This disc is an adventurous journey back to a previous era of electronic musical thought, and this is a good thing. That being said, it provides some unexpected turns, some unpredictable and large gestures, with a variety of whimsical, electronic storytelling art.
William C. Harrington: soprano sax, guitar, sitar guitar, Kawai K4, E-MU Audity 2000, Classic Keys, Radial, Roland CA-30, CM-32L, GarageBand, voice and loops
Jilli Dart (spacekitti) guitar, loops, FXs (tracks 4, 8, 13)
Composed and recorded between April 2006 and April 2007 at the WCH Electronic Music Lab, except Rockitt II which was recorded live at Dangerous Curve on 11/19/06 and Il Corral 12/08/06
Mastered by Scott Fraser at Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
... and now to William C. Harrington’s sub-sonic shuffle “The Long Descent,” on his latest release “Nuclear Menace.” You have to love Harrington’s cracked sense of humor (the single word “BOOM” faces those who open the jewel case) and personal vision– like Harrington’s prior disc “Urban Electronic Music,” “Nuclear Menace” is a jarring hodge-podge of sounds– evocative, overwhelming, disturbing, peaceful. I will cheat– you should just hear this one to see why.
I almost forgot– don’t neglect to notice Rune Freeman and Seth Kasselman’s (of Warm Climate, duh) contribution to the disc, on “Rockitt II”. Huge craziness, I will leave it at that. ...
Thanks for the new one. This may be your best and strongest work yet. I totally enjoyed the entire thing this afternoon. Great production and playing! Radio play coming asap.
Equipment used: Arp 2600, Kawai K4, E-mu Classic Keys, Roland VK-7, CA-30, CM-32L, soprano sax, electric guitar, bowed electric guitar, glass salad bowls, communion bells, cell phone, army bugle, Max/MSP, Radial, GarageBand, vocalizations and loops
Composed, realized, produced and engineered by
All pieces recorded between 4/05 and 8/05 at the WCH Electronic Music Lab, except Enola Gay which was recorded in 1973 at Cal State Domiguez Hills Electronic Music Lab
Mastered by Scott Fraser at Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
artist uses a wide range of tools to create this sonic reality. Of
course there's the ROLAND and ARP but also we get soprano sax, electric
guitars, glass salad bowls, bells, a bugle, vocalizations, and more.
Exactly as I expected from this fine work from William C. Harrington. Not that it was predictable, it was not, but because I enjoyed Bill's performance at Electro Music 2006 and knew about his electronic music composing styles. I had to purchase his latest release!
U.E.M. is a nice mix of electronic sound, sampled/treated glass bowls, cell phones, and many other suprises! A expert weave of electronic sound and samples.
Well done Bill ....
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
This CD is beyond brilliant...words fail to express the level of genius present on this album. It is a rich, gorgeously textured, dynamic experience.
...The Harrington CD is brilliant. Highly entertaining yet uncompromisingly experimental. Never boring or pretentious either. Very, very well done. Airplay coming assuredly.....
I’m not what you’d call a “big-city” person. So when the Angry Vegan Records release “Urban Electronic Music” by William C. Harrington arrived, you’ll have to understand that the title didn’t conjure a whole lot of positive images for me. In my limited experience, “urban” is too many people, too little privacy, not enough green– all the best excuses to live somewhere less intense. “Urban” is somewhere I’d visit, but wouldn’t want to stay.
If Harrington’s intent is to capture this feeling, I think he does it well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the album quite a bit. It’s a fascinating trip to take! Like any good-sized city, Harrington has populated his album with a diverse set of voices– Arp 2600, E-mu Classic, and VK-7 keys clamor for attention alongside bowed guitar, cell phones, loops, saxophone, salad bowls, and a host of other unlikely objects. Within many tracks, like “I Slept Through Vespers” or “Cuckoo to You,” distinct sound events play a lesser role; with more of a blended, futuristic, electroacoustic feel. However, some tracks, like “One for Nick,” sound dated– I had some similar synth percussion presets on my old Casio– but isn’t part of the “urban” experience the contrast and layering of old and new? Would a city like St. Louis or Chicago (or Memphis!) retain any of its flavor if it stayed “updated” all the time? Oddly enough; one track on the album, “Enola Gay,” really is dated– 1973, to be precise– but fits so well you won’t suspect a thing.
“Remnants” seems to best reflect this layering, with Harrington providing a real hubbub of activity. This track best reflects the vibrant “aliveness” present in a city like New York, where the pattern and activity of the city itself seems to take on a life of its own. For a one-man album (composed, realized, produced, and engineered by Harrington) it’s a marvelous accomplishment.
UEM Live at Nova Express
"UEM Live" Reviewed 2007-02-07
ass experimental analog loops, drones and collage for fans of Eno, NON,
Reich, Cage, electronic music (by its traditional definition), even
tribal King Crimson. Recorded live, this is really one long track split
into many tracks with distinct flavors and themes. Well done. My picks:
1) chorus of feedback, tasteful and somehow melodic
2) a nice drone, a crunchy tape loop, and echo'ed trumpet cant go wrong
3) clarinet and other horns become more apparent, tape loops and noise grow bold
4) flute and racket, still looping hypnotically
5) mechanical somehow, robotic voice buried at times
6) briefer, like a computer on a space station
7) a lovely drone starts this and evolves nicely, staying chill and narcotic until end where moog tones appear
8) an eastern tabla flavor to this, cool
9) a little more electronic but incorporates some treated guitar
10) developing a definite rhythm, tribal but not trite, still on a foundation of excellent drony noise
11) beat continues, less rhythmic, cool looping guitar Frippish guitar work
12) brief, dominated by feedback and a square wave
13) guitar feedback symphony again, like in intro reminds me of tones The Residents used a lot in their early days ("on any other street"), midway loops like crashing and falling appear, at end theres some backward voice sample
14) classic Tomita'esque analog synth sequence, trippy and composed, pretty actually
Jilli's Intro and Syd from "UEM Live"
Harsh, electric guitar walls of sound. Magnified side-product noise becomes a partially demolished sound mass, excessive and yet teeming with microscopic changes within constant, deafening envelopes. Occasionally, the simple outlook gives way to complex overlays that express their statements in an equally forceful manner.
Artist: WILLIAM C HARRINGTON W/ JILLI DART (SPACEKITTI)
Title: UEM Live
Rated: 3.5 stars
"...this 14 track live recording of UEM's performance at Nova Express, in LA, in Sept 2006 with special guest Jilli Dart of spacekitti features Harrington on soprano sax and electronics and Jilli on guitar, sitar and effects and travels the corridors of improvised experimental/electronic, spacing from drones to noise, occasionally pointing in the direction of more rhythmically-defined patterns and flirting with some weird free-form of obscure guitar-impregnated idm. Keep an eye on UEM as I feel they'll have more in store for us pretty soon".
- Marc Urselli-Schaerer, Chain D.L.K.
"The recording is wonderful! I hope to hear from UEM again soon."
- DaveX WDBX, 91.1 FM Southern Illinois, It's too Damn Early
DaveX aired "UEM Live" in it's entirety 10.21.06 on
WDBX 91.1 FM Southern Illinois, It's Too Damn Early, a weekly experimental show
"Heard the whole CD this afternoon and totally enjoyed it. Nice choice of edits and the mix of sounds is wonderful. Airplay coming."
- Don Campau KKUP, 91.5 San Francisco Bay Area, No Pigeonholes
"The CD is fantastic!"
- Lisette Sutherland, Lighthouse Promotions