2008 – Present
CAUSE UNFOLD PROCEED
ELECTRONIC SOLO WORKS / SOUND AS SCULPTURE
Sound as Sculpture
SOUND AS SCULPTURE
This series outlines side-specific electro-acoustic solo works based on identical compositional and performative doctrines. The sound material originates from causal elements found within the site itself, computer hardware and software, and feedback. This amalgamated construct unfolds and proceeds musically due to the regulatory measures and interventions activated by the performer’s hand. Concrete material evolves and devolves into alternations between raw, abstract, and granular sound generations. [...]
A: Cause Unfold Proceed I (21:35 min)
B: Cause Unfold Proceed II (21:41 min)
C: Cause Unfold Proceed IV (20:19 min)
D: Cause Unfold Proceed V (21:08 min)
1. Cause Unfold Proceed I (21:35 min)
2. Cause Unfold Proceed II (21:41 min)
3. Cause Unfold Proceed IV (20:19 min)
4. Cause Unfold Proceed III (15:46 min)
»Schulze’s ›Cause Unfold Proceed‹ is a half-improvised, half-composed electronic abstraction that presents several intriguing points of access, despite an apparent difficulty. The piece, although very fragmentary and undergoing a perennial atmospheric shift, results well connected to a fundamental plan and gifted with a biotic synchronization of sorts, detectable down to the tiniest component. A façade of coarse coldness hiding millions of purulent micro-organisms, no time for excessive thoughts and analyses, good stuff indeed.«
Musik, Fotografie & Texte / Music, Photography & Words
Gestaltung / Design
Vinylschnitt / Vinylcut
»This sortie comes across like a machine trying to communicate with humans. We can’t understand it, but the effort the machine put into it was interesting and more than welcome. That machine probably has a rich life of its own when we’re not hanging around.«
Richard Grooms ›The Improviser‹ (2009)
Order below or at:
Heaven Gallery Chicago: ›Cause Unfold Chicago‹ USA, July 2012
WDR: ›Von der Körnigkeit des Klanges – Granularsynthese‹ 2011
Leonardo Music Journal 21: ›Beyond Notation‹ Cambridge USA, 2011
Kunststiftung NRW: ›Grand‹ Düsseldorf, April 2010
Loop Line & Gamuso: Tokyo Japan, November 2009
Dotolim: Seoul Korea, November 2009
Diapason Gallery: ›Microsound‹ New York City USA, October 2009
Eyedrum: Atlanta USA, July 2008
Striking Mechanism Experimental Music Workshop: Athens USA 2008
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This publication comes as a gate folded Double Vinyl & CD including a Photo Edition, a Postcard & extensive Writings.
Edition of 500 copies.
In buying here, you will support the artist directly!
›Cause Unfold Proceed II‹ by the German electronics artist Phillip Schulze, sounds surprisingly natural in its development. Its whirs and glitches seem almost physically interdependent, and one can easily forget that these rhythms and textural washes are created by mere zeroes and ones.
Phillip Schulze is an electronic musician and improviser based in Düsseldorf, though his education as an artist and instrument designer partly comes from study at Wesleyan University under Ron Kuivila, Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier. Cause Unfold Proceed is a two-LP and one-CD boxed set, ambitiously self-released and exploring five versions of one central composition.
"Cause Unfold Proceed II" is the only one to have been previously released, on the Quartet Solo Series I compilation curated by Jonathan Chen (also a Wesleyan grad) for the Striking Mechanism imprint – the other four variants are enjoying their first outing here. It's important to note that Schulze is not basing his music on samples or previously created forms, though it is computer music – he's designed software patches that encourage activities to take place, utilizing the literal components of the computer as well as feedback routes that layer and eventually contribute to the distortion of the resulting material. What Schulze has set into motion is a decidedly organic, humanist approach to computer music, systemic but utterly natural.
Each of the five realizations of Cause Unfold Proceed is dedicated to a different composer - Highlife pioneer Prince Nico Mbarga, Maryanne Amacher, house artist Terre Thaemlitz, Sun Ra and Hasil Adkins. As with Anthony Braxton's sometimes surprising dedications, Schulze draws from a wealth of musical / artistic interests and experiences, even if direct influences might be hard to peg. The fourth piece, in homage to Ra's "Fate in a Pleasant Mood," doesn't recall the airy, cloud-basking pulse of later Chicago-period Arkestra, carving out instead phase patterns and didactic rhythms. Listening to the two compositions back to back, however, a certain ethereal sway analogous to the Ronnie Boykins-John Hardy motor emerges in the first part of the piece, gradually decaying into a clunk underneath massive, fuzzy snags and a descending, medium-pitched phrase abstracted from the Ra saxophone line. Further along, the clarity of this relationship starts to collapse, puttering with a cyclic limp towards a return of the theme (analogous to the play between Gilmore and Cohran on the original piece) before fading into a stretched-out tone. (My thanks to Austin guitarist Jonathan Horne for pointing out the structural similarities.)
It's unclear whether the pieces' dedications were made after or before they were composed, and thus whether the affinities are due to chance or deliberate borrowing. There's a clue in the composer's text, perhaps, which reads: "The piece's sonic outcome may vary drastically each realization and yet retain its compositional identity. The regulated freedom creates oscillations between intuition and knowledge." Intuition seems to account for a good portion of Schulze's music, allowing a meaty groove to emerge from the thudding low tones and speaker rattle of the first variation, dedicated to Mbarga's "Music Line." Whether it reminds you of Highlife or not, Cause Unfold Proceed is a fine exploration of the sound of feeling.
A massive package here: gatefold full color sleeve, two LPs and a CD with music. […] Each of the piece, on vinyl and on CD last around twenty-one minutes and is a consistent abuse of software and sounds.
FdW ›Vital Weekly‹ (2011)
Half-composed/half-improvised compositions rooted in musique concrete and total sonic immersion theories. Composer-performer Schulze seems interested in exposing himself – witness the blurry cheesecake shot on the inner sleeves, and the shirtless stare into an artificial horizon on the insert – and he pushes his machines into the cosmic orgy that one cannot have alone, with lots of revving, disorienting tones, pink/brown noise, clicks & pops, inspired (or so sayeth the artist’s statement provided) by folks like Sun Ra, Terre Thaemlitz and Maryanne Amacher. Schulze wins points by not leaning towards dark ambient tones or harsh noise elements; most everything is kept below the pain threshold, but there is a method here, and a busy one at that. Double vinyl and CD contain three identical compositions, with “III” exclusively on the CD and “V” only on the vinyl. Both are included with a gatefold sleeve, insert, obi strip and color photo of Schulze receiving his diploma. 500 copies. You’ll go nuts trying to figure this one out, and you might enjoy yourself, too.
Cause Unfold Proceed I-V is criminally under-heard. This might be by design, as not all of the pieces were on the CD that came with the deluxe vinyl release, (which is gorgeous). The process Schulze describes for these pieces reminds me of some of the discussion Autechre had around Confield. By that I mean, just as Autechre created custom hardware and software, but let the creations “evolve” the pieces (the generative beats), Schulze performs “interventions” and provides “regulatory measures.” Simply put, just as Confield was a combination of concept (fate/inevitability hardwired into the machine making the sound) plus “composition” (insofar as the composer makes post hoc edits, among other measures), Cause Unfold Proceed sounds like advanced electronic music, quite generative, but at the same time seems to have a human hand intuitively guiding the compositions from point A to point B. Indeed, the unfolding (pun intended) compositions would be boring, like watching someone play Thicket. It’s interesting, but without precise decision making, the arbitrary beginning and ending would diminish the experience. As with the best music in this vein, there seems to be an ample amount of planning, careful attention paid as the piece develops, etc. The textures, the depth of the sound, and the aggression of this, in fact, makes much of the records I find it to resemble seem quaint. Check this out, buy the gorgeous vinyl, and check out the Soundcloud. This is easily one of my favorites of the decade, and it needs to be heard and lauded.
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Rees Archibald, Kingsley Ash, Marcus Ambach, Matt Bauder, Anthony Braxton, Jonathan Chen, Lotte Effinger, Flux Quartet, Louis-Philippe Demers, Angela Fette, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Christophe Giffard, Thomas Hatcher, Axel Hütte, Christian Jendreiko, Anna Jermolaewa, Ron Kuivila, Matthias Lahme, Annbel Lange, Lena Willikens, Alvin Lucier, Hiram Navarrete, Jan Sieber, Aaron Siegel, Sascha Hahn, Ulf Neumann, Florian Meyer, Brian Parks, Armin Purkrabek, Max Schulze, Memphis Schulze, Ida Büngener, Werni & Jendreiko, Edi Winarni & Laura Catania, Banz & Bowinkel, Alex Wissel
Apparent Extent Label, Diapason Gallery, Dotolim, ZKM - Center For Art And Media Karlsruhe, SingleClub, HobbypopMUSEUM, Oktoberbar, Ubu Web, Media Art Net, Schwarz-Weiss Magazin, Cycling 74, Institut Fuer Musik Und Medien, Leonardo Music Journal, Salon des Amateurs, Striking Mechanism, Wesleyan University, Konsortium
HOMEPAGE PHILLIP SCHULZE