We are three Brooklyn disc-jockeys
who grew up within the "illbient" scene
of New York dance clubs:
Ignacio Platas (Once 11), Gregor Asch (DJ Olive), Rich Panciera (Lloop).
DJ Olive was the one who invented the
term. The three virtually invented in 1992 the legendary
Lalalandia multimedia parties in Williamsburg.
We's debut album,
As Is (Asphodel, 1997), was a revelation and remains a milestone of
dance music thanks to an attitude that borrows from
Squarepusher's austere compositions
and adds an almost psychedelic approach to improvisation.
Whether it is drum'n'bass (Magnesium Flares,
3/10 Of The Population) or dub (Believe Porpoise,
Ease In) or trip-hop (Dyed Camel Skins, Lillie)
or even jazz (In Time) that the trio demolishes, the resulting
harmonies are always luxuriant and acrobatic.
The pieces with no percussion (Flutesque, Shape Wipe) and
the requiem Tombs And Tombs Only highlight the classical skills of the
Unfortunately, the subsequent
Square Root Of Negative One (Asphodel, 1998) is
a confused hodgepodge of jungle cliches, as if a bunch of amateurs tried to
12 Diablos and El Mosquito
will probably help pay the mortgage, but sound like a betrayal of the
avantgarde ambitions of As Is
Decentertainment (Liquid Sky, 2000), on the other hand, marks a fantastic
return to form, with a wild post-modern experiment on dance styles.
The addition of world-music
(Afrique, Rain In Spain, Micro Al Hammed) simply enhances
a palette that was already overflowing with genius.
Even the simplest jungle tracks (Out For Now, Granular Timor Time,
Pull) eskew the trivial and gross predictability of Square Root.
Text Of Light (Starlight Furniture, 2004) is a collaboration among
guitarists Alan Licht
Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo,
turntablists Christian Marclay and
drummer William Hooker
and saxophonist Ulrich Krieger.
Lunchbox is the trio of
DJ Olive on turntable and laptop,
Martin Baumgartner on laptop and Bruno Amstad on vocals.
Anyways (Agriculture, 2005) deconstructs dub, jazz and hip-hop, but
fails to reconstruct them into self-sustaining structures, with the notable
exceptions of Brown Bag and Peanut Butter And Jelly.
Bodega (Agriculture, 2003) was the solo debut of DJ Olive, mostly inspired
by old-fashioned funk music although delivered with the high-tech tools of the 200s.
His second album, Buoy (Room40, 2004), is a single track of soothing
keyboard drones, field recordings and digital glitches. About half-way an
organic pulsation appears, almost a bossanova. After about 40 minutes
an industrial bass undulation merges with a sinister galactic drone.
The last ten minutes opt for a slow fade-out that leaves only the faintest
of glitches and found noises.
DJ Olive's progression towards the abstract peaked with his third album,
Sleep (Room40, 2006), that contains only one 48-minute
piece, another titanic endeavor of
abstract soundsculpting, musique concrete, glitch art and ambient droning,
just a bit more relaxed and static than the previous one.
The third part of the "sleeping pills" trilogy, the one-hour long
Triage (2008), debuted as an art installation at the 2008 Whitney Biennial.
djTRIO was a turntablist trio formed by
Christian Marclay, Toshio Kajiwara and DJ Olive and documented on 21 September 2002 (Cuneiform, 2012).
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