CD, Syrphe, 2008
C-drík Fremont is well known in some musical circles for his work as a musician, participating in more projects than it would be practical to list here (Kirdec, Crno Klank, C-drík and Axiome do come to mind though) while endlessly touring the world and doing acclaim-winning work as an audio engineer. On top of that he has also been running his own label, Syrphe, and compiling a database of international experimental/noise/avant-garde sound artists.
“Pangaea Noise” can be seen as a follow-up of sorts to “Beyond Ignorance And Borders” (another international noise compilation curated by C-drík) and is a showcase of the work of experimental sound artists from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa as well as Europe and America. Given the limitations of time and space inherent to a one-disc compilation, this release achieves the goal of hinting at the variety of artists and approaches to sound art that can be found scattered throughout the world and, for some, it will surely be a first step in a journey of sonic discovery. From atonal and drone ambient noise composition to pure noise through processed field recordings, analog sounds and some truly chaotic pieces, there is a wide scope of possibilities for further exploration by audio enthusiasts. Favourite pieces and artists will vary from listener to listener; in my case I took a liking to the works of Nyctalllz (Iran), Mindfuckingboy (Singapore), Nihil Humanum (Algeria) and Crno Klank (which I already knew), and couldn’t help finding Dave Phillip’s contribution somewhat amusing, in a morbid kind of way.
The one thing that I find mildly troubling with “Pangaea Noise” (and its predecessor release) is the impossibility of establishing a link between a given track and its geographical origin. Though fully realizing that it is unrealistic to expect so-called ‘ethnic’ elements in a compilation of experimental sound art, I can’t shake the feeling that, on occasion, innovation could benefit from an adaptation and incorporation of traditional elements. In a way, the works on “Pangaea Noise” can almost also be seen as consequences of the spread of technology and global culture – and fuel the debate on whether some ‘languages’ can be said to be truly universal or born of a globalization of technology and resources.
Horizon-broadening as it may be, one final caveat may be needed: “Pangaea Noise” is what the name indicates, a compilation of international experimental and noise sound-art. Noise aficionados will be right at home here, but others may find it a bit hard to get into, though nothing that being open-minded won’t help.
— Miguel de Sousa