Jacques Beloeil/Michael Anacker
CD (E86)

“Sound is conceived neither as an effect nor as a substance,
but rather as a coming-into-being and a temporal extension.
What is conceived as coming-into-being is becoming but
not yet is. Just as a house or a ship and other multitudinous
things that are in a state of becoming are not said to be.
So then, sound is nothing. But now since there is no sound,
neither is there a note, which was said to be a fall of sound
on one pitch. Since there is no note, neither has a musical
interval been established nor consonance nor melody nor the
genera derived from this. Because of this, there is no music…”
— Sextus Empiricus, Against the Musicians

See also
Jacques Beloeil (E64)
Out of print


Edition of 300 copies


The title of this joint venture between Jacques Beloeil and
Michael Anacker refers to the fact that their composition
lasts exactly half an hour, each passing minute signalled
by a synthesized voice counting down from thirty to zero,
at which point the piece ends. Actually it’s a little bit more
interesting and irregular than that: the first intoned ‘thirty’
doesn’t actually appear until 0'30", and as there are in fact
thirty-one spoken numbers (thirty counting down to one,
and then a final zero), you can see that each section lasts
slightly less than a minute. But, anyway, the spoken count-
down serves not only to mark the passing time — it doesn’t
take long to guess that when it reaches zero the piece will
be over — but also to articulate the work’s structure, each
intoned number triggering off a change of process and
texture. Many of these are themselves related to pulse
and the idea of number, or extracts of speeches discussing
numbers, the whole piece then being a kind of meditation
on metre and rhythm. It’s enjoyable and accessible (maybe
too much so in places — can’t say I’m overly fond of the
last five minutes, whose hocketing octaves sound a tad too
early Mute for me), and all the more impressive for having
been recorded live in December last year at Gent’s wonderful
new music venue, De Witte Zaal.

Dan Warburton at Paris Transatlantic

This is a fascinating 30-minute excursion which takes us
deep into the wastelands and marshes of the human brain.
It’s a series of episodes (some treated field recordings, barely
recognisable) combined with ominous low-key electronic
music, often propelled by a devilishly slow pulsebeat. When a
robotic voice tonelessly utters a number at strategic intervals
(we appear to be counting down from 30 to zero), you’ll be
stopped dead in your tracks like a deer trapped in the head-
lights. A real chiller... in its understated way, this icy piece
feels almost pathological in its determined attempts to under-
mine our shared sense of reality.

Ed Pinsent at The Sound Projector

I had kind of enjoyed the screwy Beloeil release last year,
a Casio-driven joyride of sorts. Here, we have a disembodied,
synthesised voice counting down from thirty, once a minute,
while things fall apart around ‘her’. Tumbling metal, escaping
steam, other distorted voices, a regular heartbeat thud, etc.
There’s a filmic, dystopic feel at play, inevitable in this count-
down set-up and it works well as far as it goes, though it has
a distancing effect. The steady rhythm becomes more pro-
nounced below ‘10’, the music edging toward the tonal, with
a smidgen of Glass. ‘0’ is, inevitably, reached, the electronic
rhythm having simplified to a resonant blip and the piece

Brian Olewnick at Just outside