Richard Scott
Everything is always at once
Discus 133CD
(2022)
Available formats: CD/DL

 

“One of the best contemporary electronic works I’ve heard in a long time (…) Scott is making music in a very original and peculiar way, immensely imaginative and extremely varied, without the result being too cerebral or inaccessible. Here there is not a second of standstill or treading on the spot and listening is very much fun throughout.” – Achim Breiling, BABYBLAUE SEITEN

“Richard creates a spacey trip that takes you in a trance like techno, prog and jazz is able to do. If you ever wonder what kind of original sound you can create on a synthesizer, then do check out the 8 songs on this CD.” – Strutter’zine

 

Powerful and multi textured electronic music beautifully recorded and produced by in a way which captures the visceral spirit within these boxes and wires.

Scott writes – Although there is always some kind of calculated programming aspect to working with analogue synthesisers, these compositions were created as much by playing as by programming. For the most part my intention here was to explore what Jo Hyde calls an ensemble approach to analogue synthesis. My interest was to retain something of the feeling and sensation of playing in an group – with its simultaneity of voices and events and a coexistence of multiple lines suggesting distinct musical roles and instrumental characteristics. This also involved nodding towards referential and “acoustically viable” approaches to sound design, rather than, on one side mimicking of specific ensemble roles, or on the other pure sonic abstraction. The sonic proposition here is rather to shape a kind of plausibility of sounds and ensembles; of instrumental lines and relationships that, regardless of whether they actually exist in any known acoustic reality or not, might somehow exist in some dimension not-entirely-unrelated-to our own.

Richard Scott – analogue and modular synthesisers

The instruments used on this recording are mostly analogue and modular synthesisers: Hordijk Modular, Serge Modular, Buchla 200, EMS Synthi A, various Eurorack modules, Buchla Thunder midi controller, Oberheim Xpander, Clavia Nord Micro Modular, CataRT and Max/MSP, Rob Hordijk Blippoo boxes and Benjolin, saxophone and percussion.

33CD - Martin Archer

Reviews

One of the best contemporary electronic works I’ve heard in a long time (…) Scott is making music in a very original and peculiar way, immensely imaginative and extremely varied, without the result being too cerebral or inaccessible. Here there is not a second of standstill or treading on the spot and listening is very much fun throughout. – Achim Breiling, BABYBLAUE SEITEN

A gem of an album – Will McGiven, CONSTELLATION RADIO

One might say that electronics improviser Scott has flown under the proverbial radar of even the most discerning listeners these last two decades or so, but that would be a great misnomer; after all, it’s not *his* fault you haven’t been awake and paying attention. For those of us with our collective ears to the ground, well, we’ve been following a good number of his mostly collaborative works for some time, each more fascinating than the last, and now Martin Archer has had the good graces to bring this man’s singular modular m.o. to his idiosyncratic Discus imprint, for which he gets our endless thanks. Scott’s worked with many a worldwide, staunch experimentalist, folks like Clive Bell, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Axel Dorner, Paul Lytton, and fellow synthesist Thomas Lehn, but when let loose to run rampant alone in his studio, the results nigh on twist your organs of Corti into pretzels. It’s a pleasing sensation, and after a spin or two, you’re more than likely to keep returning, ‘cuz the eight warped wranglings Scott concocts are simultaneously vexing, intoxicating, and habit-forming. The baubles, bangles, and beads of “Book of Everything” propel you into a bifurcated dimension of timestretched tone dialing that sees a whole army of angels dancing on pinheads, the playful, teeming drizzles, high-altitude scrim, and Buchla blasts provide instant callbacks to the likes of West Coast imps The Hub and their fellow artists amongst the Artifacts label hivemind. Pachydermal fits and stomps inform the gargantuan busking about “The Elephant Room”, electrical currents smashed into submission while wheezing out their final prehistoric breaths. Mighty midi malcontents expand the atmospheric thrust at the commencement of “Songs Of Others”, a somewhat innocuous title disguising a charcoal-gray mammatus of synthesizers whose spray of acid rain only breaks across the sputtering ecosystem of the finale “The Is The Beginning…” Afterwards, you’ll smile, you’ll chortle, you’ll cackle with glee when it dawns how profoundly Scott just re-arranged your auditory cortex. Magnifico! – Darren Bergstein, DMG NYC

Richard Scott ist ein britischer Komponist und Musiker, der derzeit offenbar vor allem in Berlin lebt, aber auch Musiktheorie und Klangtechnologie am ‘Institute for the Contemporary Arts’ der Universität Lancaster unterrichtet. Scott ist meist elektronisch musikalisch aktiv (vor allem unter Verwendung analoger Synthesizer), hat aber auch Saxophon bei Elton Dean und Steve Lacy studiert. Mit diesem Instrumentarium (Synthesizer und gelegentlich Sax) ist er live und auf Tonträger seit den 90er-Jahren des letzten Jahrhunderts aktiv. Sein derzeit neuestes Solowerk ist das Anfang Mai 2022 bei Discus Music erschienene “Everything is always at once”. Scott ist hier ganz im Alleingang tätig, vor allem an einer beeindruckenden Sammlung an analogen Synthesizern (u.a. Hordijk Modular, Serge Modular, Buchla 200, EMS Synthi A, Oberheim Xpander und verschiedene Euorack Module), selten auch an Saxophon und Perkussion. Schlichte, quasi live eingespielte Synthesiszergemenge (“In the absence of agreed solutions… ” und “A deception of creatures”) stehen neben komplex arrangierten und vielspurige Kompositionen (die restlichen Nummern), in denen (so Scott im langen Text, der innen im Digifle zu finden ist) eine Art von elektronischem Ensemblesound erzeugt werden soll. Letzteres ist auf beeindruckende Weise gelungen, wogen, plingen, fiepen, zwitschern, hupen, knurren, pfeifen, bellen, zischen und blubbern hier unzählige elektronische Sounds farbig und komplex verwoben dahin, meist frei schwebend, bisweilen auch rhythmisch gefügt. Recht experimentell und kantig ist diese Musik ausgefallen. Kosmisches Klangschweben oder statische Ambientwolken sind nicht auszumachen, obwohl natürlich durchaus spacige und schwebende Töne zum Einsatz kommen. Eher erinnern die Soundgespinste and die klassischen, wuselig-freiformatigen Elektronikkonstruktionen aus den späten 60er-Jahren und den 70ern (z.B. von Tod Dockstader, Morton Subotnick, Bernard Parmegiani oder Pierre Henry), haben aber einen volleren und moderneren Klang. Sehr viel los ist hier pro Zeiteinheit, kommen unzählige Tonmuster und verschiedenste Klangfarben zum Einsatz, wuseln, purzeln, tanzen und schwofen umeinander, ohne dass das Ganze zu wirr und formlos geraten würde. Scott weiss (wie die eben genannten Urväter) genau was er tut und schafft so kurzweilige, faszinierende und ungemein unterhaltsame elektronisch-progressive Klangerlebnisse. “Everything is always at once” ist eines der besten zeitgenössischen Elektronikwerke welches mir seit langem unter die Ohren gekommen ist (zusammen mit Tobias Rebers “Mother of Millions”). Sehr originell und eigen, ungemein einfalls- und ausgesprochen abwechslungsreich ist Scott am Musizieren, ohne dass das Ergebnis allzu verkopft oder unnah(hör)bar ausgefallen wäre. Hier gib es keine Sekunde an Stillstand oder auf der Stelle Treten und das Zuhören macht durchweg sehr viel Spaß. Wer wirklich progressive Elektronik schätzt, der/die sollte “Everything is always at once” auf keinen Fall auslassen! – Achim Breiling, BABYBLAUE SEITEN http://www.babyblaue-seiten.de/

RICHARD SCOTT mit Everything is always at once (Discus 133CD) auf Archers Label in Sheffield, das mag verwundern, muss es aber nicht. In Scott steckt ein Saxofonist, der in den 80ern bei Elton Dean und Steve Lacy Stunden genommen hat, aber vor dem Schattenwurf bewunderter Giganten doch lieber auf das elektronische Feld auswich, das er als Korg-MS20-Dilettant in Postpunkbands auf Cabaret-Voltaire-Spuren bereits befingert hatte. Ein Feld, das zur materialfortschrittlichen Überholspur wurde, ein Feld für unendlichen Spaß. Wie man hört, wenn er in Berlin, in Manchester, Huddersfield und Stockholm mit Hordijk Modular, Hordijk Blippoo boxes, Serge Modular, Buchla 200, EMS Synthi A, Eurorack modules, Buchla Thunder, Oberheim Xpander, Clavia Nord Micro Modular, CataRT und Max/MSP wieder als Düsentrieb umeinandersaust und einem Furzkissen unterschiebt. Greifbarkeit, Sonic Tangibility, darin ist Scott sich mit Trevor Wishart und Bob Hordijk einig, ist für sein Klangdesign, seine Bastard Science, ebenso zentral wie die fluxe Beweglichkeit, die er schon mit Bark!, Grutronic, Twinkle³, seinem Lightning Ensemble und in Clashes mit vielen Größen der Improv-Szene gezeigt hat. Mit platzenden, tänzelnden Bläschen, perkussiven Akzenten, launigen Turbulenzen und stechenden Impulsen drückt er einen mit der Nase ins elektronische ‘Book of Everything’. Douglas Adams liegt dabei Scotts Gleichzeitigkeit von Allem gar nicht so fern. Wobei da freilich der Zweite Hauptsatz der Thermodynamik als Elefant im Raum Crowleys Do what thou wilt = the whole of the law widerspricht. Mit tickender Röntgenstrahlung, ironischem Twinkling, knarrig und zwitschernd, im ständigen Morphen quecksilbrig und granular sprudelnder, schnurrig surrender Liquidität oder als mit Drummachine ausgefochtener Nussknackerund-Mäusekrieg. ‘In the Absence of Agreed Solutions…’ und ‘A Depiction of Creatures’ sind dabei solistisch-lineare Ergüsse, alles Übrige orchestral geschichtet, mit der närrischen Brodelei des 5-fältigen Titelstücks als verschachteltem Highlight. – Rigobert Dittmann, BAD ALCHEMY

Now here we have an incredible original and unique album that will be loved by the fans of experimental instrumental electronic music in a way we know it from the past of German krautrock acts like CAN, TANGERINE DREAM and such, yet RICHARD SCOTT does give it a complete new modern take on that legendary sound from the 1970s, with all kinds of weird extreme noises that is played only on analogue and modular synthesizers. Basically it’s just Richard playing different synthesizers, saxophone and percussion. The result is an interesting experimental improvised sound that takes bits and pieces of trip-hop, acid, ambient, techno and the krautrock movement, and actually it is impossible to compare to anyone else out there. Richard creates a spacey trip that takes you in a trance like techno, prog and jazz is able to do. If you ever wonder what kind of original sound you can create on a synthesizer, then do check out the 8 songs on this CD. – Strutter’zine

Everything Is Always At Once features Richard Scott (not Richard Scott the improvising string player) on solo electronics using both analogue and modular synthesisers. Eight tracks present what Scott describes in his notes as “an ensemble approach to analogue synthesis”. He creates something of the feeling of playing in a group through the use of multiple lines and by exploiting the possibility thrown up by the occasional random sounds created by the machines of reacting spontaneously to them. Overall we have eight nicely sculpted pieces that nevertheless retain an element of spontaneity. – Tony Dudley Evans, LONDON JAZZ NEWS

Everything Is Always At Once is the latest trip into brain warping ‘n’ ear-melting electronic improv from UK’s Richard Scott. It’s an eight-track CD/ digital download album, which finds Scott pull ‘n’ pushing his set-up through all manner of electro sound crafting & texturing. The release appeared in April of this year on UK’s Discus Music. The CD is presented in a six-panel fold-out glossy mini gate fold-this features a two-page write-up about the release & Mr Scott, as well as abstract painted collage artwork. Richard Scott has been actively creating solo work since the early 1990s- though he was seemingly involved to some extent with the London scene dating back to the 1980s. To date, he’s released twenty-plus albums under his own name with take-in collabs and stand-alones, though he’s also involved in a few projects too such as Grutronic & Twinkle³. The album has eight tracks, and these each have runtimes between four and fourteen minutes. We open with pitter-pattering electro grain meets pitch swirling ‘n’ shifting abstractness of “Book Of Everything”. Onto the warbling circuit bubble and brooding bass unease of “The Elephant Room”. We have “A Depiction Of Creatures” which begins with swooping wines ‘n’ bays, before moving into a spaced-out and shift sonic tapestry of buzzers, pitch swoops, splutters, and hovers. There’s the haunting billow meets choppy to spindly textured dart ‘n’ fold of “Songs Of Others”. If the idea of more warped and abstract latter-day Autechre appeals, or you enjoy more generally wacky ‘n’ bent electro improv then Everything Is Always At Once will most certainly please you. – Roger Batty, MUSIQUE MASCHINE https://www.musiquemachine.com/reviews/reviews_template.php?id=9426

Incontournable artiste électronique que ce Richard Scott, un fana du Spontaneous Music Ensemble de John Stevens, groupe séminal de l’improvisation libre et un chercheur de sons de synthèse traité d’un point de vue rythmique intense et de la dynamique sonore. Son matériel consiste en des synthés modulaires analogiques d’un autre temps dont les différentes sources sont reliées par des touffes de câbles pinch multicolores. Interviennent aussi un Buchla 200, catArt et Max-Msp et que sais-je. Ne m’en demandez pas plus : il y a une description précise de son installation dans les notes incluses que ce soit dans la version CD et la digitale. Je mentionne le Spontaneous Music Ensemble, car non seulement Richard Scott a réalisé une brillante et profonde interview du percussionniste John Stevens, il a adopté des concepts « rythmiques » similaires à ceux qui sous-tendent la musique du duo Face To Face (cfr enreg. Emanem LP 303 – CD 4003) où le jeu très précis sur les pulsations devient spontanément millimétré jusqu’à l’obsession dans les échanges percussion – sax soprano entre Stevens et Trevor Watts. Bref , certains morceaux semblent incarner des boîtes à rythmes dans des spirales de pulsations dont la complexité et l’extraordinaire variétés de timbres dépassent l’entendement. Dans chaque morceau, Richard Scott a visiblement préparé ses matériaux avec une ou plusieurs idées de départ, mais la réalisation des pièces est entièrement improvisée dans l’instant. Cela sursaute, rebondit, ruisselle, tournoie, siffle, enfle avec une extrême lisibilité à travers plusieurs canaux (voix) qui s’interpénètrent, se croisent, se superposent simultanément dans un flux organique où textures, timbres, colorations, pulsations, densités, formes évoluent sans cesse avec une belle logique et un sens inné de la construction . Il ne craint pas de fissurer et démanteler ses extraordinaires édifices jusqu’à la rupture totale. Les facettes de son art sont démultipliées quasi à l’infini. Richard Scott est vraiment, à mon avis, un improvisateur – compositeur électronique incontournable dont il faut patiemment explorer la musique tant elle a à nous offrir d’inconnues et de trouvailles au niveau des formes. S’il s’affirme en solitaire avec une démarche « orchestrale » impressionnante, Richard Scott est aussi un improvisateur collectif dans l’âme depuis des décennies (déjà) auprès de personnalités telles que la chanteuse Ute Wassermann, le percussionniste Michael Vorfeld, le saxophoniste Frank Gratkowski, le guitariste Kasuhisa Uchihashi, le trompettiste Axel Dörner, la chanteuse Audrey Chen etc… et au sein des groupes Grutronic et Richard Scott’s Lightnin’ Ensemble. À suivre à la trace. – https://orynx-improvandsounds.blogspot.com

Terrific record of solo electronic music from Richard Scott is called Everything Is Always At Once (DISCUS MUSIC DISCUS133CD) (nothing to do with the recent Dan Kwan movie with a similar title) and offers us eight tracks of synthesised goodiness, some of it quite overpowering…I may say “solo”, but in fact Scott’s intention here is to sound like an entire group, or at any rate emulate the “feeling” of playing in an ensemble, in a process he describes as “simultaneity of voices and events and a coexistence of multiple lines suggesting distinct musical roles and instrumental characteristics”. He lists a substantial number of instruments on his credit list, and these are mostly combinations of a commercial brand name with a descriptive name indicating its function, such as the “Oberheim Xpander” – but I am totally clueless as to what these devices do, so I’ll settle for “analogue and modular synthesisers”. Gotta admit he’s really found a way to make the “virtual group” notion pay off in triple jackpots – there’s a lot of bizarre, noisy action going down and plenty of curious, fascinating sounds bursting out of their respective pods, like alien flowers on Planet Venus. His “ensemble” approach means his music doesn’t resemble “classic” electro-acoustic music from the old Schools (by which I mean anything from Koenig to Stockhausen by way of Bayle and Parmegiani), where quite often the projected sound can appear rather lonely and isolated for some reason. Perhaps it’s the cold formality of an academic experiment that induces that loneliness. Contrariwise, Scott is happily bouncing around inside his studio unleashing the tongues of a dozen or more gabbling voices, trills, birds, beasts, and pots of clay. Kinda surprised I never heard of this Scott before, as he’s been hovering around on many “scenes” and locales of exciting endeavour since the 1980s, one of which was the London Musician’s Collective, and another was releasing his “underground cassettes” since the late 1980s. As to the LMC, seems he used to parp the saxophone as his chosen machine, and studied it under Elton Dean and Steve Lacy. As to the cassette thing, this may have grown out of his teenage post-punk band period. I mention these strands as they all point to one thing – his love of playing and playing in groups, and that brings us round to the whole point of this album. He’s pretty much replaced his friends and collaborators with machines, which is the best way to go as people will always let you down in the long run. More recently, our man has found time – when he’s not mutating his own nervous system into a circuit board so he can enjoy a closer bond with his little friends – to set up and operate his own record label Sound Anatomy, active since 2015 and a good breeding ground for improvisers and electronic composers alike. I realise after all this verbiage I still haven’t said very much about the form of his music here, which is (to my superficial lugs) extremely complex and dense, and probably containing more ideas per square inch than the human brain can comfortably process. I’m reminded in places of Thomas Dimuzio, except Scott doesn’t “do” noise as such and doesn’t want to waste a single second of music time if he can’t occupy it with multiple voices unearthly sounds twisted into super-intricate trillamagoos and curliblodgens. And he’s also pushing the form – no tunes, no melody, no patterns, no repeats, just generous scads of atonal modernism pushed through the oscillators and filters. Did I mention he was bowled over when he first heard Stockhausen on the wireless? Well, that and Cabaret Voltaire, and erm, Jon Hassell…seriously, I’ve no doubt that Professor Karlheinz would have been impressed by the complexity, largesse and sheer ingenuity on offer here. – Ed Pinsent, SOUND PROJECTOR https://www.thesoundprojector.com/2023/07/13/the-lorentz-transformation/

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