Album Review

Surak, Jeff – “All Those Born Must Die” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

whngr   10/5/2022   A Library, Cassette

Dramatically varied abstractions of often quiet minimal soundscapes with impressive breadth in tone, feel, and volume. It is better, in my opinion, to just experience this album for oneself than for one to attempt to explain the sounds within, however, it is contemplative, cerebral, often quiet with just a bit startling contrast, and probably most compellingly, contains a couple incredibly unique percussive passages.
During a 2012 interview  with QwartzMusic Surak states when speaking of the Sonic Circuits festival that he directed from 2005-18, “This is Art, y’know, it’s beyond just regular entertainment. So therefore, it is harder to sell. Um… but it is possible, I think, to function commercially by making it easy for the audiences to experience this music.” (Is this music?) “So we try to make it open and as accessible as possible. Put on performances not just in underground venues, small clubs, basements, whatever… but also in big institutions, in large theaters and in places that are easy for people to get to, friendly, not intimidating… where people all dressed in black and look mean drink and smoke or whatever… No, it’s music that anyone can enjoy.” Woah mother-fucker! Stay in your lane, that is our job! We are the ones bringing “art” to the shut-ins and the pussies. We have been the ones working for decades to legitimize abstract, high concept musings of primarily straight white men, the Art school dropouts, knob twiddlers, and aurally productive acid casualties. We are their Champions! We are KF fucking JC! 

Surak appears to be as thoughtful and dedicated as he is prolific and also performs as Violet and 1348 and he seems to be kind of a glass half-full kind of a chap which honestly is a bit off-putting to this miserable volunteer, has lived in Russia where he was in several noise projects, most notably Sovmestnoye Predpriyatiye (Joint Venture), has collaborated with the likes of  Frans de Waard, and Michael Gendreau among others, and runs the Zeromoon label out of…

Washington D.C. – 2021

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