Belgium £13 (including postage)
Europe £15 (including postage)
Rest of world £17 (including postage)
Edition of 300 copies
Mastered by Bob Weston at
These recordings were made as part of
a proposed file-sharing collaboration with Austrian sound artist Helmut Schäfer.
The recordings were abandoned after Schäfer’s death in April 2007 but
largely due to his original interest and enthusiasm, newly-recorded sections were added, with the final edits and
mix completed later that year. Schäfer does not appear on these recordings,
but the final tracks have been completed
with the initial discussions for the collaboration very much in mind. Improvised and recorded in early 2007
in London by Philip Julian (G3 PowerBook/software).
For Helmut Schäfer
(14 August 1969 — 20 April 2007)
Out of print
In the beginning this was meant to be
a collaboration between Phil Julian and Helmut Schäfer, the sound artist from Austria who committed suicide in 2007. While the dramatic event forced the
project’s abortion, Julian — armed with G3 PowerBook and related software — decided to add the finishing touches to what he had already recorded until that moment. At first, listening to the crunchy
distortions and repeatedly clashing interferences of the initial episode, my mind threw out a classic “oh no, another useless laptop release” reaction; but your reviewer couldn’t be more wrong. Secede is indeed an excellent album, all the constituents utilised respecting an even-handed dosage which allows noise and
harmony to coexist — and, in truth, the latter often seems to be born from the former, to the point that certain sections caused serious entrancement despite
the hypothetic inhospitableness of
Cheapmachines’ timbral choices. Music informed by a congenial type of grittiness, the one that leaves us curious to know what comes after, paying attention to how the plot thickens, trying to understand what the original components might be. And there’s not only sheer overdriven granularity: the gorgeous deep reverberation of the fifth track is an example of welcome digression, shifting the whole to somewhat brooding atmospheres. An intelligently realised
record, lacking any kind of exaggeration, which should be exemplar in suggesting the raising of the quality bar to many computer- sheltered dabblers.
Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes
Like everything in the Cheapmachines catalogue, Secede is murky, granular, opaque. White noise has a constant presence. Although there are furious crescendos, they’re sparingly introduced, and Julian spends more time placing tiny details that throw the noise into relief.
At the end, he rails against the dying of the light — Exeunt is a bracing, boiling eruption that’s part dentist’s drill and
part pneumatic hammer.
Chris Sharp in The Wire
It’s sort of divided into two parts: the
first four tracks are rough and gnarly electronics, excellent harsh tumbles along a spiky trail, full of detail and interest. There’s then a brief calm,
a cut full of rich hum. The next two
tracks are airier, full of metallic,
echoing pulses and hums, hollow and foreboding. The final combines the two approaches into a mighty burr, a roaring grind like some massive drill worming through stone. Good, tough disc.
Brian Olewnick at Just Outside