habitat |cs105








































Here is a true piece of sound art, in all its naked glory, a "field recording" (or, in this case, a "site specific urban" field recording) created by the mysterious collective known by the apt moniker Dis.playce. Their m.o. is perfectly captured by their sonic directives, motivated by a desire to dislodge, disassociate, neé displace, the listener so much so that their very perspective is shifted, re-attenuated, seized within the grip of some coarse and provocative contexts. Habitat takes notions of phonography, musique actuelle, and musique concréte into new avenues; it in effect autopsies the very tactile nature of sound, found, invented or otherwise.
Habitat is comprised of two distinct pieces that reveal their characteristics immediately upon submersion, situating us within their vividly etched environments to such a degree that you're automatically thrust into the nooks and crannies of the recording. Each elongated piece certainly works their essences off one another, complimentarily so yet careful to reveal their own distinctive worlds. "Ian W. Coel" is built around a video installation curated (paradoxically) by a fictitious British media artist of the same name — incongruous, perhaps, but like the best free art, clarity isn't always necessary for optimal appreciation or enjoyment. What Dis.playce do here (hear?) is set up their mics to capture everything from the noises populating the space to passersby queuing about; "ambience" is reduced to alternatively rising and falling choruses of street noise, a/c units, the dull rush of neighboring traffic. At once dense yet raggedly minimalist, there are moments when palls of silence gain an almost horrific edge — there is an absolutism about these recordings that nearly make isolationism an attractive proposition. For that reason alone, this is a wholly convincing piece of tense aural unrest.
According to the booklet's notes, "Karl Ortmann" pays homage to the well-known German cartographer. Recorded in the city of Karlsruhe, Dis.playce again capture an environment in a constant state of flux: the myriad buzzes of mass transit, oddly percolating noises fleeing distant horizons, unknown persons indulging in equally unknown (mundane or not) exercises. The identity of most of the sounds simmering about is of course never fully defined, which naturally accounts for their potent and enigmatic contents. What often feels like a soundscape realized wholly within a laptop (or digital) environment — something not "real", constructed from the ethereal contours of decoded software — is made that much more palpable due to its true, or "real" origins. The entire piece gives off an air of the alien rather than the recognizable; it comes with a chuckle that after experiencing this work thusly one realizes that such an unbalancing is precisely the effect Dis.playce aim for and fully achieve. Darren Bergstein
(The Squid's Ear)

Desde 2001 que Maximilian Marcoll e Hannes Galette Seidl mantêm uma colaboração sonora sob a designação colectiva de dis.playce. A actividade da dupla alemã, baseada em Essen, foca-se no trabalho sobre as múltiplas relações entre sons ambientais, captados com microfone, e sons inventados através de software de desenho original. A estratégia do dis.playce parte de um conceito base, que é depois desenvolvido a partir do desenho de sons novos e de pedaços de memória recuperados e remontados em conjunto para fruição em novo contexto, dissociado da provável fonte original, cuja identidade e proveniência apenas se pode conjecturar. No entanto, percebe-se um plano, uma linha de orientação que ocasionalmente se insinua para logo se esconder por entre as sombras furtivas, que deixa entrever traços intermitentes de um mapa escondido, qual desenho a carvão por debaixo da tinta sonora. Como um leitmotiv que estabelece conexões formais e informais entre múltiplos pontos de uma história fonográfica que se conta em dois capítulos. É de mapas que se trata na peça Karl Ortmann, homenagem sob a forma de arte sonora ao cartógrafo germânico com o mesmo nome (1917 – 1879), que em vida se dedicou ao estudo das estruturas sociais urbanas no contexto da cartografia, ciência que, em seu entender, deveria fazer reflectir os aspectos sociais da vida em sociedade. Que se passa aqui em termos acústicos? Intrigante, a peça questiona o ouvinte: imaginamos sons ou temos deles uma percepção real? Ian W. Cowell, peça apresentada no CD em versão adaptada, serviu originalmente para sonorizar uma instalação vídeo homónima, montada no piso de entrada do Dresdner Bank, em Frankfurt, construída a partir de material pré-gravado em ambiente de escritório, misturando sons de pessoas a escrever em computador e vozes de empregados num dia normal de trabalho, com o ruído da rua frente ao prédio para cujo hall a peça foi preparada. Em HABITAT (Creative Sources Recordings # 105), antigos e novos métodos de montagem e edição sonora adquirem interessantes e renovadas formulações no modo como sugerem espaços vivos com gente dentro. Eduardo Chagas (Jazz e Arredores)

Creating musical sounds without instruments has become widespread ever since the availability of first the portable tape recorder and then the computer lap top. Melding oscillations created with software plus amplifications of so-called found sounds, often re-mixed, these soundscapes are notable for their subtle mixture of foreground and background.
[...] So have Europeans, which is why Habitat Creative Sources CS 105 CD by the German disc.playce duo provides an interesting contrast to the Canadians’ work.
[...] So too is Habitat. Created by German electronics manipulators Maximilian Marcoll and Hannes Galette Seidl to be site-specific, the tracks rely on recordings made in Frankfurt or Karlsruhe of the scratches, yowls, squeaks and cries that reflect those cities’ passing streetscapes. Panning across the sonic panorama, found sounds are captured at close range or at a distance, sometimes drawing away from the mikes as definition is established. As electronics distort the actualities with soothing watery squishes, flanged woodpecker-like clatter or rumbling cheeps and buzzes the process becomes nearly hypnotic in its regularity.
Very much of its own place and style, this European CD confirms Canadians’ invention and preeminence in this particular version of sonic art. Ken Waxman (The Whole Note)

This CD contains 38 minutes extracted from the soundtracks of two cityscape installations: “Ian W.Coel” (Frankfurt) and “Karl Ortmann” (Karlsruhe). I usually approach this kind of record with extreme suspicion, as we’re by now grown used to – and pretty much worn out by – people utilizing field recordings with the purpose of not having a purpose. Take the sounds, place them on record, release it and go on to the next “project”. But Dis.Playce (Maximilian Marcoll and Hannes Seidl) added something that feeds our motivation: composition. The selections comprised by Habitat – whose dedications and intents are explained in detail in the inside leaflet - are interesting in a way that is proportional to the intelligence shown by the assemblers in the logical disposition and crafty merging of the single elements. Although it is a fascinating listen when you raise the playback level, feeling completely encircled by the urban manifestations characterizing both pieces, only through a headset one is able to determine the true value of the compositional endeavor, becoming aware of the many subtleties that the seaming of the different segments reveal. In synthesis, the sonic report functions even when separated by its original raison d’être.
I couldn’t understand if the mesmeric qualities of some of the parts derive from additional processing of the sources, or it’s just a mastery in looping the constituents in such a fashion that the cyclical imageries start generating a slight harmonious aura of their own. But the secret allure of this work lies exactly there, in that – more than sheer environmental gradations – we have the impression of hearing actual music. Entrancingly affecting our psyche, the soundscapes influence the circumstantial reality without the need of recurring to violent impacts (except for a short anarchic section in “Karl Ortmann”) or excessive schizophrenia. All it takes is concentration and wide-open ears, and the reward will soon materialize. Natural or metropolitan, the spirit of these echoes doesn’t matter; what really counts is the gratification that arises from the act of listening. A rare accomplishment in the rapidly expanding universe of self-professing “sound artists”. Massimo Ricci (Temporary Fault)