Socrates Martinis ~ North / Uton ~ Kähe+

This unique pair of releases from the Moremars label stretches beyond the usual confines.  The first is a CD3″ nestled in a poetry chapbook; the second is a sonic exploration of non-existent Finnish words.  Together, they are evidence of a creative and forward-thinking label.

socrates-martinis-northMultidisciplinary Greek artist Socrates Martinis records under numerous pseudonyms.  The cover of North suggests additional guises through the use of symbols.  His music – a mixture of field recording and “found sound”, does the same.  There’s no pigeonholing this artist.  His poetry is allusive: “The memory of Saturday / in the form of an old man in black”.  A clear erotic thread runs through his words and provides the backdrop for “Wedding and the Negative”, a performance whose component parts are contained here.  The 14-minute CD3″ begins with a literal “Bang”, a 13-second attack that leads into two drone-based pieces.  “The wedding” simmers; “Sign and afterwords” sounds like a fight.  It’s unclear who the protagonists may be: a pair of spouses or a pair of opposing desires.  What is clear is conflict; as the cover implies, a battle between bone and bell.

UtonUton (Jani Hirvonen) hails from Finland, but his work Kähe+ was recorded in France, was initially released in Mexico, and is now being re-released in Greece:  a prime example of the international music climate.  When first released, the album contained 30 short tracks, each based on a “non-existent Finnish word”; the reissue adds two much longer tracks formed from pieces of the same sessions, effectively doubling the length of the release.  Like North, it also comes with a book, this one of paper collages.  According to Uton, the music “follows the same rules” as the words, which “mutate” into unpredictable forms.  New words enter languages and disappear; sometimes they re-appear with different meanings.  This chameleon-like nature is reflected in some very odd tracks that seem less odd after repeated plays – the same thing that happens to new words as they grow more familiar to the tongue.  Gurgles and neighs, bubbles and bells, all have their places, rubbing up against the synths and warbles, trumpet and tape loops like cats against legs or consonants against vowels.  One grows curious about these tiny tracks, and by extension about the words: kösi, pössi, päerkö.  By opening windows of sound, Uton opens windows of imagination as well.  Most words seek to capture ideas; these words seek to spark them.  As otherworldly as this music may sound, it now exists in this world, as does the vocabulary to describe it.  (Richard Allen)

Available here

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