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Kwang, Goh Lee: _, And Vice Versa (Herbal International)

A series of unusual electronic constructions from Malaysian sound artist Goh Lee Kwang, Herbal International's label boss, a diverse set from indistinct squiggly sound to full-on noise, with lengths from 31 seconds to 37 minutes; unusual, peculiar, and fascinating.

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product information:

Label: Herbal International
Catalog ID: 1103
Squidco Product Code: 20804

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: Malaysia
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded between 200? and 2011 by Goh Lee Kwang.


Goh Lee Kwang-composer, performer

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Artist Biographies:

"Goh Lee Kwang is a Malasian artist who creates sound installations, performs electro-acoustic improvised music, makes tape music and composed soundtracks. His works focus on the various possibility of both the realistic & abstract, crossing the boundaries of digital & analog, electronic & acoustic, go beyond language & expression. He is the founder of Switch ON, platform for electronic arts, and the founder of the Herbal International label."

-Bandcamp (

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track listing:

1. jUctIOn 1:48

2. wEIghtOfwAx 37:30

3. AclOsErlOOkOnwhItE 4:41

4. tOuchpOInt 0:31

5. wEIghtOfdUst 15:09

6. EndlEss 4:48
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Last heard from Goh Lee Kwang, the Malaysian sound artist, in late 2009 with Hands which he made for his own Herbal International label. Like Richard Garet he also makes installations, and this dimension of his creativity shows up in his very immersive music which clearly aims to create an "all-around-you" effect.

In the case of _, And Vice Versa, he does it by submerging us in a gigantic bowl of vague and muffled music as if we were goldfish, or perhaps more accurately a type of mudfish. That's the impression given by the two longest pieces here, of which 'wEIghtOfdUst' is 15 minutes while 'wEIghtOfwAx' lasts for a generous 37 minutes, moving us spatially from one end of the art-cannister to the other, feeding us only on conceptual vapour and blanked-out clues printed on empty sheets of newspaper.

Disorientation, uncertainty, and time-displacement may all be relevant keywords here. Although Garet's installation work has been likened by other writers to mind-washing or thought-control experiments, Kwang wins the golden biscuit for his vivid realisation of a sensory deprivation tank here. It's a laudable aim, although the benchmark of quality in this area has not been surpassed since 1999's Music for an Isolation Tank by Fennesz, Zeitblom and Rantasa on Rhiz Records. Kwang also provides variations on his theme with 'AclOsErlOOkOnwhItE', a 5-minute noiser which has the nerve-shredding jangliness of a thousand alarm clocks, and 'EndlEss', a little hymn to the power of entropy and decay. While still minimal in tone this at least has more definition than the afore-mentioned cotton wool mind-swaddlers.

Come to that, 'EndlEss' is digital-glitch supreme; it would feel right at home on a Raster-Noton compilation, if it were a little more mechanical in its aims. It resembles the brain of a computer who wishes it were a begonia plant. There's also the rather shrill tones of 'jUctIOn', which we assume was produced by the same inscrutable production methods, yet resembles the cries of a seagull flying backwards in time over the Bermuda Triangle. There is a pronounced contrast of tones across this CD, which is reflected visually in the artworks by Wong Min Lik (fluffy, soft, pastel tones) and those by Wong Eng Leong (disturbing, stark, monochrome).-Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector

Related Categories of Interest:

Electronic Forms
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Herbal International.

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