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Grooves 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
The 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
ambientrance.org
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 #52
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 of sounds.
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).
History 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. -- Mandy Shekleton
The 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
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
Outburn - 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
Improvijazzation Nation
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
Dead Angel
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
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. ...
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.
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.
Anonymous reviewer
creepy noize but doesn't go too far
Anonymous reviewer
A trainride through hell, or something. Great!
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L-ST, Unit Circle Rekkids, Digital-EP, 2013
buy: amazon iTunes CD Baby listen: spotify
Material Cover
buy: amazon iTunes CD Baby listen: spotify
Intonarumori Cover
buy: amazoniTunes CD Baby listen: Spotify
missing cover
Beta, self-released, CDR, 1999
this is a limited-edition Intonarumori CDR that was only available at Intonarumori performances during the summer of 1999.
A Curse Uttered, A Dream Forgotten, self-released, MP3, 2008
Fridhemsplan, self-released, MP3, 2013