Join Extensions’ initial sounds were created using
several methods of digital synthesis, the results often
subjected to further abstractions within the computer.
Parts of the work were generated from chaotic and
improvised operations; at other points absolute
compositional choices were made to realign or derail
the compositional flow.
These methods can be seen to represent the macro
and micro approach to the works overall design.
Micro composition and synthesis informing the macro
structures which are themselves subjected to further
distortions on both micro and macro levels, leading
to continuous cycles of transformation.
Join Extensions catalogues and illustrates specific
stages in the development and abstraction of these
forms. The sections which were committed to disc
represent the ongoing process of perpetual configu-
ration, disfiguration and reconfiguration.
LG, Autumn 2009
Lee Gamble (E36)
Edition of 300 copies
Out of print
Birmingham Pandemonium Institute, circa 1994
Birmingham producer Lee Gamble has dedicated the best
part of a decade to […] inscrutable number crunching, and
with the fizzy blitz of a second album Join Extensions it’s
clear one is encountering a distinctive voice in the field of
digital synthesis. Admittedly, it’s difficult to form an emo-
tional attachment to pieces that sound like a gale roaring
around a tent, but what most impresses, particularly on
Elastic Point Transitions, is Gamble’s playfulness.
Piers Martin in Uncut
Through various digital synthesis techniques Lee Gamble
creates abrasive and motionful vignettes. According to
Gamble some of the tracks are the result of chaotic and
improvised operations, others of rigorous compositional
choices, yet it is difficult for the listener to distinguish
between these two methods. Which is of little impor-
tance, as this album’s interest resides elsewhere, namely
in the wealth of textures on offer. At times, these evoke
the irritating flight of a mosquito, or the roaring vibrations
of futuristic machines. But rather than building an im-
penetrable wall of sound, Gamble favours swift changes
of intensity and colours. In this, Join Extensions evokes
the musique concrète work of Bernard Parmegianni, or
Mego’s experimentations. If this album mostly gives the
impression of a demonstration of force, it nonetheless is
a racy, abstract and fascinating work .
Jean Dezert at Le son du grisli
Join Extensions clocks in at a commendably concise
37 minutes, but contains ample evidence that Gamble’s
deployment of digital noise textures has only sharpened
since his debut, 80mm O!I!O (Part 1). Its abrasive
sonics, as precisely sculpted as they are immediate
and confrontational, link him to what in our post-Mego
era has come to be tagged as ‘extreme computer music’.
But his compositional deftness, characterised by volatile
dynamics and rapid shifts in perspective, alludes to
musique concrète and, less overtly, electroacoustics.
Gamble has described his compositional process as one
of “perpetual configuration, disfiguration and reconfigur-
ation”. Flashes of structures certainly emerge on several
tracks, if only sporadically. Certain textures occur and
fleetingly recur, most commonly a snippet of a looming,
ascending tone. It functions as a locating device, an aid
to navigating some difficult terrain. Swarms of wildly
oscillating tones fragment with alarming suddenness;
wayward pitches and erratic, sibilant frequencies are
exploded into sputtering white noise.
Gamble’s fondness for algorithmic wave patterns
brings to mind the work of Florian Hecker — passages
in Lidddc Version and Elastic Points Transitions work up
barrages of swooping sound arcs, which fire out digital
fragments in multidirectional sprays. But Gamble is
working with different sound velocities and filtering
them through less obtuse trajectories, as the album’s
artwork — angularly skewed orthogonal graphics —
might indicate. Join Extensions closes with the beguiling
Udhrust 1994, which swaddles percussive tinklings in
swirling harmonics. An almost psychedelic concoction,
it’s generated from a markedly different sound palette.
Gamble’s handling of it is, like Join Extensions as a
whole, impressively assured.
Nick Cain in The Wire
Gamble does computerised music out of the concrète
tradition. Most of the music here is dense, tightly
packed, even claustrophobic in character. For my taste,
I get too much the sensation of a sequence of sound
effects — often very elaborate ones, but still — and
little that exerts force on me as a slab of music.
There’s also a slight sheen of the overly synthesised
as well; for all the apparent rough edges, I sense little
real grit. I may well be missing something but I’m
hearing too much flash, not enough sinew.
Brian Olewnick at Just outside