Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Owen Sound ‎– "Sign Language" (Underwhich Editions ‎– No. 22) 1984

It proudly proclaims a liberal use of the Dolby Noise Reduction system on the insert!?
David St. Hubbins wife told us that "(Sound Poetry) should never be recorded in Dobly"....which is probably true. 
Is Tape Hiss part of the performance? Is it as important as the other 'sounds'?
There have been at least two or three cassettes that comprised entirely of Tape Hiss.One tape of pretentious Tape Hiss that particularly stands out in my mind, was by 'Anti-Art' Artists, The New Blockaders' " Epater Les Bourgeois " . Although what happens to that concept when you switch the Noise reduction ,on, is another matter entirely.The Dobly, or Dolby,to be accurate,noise reduction system was always pretty shit anyway.Not only did it suppress the tape hiss on the cassettes,it also suppressed the frequencies of the music.You lost most of the high-end when that button was pressed,and everything had a muffled quality,no matter which version you used, 'A,B,C or professional'.So embrace the Hiss,and swith the Dobly,and the Dolby,OFF!.
Hiss aside, this tape features Richard Truhlar in his group of Canadian Sound Poets, Owen Sound.Captured live from 1976-78 in places like the "Cabaret Voltaire" Art Gallery,mmmmm fancy(?),in Toronto.Which is a nod towards the Dada-esque origins of this kind of vocal sound manipulation.And before the more well know Cabaret Voltaire had released a record.
I can reveal,however, that the over-riding and essential ingredient of Dada is indeed present here;which is ,'a sense of humour'.The audience seems to find it amusing anyway,which suggests a dirth of Art Luvvies to spoil it all for everyone.
So the moral of this text is, dump the Dolby and bin off the luvvies....for the greater good of everybody.

DOWNLOAD some sound powentry HERE!


Vaykorus said...


snoopy said...

Sorry to be pissy but it seems tracks 3 and 4 didn't convert right, as if the tape and/or tape mechanism was broken.

Jonny Zchivago said...

such are old tapes.....i will have another go.