Jim O'Rourke expands on his recent electronic work from his Steamroom studio with this exceptional 4-CD set of the 4-part "To Magnetize Money and Catch a Roving Eye", presumably including the Serge synthesizer, each expansive piece building dreamlike environments that shift and wander in purposeful ways as sound emerges and disappears into a beautifully threatening cloud.
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Catalog ID: SNS 016CD
Squidco Product Code: 28302
Format: 4 CDS
Packaging: Box Set - 4 CDs
Recorded at Steamroom, Japan,between 2017 and 2018.
Jim O'Rourke-composer, performer
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• Show Bio for Jim O'Rourke
"O'Rourke was born on January 18, 1969 in Chicago, Illinois. He is an alumnus of DePaul University. He has released albums of jazz, noise, glitchy electronica and rock music. O'Rourke has collaborated with Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Mayo Thompson, Brigitte Fontaine, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Merzbow, Nurse with Wound, Phill Niblock, Fennesz, Organum, Phew, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, and in 2006 mixed Joanna Newsom's album Ys. In 2009, he also mixed several tracks on Newsom's follow up Have One On Me.
He has produced albums by artists such as Sonic Youth, Wilco, Stereolab, Superchunk, Kahimi Karie, Quruli, John Fahey, Smog, Faust, Tony Conrad, The Red Krayola, Bobby Conn, Beth Orton, Joanna Newsom and U.S. Maple. He mixed Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album and produced their 2004 album, A Ghost Is Born, for which he won a Grammy Award for "Best Alternative Album". During the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, O'Rourke collaborated with Wilco member Jeff Tweedy and pre-Wilco Glenn Kotche under the name Loose Fur. Their self-titled debut was released in 2003 with a follow-up in 2006 entitled Born Again in the USA. He also mixed the unfinished recordings that made up a planned third album by the late American singer-songwriter Judee Sill, recorded in 1974 and mixed by O'Rourke for a 2005 release.
O'Rourke was once a member of Illusion of Safety, Gastr Del Sol (with David Grubbs) and Sonic Youth. Beginning in 1999 he played bass guitar, guitar and synthesizer with Sonic Youth, in addition to recording and mixing duties with the group. He withdrew as a full member in late 2005, but continued to play with them in some of their side projects. In the early 1993, O'Rourke formed an avant-rock group with Darin Gray and Dylan Posa called Brise-Glace. The band released one studio album, When in Vanitas..., in 1994. They also released a 7" in the same year titled In Sisters All and Felony/Angels on Installment Plan.
O'Rourke has also released many albums under his own name on a variety of labels exploring a range of electronic and avant-garde styles. His most well-known works may be his series of releases on Drag City, which focus on more traditional songcraft: Bad Timing (1997), Eureka (1999), Insignificance (2001), The Visitor (2009) and Simple Songs (2015). The titles of the first four albums all refer to films by the British director Nicolas Roeg; the first three by direct reference to film titles, the fourth being titled after a fictional album within Roeg's film The Man Who Fell To Earth. With music director Takehisa Kosugi, he played for the Merce Cunningham dance company for four years. O'Rourke received a 2001 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_O'Rourke_(musician))
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1. Pt. 1 49:53
1. Pt. 2 60:53
1. Pt. 3 65:31
1. Pt. 4 76:20
sample the album:
"A four-hour work, recorded at Jim O'Rourke's studio, Steamroom, between 2017 and 2018. Detailed and delicate electronic layers, processed instruments, and ambiguous field recordings come together in a slow-moving, fascinating kaleidoscope with multiple reflections and wrong turns, always in a constant state of flux. The finely crafted art of subterfuge. The four-CD set To Magnetize Money and Catch a Roving Eye is a hypnotic, multi-faceted, labyrinthine piece which flows as slowly as a river while speeding back through memory. Composer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist Jim O'Rourke was born in Chicago in 1969. He is a veritable chameleon working at the frontiers of very diverse musical genres."
"For more than a quarter century now, Jim O'Rourke has been sculpting shadows. For some, the American musician is best known for the lush, psychedelic Americana of albums like Bad Timing, or his production work for bands like Wilco, Stereolab, and Sonic Youth. (He was also a member of the latter for a spell, during the Murray Street and Sonic Nurse years.) But since the early 1990s, beginning with albums like Scend and Disengage, the secret heart of O'Rourke's music has been dedicated to pure electronic abstraction. To call this minimalist output "ambient" or even "drone" doesn't capture the subtleties of his broad expanses of shimmer and hum. Listen carefully to these pieces, and it sometimes seems that he is molding feedback into storm clouds, or milking frequencies out of thin air.
In recent years, O'Rourke's drone activities have begun to assume center stage. His practice appears intense, even monastic: He typically devotes five or six hours a day to recording on the Serge, an arcane modular synthesizer from the 1970s; he might spend weeks editing a given session down, mixing it with homemade field recordings, and massaging it all into the desired shape. ("I wish the days were longer," he has said.) Since 2013, the fruits of his labor have been trickling out under the Steamroom imprint, the digital-only Bandcamp series named after his Tokyo studio. It's an evocative name, and not so far off from the sounds he achieves. That there are currently 46 releases after just six years-some of them reissues, but most of it new and previously unreleased-says something about his dedication.
To Magnetize Money and Catch a Roving Eye is a kindred spirit to that series. Even by O'Rourke's standards, it is a mammoth undertaking. Steamroom releases typically consist of a single track that's somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes in length, but the new album, a four-disc affair, totals nearly four and a quarter hours. The sounds within can be just as daunting. These are not the soft, consonant tones of Streamroom 40, a fan favorite; this music is woven together from ominous rustling noises, glowering low-end throb, and white-hot waves of piercing feedback. The dividing line between musical tone and pure atmosphere is porous: O'Rourke's synthesizers are more gestural than melodic, and at their edges they dissolve into a vivid, four-dimensional soundscape.
There is an unmistakably dreamlike quality to the music, with hints of birdsong and distant traffic, old trains creaking to life and spaceships powering up, boots in snow and high-voltage power lines overhead. It sounds not just haunting but haunted-not malevolent, necessarily, but terrifying nonetheless. In places, it sounds like O'Rourke came across Grouper's Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill and decided to take the title literally, coaxing from his matrix of tapes and circuitry a sound equal to that of blood drying on matted pine needles.
There are few repeated motifs, but for the most part, elements rise into the mix, spread out like inkblots, and are subsumed back into the murk, never to appear again. Some nine minutes into "Part II," there is an unexpected eruption of feedback, a sustained explosion of surprising force, as though O'Rourke had set fire to Sunn O)))'s backline, but otherwise, recognizable events are few and far between. Seismic rumble melts into glassy shimmer, and vice versa; the music is constantly shape-shifting, yet it all converges into a low, sustained hum.
City-dwellers may recognize this as the standard frequency of the modern metropolis. It is as though O'Rourke had captured and amplified the sounds of everyday life, from the inaudible (magnetic fields, cell-phone signals) to the visceral (rainfall, rumbling subways), rendering them almost womblike. Despite the album's intimidating scale, it is a strangely welcoming, even enveloping listen. "It's not a question of patience," O'Rourke has said, when asked why he likes longform composition so much. "It's just my taste. I like longer music. It all really comes down to breathing." In its controlled pacing and deep interiority, To Magnetize Money and Catch a Roving Eye also resembles a kind of breathwork. It is one of his most meditative pieces yet."-Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork Media
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