Drone Records
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Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Perdition Plastics per012
Release Year: 2009
Note: re-issue of one of their main works from 1992 (Staalplaat), when JIM O'ROURKE was member of the band; edition of 500 copies
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00

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"This is the first re-issue OF ILLUSION OF SAFETY's PROBE since its only appearance in 1992. In a limited edition of 500 copies, Perdition Plastics is proud to reintroduce this notable work of contemporary composition. Veteran provocateurs, ILLUSION OF SAFETY, examine an audio landscape found between youth and innocence, manufactured entertainment, and suburban complacency. Using a pastiche of field recordings and suggestively composed elements, Dan Burke and Jim O'Rourke strikingly capture ambivalence and their own personal interactions within this environment. PROBE was one of several early, pinnacle works to foreshadow the unique and prolific audio fingerprint of renowned producer/player, Jim O'Rourke, when still a compositional student in Chicago. This release fits neatly into O'Rourke's recent issuing OF forgotten and initial recordings. As the constant center OF ILLUSION OF SAFETY since 1983, Dan Burke has consistently edited and evolved more than 20 CDs from ambience to electronica, from sound collage to post-industrial noise. The complexity and restraint found within PROBE marked a compelling new direction for Burke and a great many others influenced by his music. ILLUSION OF SAFETY has been released by such labels as Die Stadt, Experimedia, Silent, Soleilmoon, Staalplaat, Tesco, and Waystyx among others. Collaborations include Cheer-Accident, Thomas Demuzio, Kevin Drumm, Ben Vida, and others. PROBE will be of interest to those who enjoy Hafler Trio, Throbbing Gristle, Luc Ferrari, etc." [label info]


"This is not a review but merely a historical, personal ramble. In 1992 I started working for Staalplaat, buying and selling stuff, and helping out getting those strange packages done. One of the bands that already had a great package, before my time, was Illusion Of Safety, whose 'Historical' was packed in a leather pouch with a real bullet. Both Staalplaat and Korm Plastics, my own small venture, were in contact with Illusion Of Safety's main man Dan Burke and Jim O'Rourke, who was then a main collaborator with Burke. This resulted in 'Disengage', still one of the top 10 releases by Staalplaat, along with 'Probe' by Illusion Of Safety. The first 500 were packed in a wooden box with a real Italian coin and toy money from former Eastern Germany (an additional 500 were sold in the same wooden box, but without the monies). Illusion Of Safety were on a peak with that CD, or perhaps a watershed mark (otherwise you may think they never reached another peak again) is a better word. Before that Illusion Of Safety was, perhaps, 'another' fine band of harsh and less harsh industrial music as a bigger outfit with a varying line up. Towards the end of the era of releasing cassettes, which culminated in the fine but highly obscure 'RVE' tape, Jim O'Rourke became a member, bringing a love of composed music to the table, not just musique concrete but also the like of Scelsi. The music of Illusion Of Safety changed and on 'Probe', as said being here just Dan Burke & Jim O'Rourke, this culminated in that first highlight. All of the influences from before and new ones, melted together in this great disc of musique concrete. Many field recordings are used, along with piercing electronics at times, bowed guitars at others. Sometimes stretching out seemingly ad infinitum, but then sometimes abruptly changing color, speed, intensity, mood, texture and/or atmospherics. An absolute great work of sound collage, bridging musique concrete, electro-acoustics, improvisation, industrial music and ambient. Still a highlight of a career, and great to see back in print - even when the cover is not on par with the original. [FdW / Vital Weekly]

"Arguably the finest Illusion Of Safety record ever made, Probe
was the 1992 recording composed by Dan Burke and Jim O'Rourke. The
former began Illusion Of Safety a decade earlier with a revolving door
personnel policy involving a handful of Chicago malcontents. O'Rourke
began working with Burke's project around 1989 or so, when he was
still a teenager and studying composition in college. Where many of
the Illusion Of Safety albums are full-frontal assaults on the psyche
of the listener (especially the groundbreaking album Historical with
its raw use of narration from torture documentaries), Probe is a far
more subtle and thus effective album marked by the extended use of
disturbed silences, predating such sound design techniques that David
Lynch mastered in Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway. This use of space
is definitely coming from the O'Rourke side of the equation (which
according to Burke was 50/50 on Probe), as O'Rourke's early solo album
Scend was released at about the same time as Probe with profound
similarities. Throughout the subsonic frequencies and unsettled spooky
drones, there are numerous punctures of analogue sourced micro- bleeping, errata from shortwave, scrabbling of tactile objects, field
recordings of traffic jams, children at play, carnival rides, etc. and
jittery digitally sculpted loops. As all of these elements slowly
unfurl over several lengthy chapters, Probe truly synthesizes the
aesthetics of both Burke and O'Rourke into a cohesive body of work,
with Burke's research into the dark and transgressive balanced with
O'Rourke's studies into the musique concrete of Luc Ferrari and Michel
Staalplaat first released Probe in a wooden slipcase in an
edition of 500 copies. Those quickly went out of print; but
fortunately, Perdition Plastics has just reissued this brilliant
album, albeit in more conventional packaging..."[Aquarius Records]