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SMALL CRUEL PARTY - Three simple Eyes of the Insect Ancestor

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Kaon ao12b
Release Year: 2012
Note: remastered re-issue with much better sound quality of one of the beautiful / long deleted MC-only releases by SMALL CRUEL PARTY (originally on Apraxia in 1992) - mysterious object-based dronescapes at its best (two long tracks), featuring members of YEAST CULTURE; long overdue re-release on CEDRIC PEYRONNET's (TOY BIZARRE) label !!
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"1st edition by Apraxia, 1992 (Cassette). Three simple eyes of the insect ancestor was originally released on cassette in 1992 in black-painted boxes with twigs glued on top, wrapped up in copper wire in sealed in wax. There is a big difference, obviously, in the sound quality between the original release and this CD version (remastered by Laurent Gabiot), and in the case of the first piece it is almost a shame. The limitations inherent in cassette recordings provide a kind of physical crunchyness to the sound, as if one could actually chew it, which is necessarily absent here. I must admit that I recall nothing at all about Crowd of small things. The ambiance is very familiar, but the circumstances of its creation are hidden in the mists of Erebus... For me the interest here is more historical than aesthetic, with this kind of sonic morass that seems to hover above the Pacifique northwest of the early 1990s, and which brings to mind a particular way of listening to the world, a sort of sonic steambath. Tank extasy between floors left a more precise imprint on my memory. The main part was recorded in collaboration with members of Yeast Culture in the staircase of the Seattle Public Library, before opening hours. Its legitimate raison d'tre is simply the celebration of the fabulous reverb in this place usually reserved for silent reading. For this new edition Cdric Peyronnet supplied the photographs. The interior image appealed to me because it made me think of a phantom or angel, from beyond, that might have been summoned by (or it emerges from) the sonic mass of the first piece. The cover image is extremely similar -mirabile dictu- to that in a conceptual work of mine from 1997, Dislocation Migration (dedicated to Jeph Jerman ; see the booklet accompanying the Harbinger LP release)." [William Key RANSONE (10.viii.2012)]


"Sometimes I know that 'things' will arrive on this desk, since people announce it. So I am particularly happy to announce the return of Small Cruel Party, but that glorious moment is a bit stolen now. Let me explain. When Harbinger Sound send me the 8 CD set of Ramleh, they also announced the imminent release of a 3 CD set by Small Cruel Party, with a bunch of 7"s and compilation tracks from the period 1992-2002, which excited me. Many of those 7"s records I no doubt have, and perhaps even reviewed in the old days of Vital-as-paper magazine, and in one of those issues I conducted a sort of interview with Key Ransone, the man behind Small Cruel Party. But that 3CD set is now somewhat delayed, and the hurrah momentum is now for Kaon, who re-release a tape from 1992 on CD. I am looking at the images on discogs, but I am not sure if I ever heard or owned this tape. The music of Small Cruel Party is not easy to describe. Its a very minimal sound, with an electro-acoustic basis at the core of it, but then its been treated with simple sound effects, such as delay and reverb. By using his hands to manipulate his sounds he creates dense fields of sound. Long pieces also. This CD/cassette has two twenty minute pieces of music. 'Crowd Of Small Things' sounds like metal on metal being rubbed slowly back and forth, with some irregularities of the surface being amplified. 'Tank Ecstasy Between Floors' sound exactly like that. A big hollow sort of tank thing in which some sort of action takes place. Water sounds, large amounts of natural reverb of objects falling on metal floors with additional delay. Mysterious music, drone like but then not in a synthetic way, but rather natural and hardly blurred - perhaps strangely enough. This is different kind of drone music than what we usually hear, these days at least. This is great release and the first sign of many more Small Cruel Party to come - to be continued." [FdW/Vital Weekly]

"Small Cruel Party was the obscurant sound-art project for then Seattle-based Key Ransome, who applied the grandeur of minimalism to the sodden detritus of his surroundings, creating a brilliant amalgamation of texture, noise, drone, atmosphere, tension, bombast, industrial euphoria, and mystical threat. Three Simple Eyes Of The Insect Ancestor was an early cassette by Small Cruel Party, released by Apraxia in 1992 in a package smeared with wax and oversized sticks that would have surely fallen off merely by looking at it sideways. In a rare piece of text accompanying these recordings (found on the Kaon website, and not the cd), Ransome describes a considerable difference in the sound quality between the original cassette and remastered cd, the latter of which negated the former's overblown mulched sound from faulty replication providing 'clarity' for the murky sounds found within. Ransome admits a lack of memory when it comes to the recording of the first track "Crowd Of Small Things" - but the dank atmosphere that hangs on a mysteriously motorized droning erratically hums amidst a slow arcing crescendo of ever-increasing tactile crunches. If anything, it's an existentially bleak soundtrack to an environmental disaster, with the damp forests of the Pacific NW suffocating under the slow ooze of a bunker oil spill. The second track "Tank Ecstasy Between Floors" features recordings make with the members of Yeast Culture in the reverberant stairwell of the Seattle Public Library. Those huge thumps and klangs from the SCP/YC industrial pipe fights are set against a shimmering stream of aquatic field recordings processed with a dreamy delay & reverb combination. In the final mix, Ransome balances the menace of those heavy-handed, thunderous booms in the stairwell with the rapturously hypnotic calm of the watery recordings. A classic Small Cruel Party strategy that's as brilliant as ever." [Aquarius Records]