Tone 29 – Philip Jeck “Suite: Live in Liverpool”

LP – 5 tracks – 31:49
[vinyl only through Autofact, USA]

Track list:

Side A
1. Press
2. Intro Roll

Side B
1. Live With Errors
2. All That’s Allowed
3. Chime, Chime

Recorded at Hive, FACT, Liverpool on 25th October 2006 as part of Touch 25, live to a M-Audio Mictrotrack 24/96
Edited by Philip Jeck April 2007
Cut by Jason at Transition 14th May 2007 on a Neumann VSM 70
Released on Autofact 14th January 2009
Design and photography by Jon Wozencroft

“Suite: Live in Liverpool” follows Philip Jeck’s acclaimed collaboration with Gavin Bryars and Alter Ego on a new version of ‘The Sinking of the Titanic’ (Touch Tone 34). It is the companion release to his latest solo album, ‘Sand’; a set of five new compositions that highlight Jeck’s mastery of vinyl manipulation, personal and collective memories.
During the past year Jeck has refined and consolidated his unique sound, playing superb sets at last summer’s Faster than Sound festival and at York Minster for Spire. He has recently released ‘Amoroso’ [Touch # TS01, 7″ vinyl only with Fennesz] where he responds to Charles Matthews’s homage to Arvo Pärt.

‘Suite’ is at once elegiac, celebrational, mournful and uplifting. Those who have followed Jeck’s development since his first release, “Loopholes” (Touch TO:26) will observe his return to the industrial textures that coloured that collection, though here they are fused with his symphonic grace and continued development as a composer and live performer.
Philip Jeck studied visual art at Dartington College of Arts. He started working with record players and electronics in the early ’80’s and has made soundtracks and toured with many dance and theatre companies as we as well as his solo concert work. His best kown work “Vinyl Requiem” (with Lol Sargent): a performance for 180 ’50’s/’60’s record players won Time Out Performance Award for 1993. He has also over the last few years returned to visual art making installations using from 6 to 80 record players including “Off The Record” for Sonic Boom at The Hayward Gallery, London [2000].

Philip Jeck works with old records and record players salvaged from junk shops turning them to his own purposes. He really does play them as musical instruments, creating an intensely personal language that evolves with each added part of a record. Jeck makes geniunely moving and transfixing music, where we hear the art not the gimmick.

This is Philip Jeck’s 6th solo album for Touch after ‘Loopholes’ [Touch # TO:27, 1995], Surf [TO:36, 1998], Stoke [TO:56, 2002], ‘7’ [TO:57, 2004] and ‘Sand’ [Touch # TO:67, 2008].
He recently performed on “The Sinking of the Titanic” with Gavin Bryars in Rome, about which Boomkat (UK) said: “The most noticeable addition is Jeck, whose expertise and unique style seems to fit like the final piece of the puzzle as his crackles and motifs melt into the architecture of the recording as if they had always been there. This additional layer of nostalgia brought forth by these found sounds adds a significant sense of history, forcing the mind back into hazy film footage and decomposed photos, a perfect match for the subject matter.”



It doesn’t seem like much time has elapsed since Philip Jeck’s long-player, Sand, arrived on our doorstep, yet here’s another full-length offering, released as a companion piece to the aforementioned studio full-length. Following on from an active period of concert performances (which has included a live appearance at York Minster as part of the Spire project) Suite: Live In Liverpool finds Jeck very much on top of his game, capturing a show at FACT in Liverpool two years ago. Immediately the music plunges into a deep pool of vinyl crackle and we’re instantly submerged in that familiar Jeck sound world. You’ll hear snatches of what sounds like a gamelan ensemble tucked away in there, vast washes of old string recordings, and more industrial, sculpted noise textures too, all of which get filtered through a toolbox of disheveled, grainy electronics. Although Jeck’s music has always had that ‘phantom radio broadcast’ feel to it – as if you’re hearing some lost and jumbled shortwave sounds drifting across the ether – there’s a real coherence to this set, and while he does have a tendency to glance across music derived from a variety of disparate cultures, his craft is executed seamlessly and with a real instinct for compositional cogency. As with Sand, this album seems to place emphasis on the footprints left by Jeck’s working processes over and above the importance of the sound sources themselves, and the entire set feels like a thoroughly abstract, almost ghostly presence. Highly recommended.