CD/A5 booklet (E122)
Digital/A5 booklet (E122)
A note about the 2014 edition
The original seven tracks on this album were written and
recorded in Alloa and Barcelona between 2009 and 2011
by Stephen Sharp and Roc Jiménez de Cisneros. The CD
was accompanied by a booklet which included an extensive
interview with Eric Persing, founder of Spectrasonics and
inventor of the legendary ‘Hoover’ sound.
The 2014 edition includes two new extra tracks totalling
over an hour (30'31" and 30'51"; sample). The booklet
has been subtly redesigned; its content remains identical
to the original version.
Wormhole Shubz constitutes a new step forward in the
ongoing audio research/frenzy that Sharp and Jiménez de
Cisneros call Rave Synthesis — a deconstruction of rave
culture icons under radically different compositional
strategies. A combination of trance inducing exercise
and hooliganistic noise, Wormhole Shubz pulls the listener
into a maelstrom of quasi-periodic patterns and large-scale
whirling structures that provide a renewed morphology for
custom-made hoovers, supersaws, and other oddly familiar
club culture standards.
Despite some methodological variations, EVOL tracks and
recordings have typically been characterised by a certain
kind of minimalism: not so much in the structural detail,
but in the use of limited sound sources. This ‘one synth
at a time’ rule holds true in Wormhole Shubz as well.
Here, tracks make use of this self-imposed reductionism
to achieve a truly abstracted experience of acoustic matter
and an approach to metric ordering that makes anticipation
simply pointless. On the contrary, the listener is invited to
play these pieces loud and just let them be. The change,
as Rosemary Mountain puts it, is more in the listener’s
focus than in the flow of these sonic objects.
The tracks on Wormhole Shubz are based on the principle
of topological homeomorphism. “A homeomorphism, also
called a continuous transformation, is an equivalence
relation and one-to-one correspondence between points
in two geometric figures or topological spaces that is
continuous in both directions.” In other words, two
geometrical objects are homeomorphic (or equivalent)
if you can obtain one by continuously deforming the
other – and back again. The structures of these tracks,
both at a macro and micro level, are continuously
stretched and bent, and only occasionally does the
listener find gaps in the constant deformation of pitch
streams and gliding tones that gives rise to these seven
monoliths. Some have referred to it as “sonic Play-Doh”;
they have previously called it “rave slime”.
1. Jiménez de Cisneros, Roc. Continuum, expanded.
1. London: Sound Proof 4, 2011.
2. Mountain, Rosemary. ‘The Breathing of Time in(to)
2. Music’ in Proceedings of the 5th Triennial ESCOM
2. Conference, R. Kopiez, A. C. Lehmann, I. Wolther &
2. C. Wolf (Eds.). Hanover: University of Music and
2. Drama, 2003.
3. Weisstein, Eric W. ‘Homeomorphism’.
3. From MathWorld: A Wolfram Web Resource
First edition of 200 copies (out of print)
Second edition of 100 copies (2014; out of print)
EVOL has always been two parts music academia to one part
humour and Wormhole Shubz: Finitude and Homeomorphism
in Postulatory Rave Synthesis is certainly no different. Part
12 of Roc Jiménez de Cisneros’ ongoing Punani series, here he
presents an impeccable package of academic curiosity about
cultural reference, channeled through his unique brand of
personal amusement and uncompromising computer music.
Continuing where previous single Rave Slime left off, all
material on Wormhole Shubz is based entirely on the now
legendary Roland Alpha Juno ‘What the?’ synthesizer preset.
More colloquially known as the Hoover bass, this is a sound
that usefully encapsulates a very specific era and revolution
of culture, and probably more than any other of its time.
It is this phenomena that has captured EVOL’s attention,
causing him to take a relentlessly intense exploration of this
most significant of rave signifiers, somehow managing to
remain cheeky at the same time as terrifying the living shit
out of us.
Those unfamiliar with EVOL’s previous output should know
that this is hardcore electronic music, with all the aesthetic
extremes that can entail. While often using processes that
share similarities with Florian Hecker, EVOL tends to work
monophonically, creating long, writhing strings of sound
quite unlike anyone else. Constant variation of gesture
from a single voice or layered voices moving similarly are
the preferred means of retaining interest, meaning that
sometimes the most rewarding points actually come from
the breaks between phrases, drawing attention to the
journey your ear has just taken. Where monophonic sound
is unbroken, however, it is frequency phasing that provides
a counterpoint in Wormhole Shubz.
Steve Shaw at Fact magazine
It’s a shame that Wormhole Shubz hit the shelves just a
fortnight after Haswell & Hecker’s Kanal GENDYN. The two
are at times strikingly alike, sharing a fascination with multi-
layered tone crescendos, oscillating buzzsaw tones and swarms
of wildly asynchronous algorithms. This unfortunate scheduling
coincidence aside, what’s intriguing is that Haswell & Hecker
and EVOL have arrived at a similar point using radically differ-
ent approaches. The former deployed Xenakis’s stochastic
software to soundtrack a film by Peter Fischli & David Weiss;
the latter utilise custom-built instruments and an idiosyncratic
compositional technique (‘topological homeomorphism’) to de-
construct rave culture. Wormhole Shubz is at its strongest when
the rave references are most explicit: the mazy synth squiggles
of the fifth track and a sustained klaxon caterwaul on the first,
connoting impending assault rather than euphoric communal
Nick Cain in The Wire