NOYZELAB WORK/COLLABORATIONS: SELECT REVIEW EXCERPTS
NYZ is the latest alias of David Burraston (aka Noyzelab, Dave Noyze, Bryen Telko), an Australia-based sound scientist who you may have come across from his previous tape on .meds, ‘16x16 Cell Meditations’, or his other releases on Alku, Important Records’ Cassauna offshoot, Taiga, Cataclyst and The Wire magazine’s ‘Below The Radar’ series, among others. He’s also the guy behind ‘Syrobonkers!', a sprawling in-depth discussion with Aphex Twin that managed to mix rarefied gear-talk and synth esoterica with hilarious anecdotes from the golden era of rave, all spiked with a healthy dose of conspiracy theory.
You never know quite what you’re going to get with each Burraston release, apart from the fact that it’s likely to be an intense ride to the outer limits of what you thought music could be. This tape kinda of picks up where ‘16x16 Cell Meditations’ left off, featuring massive swathes of dense abstract walls of electronic sound that pulsate in mesmerising layered patterns. The music has an incredible sleight-of-hand effect, where you might find yourself being drawn in by what might initially sound a bit like a giant turbine generator before becoming enveloped into the fabric of the sound waves, which in turn unleash all manner of psychoactive aural allusions. Which is basically what happened to me straight from the off with the first track here ‘NYZ_FMMGKSQ_43t’.
It starts with two deep drones playing off each other with exuberant reverberating vibrations that had me thinking of jet engines before it hits a rocking groove and layers of high pitched textures seem to intensify, giving me visions of some UFO-summoning didgeridoo jam amongst screaming cicadas. But don’t let the cheesiness of my imagination put you off, this music is complex and strikingly fresh but at the same time seems to directly tap into those primitive patterning and image-generating faculties that so much psychedelic music aims (and often fails) to hit.
While the music is intensely minimal and abstract, Burraston’s focus on pulsating microtonal drones and immersive, full-frequency sound arrangements gives it a meditative feel, especially when compared to the Russell Haswell-style aggressive form-shredding of his ‘T.H. Cycle’ cassette on Important (Haswell is also a Burraston collaborator). Even the more abrasive and distorted tonality of ‘CSN [excerpt 2 mono]’ and it’s 45 minute perception-obliterating reprise on side 2 here have a hypnotic quality that is somewhere between the meditative end of Harsh Noise Wall and the more intense side of, say, Eliane Radigue; as implausible as that might sound. There are a few other departures along the way too, most notably ‘SWI_r170_16x32x32_B’, which envisions a dystopian industrial wasteland from piston-like hissings and decayed, malevolent synth-lines that seem to be self-generating in a way that somehow reminds of Dopplerffekt’s ‘Linear Accelerator’.
The last Noyzelab tape sold out fast so get this quick if you want a unique musical experience from a one-of-a-kind artist on blistering form.
NYZ : DRN4, Cassette, .MEDS, 2016
Norman Records 9/10 Jim Staff review, 27 March 2016
Noyzelab is basically David Burraston (aka Dave Noyze), a guy who, has spent the last few decades venturing ever deeper into the hidden complexities of electronic music. According to a recent two-part sprawling interview/conversation with his old mate, Richard James (aka Aphex Twin), Noyze explains how this current recording was created to address the dearth of decent meditational music tools using a bank of custom built microtonal oscillators. What you get on this C90 cassette is two sidelong tracks of pulsating electronic drones which are so mesmerising the label has issued a (tongue in cheek?) warning about not operating machinery etc. while under their influence.
The first side offers up a high energy drone based around the interplay of a relentlessly oscillating bass wobble and mid-frequency buzz. Over this there is the rapid flicker of a high-mid frequency tone along with higher frequency textures providing sizzle and crackle. Of course, the point with most drones, like their op-art counterparts, is not so much their individual constituent parts but the the effects produced by their relationships and interactions. This drone is particularly satisfying as it makes me feel that my needs are being met right across the audible frequency spectrum. The distinctly electronic quality of the sound has me feeling like I've been wired up to the national grid, the constant flow of the current strangely reassuring. Imagine a distillation of the most hypnotic parts of Spaceman 3 at their most abstract or Suicide if they just played one instead of two note riffs and you wouldn't be a million miles off imagining how this sounds.
The second side features a different flavoured drone, fading in with circling, phase shifting crackle over a purring frequency arrangement that for some reason sounds to me like a shuddering boat engine. As with the first track, the interactions between the various elements within the drone are quite complex so that even the slightest movement on the part of the listener or shift in listening focus seems to affect how the track sounds. In fact, this factor is so much part of the listening experience that it's hard for me to say whether the tracks evolve at all during their 40+ minute span or whether any apparent evolution is just an aural illusion arising out of my shifting perceptions. Playing this on different cassette players will no doubt add their mechanical quirks into the equation. Recommended for drone connoisseurs or anyone really who is interested in the psychedelics of pure sound.
NOYZELAB : 16 x 16 CELL MEDITATIONS, Cassette, .MEDS, 2014
Norman Records 8/10 from Jim (Staff) review on 10 November 2014
Lovely tape of chaotic Modular Sound Designs from the Australian Composer David Burraston - the name may ring a bell via that "Wired Open Day 2009" 2LP on Taiga from a few years back w/ Oren Ambarchi, Robin Fox, Alan Lamb, et.al - absolutely wreaks havoc in that classic 90s Mego -lineage mode - think Farmer's Manual, early Hecker, etc. - albeit via more tactile & less software-specific means.
T.H. Cycle, David Burraston, Important Records/Cassauna, Sauna26
Mini-review by Mimaroglu Music /Keith Fullerton Whitman 2015
Crunchy noise excursions (we think) from Russell Haswell and David Burraston. ...the latest offering from their Alku imprint Wired Lab CV Session #1. We have not heard the audio for this yet but if you are into noise and cassettes (what noise head isn't into cassettes?) chances are this will be right up your alley. Coming complete with a booklet with the artists discussing the release and added images of the equipment used this is essential equipment for anyone into Russell Haswell, EVOL, Downwards & book tapes in general. Grab one now as these won't hang about.
WIRED Lab CV Session #1, David Burraston & Russell Haswell, Alku Cassette 131
Bleep Limited, on-line music sales 2015
In an interview with his friend Dave Noyze, Aphex Twin's Richard D. James talked music, gear, things he made as a kid, getting into making ice sculpture recently ("Ive made some pretty neat things in russia wid girlfriend, very satisfying, will send pics if can find"), and more, all while sprinkling in some new music. Amid the various strands, he includes scans of old papers, including what appears to be a handmade show flyer, a "Certificate of Insanity" from the Cornwall Youth Service, and an undated rejection letter for London Records.
Aphex Twin Releases New Music, Talks Gear, Ice Sculpture
Pitchfork, Corban Goble on Noyzelab Syrobonkers! interview Part 1, November 3, 2014
Recently, Dave Noyze shared a lengthy interview with Aphex Twin's Richard D. James. He discussed music, gear, things he made as a kid, ice sculpture, and more; he also shared some new music. Now, part two of that interview has emerged, along with a boat-load of previously-unreleased tracks: over 30 recordings, including 20 sonic experiments made on Buchla and Serge modular synths (James refers to them as "a fucking racket"), outtakes from his orchestral performances in London and Poland, and more. In the full interview, James explains his technical setup in depth, complete with photos.
Aphex Twin Shares Over 30 Unreleased Tracks.
Pitchfork, Evan Minsker on Noyzelab Syrobonkers! interview Part 2, November 10, 2014
This humble little disc, limited to just 52 copies, packaged in an unassuming, plain white digipak contains some of the most insanely subversive sonic detritus you're ever likely to experience. Don’t be put off by the pseudo-academic whiff about this release; the dedication to mathematician John von Neumann (who wrote The Computer and the Brain) and the bone dry formalism of the insert with its references to theories of cellular automata, are all undercut with a kind of manic humour and irreverence. For example, the strange Chris Mann text that takes up the bulk of the insert seems like it may itself have been written using a self-generating model; it reads like a Burroughs cut-up and gives the impression of some rogue academic, so high on the sheer headfuckery of his mind-expanding scientific quest that he is no longer able to communicate through regular language. And that goes for the music contained within this album too, which gleefully disrupts just about every standard convention of musical form you could think of, including those of so-called experimental musics.
Take opener, ‘Watch That Sprouts Watches’ as a case in point. It’s opening sample of some unidentified old boffin, with a beautifully strident Yorkshire (?) accent proclaiming: ‘You are watch that sprouts watches; your liver, your kidney, your brain...’ is as funny as it is mind boggling. Then a rudely hypnotic synth pattern provides momentum as we get snippets of a lecture on automata, with lines coming through about sending machines into space to build factories etc. The funniest thing of all is that on first listen this seemed liked one of the most surreal things I’d heard in a long time but somehow, by the third listen, it all started to make perfect sense. Second track ‘Oware 99’ is the shortest and consists of big, relentlessly obtuse staccato notes sounding like they’re self-reproducing, with a constantly shifting arrangement of rhythm and pitch leaving your brain reeling to try and make a pattern out of the puzzle. Reminds me a bit of some of Mark Fell’s stuff this one.
The manic intensity of the openers give way to the darker, more brooding and snappily titled third track: ‘The Memory Addressability Principle’. It kicks in with a malevolent sounding, oscillating electronic hum and grainy interference. Then the cold, clipped voice of what sounds like a 1950s physicist lecturing on the title topic comes in while some reanimated drum machines let rip with irregular fits and starts of gnarled percussion shards. More voices are introduced: a Eastern European sounding woman whose words are lost and abstracted; a sibilant muttering that sounds like heavy breathing. The overall effect is hallucinatory; I can’t help imagining this as a kind of alternative post-modern jazz, where instead of improvised rhythms we get machines sounding out brutal, almost random-sounding clusters of psychoactive sound; instead of beatnik poetry we get scientific tracts.
The full-on intensity drops for the next track. After all the sonic gymnastics of the first three tracks, what first seems like a kind of rattling electronic drone over a deep, reverberating rumble suddenly comes into focus as a beautifully recorded (presumably one of Chris Watson’s) field recording of a thunderstorm rolling in the distance as insects, birds and cattle call out. It’s a sublime piece that conveys both a sense of immense space as well as infinitely minute detail.
Were back to machines talking back to us for ‘A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Feline Activity’, which, after it’s Merzbow-like opening gambit, degenerates into something more fractured and strange as synthesized voices grunt authoritively to alarm-like blips and stuttering samplers. It all ends with a gargantuan purr. Closing track, ‘Spacetime Hoover’ layers more environmental recordings of tropical birds, insects and howler monkeys (well, that’s what they sound like to me) with spaced-out synths and a pulsating, mechanical drone that peters out into a decayed rumble. Utterly sublime. So there you go, a life-affirming slab of mind-altering sound to reawaken you to the terrifying possibilities of creation.
Automata 52, Dave Noyze, Cataclyst CD CLYST015
Norman Records review 9/10 by Jim (Staff) on 27 June 2014
Up over a hill and down a vale is an empty grain silo in which David Burraston has installed ring modulators and microphones to create a multilayered drone that changes and grows as the day unfolds. Poking your head in the chute or tapping the outside affects the resonance of the chamber, adding new properties to the sound. We are invited to sit on hay bales around the silo and meditate on the rich tones while looking out at the landscape. It is indeed a transcendent sound...
As darkness hits, we all gather in the main tent where we warm ourselves with wine and are fed hearty dhal and cake. The evening’s performances start with Burraston’s Computational Beauty of Nature IV which looks at patterns and progressions in nature and translates them into sonic materialswathes of hum with warm static taken from the wires.
Wired Open Day 2014
Gail Priest, RealTime issue #121 June-July 2014 pg. 28
Last and Burraston contributed two of these performances. In Sheep Muster, the train pulled up in a paddock so the audience could watch the sheep being herded, the sounds of which were captured via microphones around the paddock, mixed live and broadcast throughout the train. In the second performance, Piano Drag, Last and Burraston secured a piano to the back of the train and amplified its glorious demise. “We got a hell of a lot of feedback and white noise which was great…We had a video feed going through the carriages as well so people could watch that deterioration happen. It was distressing as well as enthralling. A number of the audience weren’t particularly enamoured with the feedback coming through the speakers but you’d be pretty worried about your work if everyone liked it. You need to have that tension and polarity in the experience.” The clamour of the piano’s disintegration contrasted with a performance by the Ngarrindjeri Rritjarukar Choir singing in language. It drew attention to their physical and sociological presence in the landscape and how that landscape has changed. This was also reflected in the course the rail journey took both through pristine bush, coastal developments and cultivated agricultural land.
Sarah Last and David Burraston, Sheep Muster / Piano Drag, part of The Wired Lab's Southern Encounter, a highly experimental arts of sound project commissioned for the artistic program of Regional Arts Australia’s 2012 National Regional Arts Conference and Festival, ‘Kumuwuki / Big Wave’, Goolwa, South Australia October 18-21st 2012.
Gail Priest, RealTime issue #117 Oct-Nov 2013 pg. 19
It’s curiously electronic, like the sound of guns in science fiction movies, yet it’s also very analogue. Lamb and Burraston have devised their own contact microphones to best pick up the vibrations and these allow us to hear the metallicness of the wire, the forces of tension acting upon it, the flick and releaseoscillations carrying long distances.
The piece has a dark, gothic feel, the wire flicks and taps underpinned by a quietly insistent moaning of wind. This is an altered Australian landscape, the vastness still there, but the sun low and the shadows ominous, a mood similarly evoked by the brooding black and white landscape panoramas that adorn the gate-fold cover. The piece shifts in density from quiet and sparewhere we hear the full qualities of a single pingto a veritable storm of sound, where we are aurally flayed by the wires. In the depth of the storm the work begins to sound like rain lashing a corrugated iron roofboth unnerving and beautiful.
Alan Lamb and David Burraston - Wired Open Day 2009, Taiga 19 LP
Gail Priest, RealTime, earbash LP review, e-dition july 17, 2012
Dave Noyze and Garry Bradbury made a hugely entertaining work of the Roundhouse turntable, a sort of huge record platter on which train carriages can be spun and driven into the workshops. The rotation of the platter caused a fearsome clamour as tons of metal and concrete ground together. The artists made a subtle yet savvy intervention, adding their own sounds but largely relying on the spectacle of the machine itself. One can only hope that they’ll be let loose on another edifice, perhaps the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the rotating restaurant atop Sydney’s Centrepoint Tower.
Dave Noyze and Garry Bradbury, Pi Scraper (performance/installation on 100ft railway turntable), Rolling Stock festival, Junee, NSW 2010
Bruce Mowson RealTime issue #101 Feb-March 2011 pg. 53
Automata 49 starts off with what sounds like Metal Mickey malfunctioning before it quickly veers off into dark droney ambient territory. In fact the music here is all over the shop... there's some bonkers electronics sounding stuff (which doesn't really sound like anything else) Glacial ambience and weird drones, harsh power electronics and lots more (I wont spoil the surprise!). Check out track 5 'On Computable Numbers, with an Application To The Electric Landlady Problem' with the crazy distorted female vocals. It's strikingly original audio that doesn't really sound like anything else I can think of. I guess the nearest comparison is some of the cut and paste audio collage work of Nurse with Wound. It's interesting stuff alright. The album also features guest appearances from Garry Bradbury of early Severed Heads, Robin Fox (Editions Mego/ Room 40) and Chris Watson (Touch/ BBC) who has submitted recordings of some shrimps and termites for the project!! Super slick limited edition of 49 hand numbered copies on Cataclyst
Automata 49, Dave Noyze, Cataclyst CD CLYST04
Norman Records 2009 review FOUR STARS, by Phil
So the new Dave Noyze is in, Cataclyst continuing their fine run after his first release on the label and the rip-roaring sold out success of the Peter Green CD the other week.. It's called Automata 48. Here comes the science bit: the album is inspired by some guy in a white coat years ago who came up with a theory comparing the potential automata of machines to the way reproduction exists in nature, as well as anticipating computers with ideas about the workings of the brain and how they might be applied to mechanical creations. Interesting stuff of which there's more in the press release! The tracks here are compiled from material made over many years and in a variety of different ways, both analogue and digital, but you'd never guess that they weren't made specifically for this release since it works as a perfectly formed statement. Generally speaking I'm thinking that this is what the Radiophonic Workshop might have come up with if someone sent them a reverse time capsule with a few synths and retro computers, it just smacks of that sort of creativity.. Although the music is generally all 'synthetic' (static, bleeps, electronic drones and the like) there's a wonderfully organic quality that seems to perfectly mirror the duality and contradiction of the ideas that inspired it. One track in particular I'm completely in love with but I won't spoil it for you since I found it such a treat when it unexpectedly blared out of the stereo at us. Hearing some samples of pinball machines recorded by Garry Bradbury (Severed Heads) being sequenced by automata is a real treat. Sadly it's totally mental in here today so I don't have the time to go into more detail but needless to say, this comes very highly recommended in its cool ultra-minimal stickered and hand numbered digipak.
Automata 48, Dave Noyze, Cataclyst CD CLYST03
Norman Records 2008 review FIVE STARS: This record left our Brett feeling ecstatic.
Right. What I want to finish the day is a crazed CD of intense electronics, warped classical pieces & general ear-shredding sonic cacophony. Dave Noyze, currently residing down under in Oz, is a generative artist & scientist producing electronic sounds since the late 70s. His music is a bizarre, yet compelling journey investigating the outer realms of music generated on ancient & contemporary machines. You can one minute get screeing white noise, another, disorientating chinese water style madness, mixed with archive samples & feedback. Now I'm feeling frantic Venetian Snares-esque digital electro gabber that sounds like I-F in a blender. An "ambient" piece follows, sounding like the alternative soundtrack to Pan's Labyrinth, a lip biting hyper-trip in a ghost sleigh through a haunted forest full of Juddermen sporting bagpipes & moths full of pointy teeth. Eerie! More stuttering metal machine music follows sporting some obscure eastern European sourced library sample or other. This is breakcore before breakcore knew it's identity. Algorythmic aggro in space! He's bouncing off the satellites here. 'Generative Compositions 1998-2006' is a fine collection of brilliantly produced & fascinating outsider electronics from a man who's built equipment for Aphex Twin amongst others, so we're talking a real prodigy here. The album features several colleberations with Garry Bradbury who was a member of australian electronic music pioneers Severed Heads.There are moments that are similar to the more fucked up Team Doyobi stuff and moments of spooky melody amongst the noisier shards, one tune like a treehouse full of cooing cyborg hens trapped in a maze of blooping circuitry. As ground breaking as early Art of Noise in their day is some of this ear deceiving gear. And up there with some of the more revered Jap noiselords. Normally, some sections could get on my nerves if i had it as background music. But you really need to let yourself be absorbed in the melee, for the possibilities here are just as alarming as the latest Autechre album, another recent feat of electronic progress. So here you have it!
Dave Noyze : Generative Compositions 1998 - 2006
Norman Records 2008 review FOUR STARS: This record left our Brian feeling happy.
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