The Arc Series began as abstraction. Utech Records and Max Aguilera-Hellweg had previously worked together in the fall of 2006. Over the dark Wisconsin winter of 2007 the label began to sketch out a brazen idea and a means for its realization. That idea was to produce a series of releases that would marry photography and sound in such a way as to tether a varied spectrum of music with a single visual concept. Max was invited to participate and graciously accepted. The Arc Series would come to represent an alliance/arc born among artists of disparate fields of study and comprise the first entry in the label's fine art catalog provoking incursion into further long-term collaborations. Each of the disks was hand assembled in an exclusive package and released in editions of five hundred copies. Nine volumes were issued from April to December 2007.
As the series was met with much acclaim Utech Records has decided to produce a box set to celebrate its conclusion. The Arc box will be the most involved project the label has undertaken. The box will only be for sale through Utech Records. Each set contains all nine releases housed in a wood box hand crafted by Roger Utech and screen printed by Alan Sherry. Also included is a giclee print highlighting a photo from Max Aguilera-Hellweg's personal collection. The photo, Maricopa, was selected by Max and described as follows "Soup ladle and Pyrex measuring cup, autopsy, Maricopa County medical examiner, Phoenix, Arizona. The photograph is of an autopsy being performed, the medical examiner and his assistant are using a soup ladle and Pyrex measuring cup to remove liquid contents found in the abdominal cavity of the body they are examining." Each print is signed/numbered and will be exclusive to the set. Edition of 30.
The Skull Defekts The Sound of Defekt Skulls and Intense Cranium Contact
(Feedbacking Gothenburg and Chicago)
URCD006 / Arc1
The Year of the Skull.
The Skull Defekts, represented by Henrik Rylander and Joachim Nordwall, were invited in late September 2006 by the Chicago non-profit organization Lampo to make their U.S. debut. With them they brought recorded sounds from their home on the Swedish west-coast Gothenburg. A city breathing culture, it is also Sweden's most important export harbor. While spending close to a week in Chicago, Rylander and Nordwall carefully prepared a piece to be presented on the Lampo event on September 30. The duo recorded more sounds, searched for the Skull sound of Chicago, and found inspiration from the city itself and the people they met.
They traveled with ten mixing desks and Nordwall's custom Drone Machine, ready to complete the project with sharp psychedelic & analog noise treatments. They also investigated the CM von Hausswolff "There Are No Crows Flying Around The Hancock Building" thesis. A crow was found below the building, it did not seem to be able to fly. The Skull Defekts recorded it while it was playing and testing it's wings in a nearby park. When the Skulls left, the crow was still on the ground.
Daniel Menche Wolf's Milk
URCD007 / Arc2
Alvin, November, Canyon De Los Muertos
Crystalline drones and sacred incantation. Nectar procured from golden fruit. Shimmering resonance channeled through dream. A most anticipated return to form for Menche. Breathtaking purity of sound. Wolf's Milk is a triumph of immense magnitude.
Knell Last Ten Meters
URCD008 / Arc3
Chair, Boiler Room
First release from French guitarist Johannes Buff. An attempt to disect the methodology he explores with guitar. Using a single sound source and unprocessed field recordings Knell invoke rich beauty and obsessive melodics. A luminous patina reveals vague, underlying threat. Drone as a catalyst of frequency and time. Nothing to understand through listening, only to gaze.
James Plotkin Indirmek
URCD009 / Arc4
Coronal Section of Adult Human Skull in Solution and Jar
James Plotkin unveils his second solo release in as many years. Indirmek presents two distinct facets of his musical work. The first track, Afyon (opium) lies closest to Plotkin's trademark drift. In essence, a guitar track stretched to limitless possibility. An elemental fury contained, dissected and entrusted to a NYC audience for their consideration in the spring of 2007. Amfetamin (amphetamine) is a second recording from NYC, performed in the fall of 2006. The track is considerably more immediate. It's allure can be credited to Plotkin's use of electronics to invoke raw sound and shape it as he sees necessary to fit a given context. The track speaks a multitude of languages in succession and simultaneously.
Joshua Convey Vacant Integument
URCD010 / Arc5
Vacant Integument is the debut release from NY resident Joshua Convey. Sharp, spiky overtones rattle four skillfully assembled tracks. Each gritty frame is lined with a delicate array of guitar, harmonica and electronics. Quiet drone hums along as melody slowly reveals itself amongst carefully placed shards of raw feedback and noise. Not since Kaoru Abe or Masayoshi Urabe has the harmonica been used to such magnificent effect. Vacant Integument is a singular and resonant work that deserves all manner of praise.
Zaïmph La Nuit electrique
URCD011 / Arc6
Ferret Liver on Petri Dish Treated by Detergent and Blue Dye
Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards, Hototogisu) rears Zaïmph's vile head once again on La Nuit Electrique. A raspy, delicate instrumental passage begins like a crippled music box. Elegant and soporose. Blackened guitar and amplification apprise the rest. Acrid feedback hangs in the air and vocal modulations clot inside dark rivers of current. The night electric.
URCD012 / Arc7
Body Farm, Untitled #3
Japanese vocalist and instrumentalist Sachiko (Overhang Party, Vava Kitora, Kosokuya) looses a second, white-hot solo release. Her brilliant debut You Never Atone For on There/Musik Atlack rode gilded wings straight to the heart of the psych sun. The journey continues with Kunado. A tincture of Taj Mahal Travellers, wispy oscillations and lysergic vocals bathes the recording in delicate atmosphere as Sachiko's sonic attack leaves vicious and harrowing results. A listen not soon forgotten.
Suzuki Junzo Pieces for Hidden Circles
URCD013 / Arc8
Women in Mini Skirts and Men Playing Soldiers
Japanese singer/guitar player Suzuki Junzo (Astral Travelling Unity, 20 Guilders, Overhang Party, Miminokoto) weaves an improvised country blues/folk music with touches of acid and psych. While performing and recording mostly as a solo artist, he has collaborated with Hiroshi Hasegawa, Tabata Mitsuru and Kawabata Makoto. Pieces for Hidden Circles is a recording of the highest order evoking spirituality and devotion unrivaled. A campaign to a world of solitude, each footfall and gust of wind resonating to the heavens.
Tabata Mitsuru Lumrapideco
URCD014 / Arc9
Japanese sound artist Tabata Mitsuru (Boredoms, Zeni Geva, Acid Mothers Temple, 20 Guilders, Leningrad Blues Machine) is a musician who has claimed his solo voice and skillfully hones it with each release. Lumrapideco (speed of light) is a collection of spaced-out electronics, bleak feedback and sedate guitar passages. Sometimes oppressive sometimes heart stirring, it is never less than magnificent.