Dominion Mills Reviews


A tasty little nugget that somehow struck me as much more difficult and impenetrable upon first listen than it turned out to be. Jacques (my first exposure to her work, pretty sure), uses “rotating devices”, described in the notes as manipulated and amplified motors, and you can hear them in effect throughout (I initially thought turntables or objects thereupon were involved), providing disjointed rhythmic, loopy avenues. Olive here solely employs magnetic pickups, “the engine of a devolved one-string electric guitar”. This proves quite ample as the duo constructs very solid, plastic tracks, the motors evoking a presence both corporeal and whirling, Olive’s lines (which sometimes sound like toy saxophones or trumpets) skittering through–the thick and the thin. Far from difficult, the music becomes rather beguiling, retaining substantial materiality and an oily/grimy feel (a good thing) but supplementing it with a kind of calm. I’ve heard a number of things from Olive over the years; this might be my favorite. Good stuff.
(Brian Olewnick, Just Outside)

More music by Canada’s musician in Japan, Tim Olive, although here he teams up with fellow Canadian Anne-F Jacques. We reviewed a cassette from her, on Crustaces Tapes (see Vital Weekly 829). Her interest lies in the use of amplification and ‘erratic sound production devices’. Here she gets credit for rotating devices, while Tim Olive plays magnetic pickups. The material here was recorded in Jacques’ studio in November last year and we have three parts, which span a total of twenty-nine minutes. The pickup, so I assume, picks up the signal of the rotating devices and makes up some of the more crazy experimental improvisation music I heard in some time. Things rumble and crack, sound very noisy, bumping around, slipping into feedback (or not) and such like. It’s quite a wild ride, and sadly a bit short, I think. I wouldn’t have minded another piece like this. No overdubs, no looping devices, just manual labour went into this release. Excellent stuff!
(Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly)

Une musique d’outils et de machines, de gestes et de mouvements. Cet album fait pénétrer dans un atelier, une vieille fabrique encore frémissante d’activités où résonnerait le chant d’une mécanique ancienne aux rouages rouillés. Des sono- rités rugueuses, âpres, toute une agitation à laquelle la répétition vient conférer une forme de sérénité. On sent chez ANNE-F JACQUES comme chez TIM OLIVE, tous deux adeptes du bidouillage, une attention très particulière aux détails, à la texture, à la granularité sonore. Ils parviennent ainsi à conférer à chacun de ces bruits, ronronnements de moteurs rotatifs, grattements, pulsations diverses, une personnalité. L’ensemble possède une véritable dimension poétique : ce pourrait être la bande-son d’un film d’animation des frères Quay.
(Yann Leblanc, revue et corrigee)

These three newly created tracks by Canadians Tim Olive (who runs the 845 label) and Anne-F Jacques feel homogenous in their inspiration and quality of sound. The sounds forming the record were amplified and manipulated by “rotating devices”, and “magnetic pickups”, homemade by Olive himself, were also used as tools for sound creation. The resulting sounds, which have a shrill, penetrating quality, were recorded in real time and mastered without any looping or overdubbing. The recording flows with a natural grace, combining mechanical repetitions, guttural sounds and wind instruments. The different source materials are clearly distinguishable, even in sections where multiple layers of sound have been stacked. The pair improvised using an electro-acoustic setup for thirty minutes, creating a “quasi-continuum” in which tiny acoustic moments and vibrations are perceivable, with little space given over to longer drones. The duo’s technique allows for continuous interaction: each is able to develop solo parts or wait for the other to continue, following a general thematic arrangement or following their partner’s moves, allowing everything to merge into a larger structural cohesion. The improvised evolutions develop freely and passionately, imbuing the fleeting sounds with a subtle choral quality that keeps the listener rapt.
(Aurelio Cianciotta, Neural)

Together, the duo offers a mesmerizing set of breaking pulses and a variety of wooden, almost-repetitive dragging clusters that sound as a lumbering…thing, traipsing across various isolated locales. Dominion Mills is an inventive affair based in creativity, not gear that comes out of a box (unless you count a box behind a hardware store dumpster). Jacques sets in motion her clamoring gadgets alongside Olive’s contained feedback and skronks. The two ebb and flow: parts of their machine fleck off, processes die out only to be crossfaded with new rattles, circulating murmurs and polyrhythm. The album is rich in subtlety and detail, particularly with Jacques’ palette of “what, how?” combinations of materials that produce myriad scrapings and tiny to booming resonances (see the middle four minutes of “Part 21” for an example of this lurching wagon train). A professor of mine once told me, “I make slow music because the world is too fast and I want it to calm down.” I get a similar feeling when listening to this record: the world is really big, slick and aiming to eliminate anomaly via technological discovery, but small and simple are tried and true, refreshing and rife with sensory-prickling results.
(Dave Madden, Squid’s Ear)

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