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Takuji Naka/Tim Olive, "Minouragatake", Chris Dadge/Tim Olive, "Nice You!"

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cover image Canadian-born but based in Kobe, Japan, Tim Olive's work in the realms of abstract sound and composition is unique in that it rarely is a solo endeavor.  Instead, his approach is that music should be collaborative, and thus these two recent works feature him and his slew of home made and non-musical instruments working alongside similar minded artists, in this case Kyoto's Takuji Naka and Calgary percussionist Chris Dadge.  The two albums are certainly consistent with each other in approach, but also stand alone as distinct entities as well, linked by Olive's touch and artistry.

Notice Recordings, 845 Audio

Most of Olive's collaborations are immediate and improvisational in nature, with only a small amount of post-recording treatment done, as is the case here.  The collaboration with Naka, Minouragatake, was recorded on two dates in the fall/winter of 2019, with no indication of post-production occurring.  The first of the seven untitled pieces begins with a series of wet, industrial thuds that approximate some semblance of rhythm akin to a broken drum machine.  Fluid, reverberating ambience and skittering noises flesh out the performance.

The second and third pieces exemplify the quieter, sparser tendencies of the duo.  The second is a light amount of interference (likely captured by Olive's magnetic pickups) that is treated to sound rather digital and unnatural.  The overall sound is spacious, but there is distinct structure to be had.  The third part may be quiet in volume, but humming sounds and low bit rate electronics result in a more chaotic feel in comparison.

The second side of the tape is where the sound becomes denser, and occasionally frightening.  The sixth piece sounds like it is built on a foundation of pained animal sounds, with metallic scrapes and pulsating electronics later added to the loop-centric composition.  The concluding section is all whistling noises and bizarre, sustained hums and drones.  There is a cold, off-kilter sound throughout, with some uncomfortable noises and sounds of unclear origin concluding the tape.

cover image

For Nice You!, Olive pairs up with Chris Dadge for a studio endeavor following a duo performance in June 2019.  With Tim sticking to his magnetic pickup array and found objects, Dadge adds percussion and small instruments and electronics to create a work that is a bit more rhythmic, but also a bit more spacious.  The first of two lengthy pieces leads off with sustained bass amp hums and scraping metal.  Dadge’s improvised percussion gives a pseudo-rhythmic throb, punctuated with more amp noise and feedback.  There is overall a loose free improvised sound here, with Dadge’s toy piano undercutting some of the more chaotic electronics throughout.

On the second piece, low frequency rumbles bounce through open spaces and what sounds like clattering bottles or other rattling noises functioning as percussion.  Later a semblance of rhythm is constructed via knocking noises baked in reverb that rumble through the spacious and metallic mix.  From there a mass of what resembles anemic strings, massive oil drum vibrations and sustained electronic notes extend throughout.  The opening sounds stay consistent throughout, but overall there is a dynamic feel, with other parts swirling and slowly flowing from one moment to the next, balancing that feeling of consistency with spontaneity.

Certainly there is some similarities between the tape with Takuji Naka and the CD with Chris Drage due to Tim Olive’s presence and use of electronics, but the two are clearly distinct from one another.  The spontaneity of the recording sessions, and the way in which Tim bounces off a fellow performer gives each one a fresh dynamic, from the less structured electronics heavy Minouragatake to the free improvisation tinged rhythms of Nice You! makes for two distinct works that complement each other well.  With Naka and Olive having a 13 date UK tour postponed from May of this year, I am curious to see with future releases if he opts into virtual collaborations, or once restrictions are lifted if his performing style goes into a different direction entirely.

Samples Available Here (Minouragatake, Nice You!).

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 November 2020 16:42  


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