John Wall – Constructions I–IV

Self-released, 1999
  1. Construction I: stat/unt/dist
  2. Construction II: taut serenatic
  3. Construction III: rumble/hard/abrupt
  4. Construction IV: dro/ickt

CD in printed card wallet with embossed letterpress titling.

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The highly-anticipated culmination of ideas sketched out in his previous two releases. Entirely, thoroughly, and unequivocally fulling the promise forged by avant-garde music in the latter half off this centuary, “constructions” marks the seamless convergence of disciplined composition, sampling methodology, live improvisation, electrocoustics and serendipity. Working with fragments (samples) of Xenakis, Kagel, Nono, Ikeda, Penderecki, Evan Parker, Helmut Lachenmann and many more, merged with live fragments of double bass, percussion, clarinet, cello and trumpet. Wall weaves an unprecedented fabric of sound that effectively lays bare the essence of recomposition previously only hinted at by the likes of Oval, John Oswald, Albert Ayler, Nurse With Wound, Pierre Henry, Stockhausen (from “Gesang der Jünglinge” through “Hymnen”),and even Stock, Hausen and Walkman.

John Wall invites comparison with David Shea as a composer who works by sampling direct from other musical sources, however, whereas Shea makes a point if dramatising the cultural associations of his samples into collaged cinematic narratives, Wall takes a completely opposite turn, using digital technology to homogenise sonic textures from many sources into a coherent aesthetic. the result is a stunningly complex mix. There is no way that this could ever be scored for live performance; instead, it’s a culmination of all the performances he has incorporated, call it “Ur-Performance.” …… A summary of where we have been and a blueprint for where we are headed.

– Kenneth Goldsmith