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Brandon Labelle [us] + support
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Brandon LaBelle is a sound-artist, musician and writer living in Los Angeles. Since 1995 his work with sound installation has aimed to draw attention to the dynamics of sound and listening, language and words. By amplifying already existing noises within a given space, placing microphones on walls, floors and other objects, the gallery space is used as an "instrument". This interest in utilizing found spaces/objects also pervades his music and sound work.
This work involves playing drums for the band Farflung whose fourth CD was recently released. He is also a member of idbattery, a sound project whose second CD was released in 1997. He also actively performs and records alone, creating works which incorporate sounds from varying spaces, both public and private. This occurs through an active engagement with found objects within found environments: the materials within a space are used through a performative interaction--"contact sound". These objects/sounds are used in relation to minimal electronics in order to create atmospheric and conceptual works which aim to emphasize sound both as a physical material and a sensorial event. His second CD was recently released on SELEKTION.
As a writer, Brandon pursues, on both a poetic and theoretical level, the nature of sound and its relationship and influence over subjectivity. This results in poetry, conceptual texts, theoretical pieces which incorporate elements of fiction and drawing. Brandon is also the publisher and editor of the cultural arts journal, Errant Bodies, which he began in 1992. He is also an associative editor of the London based periodical, Coil: Journal of the Moving Image.
review from Vital:
BRANDON LABELLE - MAPS OF TENDERNESS (CD by Selektion)
So Selektion has made a good start this year with three new releases. The last one to be reviewed is this one and maybe it is the most difficult one, because it is definitely a charming CD, with charming lo-fi recordings of the sound-making activities of Brandon LaBelle. Even the liner notes (almost 50(!) pages) can be called charming. So why is this a charming release, you ask. I will tell you: LaBelle means so well.
His work is not that impressive; the sounds are average, the compositions not very interesting and the ample use of a single delay splicing the channels is sometimes even downright annoying. Nevertheless, this CD has another quality: stop listening to it and just let it flow from your speakers into your space and let it be there with you. Then it does its job pretty well. Different sound drift in and out of focus and sometimes it is just like sitting next to a campfire, gazing into the flames.
Yes, this is trance music. Reading the booklet makes it unmistakably clear: a lot of words are necessay to explain that making sound (or music) is something very nice and important: it makes Mr. LaBelle feel part of the world. You will have to read the last page of the booklet yourself in order to understand why this has to be recorded and released on CD.