REVIEW: MICROBIT: “ALL-STARS OF THE 8 KBPS SOUND!”
Несколько запоздало нашел любопытную статью профессора David MacFadyen (создатель портала Far From Moscow)о лэйбле Microbit Records и, в частности, об одной из микробитовских компиляций.
Тут текст с картинками:http://www.moscow.ucla.edu/index.php?s=Microbit+Project&paged=3
А это без картинок:
Moscow’s Microbit netlabel has just graced us with a super compilation for the New Year. Cataloged as their third team effort, it also sports the secondary title of “All-Stars of the 8 kpbs Sound!” It can be downloaded here or here.
Seventeen tracks by almost as many artists bring together a wide and representative range of today’s low-bit experimenters - fundamentally from Russian territories, although a few foreigners sneak into the mix.
The label, in a somewhat busy attempt to define its working parameters, begins and ends with the same emphasis: “…lowbit, 8kbps, 16kbps, 20kbps, 24kbps, 32kbps, 40kbps, 48kbps, mono sound, ambient, drone, techno, rock, punk, noise, sound art, sound poetry, electronic, IDM, downtempo, glitch, drum-n-noise, pcy, all the music that’s lowbit!”
The label will happily accept submissions from a very wide range of electronic genres, as long as they’re… yes, low-bit. And that brings us to the title of the compilation, specifically to the number eight.
One could argue that this wanton minimalism from Microbit is an attempt to sidestep the capital’s gloss, which - being prohibitively expensive - usually stops the majority of musicians from recording anything whatsoever.
So what exactly will 8 kbps get you? Standard mp3 music files are typically encoded between 128 kbps and 192 kbps; 8 kbps is rock-bottom telephone quality. When listening to these tracks, then, remember that the technical defense Microbit is advocating against Moscow’s high-end bling is something unique and profoundly retro. This is music that (deliberately) sounds like it’s coming at you down a Soviet cable.
If you sympathize with this kind of rusty romance, hand in your IPod and grab one of the machines shown above. It comes with the smell of stale tobacco. Free of charge.
This flight from profit-driven convention is discernible elsewhere in the work of Microbit’s founder and manager, Evgenii Kharitonov (above). Under his pen name of Eugene Kha, he’s responsible for a wide output of low-fi electronica (such as the track here) and various linguistic side-projects.
One of the most interesting and relevant is his “visual poetry,” which takes language out of its own goal-driven, linear conventions. Kharitonov uses sentences, words, or even individual letters to create images of twisting, frequently circular syntax. We go nowhere in particular.
Take, for example, the image here from 2007. Entitled “The Lifebelt of Language,” it is made of the entire Russian alphabet, both upper and lower case characters. In the middle are the first and last letters of the alphabet, repeated several times.
They also happen to mean “But me, but me…?” (A ia, a ia…?) Kharitonov’s editorial work for Microbit and his related visual projects seem to embody a similar philosophy: in a city where profiteering is the order of the day (”For me!”), a healthy subjectivity will stay insistently small. Or mobile.
Here, then, is some fitting footwear, taken from Kharitonov’s own art work. Get moving…
© David MacFadyen
FAR FROM MOSCOW
2009/ 5 Januaryhttp://www.moscow.ucla.edu/index.php?s=Microbit+Project&paged=3