonable expectations we, the listener, may hold. Its a source of no small personal pride to reflect on the artistic strides Revert has taken since I released his debut LP Not You [Kye Records] back in 2014, and A discussion was had in your absence lets no one down. “The passing of those two years has done much to erode the keen structures from Reverts music. Gone are the lyrical narratives, the concessions to melody, the monumental retrospection. Instead, we are given three wind-blasted vistas where every gesture, every detail, is reduced to a smudge. This is music falling from reach, as if somehow Revert tapped the sound of conscious sedation and gave it identity. We may count ourselves the most fortunate of people that we are able to profit from his distress.” – Graham Lambkin.

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