Format: Double LP
"Husk, a career-spanning double-LP retrospective marking Raglanis "early period" (2004-2009), is both the artists "Best-of" collection*, as well as a document of a personal orientation within the canon of electronic music. As a devoted student of E.M. history and synthesis techniques, Joseph Raglani has spent the past decade in his St. Louis studio consuming and refiguring. While highly-informed, these tracks avoid simple derivation, the traces of influence are not easily decipherable; the common descriptors fall away. The sonic legacies orbiting the INA GRM axis cross paths with pop sensibilities more akin to the sensuous pulse of New Order. Raglani mines the expressiveness of this fertile boundary space. The compositions on Husk are dense featuring a palette of analog and digital electronic instruments as well as guitar, voice, pedal steel, organ, melodica. Disparate elements find a way to resonate to maximum emotive effect. The sonic energies are not bound to their sources, but are rather utilized for their ability to express.
One fourth of the material is available here for the first time; the remainder from private-press and small run releases has been remixed by Raglani and re-mastered by Greg Davis for presentation in this collection. Husk is Raglanis second mass-market release following his 2008 CD Of Sirens Born released on Kranky Records. Artwork by Robert Beatty (Three Legged Race / Hair Police / Resonant Hole). In an edition of 500 copies with printed inner-sleeves." - Arbor.
*Featuring tracks from the following releases:
Pastiche Electronic (Pegasus Farms CS, 2008)
May Tour 2009 Split With Steve Hauschildt (Pegasus Farms CD-R, 2009)
Oneism (IDES CS, 2007)
Empire Trilogy (No Label/Artists Edition, 2008)
Classically Sprained (Arbor CS, 2009)
Vanity Well (Chondritic Sound CS, 2009)
Raglani & Scenic Railroards (Gameboy / Pegasus Farms CD, 2005)
Title: Real Colors of the Physical World
Format: LP + 7"
Label: Editions Mego
|"Real Colors of the Physical World is a title whose parameters of reference may at first seem obvious, but a moments consideration renders it strange. The physical world, as opposed to the phenomenal, is, as we are able to suppose through the insights of science, an invisible place, if it is even enough to count as a place. What, then, are the qualities being named here? By way of an answer, it is worth recalling that musique concrète has not only an historical but a conceptual priority over kosmiche musik. The concrete in the cosmic: electronic music concerned itself from the beginning with getting past the emotional, historical, and religious themes that had defined traditional composition in order to head straight into the very matter of sound. For the concrete composers, this meant literal experimentation, stretching, analyzing, and recombining the properties and limits of auditory material and its perception. The kosmiche musicians conserved those approaches through metaphor as much as technique. The continuity between them involves a vocabulary of fundamental concerns: space, time, shapes, speed. Electronic music arguably allowed for music to become actively self-reflexive, even ontological, for the first time. Its natural epic form has always been the cosmogony. The kosmiche focus on space travel and cybernetic futures has its roots in the earlier electro-acoustic renderings of a universe whose deepest origins are electrical and sonic. Two tacit, convergent metaphors structure the conceptual explorations of both approaches: that "electronic composition" accurately describes the activity of the human nervous system; and that cosmic evolution may be legitimately qualified as an act of modular synthesis. But much electronic music today has lost sight of the ambition to map that convergence, giving way instead to an emphasis on superficial prettiness, period nostalgia, the merely pleasant stupor of the new age; or else to a vacuous static of technical fiddling. Raglani has never abandoned the grand vision that distinguished his ancestors, and this is his most determinedly comprehensive piece of work. It revisits the promise in the electronic synthesis of sound, implicit from its beginning, to construct a plastic image of the imperceptible dynamics beneath the surface of the world. This is a drama realized at constantly telescoping scales, in all directions. If the disintegration of a divine voice into the skittering communications of machines, or the transformation of a densely alien jungle into the promise of personal redemption, can count as objects of experience, they can do so only here, through the condensation of sound. But this hectic, exotically diffuse rendering has more in common with the world as we know it than does the placid stability of actual things; inner life has its own geometry, its own physics. The cosmic in the concrete: real colors remain within. Raglani has been making electronic music since he saw Otomo Yoshihide perform while under the influence of severe fever. This is his first full length album under his own name since 2006s Of Sirens Born. LP comes with a bonus 7". Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker." -Editions Mego.|
Title: Web Of Light
|"Raglanis use of analogue electronics is tied to traditional Krautrock by a thread of dark romanticism extending, in Germany, back to the work of Caspar David Friedrich. Epic and tumultuous landscapes as images of psychic space; hazardous journeys through awesome and forbidding worlds; the hair-blown viewer looking down onto incredible canyons The entire extended metaphor of Friedrichs work, linking the arc of a spiritual journey to the beautiful and tumultuous work of nature, is conserved in the work of the kosmische school. Raglanis relationship with the music of Schulze or Fricke is not retrospective, but contemporary. The musical commonalities proceed from a shared commitment to the elaboration of exotic musical spaces, pursued chiefly through melody, adorned by figurative electronic flourishes and concrète motifs. What is missed in alot of drone and noise is the ability of the sound to paint a scene; too often, were presented with a blandly ecstatic wash of lo-fi murk, more stoned than psychedelic. Raglani avoids these generic limitations by engaging more directly with the tradition to which his peers owe, arguably, the most considerable debt. What he deepens in that tradition is in the abstraction and development of themes spreading out the narrative through textural variation, rather than driving ever forward through arpeggios and circular rhythms. If Raglani avoids the ascending freakouts of early kosmische music, however, it is because everyday life today is freaked out enough on its own. What is needed, rather, are sounds that can address our already-piqued uncertainty by involving it in a story it might recognize as its own. So there is little here, also, to tether Raglani to the generic vibrations of noise and drone, though he uses some of the machines that make them; instead of any massive simultaneous display, secrets are revealed gradually and cumulatively. Raglanis voice may sound familiar at first, and there is no doubting its context and sources, but the events described by his music trickle out in shapes, and at a pace, uniquely his. The scenes he composes, surreal but distinct, have all the luster of real paint." Mike Ferrer.|