Marinos Koutsomichalis
CD (E69)

Anasiseipsychos was conceived in late 2007 during a series
of late-night improvisations. The hour-long piece consists
entirely of sine tones, mixed and modulated in a such a way
that the resulting psycho-acoustic side effects have become
the unintentional focus of the work.
  Active in both academic and non-academic milieus,
Koutsomichalis has been composing and performing for several
years using a variety of mediums — computers, acoustic
instruments and ensembles, analogue electronics, loudspeakers,
domestic appliances and environmental sounds. He is mainly
interested in how sound manifests itself in the space-time-
consciousness complex and how he can create aesthetically
intriguing artworks based on such manifestations.

Edition of 300 copies

“Maximum psycho-acoustic rewards”


An hour of sine waves, the result of “late-night improvisations”
at home by this knob-twiddling Greek man who knows what
he’s doing. Let’s make it clear right now: Anasiseipsychos is a
great CD, one of those releases made to be played endlessly,
day in day out. For this writer sinusoidal tones represent some-
thing nearing cosmic perfection, therefore how could anybody
expect a ‘critical’ analysis of what’s just a product of inter-
weaving purities?
  OK, here we go, get a cheap description: permanent lines,
slowly arching frequencies, decaying ellipses, intertwining
glissandos. Wait a minute, I hear voices shouting, everybody
can do this. No, sir: a person must possess a special kind of
ear to set this type of resonance into a structure definable
as ‘music’, and it looks to me that Koutsomichalis is up to
the task.
  Nothing here is designable as ‘unprecedented’, but these
creations are peacefully beautiful in their crystalline minimal-
ism. Not to mention all those deceptive geometric allusions
that inquisitive ears find tangentially, or in some corner, or
at the vertex of a virtual triangle... more or less everywhere.
And what about the customary natural equalizations deriving
from the different inclination of the head, and the non-existent
pulses that an efficient cerebrum generates? Pure illusion,
like everything that’s being told to keep believers docile and
ignorant, as Frank Zappa would have it, until ‘enlightenment’.
  Sound does not claim to heal people; on the contrary, it kills
those who are talking nonsense around it, little by little. So be
careful: what is functional for complex intelligences is instead
lethal for hollow-minded followers of alleged deities that, in
turn, encourage psychological illness, the whole inevitably
causing the rational (and possibly physical) collapse of both
creators and adorers in a reciprocal sucking of vital juices.
  When losers are left alone with the purity of real vibration —
that which a creature is (or is not) able to resonate within from
the birth, and nobody can teach - the inconclusive bitterness
of loophole living becomes really hard to swallow. You are what
your brain and body eat, you are what you say, you die for
what you are. And you didn’t learn to listen.

Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes

Anasiseipsychos dramatises [Koutsomichalis’] fixation with pure
sound convincingly. Its a single, hour long track constructed
entirely from unalloyed sine tones, the product of a string of
late night improvisations. Koutsomichalis slides his primitive
building blocks alongside one another, letting them thrum and
squirm, merge and clash, and so setting in motion a haze of
unruly overtones. He’s clearly absorbed by the way simplicity
can breed complexity and by the sheer immersive pleasure of
the constant textural change, but in the end this music feels
like it was more fun to make than it is to experience.

Chris Sharp in The Wire

Koutsomichalis’s interests lie in timbre, texture, and the ‘archi-
tectural possibilities of sound’, all of which are addressed in his
hypnotic manipulations of sine tones in the hour-long piece.
Multiple tones successively swoop up and down, typically in
slow-motion and often pushed to their seeming breaking points,
with Koutsomichalis winding up the pitch of tonal masses to
almost unbearable degrees of tension (a little bit like a rocket
ship shooting up into space). Adding to the disorientating effect,
the overlaying of tones also generates a multitude of resonating
beats and frequencies. The material turns especially forceful
at about the forty-eight-minute mark when one tone, having
ascended into the stratosphere, is then joined by a second,
then third, and so on. Though his sonic palette is obviously
minimal, Koutsomichalis’s treatment of it proves seductive and
the listener not so much willingly surrenders but more gets
sucked into the inexorable pull of the spiraling vortex. One is
advised to adhere to the composer’s own instruction to ‘Play
loud!’ in order to reap maximum psycho-acoustic rewards.

Ron Schepper at Textura