- The Stranger, Seattle WA 11/4/08
- Two stalwarts of Seattle's experimental electronics scene close the show. Billed as "Intonarumori versus inBOIL," the two one-man projects perform short sets and then join their distinct sound worlds: Intonarumori deploys extended loops that molt strange, gently shadowed flickers of distortion while inBOIL amplifies small granules of sound, scooping them up and stretching them out with filters, delays, and other sonic processes. recommended. -Christopher DeLaurenti
- The Stranger, Seattle WA 12/9/04
- Intonarumori's Kevin Goldsmith undoubtedly has done hard time on the hair-shirt
music circuit (no-alcohol, no-speaking, sitting-only venues that host arcane,
difficult ensembles with unpronounceable names). His music's austere yet possesses
subtly beautiful contours. Intonarumori's self-titled 2000 album on his own Unit
Circle Rekkids evokes Spiritualized-esque guitar spangle on "GTR," eerie
Suspiria-soundtrack cello drones and xylophone ripples on "CEL," blasted moondust
swirls on "E2E," and stark European art song on Paul Celan Suite. -Dave Segal
- Deeply atmospheric collage pieces bear the influence of John Cage and
Phillip Glass. Intonarumori's pastiches of electronic noise and classical
instruments such as cello and piano create velvety, hallucinatory soundscapes
sometimes broken by the inclusion of harsh industrial dissonance. These
songs are a disquieting mix of placid pastoralism and icy futurism.
- The Stranger, December 9, 2004
- Desolate atmospheres and distant, plangent melodies shrouded in electronic fog. Yum. -Chris Delaurenti
- To comprehend the phenomenon that is Intonarumori, you must get out
dust off your art history and your Italian dictionary.
Intonarumori literally means "noise intoners." A term used
by the Italian Futurists to describe their noise machines, Intonarumori
were designed to clang and clatter, hum and rattle, to forge the discordant
roar of the Industrial age. Futurist composers built orchestras of these
machines to play their symphonies.
Kevin Goldsmith's Intonarumori is constructed of various elements, including
but not limited to: Cello, 5 String Electric Cello, Bass Guitar, D-Tar
(prepared guitar), Synthesizer and Electronics. Live Intonarumori performances
are rare, and are known to highly stimulate the cerebral cortex.
Magazine - Issue #9
- The subtitle to this 10 - year overview from Seattle experimenter/cellist
Kevin Goldsmith is "rumbles, roars, explosions, crashes, splashes and
booms." Since Goldsmith adopted his moniker from Italian Futurist Luigi
Russolo's early 20th century noise machines, which were to reproduce industrial
sounds, it seems fair to assume that the moniker and subtitle would act as
an effect summary of Goldsmith's sonic investigations. But that would be a
simplistic assessment, to say the least.
Certainly, there is a fair bit of banging, clanging, and dark rumblings, but
these pieces are less restricted to a rythmic cul de sac and more improvised
and open. Not to mention more dynamic. Indeed, these collages range from monolithic
pits of dark noise to more modulated, sculpted ambience to bold cinematic
soundscapes to solemn piano requiems. But Goldsmith is no labcoat asthete
and possesses a sly sense of humor, such as when he drowns a sample of Public
Image Limited's "What You Want" in rush of running water. Goldsmith
has a flair for juxtaposition and editing that makes his moniker seem a little
bit like false advertising. - Richard Moule
Wire - July 2002
- [joint review of Material and Intonarumori] Noise machinery unpacked in
Seattle via the absolutist past of futurist klang (Intonarumori = 'noise
intoners' = 'machines built to mimic industrial sounds') through the
flexible fingers of Kevin Goldsmith, whose suitably alchemisty name
proves to be no disappointment. The 'industrial'/futurist clue is a
dead hearing, because this is far richer work, ghostlier, more freeform.
(Echoes of Nurse With Wound in the light touch, and low key humour and
pert use of sampled vox.) Goldsmith is primarily a cellist (manipulator
of cells?), but his variegated scapes straddle old-skool Improv and
nu-school electronica, modest except in inventiveness, somehow very
likeable and surprisingly touching: a real pleasure. - Ian Penman
- Difficult listening, though not without rewards, the 13-track disc is subtitled
"10 Years of Sound; Rumbles Roars Explosions Crashes Splashes Booms" and that
only scratches the already-torn-into surface... Uniform Random Variables (8:11)
spews forth layers of mediaspeak in assorted languages and topics (though
leaning toward computers and technology), slow metallic clangs, irradiated
glares, crazy piano activities, rock music, sirens, traffic, sing-song murmurs,
and more, melting into weird grumblies. Less-littered with sample-debris,
brooding a/tonal chaos grows in Layer Parallelism... then the floodgates of
muted conversation opens, pouring wordstrata into the churning turmoil, with
occasional shouts punctuating the dense vortex.
A much quieter intro leads into DLY where light drifts and rhythmic plucks
coalesce into something actually quite sedate and lovely. Home Base Variation
2 (1:12) softly spirals on relatively straight (though a little spooky) piano
interludes. I won't give away all the other surprises, but be assured they're
there in the guise of synths, beats, polititalk, ominous chords, rainy cityscenes,
sci-fi squigglies, timpani, echoey guitar strings and much, much more... With
spurts of feedback and what sounds like electric guitar strings being randomly
fingered with gloves on (then actually strummed), Live at the Mercury closes
the disc (well, not counting the 14th track of a 13-second silence...). Challenging
stuff; some of the juxtapositions are inscrutable and it takes a certain degree
of audio-masochism to go deep (I recommend headphones for utter immersion)...
thus recommended to the heartiest of the adventurous.
- Dead Angel - Issue
- This CD, the second by this "band" that is mainly one permanent member (Kevin
Goldsmith) plus others who come and go, is pretty much what the name implies:
a collection of ten years of scattered tracks originally appearing on various
cassettes and compilations between 1991 and 2000. The thirteen tracks here
aren't presented in strictly chronological order, but there is a definite
progression of ideas and obsessions. The first track, "Uniform Random Variables"
(from 1994), is a complex sound collage of music and found sound (noises,
tapes, samples) with enough ideas and structure to remind you that the entire
tape-noise culture originally descended from people in academia who actually
knew what the hell they were doing. Goldsmith knows what time it is. "Layer
Parallelism" (1996) is a considerably more drone-oriented affair, with everything
-- instruments, tapes, voices -- fed through cascading layers of drone-o-tronic
reverb. Notes dying away sound like avalanches in the hills, everything sounds
like it's coming from far away through layers of smoke as machinery pulsates....
"DLY" (2001) is, as its name implies, the sound of experiments in delay. Delayed
notes reverberate, growing in intensity, until a minimalist keyboard drone
enters, suspending the track somewhere between ambient and experimental music.
"Focus & Decay" (1995) is also squarely in the ghostlike ambient camp, with
overly reverbed drones and strange wails and shuddering percussion in the
background. "Home Base Variation 2" (1996) is nothing but a brief (but nice)
piano melody soaked in reverb. The brooding drone-o-tron returns (actually,
it never really goes away for long on this album) in full force on "OS2,"
flanked by all sorts of near-random noises happening from time to time in
the background. It's interesting to hear "Live at the Mercury" (2000), recorded
in Seattle, WA, where everything has to be done in real time -- the results
are a bit more minimal at times, but certainly no more predictable. Strange,
alien sounds so thematically and organically linked that you'd never guess
the tracks were recorded years apart. A good place to start for the seeker
- Improvijazzation Nation - Issue #57
- We have enjoyed this group since the late '80's (hard to believe it's been
that long), but this album of 13 compositions is th' densest & richest yet!
Lots of vocals layered in (sneaky little things) that will have you scratching
yer' noggin for daze! Definitely avant-garde, with industrial overtones...
what makes it stand out for these ears are the symphonic shadings Goldsmith
is able to achieve; that is particularly true on track 9, "Home Base Variation
2", and 10, "Constant Bit Select of A Vector Net". You should listen to this
with headphones, to get maximum effect... & don't even think about putting
this on as background... it deserves your full attention. This is "Unit Circle
Rekkids'" first release for 2002, & ALL listeners who thrive on the new and
unique will want to have this one - it gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from
us (the weak-kneed need not apply).
of Rock Music
- Material (Unit Circle Rekkids, 2002) collects rare and unreleased material,
some of it dating from 1991 and provides a good overview of Goldsmith's chaotic
collage technique. Several pieces are layered organisms that emanate a sense
of horror and/or extra-terrestrial.
- Splendid E-Zine
- The found-sound collages that populate Material can be sneaky little bastards.
Just when you've had it playing in the background for a while and your mind's
drifted off, they threaten to become songs when you're not looking, with ominous
little synth lines converging into almost-melodies... And then, just as you return
your full attention to the record, they back off, collapsing into the free-floating
soundscapes they'd been before. That's probably the most honestly creepy part
of this record, which often goes out of its way to be so, yet never quite succeeds
except in that (perhaps unintended) respect. At times, with the heavy use of sampled
dialogue and speech excerpts, the record feels like the soundtrack to fitful,
unpleasant dreams with the TV on in the background, or a shortwave radio constantly
being tuned and re-tuned. It's not pleasant. A generous adjective might be "interesting".
But when emergent keyboard lines tap you on the back and run away as they do here,
you can bet you'll be looking over your shoulder for a good long while. --
- Digital Artifact - Issue #17
- A collection of mostly live recordings comes to us from Seattle, Washington
in the form of Kevin Goldsmith under the guise of Intonarumori (for
you avant garde buffs, its what the Italian futurist Luigi Russolo called
his noise-making instruments). It sits somewhere between more formal
composition and more traditional musique-concrete techniques (surprise,
surprise) but this self-titled disc has the added bonus of being absolutely
breathtaking in parts. The introduction to the first of three solo tracks
by Goldsmith, obliquely titled "GTR," (perhaps because it
features lots of processed guitar?) is absolutely mindblowing - think
the most melodic and uplifting parts of the current crop of post-rock
favs (Godspeed You Black Emperor! comes to mind almost immediately)
and you're on the right track.
The second set of recordings were performed with the Paul Celan Suite,
and have a distinctly bizarre appeal, and involve everything from a
chattering choir to droney processed string instruments, a little Sousa
and what sounds like Marc Almond harassing barnyard animals with a stapler.
In other words, it's really very good. If you dig music that falls between
"difficult" and "beautiful," (a la Nurse With Wound
and the like) go pick this one up. - Michael O'Connor
- Issue #13
- AMBIENT SOUNDSCAPES AND EXPERIMENTAL CHAMBER MUSIC: This unusual self-titled
CD is divided into two sections. The first includes three ambient experiments,
each over thirteen minutes in length. "CEL" especially stands
out with a spooky atmosphere that transforms from dark ambience accented
by warped tinkering chimes to muffled ghostlike marching band standards
underneath a wash of drones. Then heavy and powerful dronescapes take
over and eventually give way to an intriguing deep male vocal sample.
The other two opening tracks are much more minimal dark soundscapes.
The second part of the CD is the "Paul Celan Suite," which
is a four movement piece for a small experimental chamber ensemble.
"Black Milk" opens the suite with two contrasting female voices
- one high and almost operatic and the other deeper with almost spoken
intonations. These two voices carry on throughout the suite and hold
the experimental sounds together. Overall, Intonarumori, which means
"noise intoners" in Italian, is a creative and often unexpected
approach to sound sculptures. - Octavia
- One thing that makes this 'zine interesting (at least to this writer)
is the wide variety of styles (of music) we are fortunate enough to
receive for review. If one were to read back through the last 20 issues,
it would be quickly evident that many of the groups (across the genre
spectrum) "in the news" today were reviewed in these very pages when
they were being birthed. Intonarumori is one such group, and this debut
CD (previous submissions were on tape) clearly shows a love for (and
of) music oriented towards what man will be doing in the 30th (or the
40th) century... traveling through space! Strange bass tones, insights
from other planets (mostly auf Deutsch) & awe-inspiring orchestral backgrounds
that will transport you to new highs. It's not all instrumental majesty,
either... vocal shadings woven in will make you feel like it's a space
(dirge) opera. If you're thirsting after a unique musical experience
with a variety of instruments assembled/arranged without making you
feel like it's some kinda' improv "hodgepodge", this is your BEST BET.
Don't mistake my intent... this isn't, like, easy listening... it's
a challenge, but one you'll be glad you took on. Very satisfying...
gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating for those who crave the outer
limits. - Rotcod Zzaj
- The "band" with the intimidating name here (the name is Italian for
"noise intoners," a name for machines built by the Futurists in the
early 1900s; the machines were designed to recreate the sounds of the
industrial age) is the musical vehicle for Kevin Goldsmith, nominally
a cellist (i think), but obviously many other things as well, judging
by this disc. My perspective on Kevin is somewhat interesting: I have
known him for years as the guru behind Unit Circle, but was totally
unaware of his own musical endeavors until he appeared as a guest on
a Mason Jones track from the first album released on my own record label.
Goldsmith's contribution to the track in question (it's called "a slow,
wide vibration" and it's on the album MIDNIGHT IN THE TWILIGHT FACTORY;
feel free to go buy a copy if you're so inclined and hear the droning
soundscapes yourself) was sufficiently of interest that i became curious
to hear more of what he's all about... and lo, here he is. Witness how
the black hand of fate weaves its forbidding death-snare....
I don't know much about Italian "noise intoners," but from the droning,
reverbed sound of "GTR" alone i can see why Mason was keen to work with
Goldsmith -- this is trippy, disorienting stuff without the hippie trappings
that sometimes makes psychedelic music mildly annoying. Intonarumori
supposedly "combines elements of post-classical, experimental, ambient,
and industrial music," and i'd largely agree with that (especially the
classical and ambient elements), although i'm not too sure about the
industrial part. "GTR" opens with clear, bell-like guitar (???) tones
and gradually branches out into shimmering drones punctuated by odd
background sounds, ambient tones most likely generated by cello, and
other stuff too opaque to classify. Layers of sound come and go, and
eventually the drones and chimes subside to make way for an actual cello
movement that fades into nothingness. Similar effects appear in "CEL,"
which could be seen as another movement in a larger piece. "E2E," the
third solo Goldsmith effort, inverts some of those elements and adds
distant percussion of sorts, spreading the sounds out in the mix to
impart a vastness of space; the effect is something akin to listening
to experimental musicians rehearsing in a cave beneath a railway station.
The remaining four pieces on the disc -- "Black Milk," "Where I," "Go
Blink," and "Discus" -- are all part of a larger piece ("Paul Celan
Suite"), and employ additional musicians, although i frankly have no
idea what the others are actually playing or who is singing (the words
are by Celan, hence the title). The piece opens with a forbidding drone
that anchors the seemingly random sounds dropped in from time to time
and the wailing, layered voices that chant and sing. Bell-like tones
and percussion appear again in the second part, along with actual rhythms
from the cello (well, i think it's the cello); here the vocals are less
layered and more droning. The third part opens with minimalist sounds
like rhythmic heavy breathing and a woman's spoken words; as she speaks
and the rhythm continues, drones fade up into the mix, only to die away
soon after she stops speaking. This leads into the fourth part, a chaotic
assembling of cello grunts, strange sounds, and an evolving sense of
song structure once the vocals enter the picture... sort of like AMM
with modified instrumentation, possibly.
My only complaint with the album -- and it's not so much a complaint,
really, as a wish -- is that it would have been nice to have liner notes
delving into the meaning/inspiration behind the suite. I'm so ignorant
i only vaguely know who Paul Celan is, and i could have used some education.
Then again, perhaps the intent was to provoke the listener into seeking
out the information independently, so perhaps the lack of notes isn't
so bad after all....
- Improvijazzation Nation
- Some VERY strong electronic works with disturbing & shadowy undertones...
This is not “just noise”, or “heavy industrial”! There is a haunting
feel to the compositions, but without treading so far into the depths
of nether that it becomes uninteresting or “drony”. I especially appreciated
the surging washes & vocal overlays on “Layer Parallelism”, but found
a certain comfort in the universal spectrums evident on “Sonarchy Improv
# 1”, too! - Rotcod Zzaj
Jones - Midnight In The Twillight Factory
Mason Jones collaborated with Kevin Goldsmith of Intonarumori
and Bill Horist for the track "A Slow Wide Vibration" featured on this
- AUTOreverse, #9
- ..."A Slow, Wide Vibration" is the most overtly confrontational piece,
clocking in at 27 minutes and featuring a fair dose of feedback. It's
not pure harsh noize exactly, but it's certainly uneasy listening. ...
Soundtrack to a Font (P22 Records)
- Massage v3.0
- Whispers, Murmurs, Mumbles, Grumbles and Gurgles, by Intonarumori
serves as an antidote to the forgetfulness of postmodernity. The project,
based in Seattle, Washington and directed by Kevin Goldsmith of Unit Circle
Rekkids, is influenced by experimentalist in serialist, minimalist, and
industrial music, as well as forerunners in Futurism. The atmosphere of
a hive animated by insects, media, and machine activity is fabricated
in the track. Sound textures of unseen swarms, dynamos, and television
sound F/X create an enclosure for a machine-like voice dispassionately
enumerating points in a petty manifesto. The voice of authority has been
displaced in a computer, located perhaps in a central archive or at an
authoritarian control vector, but no matter what its' location, it chills
the listener with its' dead delivery. Intonarumori has created a cinematic
space for a very dark projection in Whispers...., one linked inexorably
to the techno-centric Futurist project.
P22 has produced a disc embracing considerable range and risk. The music
sampled on IL Futurismo: The Soundtrack to a Font can be difficult (Tony
Conrad, Intonarumori, Heins Hoffman-Richter, Tom Kostusiak), funny (XJ6
Donahue), overly literal (An Odessa Artery), or vacant (Paul Szp). The
works of the individual artists represented on the disc map the expanse
of dialog that artists engaged with the past negotiate. Some have chosen
to selectively emulate forms drained of context, while others overturn
what has come before, some locate an informed synthesis. To replicate
the past is facile, to destroy it without keen engagement is reactionary;
there is a pragmatic middle ground to take, and P22 has done that with
IL Futurismo: The Soundtrack to a Font.
- Sonic Boom
- Intonarumori is the solo project of Kevin Goldsmith, owner of
Unit Circle Rekkids. You might also recognize him from his work as The
Unit Circle on the RMI Mind/Body Compilations as well. This particular
release is a collection of old recordings dating from 1991-94 which are
mostly extended sample and noise collages. Kevin seems to heavily favor
piano keyboard presets and documentary vocal samples for much of his work
as well as environmental samples of weather and traffic. Intonarumori
does reminds me heavily of Illusion of Safety because of the similarity
in sound construction techniques and sample sources but it is not a clone
by any means. Kevin uses much less feedback and more natural instrumentation
that IOS ever used. In any event, this tape is highly suggested for sound
collage and sample buffs as evidence on how to properly fashion such compositions.
- The Rocket #241 (Seattle)
- Disturbing is the word that springs to mind
when listening to Intonarumori. It's sound collage time, and if you're
looking for ambience, go elsewhere. They'll drive out relatives who outstay
their welcome, and probably small rodents too. In other words, you should
invite them to your house to play today.
RMI Mind/Body #1
- KZSU radio
- Industrial drone loop, symphonic string sounds over it.
Nicely ominous. Lots of storm sounds in the middle. A windy, echoy finish,
with an oddly happy ambient techno kind of feel to it.
RMI Mind/Body #3
- Anonymous reviewer
- creepy noize but doesn't go too far
- Anonymous reviewer
- A trainride through hell, or something. Great!