Tone 58 – Philip Jeck ‘Iklectik’

Released: 22nd September 2017
CD – 1 track – 47:56

Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft
Recorded and mastered by Jeff Ardron of St. Austral Sound

Track listing:

1. Iklectik

The 6th in the series of limited edition compact disc live recordings (after Thomas Köner & Jana Winderen, Simon Scott, Bethan Kellough, Yann Novak, Robert Crouch) brings Philip Jeck live at Iklectik, London. Recorded 11th May 2017.

Pre-order Philip Jeck “Iklectik” [CD + Download] in TouchShop on 1st September


Ondarock (Italy):

Philip Jeck è, molto semplicemente, colui che più d’ogni altro ha elevato a forma d’arte sonora la turntable music. Da oltre vent’anni l’etichetta londinese Touch fa tesoro di questa espressione quietamente sublime, tanto negli album in studio quanto in una selezione di registrazioni live. La presente edizione limitata documenta la performance tenutasi lo scorso 11 maggio presso il laboratorio ‘IKLECTIK’, nell’ambito di una serie di eventi curati dallo stesso per il progetto internazionale The Engine Room dedicato alla sound art.

La materia prima di Jeck sono frammenti musicali alla stregua di reperti, accumulazioni di objets trouvés in cui tuttavia le diverse sorgenti non soffrono mai di un contrasto violento bensì, secondo il know-how che contraddistingue anche i migliori dj, si distendono mollemente l’una sull’altra e si armonizzano in maniera spontanea, sfumandosi nei loro rispettivi confini.

Dai tratti definiti dell’avvio – sinistro e vibrante come un lounge bar lynchano – il fluire viscoso del suono cede il passo all’onda lunga di ambientazioni generate dal rallentamento del piatto. Sottili fruscii e scricchiolii sono pressoché gli unici, sporadici elementi para-ritmici tra le campiture di un affresco ininterrotto e dai colori sbiaditi, sottratto al dominio della memoria sonora verso una dimensione astratta e impalpabile.

Tuttavia, come e più che nelle sale da ballo spiritate di Caretaker, l’obiettivo ultimo non è la conservazione ma l’oblio, l’abbandono in quell’area cerebrale in cui la percezione non si sedimenta ma subito si disperde e scompare. ‘Iklectik‘ è un ennesimo, inebriante stream of (un)consciousness musicale da parte di uno tra i più sensibili decani della sperimentazione contemporanea.

cultureel (Netherlands):

Je kunt de klok erop gelijk zetten. Er zal toch wel weer een nieuwe plaat van Philip Jeck komen dit jaar. En jawel. Daarop doet Jeck wat hij altijd doet. Dat betekent: een beetje wat platen opzetten, daar loops van maken, delay erover heen. Klaar is Philip. Wel zo’n beetje.

Toch trekt nauwelijks iemand zulke ambient textuur op. Jeck grossiert in hoogpolige mistbanken van electro-akoestische raadsels en puzzels. Uitgesmeerd en door elkaar geveegd hoor je niks meer dat herinnert aan de originele bronnen. Precies dat is typisch Jeck. Doe het hem maar na.

Dusted (USA):

Live performances by British sound artist Philip Jeck actually manage the impressive feat of being even more immersive than his studio albums. Maybe it’s the immediacy of hearing the sounds, created using faded and damaged vinyl records, synths and other instruments, as they come to life in front of you, conjured by an unassuming man who stares down at his devices, avoiding the eye. Maybe the unpredictability of using such a fragile tool as old vinyl adds a certain tension. Whatever the case, ‘Iklectik’, recorded at the London venue of the same name, is a welcome addition to Touch’s new series of live recordings. Evolving over 45 minutes, the solitary piece that makes up ‘Iklectik’ develops gradually, from a blissful opening sequence of wobbly drones and warm bass through more unsettling tonal surges not that dissimilar to something you might hear on an industrial record and an all-consuming wall of synth bliss to a crackling final section driven by muted beats that fades into silence.

At times, the audience can be heard rustling and crackling, adding to the intimacy of the recording. Where Jeck prefers to divide his studio albums up like suites, the single track flows more organically, following the emotional whims of its creator. Jeck is often compared to the hauntology scene, but in truth his music, especially live, is more introverted and contemplative, making ‘Iklectik’ a sort of avant-garde sonic poem.

Alan Haselden (blog):

Liverpool-based sound artist and improviser Jeck works with phonograph turntables and scratchy old vinyl records prepared to jump or lock the stylus into repetitive loops. In addition he deploys ancillary devices to shape the sounds in real time. Imagine walking somewhere urban with a heavy background simmer of wind, traffic, voices, birds and occasional random events. You turn a corner and detect music playing in the distance but you don’t know what it is. The sounds are the best thing you ever heard, until, that is, you identify the music, which turns out to be some pop ubiquity. That initial moment of aural magic is what Jeck perpetuates in his performances: stammered musical extracts from records, thick with gritty violent surface noise, are layered with each other and transformed by live processing. This 47-minute ‘Iklectik‘ concert on cd was recorded earlier this year and it is Jeck at his best, in my opinion. Brief spoken word emerges towards the end, a female voice, presumably a performance poet.