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Violets For Your Furs / Effortless Battle

by Ian Nagoski

Pipe Sketch 03:27


Track 1 recorded late 1999 to early 2001 in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Released as a one-sided picture-disc LP by edition ... in an edition of 300 copies in early 2002. Remastered from vinyl in 2015. Dedicated to Bonnie Jones.

Track 2 recorded in 2002 at Diamond Eyes (Tarantula Hill) to accompany C. Pancake's video. (The title is theirs.)

Track 3 recorded 2003 using Daniel Conrad's instrument Wild Wave.

Track 4 recorded early 2004, derived from a 78rpm disc of a Scottish pipe band playing the Skye Boat Song. Released on the CD accompanying Yeti magazine #3.

"[Violets for Your Furs] is remarkable as it enters the time-space with a wonderfully slow emission of minute and hyper-layered sound. Gaze at Daniel Conrad's 'rotating illusion' imprinted on the disc's face and you got yourself a pretty cool time."
-Byron Coley & Thurston Moore, Arthur #3, March 2003

"A writer, curator and sound artist from Baltimore, Ian Nagoski regularly collaborates with light sculptor Daniel Conrad, who has contributed the moire inducing artwork with a spiraling chessboard pattern to this limited edtion picture disc [Violets for Your Furs...] Nagoski matches Conrad's visuals with a phenomenologicaly rich sound construction of phase shifting vibrations extracted from electromagnetic fields. Far from being static, the chorus of pulses parallels the visual disorientation as a constant fluctuation between harmonic consonance and dissonance with subtle difference in speed throughout the dense spectrum of electric sounds. Not unlike CM von Hauswolff's affinity for minimalism devoid of ornamental flourishes, Violets for Your Furs is a wonderful, if stoic, document of the relationship between frequency dynamics, both sonic and optic."
-Jim Haynes, The Wire 227, Jan. 2003

"[Effortless Battle] builds slowly from silence, as befits the work of a devoted chronicler of minimalism, to a massive roar. Then just as exhilaration takes over, the audio slows and disintegrates, like caliople music sinking in an acid bath. 'Ripped Steam Hinterland' is performed on an instrument called the Wild Wave developed by Dan Conrad (yup, he's Tony's brother). It follows some oscillating patterns on a slow upward fade-in that builds and builds upon itself, turning pure waves into dense, patiently beating tones. It lasts less than half as long as 'Battle' but seems to take longer, and that's not a complaint; if you like your drones thick and shiny this'll do you just fine."
- Bill Meyer, Signal to Noise, Winter 2004

"...this record is a damnably good effort too. There's a single 31-minute drone piece which kicks off the CD and is, frankly, terrifylingly awesome [...] 'Effortless Battle' starts with a harmless 'fluttering' drone, as though the listener's lower body half is caressed by butterfly wings, this long drone gradually seeps out a thick resinous emminence like tar that insinuates itself into your core. Rather than experiencing a sound which makes itself heard, it's more like being invaded by unseen germs or infections. Good wiry minimalism; CD continues in like vein. Nagoski gets into some serious 'throbbing' as his electronic penis begins to swell and grow and saturate in size. He brings in some slightly troubling chords on top of the pulsing madness, generating a dangerous drone... it's a digital feedback and lots of source material which he can't ever repeat in quite the same way, as his master tapes got stolen from his car one night. (I understand this precious booty is now available on the black market and highly craved by junkie wastrels and reprobates who can't afford to buy drugs but need a trip as intense as something you get from speedball-ecstacy heroin-hash bars and by golly, this just is just the stuff to do it). By the 15 minute mark, the sound is becoming lethal... more layers are fed in by a team of mad scientists, the slow and deliberate pace of it becomes numbing, and the cormforting tonal centre which we we started out with has vanished... you get that sick, vertiginous feeling like when you're far too drunk or you smoked too many cigarettes, and the floor is just dropping away from you. A shimmering power-pack of transcendental beauty is this 'Effortless Battle,' a major minimo-electro statement. Buy it and play it as often as you fucking can.
"'Ripped Steam Hinterland' is an additional cut at 14 minutes and using the Wild Wave instrument of Daniel Conrad. This device seemingly involves a vibrating metal plate, which appears to my fevered brain as something both sexually perverse and akin to the Brion Gysin Dream Machine, a flimsy self-assembly paper device which junkies and weirdos who subscribe to art magazines which publish it could use to hypnotize their sick selves when they'd run out of hard drugs and wanted some other mind-bending experiences to relieve their jaded existence. Nagoski uses the Wild Wave to deliver more of the same pulsing, pounding dronery... but with a more enjoyable helicopter-ride sensation than the life-of-death drama contained in the long track. Put it this way, at least I didn't need to phone an ambulance after playing this cut."
-Ed Pinset, Sound Projector #12, Winter 2004

"Track one doesn't even really get audible until almost 3 minutes in. And even then it's a real far off sound. Good though, and track two is actually a very excellent wall-drone. I prefer to listen to track 2 first because it puts 1 in a new impatience-free light. When track 1 gets up there to full volume (around the 10-minute mark) it's pretty powerful. Not unlike [Kevin] Drumm's [Land of] Lurches [...] though a slightly softer and more orchestral texture of death-drone. I have a feeling this would be good really really loud, louder than I'll probably ever be able to play it in this apartment."
-Larry Dolman, Blastitude


released February 1, 2003

Thank you: Twig Harper, Carly Ptak, C. Pancake, Dan Conrad, Andy Hayleck, Angela Sawyer, Chris Rice, and T.C. Moore


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