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COLLEY, JOE / CRAWL UNIT - Disasters of Self

Format: 3 x LP-Box
Label & Cat.Number: C.I.P. CIP022LP
Release Year: 2010
Note: Drone Records artist (DR-28, 1998) JOE COLLEY (aka CRAWL UNIT) is finally back with this massive boxset, all new material ! Silver embossed, diverse inlays, numb. ed. 500 copies
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €45.00

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"I've known Joe for close to 15 years--his audio output for a few more. His composition techniques, recording and editing methods, and persistent refinement and redefining of his aural goals has helped to define a body of work that I firmly believe only few artists could hope to match. After a handful of releases on C.I.P., ranging from full-length CD to one-sided 7," my resolve solidified that Joe was a contemporary artist whose work deserved the focus, breadth, and depth of a multiple LP release.

The all-new material in this collection includes fractured electronics, rich multi-level drones, digital bite, the sounds of decaying technology, analog twists and turns, and recording experiments and documents--plus some other aural surprises that I leave to the listener's discretion as to whether they can be classified as "pleasant" or "otherwise." [Blake Edwards, CIP]


"Some weeks ago I was writing about artists changing from band name to their own name to release their music, and I was thinking about Joe Colley, who was, very early on, Crawl Unit. I realized I didn't hear much from him lately, but this new 3LP set makes it all up for waiting. One of my current topics is 'good noise'. By this I mean noise that is loud at times/most of the times, but also at needed times soft, and where the artist has thought about 'composing' with the material at hand. Quite often I use Joe Colley as a reference for that. This 3LP set shows the many approaches Colley has towards 'noise'. At times vicious and loud, with piercing drones, built from analogue synthesizers and a few sound effects, but also from slowly dying equipment, faulty cables and such like. Sometimes the music consists of a few sine waves buzzing about for a while, abruptly changing then into a heavy insect chorus. Colley uses all the techniques available, from computer editing to humming micro cassette recorders to achieve what he wants. Perhaps I should state that three LPs is a lot, but it isn't. I listened throughout, from start to finish to Colley's world of sound. I am not a lover of noise. The noise of long distortion pedal pushing, but I am a lover of noise when its intelligently made and Colley just does that: crafting intelligent pieces of noise. Raw, intense, loud, soft, delicate. Working with lowest means of sound production, creating a top line of compositions. This is exactly the kind of noise I like very much and that's why I think Colley is the undisputed master of it." [FdW / Vital Weekly]

"A triple boxset that was originally released back 2010, Disasters Of Self represents what may be the final released works for Joe Colley - the existential noise artist who embarked on a flurry of activities in the '90s under the moniker Crawl Unit before shifting over to his given name around 2000 or thereabouts. Since the release of this album, Colley had released a couple of archival tracks that date back much earlier. Colley has not publicly professed to ceasing activities (such as the case on two occasions for Maurizio Bianchi); but the province he finds himself is that of Melville's Bartleby - the refusal to act as a quiet declaration of intent. This position, this circumstance is one where we also find Colley in the production of Disasters Of Self.
An array of square wave tones, electro-mechanical clattering, and rasping LFO waveforms quickly extinguishes itself at the onset of Disasters Of Self's first piece of vinyl. Inscrutable, yet wholly organic field recordings emerge as the hushed sound that might trickle down from the air vents of a fallout shelter that unfortunately saw its intended use come to pass. Scrabblings of high frequency static and percolating tactile demolition implode into a Luc Ferrari like concrete passage describing and abstracting the inner workings of a doomsday clock.
For the second lp, radioactive crackling gives way to an ominous thrum which begets a toxic explosion of circuit bent errata above a pitch-shifted grounding error hum that gives the whole piece a psychological tension through a clinical malaise, detachment, and acrimony all at once. Through all of these records, Colley inserts the compositional dead-end of a locked groove. The strategy willfully inserts the listener into the process, forcing her or him to decide when the composition is over, disrupting whatever envelopment of psychic dread or aesthetic wonder with the act of having to remove the needle from the vinyl. This too is an act of negation, refusing to allow for a particular trajectory of sound or a compositional motif to come to resolution.
The third lp swarms with profoundly ugly electric field disturbances that phase into a blackened sludges of electricity, feedback, and brute forces, balancing the conceptually opposite but aesthetically similar environs of Le Syndicat and David Tudor. And of course, this final lp terminates in a locked groove of blackened crackle and sinetone unease.
A few of these have trickled into the store over the years, but we've never been able to get enough copies to stock in earnest. That said, these are the last copies we obtained from C.I.P., so act fast." [Aquarius Records]