[pe158]Pet The Tiger
Hail The Traveler
[pe156]Philip Gayle
Mammoth Flower
[pe155]Seeded Plain
Badminton, The Volleys
[pe154]Bryan Day & Dereck Higgins
Woven Territories
[pe153]John Krausbauer & David Maranha
[pe152]Evan Lipson
Echo Chamber
[pe151]Guro Skumsnes Moe & Philippe Petit
[pe150]Brasilia Laptop Orchestra
10 yEars aLive
[pe149]Bill Brovold
[pe148]Illusion of Safety & Z'ev
Temporary Presence
[pe145]Pet The Tiger
Gaze Emanations
[pe144]Ashtray Navigations & Anla Courtis
Protozoic Rock Express
[pe143]Alan Sondheim
Future Speed Future
[pe142]Albert / Day / Kreimer
[pe141]Bill Brovold's Stone Soup
Michael Goldberg Variations
[pe140]Michael Gendreau
Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado
[pe139]Hélène Breschand & Elliott Sharp
Chansons du Crépuscule
[pe138]Alan Sondheim / Azure Carter / Luke Damrosch
[pe137]Collision Stories
Those Missing Will Complete Us
[pe136]Ghost In The House
Second Sight
[pe135]Henry Kaiser / Alan Licht
Skip to the Solo
[pe134]Peter Aaron / Brian Chase Duo
[pe133]Alan Sondheim / Azure Carter / Luke Damrosch
[pe131]Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura
[pe130]Ben Bennett / Jack Wright
[pe128]Music For Hard Times
City of Cardboard
[pe127]Tetuzi Akiyama & Anla Courtis
Naranja Songs
[pe126]Massimo Falascone
Variazioni Mumacs
[pe125]Auris + Gino
Fantasy Remover
[pe123]Azure Carter & Alan Sondheim
Avatar Woman
[pe122]Various Artists
The Unscratchable Itch: A Tribute To Little Fyodor
[pe121]Nels Cline / Elliott Sharp
Open The Door
[pe120]Pretty Monsters
[pe119]Cactus Truck
Brand New For China!
[pe118]Belcher / Bivins Double Quartet
[pe117]Normal Love
Survival Tricks
[pe116]Ron Anderson / Robert L. Pepper / David Tamura / Philippe Petit
Closed Encounters of the 4 Minds
[pe115]Philip Gayle
Babanço Total
[pe114]Dino Felipe
Sorta' Bleu
Radio Friendly
[pe111]Little Fyodor
Peace is Boring
[pe110]Courtis / Yamamoto / Yoshimi
Live at Kanadian
[pe109]Bob Marsh
[pe108]Tartar Lamb
60 Metonymies
[pe107]Shelf Life
[pe106]A Tomato a Day
The Moon is Green
[pe105]D + D
[pe104]The Mighty Vitamins
[pe103]Smut / OVO
Split 7"
[pe102]Bill Horist / Marron
[pe101]Richard Trosper
The Ocean
No Sleep till Babylon
Damn It!!
[pe97]Emily Hay / Marcos Fernandes
We Are
[pe96]The Machine Gun TV
Live In Japan
[pe94]Mike Pride
The Ensemble is an Electronic Device
[pe93]Jorge Castro
[pe92]Yagihashi Tsukasa
[pe91]Eftus Spectun
The Tocks Clicking
[pe89]Amy Denio
[pe88]Eric Cook
[pe87] Onid & Isil
Devotional Hymns for the Women of Anu
[pe85]Che Guevara Memorial Marching (and Stationary) Accordion Band
[pe84]Day / Boardman
One to Seven
[pe83]Knot + Over
Vertonen 9
[pe81]Blue Collar
Lovely Hazel
[pe79]Jesse Krakow
Oceans in the Sun
[pe78]Diaz-Infante / Forsyth / Scherzberg
A Barren Place of Overwhelming Simplicity
[pe76]Khoury / Shearer / Hall
[pe75]Renato Rinaldi
The Time and the Room
[pe74]Masami Kawaguchi
Live in December
[pe72]Watch the Stereo
[pe71]Modern Day Urban Barbarians
The Endless Retreat
[pe70]The Bunny Brains
Holiday Massacre '98
[pe69]Jack Wright & Bob Marsh
Birds in the Hand
[pe68]Free From Disguise
[pe67]Jad Fair & Jason Willett
[pe66]Baker / Baker / Bloor
Terza Rima

Euphotic - Isopleths
CD (San Francisco, CA)

1. Sulfolobus
2. Histioteuthis bonnellii
3. Pluton
4. Lithotroph
5. Bristlemouth
6. Echolocution
7. Flinch Flies


Cheryl Leonard: driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles and oyster shells
Tom Djll: trumpet and electronics
Bryan Day: invented instruments

Recorded in San Francisco (2018), and Betalevel, Los Angeles (2019)
Mastered by Thomas Dimuzio
Photos by Cheryl, Design by Bryan

(Downtown Music Gallery) At first glance, it appeared that both the name of this trio and its album title resembled invented computerese whipped up for a bootleg Autechre issue. Boy, what a simple, quick brush through a dictionary will do. Euphotic is defined as, “of, relating to, or constituting the upper layers of a body of water into which sufficient light penetrates to permit growth of green plants.” An isopleth is "a line on a map connecting points having equal incidence of a specified meteorological feature.” Whew. Well, this trio of expert knob/object twiddlers do their damnedest to render in analogics the etymologies of their chosen names. Lofty ambitions inform the process behind this recording, most of which is successful by dint of the instrumentation alone. Cheryl Leonard is credited with utilizing such unusual acoustics as driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles, and oyster shells. Trumpeter and electronics maven Tom Djll frequents the other end of the spectrum, his digital glossolalia operating as the ideal copy counterpointing Leonard’s earthen wares. Bryan Day works within this matrix via his invented instruments, whatever those are. So the entire recording is one of some errant mystery, an obscurantist music that is at once puzzling and fascinating. Track titles—“Sulfolobus”, “Pluton”, “Bristlemouth”—are undoubtedly corporeal in origin, the trio continuing their ‘organic’ motifs throughout. The results are electroacoustic improv that more than anything resembles what you would hear if microphones were placed in some dense forest underbrush, capturing the musings, mutterings, and meanderings of various flora and fauna. The minimalist patina and choice aural enablers are similar to works by Loren Chasse, Steve Roden’s in between noise project, and many other arch onkyo artists who intensely explore the minutiae of sounds operating at the molecular level. But lest you think this is a glib enterprise in sound versus silence, think again: the aforementioned “Pluton”, all synthetic proteins and shuddering organisms flexing their ones and zeros, wrestles with waves of controlled feedback and sculpted distortion the better to describe the trio’s dissection of numerous warm worlds & otherwise. Ear-rational, psyche-altering stuff, full of constantly shifting ideas that wrap themselves around your cerebral cortex and don’t let go. Headphones recommended. - Darren Bergstein

(Vital Weekly) The previous time the name Euphotic appeared in these pages was not about a work for a trio of musicians who now deliver 'Isopleths', but as the title of a release by Chihei Hatakeyama and Corey Fuller (Vital Weekly 1033). The word means "noting or pertaining to the layer or zone of seawater that receives enough sunlight for photosynthesis to occur, varying greatly with season and latitude, from 0 to 1,200 feet (0–360 meters)". The trio here is Bryan day on invented instruments, Tom Djll on trumpet and electronics and Cheryl Leonard on driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles and oyster shells. That is three quite different approaches to creating sounds, ranging from natural objects, a real instrument and whatever Day uses (I believe something with strings and wood). The seven pieces on this release were recorded in 2018 and 2019 and are pieces of improvised music. Here too they deliver quite the variety of approaches. 'Pluton', for instance, starts out with some heavy noise with much distortion on the electronics, while in other pieces the emphasis lies on the use of 'small' sounds, at times touched upon carefully and at other times hectic and chaotic. Like a jazz trio, it seems that sometimes an instrument takes the lead, such as the trumpet in 'Bristlemouth', but that too isn't the principle idea of these improvisations; just as easily everything appears on an equal level, with nobody leaping out, such as in 'Echolucation', which also uses quite a bit electronics on Djl's part. Sometimes, this comes across as very traditionally improvised, albeit with less non-conventional sound devices, and sometimes not all, working from a microsound level, exploring small sound events. In the time-span of forty-eight minutes they cover a lot of ground and there is plenty to discover on the grounds. This is quite a beautiful release. - Frans de Waard

(Nettavisen) Den viktige tredjerunden, som det jo heter på skøytespråket, er litt i samme gata. Djll er med også her og trakterer elektronikk i tillegg til trompet. Han får reisefølge av Bryan Day på instrumenter jeg vil tro han har skapt sjøl og Cheryl Leonard på alt fra drivved, sand, steiner, fjær, skjell og ymse annet hun har funnet i naturen. Her snakker vi nesten sjølsagt lydeksperimenter av sjelden klasse - eksperimenter som skaper fascinasjon, spenning og nysgjerrighet. Vi blir tatt med til en lydverden ingen av oss har opplevd tidligere og, sjøl om det ikke kommer til å bli spilt hver dag, så er det fascinerende landskap som blir åpna opp. - Tor Hammerø

(Bad Alchemy) Halt, da wäre ja schon wieder Isopleths (PE146) von EUPHOTIC, mit wieder Bryan Day mehr oder weniger perkussiv und klangskulptural an invented instruments (wie Displacement Rails, Rotowhisker, Sonic Marionette, Sound Mouse, Junk Kalimba oder Zithselqier), die er solo einsetzt als Eloine, für elektroakustische Improvisationen mit Bad Jazz, für toben­des Gedröhn und metallischen Krach mit Collision Stories oder freie Improvisationen mit Shelf Life. Dazu wieder Tom Djll an Trompete & Electronics und Cheryl Leonard, die Treibholz, Sand, Steinen, Federn, Schilf, Pinguinknochen, Kiefernnadeln und Muschelschalen Geräusche entlockt. Für elektroakustische Surrealismen, zum Borromäischen Kno­ten geschlungen aus natürlich, physikalisch und imaginär. Wer kann, der mag sich da an Anomalous Records erinnert fühlen, an Eric Lanzilotta, Richard Lerman, Points Of Friction, Dave Knott... mein Gott, auch schon wieder über zwanzig Jahre her. Djll würgt, saugt und pustet aus der Trompete rück- und querwärts die unmöglichsten Klänge, stöhnend und gurgelnd, dumpf oder brodelig und oft so, dass man außer der Trompete auch noch das Mundwerk bezweifelt. Und die sirrenden, zwitschernden, irrwischen­den Impulse, das ist ja wohl auch er? Beidseits bekrims­kramst, sind Day die metallischen Akzente, Leonard die raschelige Finesse zuzutrauen. Die Stichwörter 'Sulfolobus' und 'Lithotroph' evozieren Archaebakterien, Prokaryoten und brodelige Smoker am Meeresboden und jene natürli­chen Tiefen, in denen sich auch der 'Histioteuthis bonnellii', der Segelkalmar, rumtreibt, ominös überrauscht, dumpf umraunt und beblubbert. Die imaginäre Unterwelt, in der 'Pluton' herrscht, ist gleich um die Ecke, da wo's Steine gibt und wenig Brot. Da, wo man vielleicht nicht 20.000 Meilen, aber doch tief unter dem Meer ins Dunkle staunt und das mit stammelnden Funksprüchen nach oben meldet. Heute noch der Lebesraum Bosch'scher Bizarrerien, vor 3,77 Milliarden Jahren aber die Ursuppe, aus der dann ein Klümpchen Schleim in einem warmen Moor hervorgehen würde. Und etwas später Borstenmäuler ('Bristlemouth') wie Sigmops bathyphilus oder Groucho Marx. In diesem submarinen Phantasia werden Kakteenstacheln gepluckert, Seepferden galoppieren, Djll nöckt Wassermusik, Day klap­pert und dongt als Blechmann sehr weit weg von Kansas. Alle drei verheddern sich in kakophoner 'Echolocution', ja, EK oh lo koo shun. Tropfen plätschern, Steinchen scharren, ein Gong dongt, der Kraken schnarcht. Ich würde ja gern mit ihm träumen, wenn nur nicht die euphotische Zone in den USA so mit Jauche besudelt wäre. - Rigo Dittmann

(Sands-zine) S’è appena pubblicata la recensione a un disco del quartetto formato da Kyle Bruckmann, Tom Djll, Jacob Felix Heule e Kanoko Nishi-Smith ed eccoci qua con un gruppo che vede coinvolto uno dei quattro, esattamente il trombettista Tom Djll. Se in “Brittle Feebling” gli strumenti erano tutti di tipo tradizionale, seppur suonati con tecniche inusuali, negli Euphotic l’unico strumento di quel tipo è la tromba. Bryan Day è infatti un costruttore-inventore di strumenti musicali, per l’esattezza di intonarumori di tipo meccanico che hanno a che fare con concetti di elettronica artigianale e primitiva. Quanto a Cheryl Leonard, si tratta di una naturalista sempre alla ricerca di nature morte alle quali ridare vita attraverso i suoni che sono in grado di emettere. Tre approcci al suono che partono da punti diversi – un negozio di strumenti musicali, un laboratorio artigianale, una passeggiata in un ambiente naturale – per confluire in un suono unico. Il tutto è naturalmente filtrato attraverso quella meravigliose invenzioni che sono i microfoni, le amplificazioni e le registrazioni. Senza di ciò nulla di tutto questo sarebbe possibile. La musica del trio, che definirei maximalista per la sua ricchezza di suoni, colori e volumi, si sposta dalle fragili sinfonie di un Jeph Jerman alle tempeste di suono di un Francisco López. Deep listening. - Mario Biserni

(KFJC) The bells ring for no one. over what was once dry land, Orion reaches farther into the void. as you reach the apex, squirming, the crickets pound tin cans and penguin bones. no way down, no way out, no one there to hear your cosmic whimpering. softly fading, obscured, then gone. noisters cheryl leonard on driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds,penguin bones, pine needles and oyster shells; tom djll on trumpet and electronics; and bryan day on his own invented instruments. excellent easy-to-listen-to-and-drift-away noise from those who know best. DO NOT MISS.

(Salt Peanuts) Det er unektelig en rekke plater med «spesiell» musikk som ramler inn i postkassen. Denne gangen skal vi til vestkysten av USA, og trioen Euphotic, bestående av Cheryl Leonard som trakterer såpass originale instrumenter som drivved, sand, steiner, fjær, siv, pingvinbein, furunåler og østersskjell, trompeteren Tom Djll som også i stor grad trakterer elektronikk, og Bryan Day som spiller instrumenter han har laget selv. «Isopleths» betyr noe sånn som det sollyset sjøvann mottar som kan sette fart i fotosyntesen, og som varierer sterkt med årstid og breddegrad, fra 0 til 360 meter. Og med den instrumentsammensetningen vi møter her, og som overgår Terje Isungsets mange originale instrumenter, får vi musikk som ligger et godt stykke unna det vi finner i «The Real Book» eller i den amerikanske sangboken. De tre musikerne er noen søkende sjeler, og Cheryl Leonard er en San Fransisco-basert musiker, som opp gjennom årene har bidratt på en rekke innspillinger hvor naturelementene har hatt en viktig del. Tom Djii har studert elektronisk musikk ved Collorado University, og har gjort en rekke ytterst spennende innspillinger de senere årene, senest med Kyle Bruckmann, Jacob Felix Heule og Kanoko Nishi-Smoith på platen «Brittle Feebling», som for kort tid siden ble anmeldt her på salt peanuts*, mens Bryan Day er en kunstner som utfolder seg på en rekke eksperimentelle områder, og blir omtalt som en sonisk eventyrer, maler og oppfinner av instrumenter og kunstinstallasjoner som han lager i East Bay. Han gjenbruker gjerne mekaniske komponenter og materialer man gjerne finner i garasjer eller på et forlatt kontor, som han omdanner til lydskulpturer. På platen får vi åtte «strekk» som alle skiller seg mye fra det vi vanligvis lytter til av musikk. Det er gjennomgående elektronisk og ytterst eksperimentelt, med elektronikken som viktigste element. Men sammen med alle de andre «lydene» og «instrumentene», føler jeg at vi har å gjøre med musikk som dreier seg om havet. Og jeg innbiller meg at, kommer man dypt nok ned under havoverflaten, så er det slik «musikk» som kanskje høres. Og for oss som er vant til å lytte gjennom mye musikk som «folk flest» vil kalle støy og ulyder, får vi raskt et forhold til det vi hører, og vi blir ytterst fascinert av denne originale verdenen av lyder. At det er mulig å lage slik musikk ved hjelp av elektronikk og alle de andre «instrumentene» som her tar oss med på et dypdykk, er nesten ikke til å fatte. Det er ytterst spennende å lytte til, og ved å lukke øynene og la musikken «ta deg», får du en ytterst spennende reise i ukjent farvann. For en del år siden, da Norge kun hadde sort-hvitt fjernsyn (eller grusbane-tv, som jeg kaller det) var et kjent og kjært pauseinnslag de såkalte «pausefiskene». Da viste man et akvarium, hvor fisker svømte rundt til sober musikk. Jeg tror denne opplevelsen hadde blitt mye mer spennende hvis man hadde brukt Euphotic og «Isopleths» som pausemusikk. - Jan Granlie

(Sound Projector) Euphotic are an all-American trio who made Isopleths (PUBLIC EYESORE PE 146) in 2018 and 2019. Cheryl Leonard is the Californian lady who collects unusual objects to use as percussion, among them (on this record) pieces of driftwood, stones, shells, bones, feathers, grasses, and such; we heard her on the Isinglass tape from 2016. She’s playing her custom traps accompanied here by Bryan Day and his home-made devices, plus Tom Djill (who played on the odd Pet The Tiger project) the trumpeter who also adds electronics to the set. A not-untypical Public Eyesore release, matching up to that side of the label profile which tends towards formless, junk-esque noise which rambles on for long periods, but there’s a lot of listening pleasure in the rich variety of textures, the extremely non-normal sounds, and the frequent unpredictability of the performances. I especially liked ‘Pluton’ which explodes like a sky-rocket taking off, then fizzles out into scrabbly and uncertain shapes. The group claim to be doing something with “plotted electricity”, which sounds like a useful skill to have in your belt. - Ed Pinsent

(Kathodik) Euphotic sono un trio composto da Bryan Day agli strumenti diy, Tom Djil alla tromba/elettronica e Cheryl Leonard a rocce/sabbie/pietre/piume/canne palustri/ossa di pinguino/gusci d’ostrica. Si muovono impro quasi jazz, con focus sul microsound, parecchi rimandi lignei, elettronica squittente che a tratti sborda noise ma non troppo, piezo in movimento, qualche solo trombettesco (Bristlemouth) e un’ottima resa collettiva. “Isopleths” è un gran bel disco per momenti di relax alieno! - Marco Carcasi

(Babysue) Euphotic is the trio comprised of Cheryl Leonard, Tom Djll and Bryan Day. If you're familiar with any or all of these musicians, then you probably already have some idea of what to expect here. And what you would expect would be...the unexpected. These three musicians operate in the world where sounds and spontaneous accidents become music. The list of 'instruments' used says it all. On Isopleths Leonard plays driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles and oyster shells. Djll plays trumpet and electronics. And Day plays invented instruments. What many may not realize is that in the world of improvised sound there is a great deal of talent and skill involved in creating the really good stuff. In other words, not just anyone can record sounds and make interesting music. This is a very esoteric band and one that will probably be too unusual and confusing for most music fans. In order to appreciate this album, you have to discard the things you normally associate with traditional music. Things like rhythms, melodies, lyrics, etc. I have generally found that most folks either love or hate improvised sound. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. I'm always open to new ideas and sounds, particularly when they're presented with such precise focus and skill. Seven tracks here, and they're all strange audio experiments. Adventurous listeners will find a lot to appreciate in tracks like "Sulfolobus," "Lithotrop" and "Flich Flies." Others will just scratch their heads in confusion. Strangely compelling stuff. Ultimately very different. Recommended. - Don Seven

(Chain D.L.K.) Of all the things that I had expected to hear in this stack of music to review, penguin bones was not one of them. This band consists of a trio of Cheryl Leonard on instruments such as driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles, and oyster shells; Tom Djll on trumpet and electronics; and Brian Day on invented instruments. The first two tracks are in are a fun mix of what I consider organic noise and electronics. “Sulfolobus” opens the disc with a chaotic piece, hitting things together, tapping things, rhythm mixed with line noise, and what sounds like a short-circuiting microphone. The buzzing and hum provide an interesting counterpoint to the natural sounds of clattering and hitting things together. “Histioteuthis Bonnellii” continues this feel with electronics just hinted at throughout the piece. If the previous two tracks highlighted the analog portion of the noise, “Pluton” switches the emphasis. Where the noise was restrained in the other tracks, the floodgates open and we're blasted with hiss, analog warbling, and bleeps. We continue on this trajectory for a while, but the organic portion comes through slightly throughout the track. If you're looking for noise you found it here, but as with the other tracks there's a sense of balance and restraint in both sides of it. This is not harsh wall of noise but rather noisy composition. The rest of the tracks proceed on a similar trajectory, toying with the dualities between chaos and structure, organic and digital. This is exemplified in “Echolocution,” which starts off with the wood block keeping a metronome-like beat that over time shifts into a digital beat that replaces it. This track is full of pulsing electronic while organic materials clatter throughout. My favorite track on the disc is “Bristlemouth,” where the created instruments really shine through with a whimsical feeling. There is a xylophone-like instrument that plays throughout punctuated by short trumpet blasts. This is a fun track that would be right at home in a Looney Tunes cartoon. This album does a good job of keep keeping it loose while still maintaining a kind of structure throughout. This is quite engaging and if you enjoy noisy improvisation that really takes the experimental route this is well worth picking up. - Eskaton

(Jazzin) Quels sont les sons qui se cachent dans les espaces euphotiques, là où précisément le plancton reçoit la lumière solaire pour un processus de photosynthèse ? Cheryl Leonard, Tom Djill et Bryan Day semblent avoir leur idée. Ils y devinent des monstres soniques errant au fil des larges flots. Le langage secret de nos trois chercheurs de sons s’élabore à l’aide d’instruments inventés, d’une trompette éphémère, d’electronics et de sources sonores diverses. Toutes sont sifflantes, attirantes. Certaines charment de vibrantes cascades, d’autres interpellent de fin graviers frictionnés d’où le rythme n’est jamais absent. Le trio élabore avec minutie et écoute réciproque son improvisation : de grésillement en frémissement, ils établissent ainsi un imaginaire fertile, ludique, généreux. - Luc Bouguet

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