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SPILL (Magda Mayas, Tony Buck)
STEREO

  • Magda Mayas — piano
  • Tony Buck — percussion

Stereo is the latest studio recording by Berlin based duo of Tony Buck and Magda Mayas.

Conceived as rendering of a live concept the two have been developing over the last year or so, featuring multi-speaker and multi-layered audio, the essence of STEREO sees SPILL performing in the studio, improvising and reacting to previously recorded improvisations and pre-structured, pre-recorded elements.

The result creates a music with a sense of space and depth and an internal logic not often heard in the realm of improvised music.
Featuring sonorous harmonies and spacial percussive interactions, it opens up new territories for the duo, expanding on their well established, almost telepathic improvisations.

Sounds move from the fore to the background, sweeping across the stereo image in a teeming world of action and reaction, interwoven timbres and fluid resonance. Phrases pass between the musicians seamlessly, moving forward and back in a seemingly three-dimensional conversation, creating a sense of a new and colourful, ambient sound world.

Recorded and conceived especially for an LP release, the two 20 minute pieces, Sway and Magnetic Island, offer contrasting takes on this sense of spacial and gestural give and take SPILL have been developing over the last 15 years.

Listen

Format

VINYL LP + digital download
41:17 min
limited to 300 copies
core 015

Credits

  • Recorded by Antonio Pulli at Studioboerne45, Berlin Germany in October 2016.
  • Additional recording by SPILL at Villa Aurora, Los Angeles U.S.A and Kaskel Str, Berlin, Germany.
  • Mixed by SPILL at Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, U.S.A.
  • Mastered by Douglas Henderson at Micro-Moose-Berlin, Germany.
  • Cover artwork by Wendelin Büchler.
  • Linus and Spooky photo preparation by Tony Elieh.
  • All music by SPILL (Magda Mayas / Tony Buck)
  • Thanks to:
  • Linus and Spooky, Montalvo Arts Center, Villa Aurora, Douglas Henderson.

Some praise…

“A sonic depiction of hours spent in the damp, tropical heat of a post-sunset jungle, surrounded by multiple layers of nightly noises, unknown critters, crackling bushes and outerworldly predators, haunted souls and the ever present spirits of powerful, omnipotent voodoo masters…”
— Nitestylez (DE)

“Stereo esce in 300 copie viniliche dalla splendida copertina “felina” tutta da ammirare. Ma anche il contenuto del disco è interessante…”
— Rockerilla (IT)

“If you are looking through rose-colored glasses this would likely come off as quite romantic, and if you are a hardliner you may only experience the craggy physicality — but if you are able to balance the two, this will harness your senses.”
— Tone Shift (USA)

“It’s improvised music, where spacialisation is as an important compositional tool as instrument selection. Sounds ring out and reverberate from across the stereo field. Crescendos build with earth shattering significance, enveloping the piece before dispersing providing space before the next incursion forward.”
— Cyclic Defrost (AUS)

“All das hat einen rituellen Touch, der an schamanistische Performances ebenso erinnert wie an Xenakis’ Tapearbeiten aus den 70ern.”
— African Paper (DE)

Reviews

Released via Corvo Records on November 23rd, 2k18 is “Stereo”, the latest collaboration album created by Magda Mayas and Tony Buck employing their shared artistic alias of Spill for this longplay piece. Consisting of two tracks which are both hitting home close to the 21 minutes mark each we experience both artists in an extended studio session setting, adding improvised percussion and piano layers on top of previously recorded improvisations as well as pre-structured recordings, building on and bouncing off sonic events, amalgamating things into one coherent, thrilling and danger-indicating atmosphere, a sonic depiction of hours spent in the damp, tropical heat of a post-sunset jungle, surrounded by multiple layers of nightly noises, unknown critters, crackling bushes and outerworldly predators, haunted souls and the ever present spirits of powerful, omnipotent voodoo masters, roaming the dark as disembodied entities of old, watching over their homelands for aeons, withstanding the passage of time as a free floating incarnation of everlasting wisdom in “Magnetic Island” whilst “Sway” gravitates towards a minimalist Jazz Noir / Score Noir attitude, tempering with autumnal or cold winter night melancholia as well as tender romanticisms for lost, solitary souls… and friendly ghosts. Check.
— Baze.Djunkiii , Nitestylez

 

‘Stereo’ is de nieuwste studio-opname van het in Berlijn gevestigde duo Tony Buck
(percussie) en Magda Mayas (piano). ‘Stereo’ is een uitloper van een live concept waar het tweetal al bijna het gehele jaar aan heeft gesleuteld. Men experimenteert en reageert daarmee op eerder opgenomen improvisaties een vooraf opgenomen fragmenten. Het tweetal tracht muziek te maken met gevoel voor ruimte en diepte. Welluidende harmonieën gaan hier samen met interacties uit percussie samengesteld uit verschillende instrumenten, objecten en timbres. Men maakt ook gebruik van de start-stop techniek waarbij er zich patronen vormen die telkens weer verdwijnen. Zo creëer je een gebied, een stereoveld, van waaruit men een nieuwe interactie kan op gang brengen. De plaat bevat twee twintig minuten durende stukken, ‘Magnetic Island’ en ‘Sway’. Het contrast tussen beide is duidelijk en ze zijn een afspiegeling van hoe Spill zich de laatste vijftien jaar als entiteit heeft ontwikkeld.
De geluiden passen zich aan de omgeving aan en vormen samen een delicaat geheel. De uitdaging bestaat er in om uit de grote diversiteit aan klankkleuren het momentum aan te voelen en vast te houden. ‘Stereo’ komt uit op vinyl in een beperkte oplage van driehonderd stuks en is ook digitaal verkrijgbaar.
— Paul Van de gehuchte, Dark Entries

 

Spill is a Berlin duo made up of Magda Mayas (piano) and Tony Buck (percussion) and here are their latest full-length improvisations, Stereo. On this record they lay out two twenty minute plus tracks, Magnetic Island and Sway – one per side. They start with an abstract, sporadic arrangement where all is quite pared down. Some is structured beforehand, they also utilize pre-recorded elements intended for a live setting, presented in layers for output through multiple speakers. You can imagine a space where the sound is coming at you from multiple angles, almost sneaking up on you. The atmosphere is drenched in jitters, bass lows, and minimal intriguing effects. The two complement each others’ quirks.

Together they (de)construct a very contemporary classical sound that draws from the air of neorealist cinema with sudden stops and starts, and subsequently new avenues to follow. It’s not done via editing, rather through an adept sense of knowing each others’ contrivances. At times more lulling, sometimes suspenseful and suddenly silent. There are many twists, and most are low-rising in terms of timbre embedded within even greater subtleties. Utilizing bells and wooden objects, along with reverberating cymbals, also brings an uncharted sonic jazz feel here, along the lines of, say, Andrew Cyrille and other experimenters to this acoustic table of elements. Without being noisy these two most certainly offer up the essence of disquiet. A peaceful yet obtuse sound with lots of endurance. By the end it’s a late night ping pong match where all the lustre starts to slowly drain.

Then comes Sway. At first you are seated in the dead center of a dark room, likely somewhat large, and you are surrounded by faint static noise, and a deep n’ low boom as scant keys start to emerge. A broken melody can be made from these parts and pieces if you pay attention through the gaps and silences. You hear the two in sync more intensely here than on the flipside, and it’s a delicate connection based on a deeper listening. They are at the intersection between not wasting a second, and having all the time in the world to deliver a work of defiant minimalism. An irresistible fusion that delights the ear with tones and rhythm, doing so with reserved interventions and lots of anticipation.

A singular chime has so much power to invoke memories of windy days, of seasons, or of a certain place. They stir these momentary glints of musical devices from end to end as if they are slowly turning and dusting off a sparkling geodesic find they just dug from deep in the earthen crust. The dazzle and dust are just an entry point to this otherwise forlorn work with endless emotive turns. If you are looking through rose-colored glasses this would likely come off as quite romantic, and if you are a hardliner you may only experience the craggy physicality — but if you are able to balance the two, this will harness your senses.
— TJ Norris, Tone Shift

 

Stereo is a studio recording by the Berlin based duo of percussionist Tony Buck and pianist Magda Mayas. In a sense it’s almost like a percussive duo, with a myriad of sounds thrown haphazardly onto the canvas in the hope of some kind of accidental order. The press release suggests the duo are responding to some previously recorded material, developed over years of live performance together, and it seems entirely possible, as it definitely sounds like more than a duo, both in terms of the density and different timbres.

If you’re familiar with the work of either party it’s probably a given that you never really know who is doing what. In the Necks Buck sounds like some kind of one man gamelan orchestra, whilst Mayas isn’t afraid to experiment with amplification, preparations and objects that become extensions of her instrument. There’s no denying that they merge together well, feeling like one twitchy scattered entity. Density builds over the course of both pieces, patterns emerge and sounds begin to run together, before periodically dropping away creating some space and building again. The focus is less on groove or melody, and much more on timbre and density.
It’s improvised music, where spacialisation is as an important compositional tool as instrument selection. Sounds ring out and reverberate from across the stereo field. Crescendos build with earth shattering significance, enveloping the piece before dispersing providing space before the next incursion forward. It’s curious, despite the diversity of timbres and periodic flurries, given its stop start nature there’s never really much feeling of momentum. The question remains, where are we? And where are we going? The answer is of course why focus on such insignificant questions? Shut up and embrace the moment.
— Bob Baker Fish, Cyclic Defrost

 

Schon seit fünfzehn Jahren werfen Pianistin Magda Mayas und Schlagzeuger Tony Buck bereits ihre Talente unter dem Namen Spill in die Wagschale, und was die Inside Piano-Performerin und der von seiner Stammband The Necks bekannte Jazzdrummer dabei auf die Beine brachten, beeindruckte auch gerade bei Konzerten. Für ihr aktuelles Studioalbum mit zwei jeweils seitenfüllenden Tracks sind die beiden mehrfach zum Improvisieren ins Studio gegangen und haben neben ihren spontanen Beiträgen auch bereits aufgenommene Parts vom Tonträger mitjammen lassen. Der Titel “Stereo” ist dabei Programm, denn gerade den räumlichen Aspekten der Aufnahmen wurde besonderes Gewicht beigemessen. Verschiedene klangliche und rhythmiche Details wurden einander quer durch den Raum zugespielt, wie verselbständigt fliegen sie, dank differenzierter Aufnahmetechniken, immer wieder von Seite zu Seite.
Zu den Punkten, an denen Mayas’ Spiel im Inneren des Klaviers und Bucks hier v.a. auf die Becken konzentriertes Schlagzeugspiel zusammentreffen, gehört perkussives Klingeln und Rasseln, das oft genaues Hinhören erfordert, um eindeutig dem metallenen und hölzernen Innenleben des Flügels oder dem oft ebenso kreativ bearbeiteten Drumkit zugeordnet zu werden. Bisweilen mag man bei dem atonalen Quietschen und dem metallenen Federn und Vibrieren auch an gar kein herkömmliches Instrument mehr denken. Dem stehen immer wieder kurze Passagen mit melodischem Tastenspiel gegenüber – mit Wohlklang geizen die beiden keineswegs. All diese geradezu überquellende Detailflut hat – besonders bei “Magnetic Island”, aber auch beim mit ähnlichen Mitteln noch subtileren weil zögerlicheren, aber vielleicht auch etway jazzigeren “Sway” – einen rituellen Touch, der an schamanistische Performances ebenso erinnert wie an die Xenakis’ Tapearbeiten aus den 70ern.
Über längere Zeit ahnt man bei den zumindest ansatzweise episodischen Abschnitten, die durch lautes und leiseres, durch holprigeres oder auch von berührenden Melodiefragmenten gesäumtes Territorium führen, allenfalls eine Richtung, doch in beiden Tracks lässt sich eine Steigerung der Intensität (und z.T. auch der Atonalität) ausmachen, die das Ganze dann zu einer runden Sache macht. Die beiden Stücke sind exklusiv für das Release konzipiert und auf 300 Scheiben erhältlich.
— Uwe Schneider, African Paper

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