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1

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 11:17

Eskil’s side project “Cement”

You may have heard about Eskil’s side project “Cement” that seems to be Industrial/Noise style.

Cement played live at the SAMA at April 6th 2007.

Meriadoc wrote this rather un-enthusiastic statement in the German part of the forum and allowed me to translate it (at least I tried to translate it. Feel free to correct me if something makes no sense at all):

”I just watched him at the SAMA. With all my respect: this had been a bad joke. Monotonous noise without melodies or changes, not even louder or lower (except a faint swelling up and down). Eskil was fumbling around with some audiotapes but I didn't hear anything of that.
I have rarely seen so many faces at a loss in an audience; even big Eskil-fans didn't know what to say.
Everyone who knows me would say that I don't easily utter drastic opinions, but this was no good.
We left after 12 Minutes when the first song was not yet completed. He had made a speech before (in Swedish so I didn't understand him). I hope he apologized in advance.”

Has someone else been there (and did maybe listen a little longer?)
All things considered, insanity is the only reasonable alternative.

2

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 16:58

RE: Eskil’s new side project “Cement”

I saw the Youtube video of the performance in Berlin a couple of weeks back, and I thought it was just crappy sound quality because it wasn't professionally recorded. But it really sounds like that? Um. Wow. I don't know what to say...

3

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 19:32

Sounds interesting.

4

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 20:40

I actually think it's the best thing he's done in a long time. Yes, it's pure noise. Extremely minimal, very dark and beautifully textured with hints of melody that make you feel like leaning into the wall of static as you strain to hear it.

It certainly isn't music for everybody. But as a long-time fan of noise music I think it's not only interesting but very well executed, like most things Eskil do. I don't say this because he's my friend and colleague. I say it because I really mean it.

The only thing I'm unhappy about is that he beat me to it. ;) I've been toying with similar ideas for a long time as well. So I guess I'll have to rethink my own little pet projects...

No matter what you think about this kind of rather extreme music, this sort of aesthetics have always been part of Covenant as well. We listened a lot to stuff like NON, Brighter Death Now, Genocide Organ etc. even before we started Covenant. Even if Covenant is a million times more accessible and pop oriented it's a part of where we came from in the first place.

Yes, noise music (especially when it's taken as far as Eskil does with Cement) is definitely an "aquired taste" but once you get the general idea it actually becomes very interesting. I mean, Meriadoc is of course entitled to his opinion, but to me it seems a tad bit intolerant and uninquisitive to just disregard the thing so easily.

It would be rather pointless for us to make side projects that sound like Covenant, wouldn't it? The idea of a side project is after all to explore things and ideas that don't fit under the "main" project.

5

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 21:13

Would be nice to hear some of these sounds minus the random noise of a video recording. ;)

6

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 21:18

Maybe poor quality Youtube videos and live performances don't do it justice... It's probably something best heard from a studio recording or something. I don't know. I'm not an expert when it comes to these things.

7

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 21:21

Not having high quality material makes things more fun though.

8

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 21:30

Zitat

Originally posted by Vorbedacht
Not having high quality material makes things more fun though.


Ha! Yes it does. I feel this is going to turn into a crazy game of What Does Cement Really Sound Like? We'll get everyone who knows something about composing music to make an audio file, and the person with the closest sounding one wins... something. Yeah, I don't know what's making me come up with this stuff, though I think it has something to do with me eating a bunch of my Easter candy and having Underworlds Dubnobasswithmyheadman album on repeat for the past 6 hours. :rolleyes:

9

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 21:33

…and in the case of noise music, it sounds best when played loud enough so that you FEEL the sound.

Also, am I the only one who noticed that Feedback and Theremin were fairly noisier live last year?

Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 2 mal editiert, zuletzt von »Vorbedacht« (11. April 2007, 21:36)


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10

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 22:28

RE: Eskil’s new side project “Cement”

Zitat

Original von michelem31
I saw the Youtube video of the performance in Berlin a couple of weeks back, and I thought it was just crappy sound quality because it wasn't professionally recorded. But it really sounds like that? Um. Wow. I don't know what to say...


Where can I find this Youtube Video. I'm searching and searching and I find everything but not this Video .....

By the way I found this:

Covenant Figurehead (Video):
http://youtube.com/watch?v=_e606TgYP0Y

Is this the real Video of Figurehead?
Nichts ist wahr! Alles ist erlaubt !

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11

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 22:34

First of all, Ratte: thank you for the translation. :D

Ok, so I gave Cement a listen on YouTube and was surprised. It's good! I think perhaps part of the reaction at SAMA was that some of the audience saw their beloved duckling (Eskil) come on stage and found he was growling rather than quacking. Mindsets are some of the hardest things to change. ;)

Sorry, I like metaphors and I certainly like a variety of music. That and I listen to a lot of W.A.S.T.E. and Manufactura lately.

Hey Eskil, if Cement needs some type of future (and free, of course) promotion in Chicago, Milwaukee and/or Detroit, I'll be glad to help. Furthermore, congratulations on performing at the last SAMA!
All you got is this moment
Twenty-first century's yesterday
You can care all you want

12

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 22:44

RE: Eskil’s new side project “Cement”

Zitat

Originally posted by ShadowByte

Where can I find this Youtube Video. I'm searching and searching and I find everything but not this Video .....


Here

Now that I watch it again, I hear something beside the loud static like noise. Huh. Maybe it was my other headphones that made it sound horrible before...

Zitat

By the way I found this:

Covenant Figurehead (Video):
http://youtube.com/watch?v=_e606TgYP0Y

Is this the real Video of Figurehead?


I've been meaning to ask someone about that one too. Wasn't there one for Stalker made a long long time ago? And there was one other one, but according to our boys, they never talk about it. :rolleyes:

13

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 22:50

The Schlagstrom video is also available on Cement's myspace profille.

14

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 22:59

Now I think I have to add something to the translation of my SAMA review written down in the german section. My english is horrible, so I do appologize in advance.

Maybe my opinion sounds intolerant, right! But making a Covenant fanatic out of me, who was expecting a solo show of Eskil in Covenant style, is quite unfair and untrue.
I was´nt expecting a thing. I´m open minded to many styles of music, but for me it should have at last a glimpse of melody and rhythm. Maybe this is a oldfashioned attitude, but there was no melody at all, just noise.

It should be allowed to say that, or not? It was probably written to harsh, but after all this fancy ideas regarding my thoughts, I say "Quit pro quo".

Kindest regards,
Christian

Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von »Meriadoc« (11. April 2007, 23:01)


15

Mittwoch, 11. April 2007, 23:17

Oh, no! I do not think there was any negativity directed towards any one here.

16

Donnerstag, 12. April 2007, 00:17

In regards to the Figurehead video, that is probably the right video. I think, Sharon/Kyron 5 is the "she" referred to in the description, who has the VHS of it. Maybe she can confirm.

m

17

Donnerstag, 12. April 2007, 00:38

Dear Christian,

I know you since years and I wouldn't dream of judging you or making you seem intolerant or fanatic. What I meant was that the type of music that Eskil makes with Cement is:

a) very different from Covenant, which was clearly declared in Cement's profile at the SAMA website (most probably in the program flyer as well) and

b) music that doesn't give itself lightly. Good noise music is more than just noise, if it wasn't it wouldn't be music after all. It's a kind of riddle or a quest. It's up to you to find meaning and order in it. Or decide not to.

I completely understand and respect that you don't like it. Most people don't. But that doesn't mean that it's not done with care and purpose. To disregard something that you don't like/don't understand and just decide it's bad is a little bit disrespectful, I think. That's what I tried to say. But this is a forum and forums are meant to exchange ideas and opinions. Furthermore, this is an independent forum that is in no way controlled by any member of the band. If it seems like I was trying to say that negative criticism isn't allowed nothing could be more wrong. I sincerely apologize if I made it look that way.

On the contrary, I very much value personal opinions. I simply wanted to add my personal opinion, that's all. I thought it would be a shame not to give a second opinion and people might get a one-sided idea of what this is about. Like most "art" (silly word, but lacking any better...) music is extremely subjective. Thank God. :)

PS. About the video: yes, that's the only video ever made for "Figurehead". The "Stalker" video does exist and perhaps some day someone will make it public. We won't. Or perhaps we will? We'll see...

Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von »Joakim« (12. April 2007, 00:41)


18

Donnerstag, 12. April 2007, 01:01

Zitat

In regards to the Figurehead video, that is probably the right video. I think, Sharon/Kyron 5 is the "she" referred to in the description, who has the VHS of it. Maybe she can confirm.


Yeah, that's the actual Figurehead video. And, yeah, I'm the "she" referred to in the description (on YouTube). The five second explanation of how the clip came to be would go something like this: back in '97 Don Blanchard (who owned 21st Circuitry) wanted to try to get Covenant onto the MTV show Amp. Don hired a local (San Francisco) guy make the clip. Covenant, as you'll notice, is not in it. That's because at that point they hadn't even been to America (as Covenant, at least). MTV turned it down, and that was that.

Incidentally, I actually have a VHS copy of the Stalker video somewhere as well, but it is old, and in PAL format, so I never got it to work properly in my VCR.

--Sharon

Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von »Kyron5« (12. April 2007, 01:02)


19

Donnerstag, 12. April 2007, 04:16

Ok, first off, thank GOD someone started talking about this, because ever since I read the scathing review of it in the German thread the other day, I was wondering how to formulate a response. Knew I very much wanted to being I love experimental/noise/drone stuff, but wanted to ruminate a little to make sure I chose my words carefully.

The first thing I was going to ask Mariadoc is if he is a fan of noise to begin with. Because quite frankly, the (unfortunate) little I've heard of Cement, I've really really liked. But I like noise. I remember reading on a different forum how Subterfugue for 3 Absynths seemed to piss some people off with its inaccessibility and repetition.

Me, I love it, absolutely love it. Makes me really happy. I can't qualify my reasoning as satisfactorily as I'd like, being it's such a subjective thing- we'd tangentially get back to the What Is Art thing that Joakim mentioned- and that's pointless.

Suffice to say that like a lot of noise, it's something that resonates deeply with me. It doesn't for many people and that's ok too. I can happily get lost in the textures and subtleties in Muslimgauze's Azzazin for instance, whereas I have friends who absolutely *do not get* what I see in it. And like I said, that's perfectly ok. I respect the fact they don't like it and they respect the fact that I do.

So, I personally was thrilled when I discovered Eskil's side project was noise-oriented. I assumed that the name "Cement" possibly referred to Musique concrète, with its repetitive tape loops. Which alone gives a strong indication as to the tone of the project. I could be wrong- just my assumption. But I certainly didn't assume it was going to be traditionally melodic or even have elements of Covenant in it.

But I guess my main point is this: why write a review about how terrible a noise show was (regardless of *whose* show it is), when one doesn't like noise to begin with?

My usual caveat applies- not writing this to piss anyone off or to operate under the notion that it isn't ok to have a differing taste or point of view (I should start using that as my signature, ha). Of course it is.

Quid Pro Quo certainly is applicable- as long as you're coming from a basis of comparison that is fair to begin with. It works both ways. But in the review I didn't really see any respect for the particular art form that Cement is utilizing. So yeah, frankly, it did seem dismissive and short-sighted to me, to be honest.

I just don't think it's fair to dismiss something- anything, really- because it doesn't meet preconceived expectations as to what you anticipated it would or *should* be.

Ok, I've babbled enough...

Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 3 mal editiert, zuletzt von »ilex011« (12. April 2007, 09:04)


20

Donnerstag, 12. April 2007, 04:26

Zitat

Originally posted by Vorbedacht
Not having high quality material makes things more fun though.


Hee- yeah!! :perfekt: :D

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