Gryphon Rue & Merche Blasco
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North of the Future
by Gryphon Rue & Merche Blasco
First pressing of 200 cassettes on WHITE shells.
North Of The Future
Music for constructing a new localized reality, North Of The Future is a document of sonic purging by Gryphon Rue and Merche Blasco, recorded under conditions of straitjacketed stasis and thick idle air. Seeded in a deep yearning to sound together and disrupt the external circumstances, the collection charts non-idiomatic improvisations bound to deformations of time and place.
The shimmering Super Tender introduces us to North Of The Future’s entrancing sound worlds, equal parts elegy, experiment, and sonic prism capturing 2020’s wake. North Of The Future is a homebound duet between Rue and Blasco with instrumental interlocutors. The scarcely governable voice of Blasco’s EMS Synthi AKS (“Cintia”) and her singing saw entangle signals with Rue’s singing saw, harmonium, and custom modular synths (“Fritz”). A rare model from 1972, Cintia’s frayed circuitry gives the synth a special character – she interjects, digresses, changes the conversation. Ffffffffffff. Zeeeeerrrrt. Pft Pfa Pfta. At times in the music Cintia’s temperament is directly invoked: the comedic squeals which burst forth from the droning opening chords of Cintia On Fritz were elicited by rolling an orange up and down Cintia’s conductive keyboard. These human-like sounds are reinforced by the voices of the saws calling across the album.
Rue and Blasco spent late July, August, and early September 2020 recording before Blasco absconded on a research fellowship to Berlin. The artists continued composing the material and editing remotely in a sculpting process. Prior to bidding each other farewell, the duo met under the Cleft Ridge archway in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Brandishing their saws, they recorded 40.65°N -73.96°W in the early morning, mimicking one another and passersby under the resonating plates of the arch, the oldest of its kind in the country. During the winter, Rue collaged the album’s cover in a visual translation of the colorful sonic structures and feeling of North Of The Future.
Special thanks to: Gregor Kuschmirz, Michael Sugarman, Nathlie Provosty, Douglas Ross
Merche - Cintia (EMS Synthi AKS), saw, voice
Gryphon - Fritz (modular synth chain), saw, harmonium, voice, percussion
Recorded in Crown Heights & Cleft Ridge Span, Prospect Park, summer 2020
Mixed by Gryphon Rue & Nicholas Principe at People Teeth
Mastered by Mikey Young
Cover art by Gryphon Rue
Layout by Tiny Little Hammers