Jo Thomas
Alpha
12" (E82)

 

Belgium £16.50 (including postage)

Europe £18.50 (including postage)

Rest of world £23 (including postage)

 

Edition of 200 copies

Mastered by Rashad Becker

at Dubplates & Mastering


Jo Thomas is a London-based composer and a tutor. Her compositional work is primarily focused on the human voice,
microsound and technological artefacts. 

It explores the semiotics of the audio ‘glitch’ as an expression of freedom, failure and human rights. Her music is frequently performed live and often in 

a traditional electroacoustic setting (multi-channel diffusion), where the emphasis 

is on exploring spatial acoustics. She has
written electronic works in the studios 

of INA-GRM in Paris and EMS in Stockholm. Alpha is her first release.

See also
Out of print

 


Reviews

[Alpha] is a work with [a unique] aesthetic. Its three tracks burst within 

the vinyl and lead you to a universe not unlike that of Tetris; above you, geometric forms made from crashes, feedback, buzzes and whispers. Luscious and delectable.

Pierre Cécile at Le son du grisli


The three compositions included on this vinyl-only title span the past ten years, including Glitch, Dark Noise and a new piece, Alpha. Though Thomas’s work 

is to all appearances purely electronic, 

she is predominantly interested in such physical world elements as imperfection, mistakes and the nuances of the human voice, and she incorporates these 

into her work in various ways. The appropriately titled Glitch, a complex soundscape that wobbles, whistles, squeals and explodes across a vast range of sonic textures and frequencies, makes use of such audio detritus as clicks, tape hiss, distortion and the 

by-products of the granular synthesis process that are normally discarded.
These bits of noise added to the computer-generated signal give the 

piece a warmth that might otherwise be missing, at times pushing into grating, sand-in-the-gears territory. Dark Noise
is more architectural in intent, with particular attention given to the physical placement of sound sources and the way they combine to create a virtual space (though it must be said that Thomas’s 

use of sonic architecture [throughout] 

is excellent). The composition develops more slowly, subtly and systematically
than Glitch, with little percussive sounds rattling over a dark, swirling undercurrent of low-pitched wind, and the occasional
intrusion of a highly processed female voice. Alpha is inspired by the writing 

of the American post-feminist academic Donna Haraway, best known for her Cyborg Manifesto. The piece uses as 

its raw material electronically altered recordings of mobile phone calls (some of them extremely low-fidelity) by both
women and men — Thomas’s multi-sexual response to what she sees as 

a female-centric orientation in Haraway’s cyborg theory. Alpha is the most musical of the compositions on the LP, with 

nearly discernible pitches played on 

what at least appears to be a keyboard instrument or sampler. But as usual
Thomas throws wrenches into the 

works at every opportunity: the otherwise 

placid piece breaks down repeatedly, 

is interrupted again and again by distorted glitches and discordant metallic
sounds, and from time to time goes completely silent for uncomfortably long periods. Which is both imperfect and perfect.

Dave Mandl in The Wire

E82.jpeg

 

Jo Thomas

ICA, London, 2011