The Squid's Ear Magazine

Sangtae, Jin / Tim Olive: naar/voor <i>[Used Item]</i> (845 Audio)

Recording in Kobe, Japan in 2014, the duo of Jin Sangtae, organizer of Seoul's long-running dotolim concert series and who gainfully employs cast-off computer hard drives as sound sources, and Tim Olive, who uses electro-magnetic pickups to give voice to consumer/post-consumer objects, for three tracks of recycled and unorthodox sound.

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Jin Sangtae-computer hard drives, radio

Tim Olive-magnetic pickups, tape

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Label: 845 Audio
Catalog ID: 845-7
Squidco Product Code: 29078

Format: CD
Condition: VG
Released: 2017
Country: Japan
Packaging: Letterpress Recycled Chipboard Package
Recorded in Kobe, Japan, in 2014.

This is a USED (previously owned) item

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Here we have three lengthy pieces, fifty-four minutes in total, of some great music. They cover the entire dynamic spectrum, with lengthy passages being all loud and brutal, but also going all quiet, and all of this in a very fine collage-like approach, cutting in and out of the mix, going from zero to one hundred, as it were. There is some excellent beauty in this brutal work; brutal but not necessarily very noisy, I would say. It makes you start listening differently to the world around you, I guess (maybe providing you never heard this kind of stuff of course); at one point I thought my disc was slipping in the machine, but it turned out this was part of the bigger picture. Lovely stuff, beautiful poetics of the ordinary world in a new context."-Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

"Latest item from Tim Olive is another duo collaboration, a set-up he evidently feels happy with (as opposed to playing in a large group, I mean). This time he's doing it with Jin Sangtae, the Korean genius who's a great mover and shaker when it comes to getting concert events going as well as being a far-out improviser who creates music using marginal means. I don't have enough Sangtae records knocking about here in my cage-like hovel. He guested on that Foreign Correspondents set, which I read as a kind of "survey" of the Far East conducted by Europeans, but the defining record for me still remains the mini CD Sacrifice 2, which he made using car horns. Hooty! Hooty! Of course that project was also pulled into the orbit of Nick Hoffman, and added to his defining aesthetic and agenda of what he thinks music is. Hoffman is a fellow known to both Olive and Sangtae I feel confident in saying, and I suspect all of them are taking part in a long-standing conspiracy to undermine music as we know it.

Back to today's disk. It's a confusing record. Long stretches of silence, or not much happening aurally, are contrasted with other long moments where insufferable, ear-splitting and nasty noise emerges, though not to be confused with table-noise. The painful aspect just comes from the harshness and unnatural surface of its tone, not from any sense of aggression or violence. In fact our lovely pair of electronics-nerds wouldn't harm a fly, I suspect. There is something so endearing about the way they present these strange buzzes and shocking eclats as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world. If there are any imaginary brackets framing this as "art" or "culture", perhaps we're being invited to ignore them for the time being. naar/voor (845 AUDIO 845-7) is I think mostly an electronic record...well, sort one time I would have thought of Tim Olive as being something resembling a free-improv guitarist, but those days are long gone. It was made using "cast-off computer hard drives as sound sources" (Sangtae) and "magnetic pickups to give voice to consumer / post-consumer objects" (Olive). Hard to visualise these actions when called on to do so. I suppose you could attach contact mics or crocodile clips to a hard drive and just watch the music leap forth. I would just end up with burnt fingertips. As to the magnetic pickup half of the act, Olive has been paring down his approach to music in this direction for some years now. I guess they act as mini-microphones. After all that's what humbucking pickups used to do on my old Kay guitar.

I have no idea what a "post-consumer object" may be. But it may simply be something which the original purchaser has finished with, such as a cracked mug or a broken PC printer. Junk, in other words. This may tie in to the "recycle and repurpose" motto which leads off the press sheet and presumably served as the guiding mission statement for this musical production. Even the cover is made of recycled chipboard, and a "repurposed" rubber stamp has been used for the cover image in a form of DIY letterpress. The image seems to be something to do with cottage gardening, crop rotation, or showing how plants and vegetables have an important part to play in farming workflows."-Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at Vital Weekly

Artist Biographies

"Born in 1975 in Seoul, Korea, Jin Sangtae performs with non-musical objects collected through his experience, projected into instruments, and then re-organised into the space. He uses hard drives and several materials that can be connected as a main instruments, and he also plays laptops, radios, car horns and electronics. He's been uploading online his composition 'Year' via mobile phone everyday since 2015. He founded 'dotolim'(a small space for improvised music) and has been organising the 'dotolim concert series' since 2008 as well as the festival 'dotolimpic' in 2012, 2013 and 2017."

-Jin Sangtae Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"The music of Tim Olive arises from collaboration with fellow musicians/sound artists, collaboration with physical and temporal setting, and collaboration with those involved in the act of listening. Using simple materials (magnetic pickups, steel strings, tuning forks, metal strips, hand-wound motor mechanisms, magnetic tape, dental floss and analog electronics), Olive's work examines presence and the present, the interplay of the human with material/time/space, and the uniqueness, intensity and unrepeatability that lives in each performing and/or recording situation.

He is interested in music as a social activity, as a way of creating community, a way of countering the forces which lead to an increasing atomization of contemporary life; music as a felt experience rather than as a concept or a theory.

A Canadian residing in Kobe, Japan, Olive has released music on Japanese, European and North American labels, with Jeff Allport, Cristian Alvear, Pascal Battus, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Samuel Dunscombe, Nick Hoffman, Anne-F Jacques, Jin Sangtae, Jason Kahn, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Francisco Meirino, Katsura Mouri, Takuji Naka, Makoto Oshiro and Ben Owen.

Olive has performed/recorded in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe, with the recording collaborators listed above, as well as with Akiyama Tetuzi, Maria Chavez, Che Chen, Kelly Churko, crys cole, Joe Foster, Haco, Hong Chulki, Bonnie Jones, Richard Kamerman, Kostis Kilymis, Siew-Wai Kok, Madoka Kouno, Tomasz Krakowiak, Fangyi Liu, James Rushford, Carl Stone, Fritz Welch, Nate Wooley, Jared Xu and Yan Jun.

In addition to organizing events in Japan, Olive runs the label 845 Audio."

-Tim Olive 9/13/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Untitled 20:30

2. Untitled 19:01

3. Untitled 13:33

Related Categories of Interest:

Used CDs

Electro-Acoustic Improv
Improvised Music
Electronic Forms
Sound, Noise, &c.
Duo Recordings
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Used CD Alphabetic List

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845 Audio.

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