FINAL ORGAN WORK | 333' / VII
CDI.I AP | CONTRAFACTUM:APPROACHER
CDII.I E | MONUMENT
CDII.II I | GYRE
CDIII.I RO | EXPANSE
CDIV.I Z | GRAVITY WELL
CDIV.II O | SCOURGE FIELD
CDV.I AN | THE THOUSAND POINTED STAR
All sound by JH.
Vocal mass recorded at The Warren, Montréal, 2003.
Hammond BV organ, Hammond HR-40 cabinet, guitar+bass amplifiers, analogue filters, spring + plate reverbs, string resonators recorded at The Pines, Montreal, 2016-2019.
Reprocessing (Serge system) + editing at Studio 6, EMS Stockholm, October 2019.
Mixed at EMS and The Restoration Wing in Exile, 2019-2020.
Mastered by Michael Lawrence at Bladud Flies!, 2021.
Manufactured by Monotype Pressing.
5CD box set | 2022.II.21
Immense gratitude to Gabrielle Karlsén and all at EMS; VEMS, Maria, Michael, Michal, Leszek and the Creatures.
“Die, and never stop dying, until you are no longer dead.”
“Substances that may have derived from a minuscule nucleus but nevertheless swell unendingly. Walls of metaphysical moans that appear to conceal the secrets of souls destined for the shades. The planned coldness of an experiment that, shockingly, instead reveals an immeasurable quantity of sheer humanity to its conductor. In other words, a clear sense of both creative and somatic distress seems to prevail. Something that, in terms of the arts, has the potential to yield incredible outcomes like this while virtually annihilating the psychophysical fortitude required to continue along the same path.”
— Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes — read the entire review here. >
“Over time, we all become attuned to what we like, and here at OBLADADA, whilst it is wide ranging, music that seems to hit the hardest is music that tries to do things in new ways. APEIROZOAN by JH sits spectacularly in that bracket, and it's easily the most superbly bewildering music we have heard in quite some time.”
— OBLADADA — read the entire review here.
“Apropos: this is not just any ordinary listening experience. i've mentioned literary reference points, but from a sonic perspective APEIROZOAN primarily brings to mind the work of Zbigniew Karkowski, Roland Kayn and The Hafler Trio, in addition to some of the larger-scale music of Robert Rich, JLIAT, Kenneth Kirschner and Pan Sonic (especially ‘Säteily’). In other words, massive abstract sound sculptures that take their time in the presentation and development of their materials and ideas, encompassing extremes of delicacy and enormity. Hamilton amusingly suggests the preferred way to listen: ‘Play at high volume in a quiet space with no visual distractions.’ Is there any other way to properly listen? In all seriousness, though, in terms of volume it makes absolute sense to listen to APEIROZOAN as loudly as you dare, partly to feel the full force of the work's immensity, but also to make the best sense of its huge dynamic range and the intricacies playing out (at both extremes) that could otherwise be missed.”
— Simon Cummings, 5:4 — read the entire review here.
“Of course it is Christmas every day, chez Vital Weekly, with new music flowing like water. However, a rare thing is when a package arrives, and a box of mysteries unfolds. This is one. First of all, it's not easy to find out who made the music, but it is one JH, which, so Discogs tells me, is one James Hamilton. He is also a member of Angelicate, Annihilist, Anomalist, Automata, Column, Nebris, Preterite, and The Keraunograph Ensemble. I heard his music before (Vital Weekly 1082), but that was just one CD; now, it is five. Again, a recommendation is ‘play at high volume in a quiet place with no visual distraction,’ which in the VW HQ is tricky. I like this commitment to music without any visual stimuli. The covers of the CDs contain mostly cryptic information. The instruments are a Hammond BV organ, Hammond HR-40 cabinet, Leslie 825, guitar and bass amplifiers, analogue filters, spring and plate reverb and string resonators. Four CDs were recorded between 2016 and 2019 in Montreal (Incorrect, actually all five discs — JH), and CD5, at The Warren, Montreal, 2003 (Incorrect again! Just the voice layer was recorded in 2003, the rest at The Pines + EMS — JH). It is also mentioned that the processing was done on a Serge system at Studio 6, EMS, Stockholm, October 2019. I assume that's where the result is created. Three CDs have one long piece, and two have two pieces; to be even more precise, three times one hour, six minutes and thirty-six seconds, four times thirty-three minutes and eighteen seconds (I admit I spotted that on Discogs!). You have figured out which order these pieces have on these discs. That is a lot of information, so what about the music? JH's music is in the world of drones, with a specialisation of the harsher variety. These drones aren't big fat bassy drones but more piercing mid to high end. I reckon these are the string resonators that provide these; I might be wrong. Just as I noticed with the first release I heard from him, there is no way I was thinking about a Hammond organ when hearing this music. JH's music is far from static, even when it doesn't always 'move' fast. You'll notice substantial changes throughout a piece (long or a bit shorter). At times the music reaches a loud peak, which reminded me of being locked inside a machine (well, not based on actual events, of course), but one can always escape the machine, and on the decaying end, when the sounds die slowly, you feel the pressure vanishing. Occasionally there is a more collage-like approach so that the music is completely gone, but within the same track, it all starts building again. To play these five CDs in one long session, without visual distraction and at a high volume, is perhaps stretching things a bit too far; even at a moderate volume, it's still quite a sit, but, all the same, a great experience.”
— Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly #1331
“What we get is an almost obsessive study of the extreme ends of the frequency spectrum, running in and out of parallel through multiplied layers of organ and voice. At certain of their extremes, hidden depths are barely to be gleaned, crystalline shimmering piercings arching and expanding across galactic constellations of densely clustered black holes, superionic ice particles swallowing up all light if not, quite, all sound. At peak convergences, to which things will inevitably build, we're enveloped in monumental billowing clusterstorms of supermassive blot-out-the-goddamn-sky proportion. Top shelf.”
— Soddy, S&W