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Artist: SETTELS, ROBERTA
Title: Isolation!
Format: LP
Label: BIN
Country: Denmark
Price: $33.00
Reissue of the 1985 release, replicating the silk screened plastic cover of the original. Limited edition of 250 copies.

Subtitled “Meinhof in Memoriam,” this is the first and last solo release by Settels, who describes herself in her liner notes as a composer of “electronic music for spiritual survival.” Settels was born and raised in New York, where she studied composition before emigrating to Europe and getting involved with EMS/Fylkingen, working at IRCAM, and studying with Boulez and Xenakis (as described in the label write-up, below). She eventually built her own studio, and was behind every facet of this very fully-realized LP, from the music to the design, liners, and distribution. Alongside her academic credentials, the inclusion of an excerpt from this LP on the 1988 “Angelic Tecnology 1” comp— alongside Merzbow, Conrad Schnitzler, Asmus Tietchens, Bene Gesserit, P16D4, DDAA, the Haters, etc (put together by by Hironari Iwata of Toukaseibunshi, etc; see the attached image)— is probably telling…

“Roberta Settels (1929 - 2014) was an American composer and industrial designer, living in Stockholm, Sweden. She studied composition at Juilliard in New York, and during the 70s and 80s, composed electronic music in Stockholm at EMS, and in Paris at IRCAM, and studied with the composers Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis. Later she created her own studio. “Isolation!” from 1985 is her only released recording. It was released on her private label Music in Crisis. Although Isolation was composed in 1985, most parts of it sound very fresh and contemporary. Very unique for its time, the timbres and formal progression of the work bare little resemblance to the electroacoustic maximalism of the period. Rather it shares aesthetics with contemporary genres such as lowercase and microsound. The music, all generated by pure analog means, contains elements of extreme minimalism and splicing-techniques derived from the tape-music tradition. Even though the work, making clever use of sine-waves and white noise, it is very minimal in its expression, and very clearly communicates the emotional states of lonliness and isolation which are its conceptual aim. The work is divided into four parts: Landscape With 3 tape-recorders And... , Scenario, Isolation (Meinhof In Memoriam) and P1 - Information?, forming a perceived whole. This release comes with a custom-made plastic sleeve, with cover-notes in Swedish, English, German and French, written and designed by the composer.” - BIN.
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