POGUS POGUS Is Watching You!
Quartet for the End of Space - Pauline Oliveros, Francisco López, Doug Van Nort,
Jonas Braasch

Quartet for the End of Space - Pauline Oliveros, Francisco López, Doug Van Nort, Jonas BraaschFrom the moment I click play and get into Doug Van Nort's arresting 'Outer' I just really know that this is gonna be something quite special. Doug's piece is a startling transportation into the stars and beyond recalling classic early electronic music and science fiction movie soundtracks. Things start fairly calmly as I can visualize meteors passing by, until the climax where I feel like I'm being sucked inside out through a wormhole. Jonas' 'Web Doppelganger' give off an eerie lost in space mood with sounds manipulated from live improvisations. Francisco's piece as expected is very mysterious and cerebral with shifting tones, hiss, distant gurgle and pinprick fizzing micro sounds. Again staring at the back of my eyelids it's not difficult to imagine floating in a void, in the very fabric of time. Pauline Oliveros' 'Mercury Retrograde' is a journey in the fluid dynamics of liquid metal created using the EIS delay lines and modulations with ViMic and sound geometries. The results are a fascinating listen. This just covers half of the tracks here, the rest of which I recommend discovering for yourselves. - Norman Records

A stellar lineup of composers produced Quartet for the End of Space (POGUS PRODUCTIONS 21059-2): Pauline Oliveros, Jonas Braasch, Doug Van Nort, and Francisco López. On these eight lengthy pieces they assist playing each other’s compositions in the mode of performance which is quite close to “electroacoustic improvisation”, or EAI as some will have it. This strange work is largely characterised by very alien, unnatural sounds; great duration; slow exploration of imaginary spaces; and certain affinities with the weather, of which Braasch’s ‘Snow Drifts’ is the most obvious example. His ‘Web Doppelganger’ on the other hand is asking profound questions about the very nature of improvised and aleatory music, and doing so in a very creative way. Recorded and performed in 2010, and put together with a great sense of deliberation and care; instrumentation is not detailed, but there is a deal of electronic music, signal processing and computer assisted sounds blending with traditional instruments such as the saxophone. All the musicians play with authority and gravitas on this profound and stirring collection. - Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector

Into the abyss: An intense psychological experience.

Quartet for the End of Space is an all-star electroacoustic jam session between composers and sound artists Pauline Oliveros, Francisco López, Doug Van Nort, and Jonas Braasch. The quartet used raw material from two improvisational sessions between February and May 2010 to construct eight compositions—two by each composer—that blur the lines between improvisation and composition. Together, the pieces of Quartet for the End of Space—a play off of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time—offer an intense psychological experience straight out of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The album’s opener, “Outer,” begins with low-end engine-like rumblings that swell to an ambient, spacious composition. In the last quarter of the piece, extraterrestrial insect-like sounds swarm between the speakers as the sonic texture is gradually engulfed in a tide of white noise.

“Web Doppelganger” is a tour through a spaceship, with manipulated saxophones mumbling like androids before a backdrop of ever-evolving celestial drones. “Mercury Retrograde” features free-jazz horn squealing over reversed tape, struck strings and mallet percussion. In “Snow Drifts,” alien howling sounds are layered into a microtonal field of pulsing sonic interferences. “Cyber Talk” is the sound of a malfunctioning robot: digital beeps, metallic scrapes, and inhuman slurping sounds spiral around one another in schizophrenic spurts.

Perhaps most intriguing about Quartet for the End of Space is its cohesive narrative arc. While each piece clearly has it’s own sonic character, there’s a conceptual and textural continuity between the works that constructs a compelling and psychologically charged whole. The pieces are arranged so as to lead a virtual tour through a futuristic environment. The journey begins outside of a spaceship, and then proceeds through its inner chambers, some of which are chillingly sedate (“Untitled #273”), while others offer disorienting and dystopian visions of the future (“Cyber Talk”).

By the time the album’s last bits of static fade out, Quartet for the End of Space has guided you on a chilling Sci-Fi journey. The album closes with its most ambient composition, “Untitled #273.” Floating weightlessly over sustained synth-like chords, breathing sounds, and quiet bass rumblings, the piece seems to offer an exterior shot of a ship disappearing into the abyss of space. - Hannis Brown, Tokafi

CAUTION: Listening to POGUS CD's may cause you to become one with the universe (or at least your immediate environment)
Unless otherwise noted, all content © 2000 - 2005 Pogus Productions  ::  Design by Family Design Group