Straiph – Thin bony scour

There is quite a lot which I can tell before I actually say something about the music on this self-produced cd by Straiph. The artist behind this project is a scientist/technician who works in the Scottish highlands and who uses the name Straiph. He is involved in an academic department of Zoology at a biological research center, situated in remote isolation out on the East Side shoreline at Loch Lomond. Probably the best thing to do is to use his own words about how this project came into existence.

“Once the Scottish weather takes its grip of this environment at the field station it can become a long drawn out process of utter boredom seeing students and staff staying here for up to 3 years at a time to complete scientific work. A few years back I came up with the notion to start showing at nights a slide show projector filler as bizarre entertainment for students and staff resident at the field station. The intention to take the edge off the boredom which would take on the form of abstract viewing. As intellectuals, we became very engrossed in our ipso-facto of slide show practice images shown of the biological nature in situ but an element was missing from these showings! I then came up with the idea to start adding music scores to these slide show nights. I downloaded a heap of cracked software from the internet, bought a mini disk and microphone and voila! Mixed vocal recordings of scientists in the field, scanned mobile phone recordings of the surrounding local public talking away. The ethos of my artistic style comes direct from my conscious /subconscious environment because of my interested in archetypes dealing with conceptual sound-works around the notion of primordial reverence.

As a scientist technician, I guess my mental conditioning is towards the science of fact. Therefore, with my music art projects I revert to the art of imagination (fiction). I have a large sound library of muses involved in what I produce. Most of whom are scientists themselves, who have contributed in some way to the overall aesthetics of my artistic works. A large proportion of the scientific work, which I am involved in with others of the white coats is directed towards the behaviour of zoological species. From this what I do is to readily hand out my mini disk and microphone to the scientists in the field to record their experiments. It is from these vocal recordings that I then go about the manipulation of experimental electronic anthropological noise sound works which consist to a large extent to be concoctions of voyeur ambient claustrophobic abstract fumbling phonetic dyslexic manipulation, dark underground multifarious disorder. Sort of electronic irregular transmission Scottish jiggery-pokery science art experimental with a personal collective. Where most of the tunes are worked upon at length in the falsify manipulating of adding subtracting cutting and pasting. Fucked up sounds are multi-layerd with controlled disorder, and in some instances with rhythm void.In addition, at other instances, rhythm repetition noise loops. A unique blend thrown in to the mix but ever the notion that it is a mixture of fact ipso-facto (Science) mixed with manipulation digested and regurgitated in a style of underground art.(fictitious immerse).

The c.d. made of these slide show nights I have called “Thin Bony Scour” which is released under a self-styled home-made label from the field station called Paximatmultimag. The name derives from the make of the German slide projector which the slide show nights are viewed on.”

I found this story too interesting to withhold from you. So, does this all lead to interesting music which can also be enjoyed by people who don’t work as biologial scientists in remote areas? Well, in fact it does. You get experimental dark ambient structures, which are quite interesting to listen to. Many elements are fighting for your attention. All sorts of human voice samples, technoid glitches, layers of dark ambient, found sounds and noises. Many tracks are fairly tranquil, though often somewhat discomforting. Don’t expect really noisy or rhythmic pieces (except for the truly harsh ‘Chtonian’), but no boring soundscapes either. There is a lot of creative sound manipulation going on, where improvisation seems to battle with order. The music is quite abstract and not very melodic. Neverthless it holds my attention. The tracks are also quite eclectic. ‘Yakk’ for instance consists mainly of many non-distorted voices of scientists speaking at the same time. A track like ‘Pummel’ has more of a dungeon-like rumbling dark ambient sound. After listening for a while to the sound experiments of Straiph you can visualize yourself with a white coat on, conducting strange experiments…

artist: Straiph
label: Paximat Multimag
details: 13 tracks, 53 min.