Box of Black
4. Ah, quelqun!
6. Bob Outro
9. La Ndofo Akaf Terno
Sounds used are guitar, no-input feedback, voice, sipsi, slidewhistle, amplified objects and claves fed into pedals for effects, live loops and textural layering.
All were arranged in rural Baden-Württemberg, Germany in 2021.
(Bad Alchemy) Call me YPSMAEL? Der sich selber auch AeLypsm nennt, ist so schwer zu fassen wie der weiße Wal. Box of Black (eh?120, C45) sei arranged in rural Baden-Württemberg, lese ich da, allerdings führen auch Spuren zur Schweizer WIM, nach Cambridge und zu Bryan Day an der Westcoast. Sounds used are guitar, no-input feedback, voice, sipsi, slidewhistle, amplified objects and claves fed into pedals for effects, live loops and textural layering erscheint daneben als solides Faktum. Sein im Verlauf der vergangenen Dekade als kosmisch, klaustrophobisch, cinematisch, Eno-esk und vom Primordialen ins Urbane schweifend beschriebenes, in Burgas und St. Georgen wiederkehrend präsentiertes Soundscaping entfaltet sich hier nun als zischendes Rauschen und Dröhnen, das zwischen Naturgewalt und industrialem Noise changiert. Schritte, Stimmen und der hohe Lärmpegel der computerlosen Improvisation bleiben im ungemütlichen Bild von Drecksarbeit, draußen bei arschkaltem Wind, drinnen in dumpfen Werkstätten. Ypsmael sublimiert Bohr- und Schleifgeräusche mit glitzernden Lauten, aber wummernde Motorik und Treibriemenrotation produzieren weiter die Suggestion eines schwerindustrialen Gorillas in der digitalen Blackbox. Das Ausgelagerte sitzt mit rauem Atem einer melancholischen Blasetondauerschleife im Nacken. Lethargisch gezupfte Tristesse mischt sich mit dunklem Surren, schlurchig grollendes Beben wellt sich mulmig und wieder glitzernd. Erst 'La Ndofo Akaf Terno On' findet, vor pazifischer Kimmung meditierend, zu sonorer Einkehr. - Rigo Dittmann
(Vital Weekly) When Ypsmael started in the late 00s, the intention was to play only live concerts, but eventually, CDR releases. These contained recordings made at home and in concert. I have no idea who the members are. Early 2014 the Werkstatt für Improvisierte Musik invited the group for a two-day presentation of the Box Of Black, "originally a performance conduit for an unlit room". Just as the information doesn't mention the names of the members, When I first played this cassette, I had no idea what I was hearing; a guitar, some wind instruments, electronics? . The Bandcamp page for this release lists this; "no-input feedback, voice, sipsi, slide whistle, amplified objects and claves fed into pedals for effects, live loops and textural layering." While all of this may sound very much from the world of improvisation, one track more than the other. Hence, it seems, the overall impression I had was that it sounds so different from the traditional areas of improvised music. There is much to be enjoyed for everyone who likes drones, noise and electronics and who stay away from everything connected to improvised music. The rusty electronics, bending backwards and forward, rattling percussion, broken toys and ditto contact microphones make up for the psychedelic affair. This music is rainbow coloured, just like many sound effects they are using. Sometimes they work with amplifying objects, and in fine John Cage tradition, the feedback becomes an integral aspect of the music, which adds great urgency to the music. And then, suddenly, in 'Rhombus', a saxophone appears, out of this abstract mass of sound, forming a moment of (un-) rest in what is otherwise quite a hectic set of sound material; it slips back into wacky droneism right after that. Not the most accessible music, but I found all of this excellent. - Frans de Waard
(Disaster Amnesiac) So during the last phase of Disaster Amnesiac's epic 2021 move, I lost the bio sheet that came with Ypsmael's new eh? Records release Box of Black. It's easy to recall that the sounds on this tape were produced for use within an art installation that utilized a completely dark room. Other than that, most of the details for Box of Black are murky to me. This kind of fits, though, as the music that Ypsmael conjured up for this release keep bringing me back to that word "murky". Things bubble up from the silence and kind of float there, interacting with other sounds in a sonic soup that immerses the perception in ways that I imagine would make for a pretty harrowing journey through a completely dark space. Disaster Amnesiac has had visions of falling through layers of spinning matrices, much like those shots from old psychological horror films from the mid-20th Century, in which the person is spun around and around, going deeper and deeper into the void as that action continues relentlessly. About three tracks in, an insistent rhythm clips out on the track Becol, and while this may give some relief to a listener, it's only enhanced the overall anxiety jam feel for me. It's as if the conveyor belt to the abyss has increased its pace and is pushing even harder at the mind. I guess that it harks back the early waves of Industrial Music production, Death Factory and their fellow travelers, and it still works. Disaster Amnesiac can groove with it in the light of the day, and indeed daylight times are the only times that I've played Box of Black. Honestly I don't even want to know how these sounds would hit me at night! (An aside here: did you know that Jeremy Benthem, consummate rationalist and inventor of the Panopticon, was deathly afraid of being attacked by ghosts at night? Just goes to show ya.....) Getting back to Black, I guess it's not all doom and gloom as the track Rhombus gives off some neat synthesizer brightness for a spell before going dark again and Bob Outro hints at UFO Club-styled psychedelia, but even within these pieces it's tough to shake off the fear vibe, as that murky feeling evoked by the mysterious sound sources is never that far away within them. Again, imagine yourself hearing these sounds and not being able to see what's in front of or behind you..........damn. You have to hand it to Ypsmael, they certainly don't ever lose the thread of the apparent vision for Box of Black. Be brave while you listen to it, and just maybe have a close friend nearby to guide you back to light, should you drift too far into the darkness while doing so. - Mark Pino