Tim Catlin – Slow Twitch (Dr Jim, 2003)

Tim Catlin
Slow Twitch

CD Dr Jim’s Records DRJIM 34 (Australia, 2003)

01. Metal Fatigue
02. Electric Clouds
03. Vapour Trail
04. Slow Twitch

Tim Catlin is a Melbourne based guitarist & sound artist. His guitar practice focuses on extending the sonic possibilities of the guitar in live and studio settings. As a performer he uses customized effects, guitar preparation and constructed playing devices in conjunction with live looping and improvisation to produce finely textured and slowly shifting fields of sound. Recently he has performed at the What is Music and Next Wave festivals and his sound works have been included in the Variable Resistance Exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Totally Huge and Liquid Architecture festivals. His sound works have also been included in the Immersion surround sound concert series, Cinesonic film sound conference and exhibited at the Westspace and First Site galleries in Melbourne. As well as performing with local improvisers David Brown, Lazy and Andrew Barrie he has played with New York minimalist Phill Niblock and in an occasional duo with UK guitarist Mike Cooper. (Dr. Jim)

Tim Catlin has taken the shimmering ephemeral nature of the guitar’s indefinite identity and exploded it into a fine mist. The guitar is not a solid entity, its location in the mix not longer governed by a common understanding of how the elements of rock fit together. Free of such constraints, the sound is allowed to evolve and mutate, pulsate, rattle, hum, buzz, crackle, breathe, and resonate of its own accord. Replacing the much-championed guitarist with simple low-tech automatons, fans & e-bows, mechanical devices to keep the strings moving with precious little gestural hyperbole. Catlin has refined a system where the energy and harmonic complexity of the electric guitar is allowed to develop without the self-importance of the virtuosi performer, the epic narrative, or a formulaic mix schematic. Not concerned with preserving the instrumental identity of the guitar (a tenuous prospect given the past fifty years of rock & pop production), rather he has allowed it to detach from such narrow definitions to discover heretofore unknown sound-worlds only ever faintly alluded to in rock music. Furthermore, the extension of the instrument through mechanical preparations (rather than computer processing), has produced complex acoustic phenomena on account of the unpredictable interactions between machine and instrument. The result, incredibly rich acoustic soundscapes, within which one may forget the origin of sound and marvel at their foreign beauty. (Phillip Pietruschka, May 2003)

Tim Catlin’s Slow Twitch initially suggests misaligned machines, their rattling bolts struggling to hold everything together while the torque of the engines slowly unscrews itself to its own demise. However, this Australian sound artist has realised an impressive trompe l’oreille charming an arsenal of prepared guitars to mimic the environmental clatter of an archaic air compressor or a grizzled refrigeration unit or whatever obnoxious machine came to hand that never quite works. Fans, e-bows and customised automatons keep his guitar strings in constant motion, building dense layers of rapidfire clinkings and glistening magnetic disturbances. Slow Twitch resonates with the conceptual self-propulsion of Paul Panhuysen’s robotic guitar ensembles, blurring lines between metal machine music and holy minalism. (Jim Haynes, The Wire)

Puisque je me rappelle comment on publie des messages sur ce truc, en voilà un deuxième pour la soirée. Antérieur à son excellent CD sur 23five, un album dont les titres affichent clairement la couleur: Metal Fatigue, Electric Clouds, Vapour Trail… Exploration de guitares au menu : ça triture, ça creuse, ça meule et ça drone (c’est un verbe?), autrement dit tout ce qu’on aime ici.


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