goldstripe |cs121








































(...) Zapewne tego samego nie da sie powiedziec o nagraniach zamieszczonych na "Goldstripe" (CS 121) Marka Trayle'a, bowiem glitch, a w obrebie takiej wlasnie estetyki porusza sie Amerykanin, nieczesto jest melodyjny i przyjazny uszom sluchaczy. Elektroniczne wizgi, szumy i trzaski ukladane zostaja w powtarzajace sie ciagi kaleczacych cisze chropowatych struktur i kanciastych form. Muzyke Trayle'a najlepiej opisuja slowa: repetetywna, dosadna, jednowymiarowa, jednak jest w niej to cos, co przykuwa uwage. Moze jej prostota, przejrzystosc, brutalnosc. A moze to, ze zródlem elektronicznej improwizacji sa dane odczytane z kodów paskowych kart kredytowych i bankowych (...) Tadeusz Kosiek (Diapazon)

The "Projects" page of Mark Trayle's website mentions a 1999 multimedia installation entitled ¢apital magneti¢ which explored "the musical possibilities of the credit card. Participants in the installation use their credit cards and bank cards to compose pieces of music in cooperation (or competition) with other participants." Seven years down the road, Goldstripe uses data read from the magnetic stripes of credit cards (we're not told whose) "to create a set of musical conditions for improvisation". This is another one of those projects, along with Yasunao Tone and Florian Hecker's Palimpsest and Mathieu Saladin's Stock Exchange Piece, where the concept behind the music is more interesting than the music it produces, which in this case consists of the kind of distinctly listener-unfriendly bleeps, swoops, stutters, noisy screes and unstable drones you've heard all too often. In today's digital world just about anything, from family snapshots to phone bills and bank statements, can be "translated" into sound, but just because it can be done doesn't necessarily mean it's worth doing. It might be more interesting if Trayle told us exactly how he transformed that mag stripe data into sound, and whether the process could somehow be reversed so I could forge my own credit card and explore its musical possibilities by using it to buy myself something really worth listening to. Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)

California-based experimentalist Trayle is nothing if not a savvy manipulator of varied art and electronic media who has aligned himself with similarly inclined individuals misappropriating fundamental values of sound art for their own unique and provocative ends. A free radical, Trayle's worked with European improvisers like Boris Baltschun, Serge Baghdassarians and Toshimaru Nakamura, fellow didactic David Behrman, free jazz blower Wadada Leo Smith, and perhaps most significantly with The Hub, a loose-knit collective of fellow malcontents and gadflies eager to subvert academia's stuffed shirt classicism via the cyberpunk paradigm.
Los Angeles is a town practically built on notions of "high-concept," as is Goldstripe's modus operandi, somehow grandiose and yet disarmingly obvious, much like Ryoji Ikeda's painfully wrought examination of the basic building blocks of omnipresent frequencies. Goldstripe "uses data read from the magnetic stripes of credit cards and bank cards...the sound sources of which are data captured and transcoded from the card reader and the software." In a clever reversal-cum-examination of the particles inhabiting our daily datastream, Trayle's experiments are at once as coldly calculable as a mathematician's equations one moment, an ear's-rush of synaptic discharge the next. Though far more conceptually rigorous than, say, Merzbow, Trayle's exaltant noise jars, destabilizes and ultimately wearies yet the sum total of its abrasiveness feel wholly natural given the sound source. The sound palette on display is not what one might call hugely variegated: mostly it's a one-trick pony Trayle rides, spastically flailing about an underbrush made of tacs, tics, tumbling static, plug-in feedback and disk errors. Much of Goldstripe recalls the Mego label's hard-drive histrionics, minus the attendant baggage of course.
So does it all work? Intermittently. Played over and over, the opening "_29" tends to bury you deep within its cocoon of tensile velvet; "_3" muffles the jet-engine noise to unveil a solemn drone hovering right at the margins of perception, and is easily the most graspable piece; "_28" blurts, bleats, and buzz-saws through the inner ear like a legion of termites - however attractive a proposition this might be to the potential listener can only be judged upon actual engagement. Certainly a new orthodoxy has been birthed for the substantiation of future electronica models, but as persuasive listening, Goldstripe reeks of noble failure.
Darren Bergstein (The Squid's Ear)

“Goldstripe” was made with data taken from the magnetic stripes of credit and cash cards, converted into sonic structures by a computer. Simple as that, and indeed not the first time that someone links economy to sound “research” (Tom Hamilton did something similar through the association of indexes of the gold market to his own system in “London Fix”, and in recent times Mathieu Saladin’s “Stock Exchange Pieces” dealt with this kind of experimentation, too). Well, let’s be frank: the resulting music is not that interesting. As one would expect, this is more or less a festival of unequal, yet somehow predictable electronic noises dynamically imbalanced, of course rather volatile but definitely not making us exclaim “eureka”. I always find a use to these kinds of records, though: put it in your headphone at not excessive volume while you read, or even in front of a silent TV set (this is one of my favorite methods of listening to bizarre stuff); what is not found in terms of aesthetic acceptability will result practical as a brain stimulator. All those buzzes, bleeps and tweets excite the nerves, and this commuting writer also decreed that they work great as bullshit-canceling aural protection during daily travels by train. Call me superficial, but I think that this is the best way to appreciate an otherwise not very momentous release. Dan Warburton (Totching Extremes)

Sur Goldstripe, Trayle  interroge le potentiel sonore des pistes magnétiques de cartes bancaires. Si elle peut, au son, rappeler les Dataphonics de Ryoji Ikeda, l’épreuve est moins dogmatique, et même : plus poétique. Ainsi extrait-il – certes pour les étouffer, mais en se gardant toujours de les faire taire – les éléments d’une électronique de contenu généralement enfoui. A son imagination, maintenant, de décider : ici, les renverser ; là, les obliger à un rythme ou à une danse ; ailleurs, les déformer à loisir – les pièces peuvent alors rappeler les expériences sur platines d’Otomo Yoshihide ou les plus étranges instrumentaux de Throbbing Gristle. Guillaume Belhomme (Le Son du Grisli)