title: Lisa Says


label: aufabwegen (Cologne)

LP clear vinyl 33 rpm
release date: 18.09.2012
order no.: aatp38
Label code (LC): 01291
time: ca. 50 min

sleeve designed by Richard Francis, comes with text insert. Clear vinyl 300 handnumbered copies.

On “Lisa Says”:

This LP captures the transcontinental collaboration between artists Mattin and Richard Francis with sounds recorded in Stockholm, Berlin and Auckland, NZ. The mixdown portrays the current state of affairs in improvised noise noise: filtered gritty sound blocks flow and float with no seeming direction when sudden breaks puncture the structure and create something like a melody. Well, almost. The music is accompanied by a text insert that documents a skype conversation between the two artists discussing the methods and aesthetics connected to this release and their ways of working in general.

Mattin Bio

Mattin is a Basque artist working with noise and improvisation. His work seeks to address the social and economic structures of experimental music production through live performance, recordings and writing. Using a conceptual approach, he aims to question the nature and parameters of improvisation, specifically the relationship between the idea

of “freedom” and constant innovation that it traditionally implies, and the established conventions of improvisation as a genre. Mattin considers improvisation not only as an interaction between musicians and instruments, but as a situation involving all the elements that constitute a concert, including the audience and the social and architectural space. He tries to expose the stereotypical relation between active performer and passive audience, producing a sense of strangeness and alienatio in that disturbs this relationship.

Richard Francis Bio

Richard Francis has been releasing works on CD/vinyl, performing solo and in collaboration as a touring artist since 1996. He uses field recordings of acoustic and electronic sounds and a tone generator to compose sound works. He has released solo and collaborative music on a number of labels worldwide and runs his own label CMR through which he releases limited edition lathe cut records by New Zealand artists.

In performance he uses a computer and electronics and has toured Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, USA and Europe. Since 2003, Francis has composed works for sound installation, participating in group and solo shows at galleries throughout New Zealand. He has collaborated for recording and performance with many artists, and has had recent published collaborative CDs with Jason Kahn (USA/Swiss) and Francisco Lopez (Spain). Collaborations for recording and/or performance: Bruce Russell, Francisco Lopez, Jason Kahn, Mattin, Birchville Cat Motel, Gate, MSBR, Tetuzi Akiyama, Lawrence English, Rosy Parlane, Howard Stelzer, Jason Lescalleet, Jay Sullivan, Empirical, Pumice, Kuwayama Kiyoharu, Phil Dadson, Anthony Guerra, Sean Meehan, Ishigami Kazuya, Antony Milton, James Kirk, MHFS, Tim Coster, Paul Winstanley, Takefumi Naoshima, Toshihiro Koike.


Aquarius Records (California, 2015)

"I love the idea of burying sounds beneath layers of noise, things seem to sound better to me." So sayeth the New Zealand sound artist Richard Francis in the transcribed conversation with the Basque conceptualist Mattin that serves as the liner notes here. Over the years, we've championed both of these artists with Mattin being perhaps best known (at least in these parts) for the monstrous Afro-noise / thud-rock of Billy Bao; and Francis being one of the most interesting modern-day minimalists from his island nation. For this project, Francis brings a his array of organically slippery electrical static to Mattin to recompose those sources into a malleable structure of crackling pink noise and swarming sibilance. The A-side builds in stepped ascents to a densely packed morass of texture, sounding like a multi-channel smashjob of one of those amazingly loud Michael Gendreau performances of run-out grooves on very old 78s. If Gendreau is too obtuse a reference, try Marclay or Jeck without any of the musical references or that long-forgotten Loren Chasse album Hedge Of Nerves composed entirely of vinyl crackle, fire, and bristling textures. Where the A-side is a dramatic, swollen tactile violence, the B-side is a contemplative drift of softened white noise caressing itself into near-emptiness and just at the edge of frequency audibility. As different as the two pieces are, the anchor of this buried texture and this buried noise provided by Francis is more than enough to ground this album. A very solid piece of tactile minimalism! Limited to just 300 copies.

Vital Weekly

A project in two parts, one the actual music, as recorded on July 3 2008 in Berlin and one the conversation as a piece of text from August 31 2011 in which Richard Francis and Mattin talk about the recording from three years before, about their methods of working together but also with others. A fascination they have in common is about white and pink noise, and sustaining those sounds. It’s an interesting text to read, as it clears up some interesting things but it’s not entirely necessary to read the text to like the music I should think. The buzzing, cracking and sustaining sound, which sometimes hoovers closely above the threshold of hearing, reminds the listener of your ventilator or heater buzzing, or the faint noises from afar late at night. If I understand right, this record is for Francis an end to the way he working and for Mattin the start of a new working method, a more conceptual approach if you will. This record contains some very minimal music, with very few sound elements, but are fascinating to hear. Crackles of vinyl (not from the pressing), field recordings very remotely humming and the white/pink noise slowly washing ashore and moving away. All of this in a very quiet and contemplating way. If you think Mattin is all about noise then you should surely try this record for a change. Maybe this is more what you would expect from somebody like Richard Francis, but this is a great improvised electronic record. Excellent head space music. (FdW)

KFJC (California)

Mattin & Richard Francis – “Lisa Says” – [Aufabwegen]

Transcontinental collaboration between New Zealand sound artist/installationist Richard Francis and Basque miscreant sonic deconstructionist Mattin. One 50 minute piece (split between 2 sides) experimenting with white/pink noise at a VERY minimal level, stripping them down into equally organic/synthetic forms. This is challenging not as harsh (well, mostly not) but as it hovers just within audibility. Sparse, shifting static dissections and coarse, digital vinyl crackle overlap with cracked synth tones, computer error alerts and high-frequency rings of standby electronics. The A side is mostly whirr and buzz that boils into simmering drone and high-temperature sizzle. The B side tests your hearing with silent low end crinkling and migraine inducing high pitch rings that’ll send dogs running. The liner notes are a transcript of a skype conversation they had about the piece 8 weeks later; apparently this is sory of the end of a methodology for Francis and a new jumping off point for Mattin. He says its like “getting inside the computer or into the fridge.”

The Wire (#349, March 2013, Nick Cain)