Marinos Koutsomichalis
Anasiseipsychos
CD (E69)

 

Belgium £13 (including postage)

Europe £15 (including postage)

Rest of world £17 (including postage)

 

Edition of 300 copies


Anasiseipsychos was conceived in 

late 2007 during a series of late-night improvisations. The hour-long piece consists entirely of sine tones, mixed 

and modulated in a such a way that the resulting psycho-acoustic side effects have become the unintentional focus of the work. Active in both academic and non-academic milieus, Koutsomichalis has been composing and performing for several years using a variety of mediums — computers, acoustic instruments 

and ensembles, analogue electronics, loudspeakers, domestic appliances 

and environmental sounds. He is mainly

interested in how sound manifests 

itself in the space-time-consciousness complex and how he can create aesthetically intriguing artworks based 

on such manifestations.

 

marinoskoutsomichalis.com

Reviews

An hour of sine waves, the result of “late-night improvisations” at home by this knob-twiddling Greek man who knows what he’s doing. Let’s make it clear right now: Anasiseipsychos is a great CD, 

one of those releases made to be played endlessly, day in day out. For this writer sinusoidal tones represent something nearing cosmic perfection, therefore how could anybody expect a ‘critical’ analysis of what’s just a product of interweaving purities? OK, here we go, get a cheap description: permanent lines, slowly arching frequencies, decaying ellipses, intertwining glissandos. Wait a minute, 

I hear voices shouting, everybody can 

do this. No, sir: a person must possess 

a special kind of ear to set this type 

of resonance into a structure definable 

as ‘music’, and it looks to me that Koutsomichalis is up to the task. Nothing here is designable as ‘unprecedented’, but these creations are peacefully beautiful in their crystalline minimal-
ism. Not to mention all those deceptive geometric allusions that inquisitive ears find tangentially, or in some corner, or
at the vertex of a virtual triangle... more or less everywhere. And what about the customary natural equalizations deriving
from the different inclination of the head, and the non-existent pulses that an efficient cerebrum generates? Pure illusion, like everything that’s being told 

to keep believers docile and ignorant, 

as Frank Zappa would have it, until ‘enlightenment’. Sound does not claim 

to heal people; on the contrary, it kills
those who are talking nonsense around it, little by little. So be careful: what is functional for complex intelligences is instead lethal for hollow-minded followers of alleged deities that, in turn, encourage psychological illness, the whole inevitably
causing the rational (and possibly physical) collapse of both creators and adorers in a reciprocal sucking of vital juices. When losers are left alone with 

the purity of real vibration — that which 

a creature is (or is not) able to resonate within from the birth, and nobody can teach - the inconclusive bitterness of loophole living becomes really hard to swallow. You are what your brain and body eat, you are what you say, you die for what you are. And you didn’t learn 

to listen.

 

Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes


Anasiseipsychos dramatises this composer’s fixation with pure sound convincingly. Its a single, hour long track constructed entirely from unalloyed sine tones, the product of a string of late night improvisations. Koutsomichalis slides his primitive building blocks alongside one another, letting them thrum and squirm, merge and clash, and so setting in motion a haze of unruly overtones. He’s clearly absorbed by the way simplicity
can breed complexity and by the sheer immersive pleasure of the constant textural change, but in the end this music feels like it was more fun to make than it is to experience.

 

Chris Sharp in The Wire


Koutsomichalis’s interests lie in timbre, texture, and the ‘architectural possibilities of sound’, all of which are addressed in his hypnotic manipulations of sine tones in the hour-long piece. Multiple tones successively swoop up and down, typically in slow-motion and often pushed to their seeming breaking points, with Koutsomichalis winding up the pitch 

of tonal masses to almost unbearable degrees of tension (a little bit like a rocket
ship shooting up into space). Adding to the disorientating effect, the overlaying 

of tones also generates a multitude of resonating beats and frequencies. 

The material turns especially forceful
at about the forty-eight-minute mark when one tone, having ascended into 

the stratosphere, is then joined by a second, then third, and so on. Though 

his sonic palette is obviously minimal, Koutsomichalis’s treatment of it proves seductive and the listener not so much willingly surrenders but more gets
sucked into the inexorable pull of the spiraling vortex
. One is advised to adhere to the composer’s own instruction to ‘Play
loud!’ in order to reap maximum psycho-acoustic rewards.

 

Ron Schepper at Textura