synthetic listening environments :: created with material extracted from field recordings and processed/arranged using software, alongside electronic signals from no-input feedback + test equipment.
most of the source material was generated at my place of work[as a technician]—whilst testing large amounts of audio equipment—capturing electronics’ internal behaviours + using very high levels of amplification on various small capsule microphones, connected to wireless transmitters placed in resonant vessels/spaces and materials of interest
Northern Irish, London based musician Michael Speers composes and performs music as a temporal and worldly extension of himself and the tools at his disposition. As a percussionist by training, Michael extends his contact and interplay with resonant objects through instrumentalised amplification and feedback, employing signal processing to articulate the almost tangible constitution of sonic material as structural, nearly cellular, microscopic entities. Following his integral presence in C.A.N.V.A.S. performance events since their inception and his recent participation in the Cipher compilation, xtr’ctn is released in September 2019 as a debut solo LP for both the artist and the label.
Dehumanised black metal screams, attributed to seagulls - specifically “recorded in Ramsgate, 06.2017”. It’s the inhuman that concerns us here, or our complex relationship with non-human entities and abstractions. Extracting is a process. By integrating recorded and found sound phenomena, treated as profane and material entities, Michael meticulously arranges sound objects into composition, upholding a fidelity to their emergent properties. Most of these objects become seemingly un-referential, although occasionally you arrive at a near-recognisable sound source or environment, disrupting the invitation towards a total loss of a sense of self.
This is fictional music - it is of and for a world that doesn’t exist. Although presenting sound with sincerity and integrity, without allusion to linear narrative, Michael's materialistic approach is transcended by the sensitivity of his composition. In a sense, it comes after both feeling and expression, as the subdued emotion of a person attempting to reach beyond their own affective limitations. It reaches out without ever really touching anything. Yet for all it’s clinical reduction, there are moments of unhindered emotion which strike harder for their arrival from such a seemingly nonhuman place.
“xtr’ctn” fails in reaching a point of immanent abstraction - a flatline horizon. It arrives instead at the outer brim of a sensory dam, where organic glitches from the extremities of our perception have spread - like sonic cataracts - intercepting the flow of our auditory awareness. In its state of fiction, “xtr’ctn” acts as a flag for the C.A.N.V.A.S. community, pitched as a marker of our enacted existence, weathered though unliving. To follow this signal to its depth is to accept the unknown - you only follow, knowing no alternative.
released September 13, 2019
Mastered by Ali Najafi
Artwork and product design by AALTAR